Tag Archives: CTV

Canadian Amazing Race is going to suck

So CTV has announced they are coming out with a Canadian version of the Amazing Race, but it won’t be that exciting.

Of course, many people are stoked. Finally, Canadians have a chance to participate in the reality show, and visit far off-lands such as Japan, Russia and Australia.

Wait, they’re not going overseas? The whole thing will take place in Canada?

Oh, this is not going to end well at all.

The Amazing Race has two main appeals: racing around the world, and seeing how other cultures live. Take those two events out, and all you have is a glorified City Chase.

Don’t believe me? Just look at the American version. What was the worst season of the Amazing Race? The one where families of four participated. And the main reason for that is that they never left the U.S.

Remember that season? They went to far-off exotic locales such as Alabama, Utah and Virginia. It was just a bad overall season. It didn’t help the challenges were easier either.

I can see challenges being easier in this edition as well. What’s the hardest thing they could do in St. John’s? Eat seal flipper pie? In Toronto, they’ll probably have to do one of those outdoor walks on top of the CN Tower.

There will be no language barriers either. Running around China and getting locals to help without speaking the language is also fun to watch.

But sadly, this season won’t be entertaining. It’ll probably do good ratings because people will want to see where they are going, but it’s going to be boring to watch.

1 Comment

Filed under entertainment

More money for cable?

So the The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has decided to allow television stations to demand money from cable companies.

Of course, they need to go through the legal channels, but it looks to be a slam dunk if the CRTC wants to allow it.

So basically, CTV and Global can ask Rogers for money to use towards their local programming. The cable companies have already said that they will pass any increases directly onto the consumer through their monthly bills. They’re guessing the amount could be as high as an extra $10 a month.

But here’s something that the cable companies and station owners don’t seem to understand: More and more people are cutting back on their television.

Sure, you can find studies that say more people are watching TV than ever before, but I would dispute that. I know of quite a few people that have either cut back on their cable, or cut it out all together. Even my family has downsized, going down a couple of packages in order to save money.

All the television shows are available online on the broadcaster’s web sites the next day, so it’s not like you can miss them. For sports, many stations show the games live, such as Hockey Night in Canada on CBC. The same happened during the Olympics.

You think people are going to want to pay more money for television that they can watch online for free? Probably not.

It will also be interesting to see how the broadcasters decide to show more local programming. That was the point of all of this in the first place. Remember all those commercials about how we all need to save local broadcasting? Now that they will be asking for more money from us (and can now get it, thanks to the CRTC ruling), I’m looking forward to AChannel bringing back their newscast at 6 and 11 p.m.

Plus, there will be all these new Canadian shows. No more showing non-stop reality shows from the States, such as American Idol or Dancing With the Stars. In fact, CTV can bring back Canadian Idol, now that they’ll have extra money for local programming.

So if they want to do this under the guise of local programming, I expect to see a lot more local programming.

1 Comment

Filed under News

Best and worst of 2010 Olympics

Now that the Olympics are over, it seems like a good time to look back at both the good and the bad moments of the Winter Games.

After the first week, it seemed like the Olympics were going to be a dud. People were calling it the worst ever, and the Canadians seemed to be choking during their events.

But the second week gave us lots of memories, and captured the imagination of people across the globe.

With that said, here are the five worst moments of the Games, and the ten best.

Worst

5. The Opening Ceremonies: 75 per cent as good as other Opening Ceremonies

Pretty much the entire opening ceremony can be here. It was long, the performances were horribly lip-synched, and it took Wayne Gretzky about two days to get to the outside cauldron to light the Olympic Flame.

Even Nelly Furtado’s butt couldn’t make the opening ceremonies that exciting (give her credit for trying though).

But the worst moment came when the big idea of having four giant pillars rise out of the floor so four of Canada’s greatest athletes could light the Olympic Flame at once. But one of the pillars didn’t rise.

So, we waited. And waited. And waited some more. I think they’re still waiting.

In the end, only three of the athletes were able to light the Flame.

But this was one of the main things people pointed to in the first few days when most they called it the Worst Winter Games ever.

4. Fence around the Olympic Flame

This was one of the great decisions by the Canadian Olympic Committee. Let’s spend tons of money on a huge outside four-pillar Olympic torch that will be a huge attraction, but then put up a chain link fence around it so no one can actual take a photo in front of  the flame.

At least the committee reversed the decision, after about a week and a lot of media and public pressure. Who says they don’t learn from their mistakes?

