Two weeks ago I came to the defense of CTV. After last night, I need to call them out on a mistake. The AFC Championship Game between the Steelers and Jets ended around 10pm ET. CTV went to commercial and then had Jay Onrait come on and end the broadcast, telling viewers to tune in two weeks from now to watch the Super Bowl. The mistake that CTV made was choosing to not show the Lamar Hunt Trophy presentation, which is a major part of the Conference Championship Game broadcasts. CBS aired the trophy presentation and post-game interviews for 15 minutes after CTV ended their broadcast, until about 10:15pm ET.
Now, you may be wondering, what was so important to CTV that they had to rush off-air at exactly 10pm ET? The answer is The Big Bang Theory repeats. Now, The Big Bang Theory is a fine show, probably my favourite sitcom, but the choice of airing repeats after a high rated broadcast has to be questioned in itself. The AFC Championship will be one of the highest rated primetime programs on CTV this year. They would have been well advised to show a new episode of a show, like maybe a new episode of Flashpoint for example. It would have generated interest in the show and given Flashpoint a boost in the ratings. If I was CTV, I’d air a new Flashpoint after the AFC Championship and the Super Bowl. Whoever makes these programming decisions at CTV needs to be replaced.
Amazingly, there was a decision in Canadian broadcasting last night that was worse than the decisions that CTV made. Global decided to air 15 minutes (that is half of an episode for those wondering) of a repeat of The Simpsons from 10 until 10:15pm ET last night. They did this to insure that they got to simulcast the all new episode of Hawaii 5-0 that aired after the football finished on CBS. There was absolutely no reason they had to wait for CBS, they just decided they would. As a result of this horrendous decision local news got delayed in the east and only part of Bob’s Burgers was aired in the west. Nobody can say that Global really cares about local news after they delayed it because they wanted a few thousand more viewers for Hawaii 5-0. I don’t think that any other broadcaster anywhere in the world would do something like this.
I will usually stand up for the Canadian broadcasters, but both made some bad decisions last night, especially as far as public relations are concerned in Global’s case. I’m sure there were lots of angry 5-0 viewers who tuned into Global expecting the episode even though CBS was still airing football and even more angry viewers who wanted their local news at 11:00. The sad thing is, whatever viewers Global gained for 5-0, they probably lost for local news. Anyone who wanted news probably flipped over to CTV or simply turned the TV off and went to bed.
On the US side of things, CBS’s broadcast was absolutely first class, as usual. I don’t know what it is, but an NFL playoff game on CBS seems like a big event, while one on Fox just seems like another game. It could be the simple fact that Fox’s broadcast crew and production values aren’t as good as those of CBS. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are also probably my second favourite NFL commentary crew, only after NBC’s Al Michaels and Cris Collingsworth. They do a better job of conveying the atmosphere in the stadium than Fox’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikmen. Of course we will have to deal with Fox’s coverage of the Super Bowl this year, which is far worse than the Super Bowl coverage that NBC and CBS put out for many reasons.
Other News & Notes
- Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys and pundit Andy Gray were caught saying sexist remarks on-air during Saturday’s Wolves-Liverpool match. The two agreed that female officials don’t know the offsides rule and there there would “be a big [mistake] today” as far as offsides are concerned. Keys and Gray believed that their microphones were off at the time of the incident, which doesn’t excuse it in any way. The ironic thing was that the official they were referring to, Sian Massey, made the correct call on a close play, saying that it wasn’t offside. This led to a Liverpool goal. Keys and Gray are suspended for tonight’s Bolton-Chelsea match while Sky decides if there will be any further punishment. This is the second case of sexism by well known commentators this year. ESPN’s football commentator Ron Franklin has already been fired for sexist remarks directed at a sideline reporter during a production meeting. You can hear Keys’ response to the remarks here.
- The TSN Curling Skins Game took place this past weekend. Unfortunately my favourite team, David Murdoch, couldn’t defend the title they won last year. Kevin Martin won the 2011 title. The skins game is one of the most exciting curling events to watch on TV. Last week I mentioned that Russ Howard is the best curling analyst ever. One thing he needs to do more often is be quiet when the curlers are discussing strategy. David Murdoch and Kevin Martin both see the game better than just about anyone else and they can tell us what’s going on just as well as Howard can.
- I have to give credit to ESPN2 for airing much of the Milos Raonic match last night. Raonic is the first Canadian player to reach the round of 16 in the Open era at the Australian Open. It’s too bad that Canadians have to rely on an American broadcaster (or the internet, TSN streamed the entire match at TSN.ca) to watch our top athletes, but at least ESPN gave us the opportunity to see him. I honestly don’t think that the ESPN commentators know that their coverage is aired in Canada though.
- A funny moment happened at the Australian Open last week when former tennis player and Channel 7 reporter Todd Woodbrige interviewed Kim Clijsters after a match at the Australian Open. Clijsters brought up a text that Woodbrige had sent to another former Aussie tennis player, Rennae Stubbs, saying that he thought Clijsters was pregnant because she looks grumpy and has bigger boobs. Needless to say it was one of the funniest sports related moments on TV this year. I have to give her some big time credit for taking it in stride and joking about it, some might have been really offended. That is why Clijsters is one of my favourite tennis players.