Catching Up

Writing the NFL Picks blog and decided to put up what I was going to post during the Olympics. Cord to my laptop died and that derailed me. So this will be just a look into how I write these long pieces. I write small parts then put them together. Here they will be some random thoughts. I’ll write in brackets after each thing if need be. First was me starting to write about the Canadian TV coverage. Which had no ‘intro’, was going to write one then the laptop problems began.

As for Canadian coverage, this is as Bob McCown nicknamed them “the unholy alliance” of CTV/Rogers. They teamed up to get the Vancouver games, but it was a Vancouver/London TV deal so they had to buy both. After throwing everything at the Winter Games and losing money this one is not going to be the same. CTV/Rogers teamed up to buy the Leafs so you’d think they’d be a bit better at teaming up. Not really.

From what I’ve seen in the early morning coverage, trying to know what’s on what channel is difficult. CTV, TSN, Sportsnet and OLN all being used. It’s not that hard to put a graphic at the bottom sometimes saying “Rowing is on Sportsnet, Basketball is on TSN”.

The Winter Olympics aren’t nearly the behemoth the Summer Games are. Which the Canadian broadcasters are finding out. So many sports, and even with mulitple channels it’s hard to cover everything. CBC has done Olympic games many times so some took them for granted. My sister was watching part of it and said “I wish CBC was doing this”. Tough to beat experience at covering massive events.

CTV/Rogers broadcasting from home turf in BC made it easier. When you are dealing with a games overseas and you haven’t done a Summer Olympics together it is going to be tough. Especially with some hosts being in London and other anchoring in Toronto. Don Taylor on Sportsnet and Kate Beirness on TSN are obviously stationed in Toronto.

[They did get better with identifying what was on each channel, how they took a few days to realiz that is puzzling. Up next would’ve been an entry after Day 4]

Forgot to mention Canada got a medal on Sunday. Bronze in Sychronized Diving. I only saw a clip of the dive itself. That is one of those sports that’s entirely judged, so it is a bit hard to know what the difference is between 2nd, 6th and 10th. I’d probably be hard pressed to know which one finished in what place.

NBC bit themselves in the ass with their tape delay on Monday. Aired a promo for the Today show that has an interview with a swimmer who won a gold medal. However, NBC hadn’t shown that on TV yet. Bravo.

Canadian coverage that I’ve seen is much better. However they are horrible at telling what sport is on what channel. I know Bell/Rogers doesn’t work together often, but they have to get better. Just have a graphic at the bottom a few times an hour saying what is on CTV, TSN, Sportsnet and OLN. It’s so crazy, even some sport organizations aren’t sure when their sport is coming on.

Saturday morning Canada Basketball was tweeting about when the Canada/Russia game was coming back from the half. Was supposed to be on CTV, and they ended up missing the entire 3rd quarter. Never found the game on the other channels either.

Stranger problem Monday morning with Milos Raonic, he was playing and couldn’t find it anywhere. Finally saw a tweet “he’s on a court with no TV coverage”. Which they should’ve mentioned on TV, which I never saw.

[I probably would have stuck that earlier TV talk in there somewhere. Next part I forget what exactly caused me to write it.]

Silliest thing you read over and over is “Broadcasters were worrying whether the NHL players are apart of the Games in Russia”. My answer has always been the same.

“Who cares if they go?”

Those games will be happening in the middle of the night, along the lines of Nagano in 1998. So NHL or not, they’re not going to have ratings close to Vancouver or Salt Lake City.

Also, the hockey ratings go along with how well Canada is doing. Not with it being professionals or not. A question for readers of the blog. Do you remember watching the Gold Medal game in 1998 or 2006? Probably not, because Canada wasn’t in them. All the talk of “it’s the best hockey being played” but Canadians aren’t going to watch a Gold Medal game between Finland-Russia for example.

[Next about CBC getting the games back]

My sister and my Mom both said the same to me during the 1st week of coverage. “Wish CBC had this”. So they will be happy in 2014 and 2016.

CBC getting the Olympics again. Did hear Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown and he was wondering where they will get all the commentators needed. Strangely as I listened to the show, the 3 guests on the roundtable Tim McCallef, Damien Cox and Greg didn’t remember the last time CBC had the Summer Games. They teamed up with TSN.

And the last World Cup which CBC had they joined up with Sportsnet. With the amount of sports in the summer I’m sure they’ll team up with one of them. Previous Olympics they’ve used CBC Newsworld [CBC News Network] to show some sports. So you could have CBC, CBCNN, TSN and TSN2 for example.

