10 Things CTV Should Consider In London

As I said in a previous post, I won’t be home much next week to write about the one year countdown to the Olympics. So, I am moving some things up a week. Next Wednesday CTV will make an announcement about their Olympic coverage one year out. It may include commentators and who knows what else. Here are ten things CTV can improve over Vancouver 2010 or over CBC’s 2008 Beijing Olympics coverage. Here it goes

  • For the love of God, don’t bring back “I Believe”. It is an okay song, but it is grating hearing it 17 days in a row. Have some creativity. I vividly remember CBC playing “Alive” by Edwin to close their Sydney 2000 coverage, “Superman” by Five For Fighting after Salt Lake 2002 and “Story of Your Life” following Beijing 2008. None of those songs had direct connections to the Olympics, but very much resonated with the message of the Olympic Games.  Find different songs, maybe songs by Canadians, to play after each Canadian medal performance. And find a really memorable one to play to close out the coverage from London.
  • Bring back Stephen Brunt. He is now an employee of two consortium members, Rogers and The Globe. His essay on the final day in Vancouver was memorable. Use him more on TV as well.
  • You guys have Chris Cuthbert and Brian Williams, CBC didn’t in 2008; use them and use them well. It is a given that Williams will be there hosting CTV’s primetime show. Take Cuthbert over and put im on rowing too. He is simply the best at calling that sport.
  • Despite the fact that the CFL and Blue Jays Baseball will continue those two weeks, use the best you’ve got. The likes of Cuthbert, Rod Black, Rob Faulds, Rod Smith, Dave Randorf and Jamie Campbell need to be involved. Campbell should be the primetime host on Sportsnet, even if that means hosting from Toronto. Same goes for Black and Randorf on TSN.
  • Even if a few hosts are in Canada, make sure all commentators are on-site. I understand it costs money, but this was one of my few complaints with CBC’s 2008 coverage.
  • Leave the MTV and Much personalities in Canada, or at least keep them off CTV. We want to watch sports. If you want to do something about celebrities, fashion etc., keep it on E!, Fashion TV, eTalk on CTV Two, MTV, Much etc.
  • But, do bring back the concert series if there is one. It could even be aired on CTV occasionally if it is late at night in London (i.e. 11pm BST or later).
  • Just because someone has been promoted since 2010, don’t leave them out or change their role. James Cybulski should be a sideline reporter for a major sport. So should Farhan Lalji, Ryan Rishaug, Sara Orlesky, Louis Jean and Gene Principe.
  • Choose the right people to host coverage. Gino Reda needs to be one of TSN’s hosts, so does Dave Randorf. There are a number of people who could fill the other slot. Bring back Duthie in the afternoon and Williams in primetime on CTV. Use Jamie Campbell on Sportsnet. Jeff Marek would make a great Sportsnet host too, if he’s not doing wrestling and/or judo. As would Darren Millard. Keep Don Taylor and Martine Gaillard in one slot as well. Move Evanka Osmak and Brad Fay to the Connected desk for the edition of Connected that will follow live coverage in the evening. *(I understand this section may be a bit confusing, see the end of this for what I suggest to do with hosts).
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to use BBC commentators if there is no suitable Canadian available, or if the sport won’t get much TV attention to warrant employing a commentator and analyst.

*For the record, here is how I suggest CTV divides up hosting duties, not that I really expect it to work this way.
CTV Morning: Gino Reda
CTV Afternoon: James Duthie, Jennifer Hedger
CTV Primetime: Brian Williams

TSN Morning: Bryan Mudryk, Holly Horton
TSN Afternoon: Dave Hodge
TSN Primetime: Dave Randorf

Sportsnet Morning: Don Taylor, Martine Gaillard
Sportsnet Afternoon: Darren Millard
Sportsnet Primetime: Jamie Campbell

20 thoughts on “10 Things CTV Should Consider In London

  1. Hard to disagree with anything you’ve suggested here. I somehow don’t think Dave Hodge will be in London, no matter how perfect he would be for hosting duties. Cuthbert on rowing/sprint canoeing is a no-brainer, as long as they don’t leave him home for CFL (I wouldn’t put it past TSN). What I’m wondering is whether they will have full coverage versions of every event online similar to what they did for Vancouver. If they do, then they will almost certainly need to pick up a feed from somebody else, as there’s no way they have enough talent to do a good job of everything from archery to table tennis.