The optics of the whole thing was brutal, and was one of the main stories of the first few days of the flame. Not good.

3. CTV coverage, announcers

Look, I get it. Brent Butt is back with a new show. Even though I’ve seen the commercial about 200 times, I still don’t actually know what it’s about.

Regardless, that commercial is probably the least annoying thing about the CTV coverage and its announcers.

Personally, it seems to me that the TSN guys can’t wait to get back to Toronto. I’m sure Jay Onrait is tired of pretending to smile every time he talks to those three ditzy girls from E Canada. And do I really need MTV personalities talking about all the stars they’ve seen?

The announcing was brutal. In the first few days, it was excruciating to watch. As I wrote a couple of weeks back, it felt as they were trying to jinx the Canadian athletes.

It’s to the point that we watched more American coverage than Canadian coverage. I know a lot of other people who switched to other stations because of how bad CTV was.

Finally, the coverage by the Canadian was so bad that the Olympic committee had to put out a press release asking announcers to not hug Canadian athletes. (Read the story about it here).

It got better as it went along, but the CTV gang just didn’t have the knowledge to pull off some good quality television.

2. Luging accident

It created a couple of small storms of controversy. There were debates about whether the luging track was too fast. Some athletes said making it easier wasn’t a good thing.

But really, the focus should have always been on Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian 28-year-old luger who lost his life in a training accident the day of the Opening Ceremonies.

Whether it was because of the course, or driver error, the fact is a person lost their life training for a sport. That is something that should never happen.

1. Saying a course was a killer

A few days after the accident, I was watching some downhill skiing. There were so many accidents, it actually became a story on its own.

During of the crashes, one of the announcers said “This course is a killer.” Followed by something among the lines of “And it’s killing their Olympic dreams.”

It was in bad taste, especially after what happen to Kumaritashvili the week before. Someone should have been suspended for that comment, but it didn’t even become news.

To me, this was the worst moment of the Olympics. What happened to Kumaritashvili was a tragedy, but it was an accident.

This was just stupid, and in really poor taste.

Favourites

It wasn’t all bad. As with most Olympics, the personal triumph stories that come out can be enough to make people cry. There were a few of those at these games. Here are the top 10.

10. Men’s ice hockey

Yes, they won gold in a great overtime game. But there are always a few sticking points for me when it comes to men’s hockey. One is the fact that it’s NHL players. I find it harder to care about whether players making $7 million a year win a gold medal, versus someone who had to get a second job to pay for the extra training so they could have a chance to even compete for a medal.

Second is that it dominated so much coverage. On days when we won a few gold medals, the main story would still be the men’s hockey game, which has a disgrace for other athletes who have worked just as hard.

Finally, we lost one of seven games. With the way people were going on about how bad we were, you would think we lost all three round robin games. But in the end, we won six of seven! That’s a pretty good record.

If Canada had lost the gold medal, would it really mean any less? Would it have meant we weren’t the hockey superpower anymore? I’d argue no, since we won five of the last six world junior championships, we’ve been in the finals of six of the last seven world championships, and the Canadian women have won the last three Olympic gold medals. Losing one game wouldn’t make that much of a difference.

9. Record number of golds

Canada has set several records at these Games. Canada has won more gold medals at these Olympics than it has at any other Olympics. Canada has also won more gold medals than any other country in winter Olympic history.

That’s pretty good, considering people were ragging on Canadian athletes after the first week for their “Own the Podium” strategy. Most people thought it wasn’t working.

A week later, we’re top three in medals, first in gold, and the envy of most other nations. That’s pretty good.

8. Gold, silver in same bobsled event

In most events, Canada is lucky to win one medal. Every once in a while, we’ll get a silver and a bronze, or something like that.

But Kaillie Humphries, Heather Moyse, Helen Upperton and Shelly-Ann Brown did something I’ve never seen Canadians do. Win gold and silver in the same event.

It was a great thing to watch, and one of those moments I’ll remember for years.

7. Ashleigh McIvor

She captured the spirit of the Olympics, and the hearts of many of the men.

Winning gold in downhill skiing. McIvor was one of those names that came out of nowhere, but everyone fell in love with. There’s always one or two like that, and this year it was Ashleigh.

6. Figure skating gold

Here’s some words of advice for Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. In the next few weeks, you’ll be inundated with requests from advertisers.

Don’t do what Jamie Sale and David Pelletier did after 2002. They decided to wait a few months before making any decisions. By then, advertisers weren’t as interested. I think they advertised for Crest toothpaste, and that was about it.