Haven’t seen a lot of these Olympics with my midnight shift hours. Bell/Rogers the 1st few days were horrible at one thing. Telling viewers what was on each channel. One morning even Canada Basketball’s Twitter account wasn’t sure when a women’s game was on. Yesterday I did see them split to multiple screens on CTV to show what was on TSN and Sportsnet.

As for the coverage itself, seems a bit flat. CTV Olympic Morning before had Jay Onrait, who was someone who could make fun of ‘I Believe’ being crammed down our throats. This time it seems safe and boring for the most part. Darren Millard is doing Sportsnet Daytime, on FAN590 on August 1st in an interview said he’s usually sarcastic but can’t do that on the Olympic broadcast. Why not? Darren did have a line about hosting it from Toronto “We don’t say we are in London, we don’t say we’re not”

Part of that is some hosts and commentators are in Canada. If you see tennis this morning for example, it’s being called by Jim Van Horne off of a TV monitor back in Toronto. He’s done a great job considering that.

[That must’ve been during the halfway point of the Olympics. I did write this at the end but realized it was too little, too late so didn’t post it. You can see I was going to re-use some topics from earlier.]

As you can tell the ‘blogging during the Olympics’ plan fell apart. However 2 good reasons. First, the cord to my laptop died. I guess some people can blog using a tablet but it doesn’t work for me. Especially since I edit and try to put in links into the posts.

Second reason was I was always a day behind in these games. Working midnights can work sometimes. Watching sports from Beijing 4 years ago was easy. This time most of the big events happened while I slept. Overnight I’d try and catch up, then at 4am CTV’s coverage would start up again. So commenting on events from 2 days earlier wouldn’t be worth reading.

Olympics are over, which wasn’t available coast to coast over the air by the way. Like Vancouver. Since there is no CTV station in Newfoundland and Labrador you had to have cable/satellite to watch these Summer Games. Last couple of times I’ve been home I have a few relatives who just had an antenna. So they could get CBC and NTV. NTV did air the opening and closing ceremonies but no sports. Similar thing in Vancouver, although I think they might’ve picked up the Gold Medal hockey game. Which I didn’t watch so I don’t know what channels were showing it.

CBC gets the next two Olympics so it will be back to being available across the nation. How it came about was strange. Bell tried to give the IOC two different prices of what they would pay. One if the NHL players are there, and another if they’re not. IOC said “we don’t do that”. So Bell pulled out completely. Which I thought was silly.

Sochi, Russia will have events in the middle of the night. NHL players or not the ratings are going to be down from Vancouver. Honestly, the NHL players aren’t the draw for Canada. It’s the fact if Canada is doing well and is in the Gold Medal game. Did millions of hockey fans here watch the Czechs win in 1998 or Sweden in 2006? No. Canada wasn’t in it so they skipped it. And one of the most watched events on TSN each year is the World Junior Championships. Because this country is almost always in the final.

So because of Bell’s weird obsession that NHL players would make a big difference in the ratings CBC gets the Olympics back.

Back to the actual sporting events in London. I predicted 11 Medals, so this country was higher than I thought. However 1 Gold Medal counteracts that quite a bit. Especially for those who recall the Canadian Olympic Committee’s flip flop in Vancouver. Dave Perkins of the Toronto Star mentioned this.–london-2012-what-are-the-olympics-without-probing-questions-perkins

Speaking of the COC, which initially predicted 24 medals for Canada but dialed back to a “top 12” standing, is it counting total medals won or gold medals won, which is the way the IOC counts? The COC moved the goalposts in Vancouver, from four years of “we will win the total medals” to “we had the most gold.” With only one gold entering London’s final weekend, the lowest total since the Montreal shutout in 1976, will the COC again embrace total medals won?

Gold was the important thing for the Winter Games, however this time it’s not? No wonder Canada only got 1 Gold this time, they can’t make up their minds.

And they gave the flag-bearer to someone on a team that finished 3rd. Winning Gold not as important as barely beating France, complaining about the refs, and blowing a lead 3 times against the US. However the women’s soccer team had the PR behind it so that’s why they got it over an actual Gold Medalist.

Sinclair played great, however a Bronze is a Bronze. As Herm Edwards once said ‘you play to win the game’. Conn Smythe trophy doesn’t go to a player who lost in the Conference Finals. That’s the equivalent. And I worked on a soccer show on CFRC for 2 years called ‘Globe Trotting’ so that is not an anti-soccer thing.

[An abrupt end to that. Would have wrapped it up. That ends like hitting a wall.]

Some might like to see that sometimes I write and then throw it away. This time I thought since I did write at the start of the Olympics I should use it as content on here.

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