Scott and Tessa, don’t do what they did. You’re two of the darlings of these Olympics. Sign those contracts in the next little while, or else you’ll be missing out on a lot of money.

5. Jon Montgomery wins gold

It wasn’t so much the fact that he won gold that put Jon Montgomery in this spot, it was watching the celebration. It was exuberant without being over the top. He celebrated the same way many of us thought we would if we ever had the chance to win a medal.

He was excited. He walked around with a pitcher of beer. He was smiling the whole time. There were no pre-rehearsed answers during interviews.

Sometimes, you get winners where they don’t even smile that much. Almost like they have a “been there, done that” attitude, or they’re thinking of what their next goal would be.

Montgomery wasn’t like that. He seemed genuinely excited, and it showed. It made us feel like we were celebrating with him.

4. Bilodeau gold

This was such a big moment because it immediately took so much pressure off the rest of the Canadian athletes.

For the past two years, every commercial talked about how Canada had never won a gold medal on home soil. If Alexandre Bilodeau doesn’t win that medal in the first few days, the pressure would have built every single day.

But Bilodeau won gold, and the rest of the Team Canada had a little less pressure.

Except for the men’s hockey team.

3. Curling domination

So many people have been into curling at this Olympics, more than I ever remember hearing about.

Part of it has to do with the players that are there. There have been plenty of stories about how hot the players are (Bill Simmons has even gone as far to call Canadian skip Cheryl Bernard The Curlgar).

It also helps that because the Games are in Canada, the curling matches are on throughout the day, so more people tune in.

Finally, we had two different teams in the gold medal games. How could there not be lots of people loving it?

It also made for a great Olympic moment when everyone started singing O Canada during one of the men’s matches.

Isn’t it time for co-ed curling? This is probably one of the only sports when the men and women are on the same level. And it would be nice to have another sport where Canada dominates.

2. Women’s ice hockey

One of the best stories of the Olympics, and way more important than the men.

Yes, I know the competition pool is shallower than the men’s, but the women dominated like no other team has during the Olympics. They outscored their opponents 41-2 in the round robin. In the playoffs, they outscored their opponents 7-0, including the 2-0 gold medal win against the archrival Americans.

In scoring 48 goals, they set an Olympic record for most goals by a women’s team.

And the best of all was their celebration, when they went back on the ice with cigars and beere. Yes, a lot of people were upset, but for reasons that make no sense.

The 1972 Canadian Summit Series team went back on the ice to celebrate with cigars and beer. Brian Kilrea, hall of fame coach, celebrated every single win with a cigar. As we mentioned, Jon Montgomery celebrated by carrying a pitcher of beer around the streets of Vancouver.

The only thing different is the gender. If the Canadian men’s hockey team celebrated their win with beer on the ice, no one would say much.

So I say the women don’t have any need to apologize. They’ve only done what so many have done before. And it’s improtu celebrations such as this that make the Olympics so much fun.

1. Joannie Rochette

Easily the top story of the Olympics. Joannie’s mother died of a heart attack soon after arriving in Vancouver, and a couple of days before the skate.

Joannie decided to stay and skate, and did a great routine that full of emotion. She had the audience, announcers and television viewers in tears afterwards.

Even though she only won bronze, she was chosen to carry the flag at the closing ceremonies.

It took guts to do what she did, and to do it as good as she did. It goes down as the most memorable moment of the Games.

Agree or disagree? What was your favourite moment?

Leave a comment

Filed under Sports blogs I like

CTV Olympic coverage doesn’t deserve a medal

If there were medals given out for Olympic coverage, CTV would finish off the podium.

The network’s coverage has been horrendous so far, leading to some of us to choose to watch the Games on NBC instead.

It’s not like there was one or two things. In fact, I was looking forward to CTV being the Canadian broadcaster. They own TSN, Sportsnet, RDS, AChannel and OLN. If they couldn’t showcase a certain event on one station, they had plenty of others to choose from.

But the whole thing has been a disappointment.

To start, the announcers are pretty brutal. Only the anchors from TSN show any ability to do a good job at broadcasting the Games. The rest are pretty bad. For example, they seem to want to jinx the Canadian athletes, especially before the first gold medal, with statements such as “He has all the pressure of Canada on his shoulders as he prepares to jump.”

It got to the point that my wife is watching figure skating on NBC because they’re doing a much better job.

Brian Williams, former CBC guy, actually referred to CTV as CBC at one point.

In the men’s hockey game featuring Canada against Norway, the score was close in the first (a 0-0 tie, before Canada opened up and won 10-0). Johnathan Toews got nailed with a bodycheck by one of the Norwegians. I mean, just plastered. Of course, there was never a mention of it again, not even a replay. But when a Canadian player laid out a Norwegian with a solid hit, it was replayed numerous times.

I understand they need to cater to Canadian fans, and will be biased toward Canada. But this is a little much. Give credit where credit is due, no matter what team it comes from.

Finally, there’s the online portion. At a house the other day with no cable, we wanted to watch the men’s moguls online (the one where Alexandre Bilodeau won Canada’s first ever gold medal on Canadian soil). First, we had trouble getting the server to stop freezing. Then, we had to watch it with no sound because it wasn’t working. Finally, when it was up and running, CTV would run ads about very 45 seconds…

Even in the middle of a run. And since commercials run about 30 seconds, and each run takes about 30 seconds, there were times when we missed runs completely because of the ads. There were times we had no idea who was racing, or where they finished, or what was happening.

CTV has blown its coverage of these Games.

So how long before the Olympics go back to CBC?

2 Comments

Filed under Sports blogs I like

Saving local television is overrated

Not sure if this is going on across the country (and I sure hope it’s not, because it’s way too foolish), but the television stations here in Ottawa have gone on a whole “save local” kick.

Is this an example of local programming?

Is this an example of local programming?

And it’s driving me crazy.

Basically, they believe local television stations need saving, because they’re the source for local events and news.

CJOH(owned by CTV) is the worst of the batch. They have ads all over the place. They held an open house. They really seem to believe what they’re saying is right.

And that’s why it’s so wrong.

I’d be all in favour of saving local programming, if they bothered to show any. They show CSI, So You Think You Can Dance, Law & Order, Two and a Half Men, The Colbert Report, Oprah, etc.

The closest thing I can find to local programming (besides the news), is when they show So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

And that’s what we’re trying to save? It boggles the mind.

The A-Channel is also on the same kick. Of course, they show great quality local programming such as Lost, Ellen, TMZ and Law & Order.

Here’s a thought. If you want people to care about “local” television, try showing some “local” programming!

3 Comments

Filed under Misc.

Two Superbowl commercials yanked

So there has been two Superbowl commercials yanked for this year: one in Canada, and one in the U.S.

The first ad, done by PETA, was yanked by NBC. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals believe everyone should be a vegetarian. NBC said “depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards.” I don’t think it’s that bad. It just shows a bunch of semi-sexy women with vegetables. I’ve seen sexier ads on TV.

The second ad, by Ashley Madison, was yanked by CTV here in Canada. Ashley Madison is an online dating site for a married person to have an affair. CTV says they don’t want to run an ad that is “promoting adultery.”

What’s funny is that these companies get more exposure for networks refusing to run the ads than they would have gotten if it ran.

Anyways, below you will see the two commercials, plus another couple of good ones. Enjoy!

1 Comment

Filed under entertainment

Canadian Idle?

So apparently Canadian Idol won’t be having a show this season.

Imagine cancelling the highest rated Canadian television show. No wonder there’s no Canadian Survivor, or Canadian Big Brother, or anything else like that.

CTV says it’s because the ad revenue isn’t there.

Well, here’s a thought: Lower the price for an ad!

Most of the ads are for other CTV shows anyways, so I don’t think they ever made a lot of money from the show.

I don’t think the winners perservered either. Can anyone name the first winner? Four of the six winners? Want to bet most of them are singing on street corners for spare change?

I’m not a big fan of Canadian Idol, so maybe they can replace it with something better. Like dead air.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Free agency

When a free agent hits the hockey market, they’re usually scooped up right away.

Theme songs apparently aren’t much different. As I wrote about last week (read it here), the CBC wasn’t going to continue to pay the owner of the song for the rights to keep using it. They were in the middle of a multi-million dollar lawsuit over the rights to distribute the song for cell phones and what not.

So CTV bought the rights to the song for the next few years. They plan to use it for TSN on their double headers on Wednesday nights, RDS for the Montreal Canadiens games (and they broadcast all of them) and for the 2010 Olympics.

The CBC will now have a contest for everyday Canadians to come up with a new jingle, maybe something similar to American Idol.

But the song has been saved, and that should make the people who wanted it saved very happy, as well as the composer, Dolores Claman.

2 Comments

Filed under News, Sports blogs I like