  2. I can see Dave Hodge hosting the CFL on TSN games during the Olympics while Randorf is in the UK.

    • Could happen, but I could also see Randorf doing Olympic Primetime from Toronto on nights without CFL, and doing CFL on nights with CFL, like he did in 2008. For the cable nets, I’m not sure if there is any point in sending commentators to London to do coverage from probably 7 or 8pm ET (12 or 1am BST) until 1 or 2am ET (6 or 7am BST).

      My question is who gets left behind to call CFL games? Do they try something like using an analyst like Matt Dunigan as play-by-play? Randorf, Miller, Smith, Cuthbert and Black all have very strong ties to the Olympics. Do they try to talk John Wells out of retirement for a couple weeks?

      • In Vancouver didn’t TSN have broadcasts of SportsCentre from Vancouver in the morning as appose to Olympic Morning coverage like that on CTV?

        • Yes they did. And Sportsnet had Connected from Vancouver. Neither was live though (both were taped at 11pm PT the night before). They did have a 2 hour Olympic morning broadcast from 7-9am PT though, which was just an encore of an event from the previous day.

          TSN and Sportsnet will have Olympic Morning this year since it will come during the morning/early afternoon in London when there will be quite a few events happening.

      • I bet the CFL has “bye” weeks during the Olympics so there will be less to cover, but your question of who does the CFL games is a good one. In theory, they could use radio play by play guy from one of the teams not playing in the game.

        • I’d agree for sure. I’d guess the eastern teams play one week and the western teams play the other. TSN could use their TSN Radio Argos guys to do at least 3 of the games (the 3 without the Argonauts). On the week of the opening ceremony I think TSN will have doubleheaders on Thursday and Friday (maybe even a Wednesday game?), Then send Black and Miller straight to London afterwards. Miller is apparently doing track, so he won’t need to be there the first week.

  3. I agree with pretty much everything except I liked Jay Onrait and that CTV-person-whom-I-forget-the-name-of in Vancouver for CTV Olympic morning…. Did you not like them? I suppose since Olympic morning would have a lot more live coverage this time around, Jay may not be the best fit. But I’d still like to see him do something. Maybe host Sportscentre with Dan?

    • I thought they were good for a morning show (which is really what it was, Canada AM with a different name and an Olympic theme). I don’t think Bev Thomson knows a lot about sports though to be honest.

      The reason I left Onrait out was so he and O’Toole could do the evening edition of SportsCentre.

    • You’re referring to Beverley Thompson, right? Not sure she’d be a great fit either with Onrait with lots of live coverage direct from London in the offering for the same reasons. With Vancouver’s coverage, Olympic Morning can be lighthearted with the daily competition hitting a few hours later. London is a different beast in many ways. I’d be equally interested in what RDS/RDS Info Sports, OMNI, APTN, and ATN has planned for their portions of coverage. For the French stuff, I expect many of the same reporters back for it for Vancouver. (Visit the GamesBids.com site under the thread London Olympic Media Updates for my own speculations and other thoughts) Assuming if Canada’s women’s water polo team makes it, for example, I’d expect Waneek Horn-Miller to do analysis in that while possibly being the APTN London host. But that’s for later. With the recent appearance of TSN2 , TSN Radio 1050, and Sportsnet ONE, what do you think what role will be there for them for London in terms of coverage, if at all? TSN2 did do encore presentations of some coverage during Vancouver. Also, the Internet streaming has to be at least twice that of Vancouver. Maybe make it multilingual with at least some coverage during the streaming. We’ll see.

      • There will also be an RDS2 by next year. I don’t think that TSN2, Sportsnet One or RDS2 will have much live coverage, if any. TSN gets lucky in that the Open Championship is the week before the Olympics, but the PGA Championship is the weekend of the Closing Ceremony. So, either Olympic coverage of golf will have to go to TSN2 on those days. Blue Jays and CFL games will probably air on Sportsnet One and TSN2 respectively.

        Horn-Miller will probably be the analyst for water polo regardless. I don’t see her hosting APTN coverage. All of the secondary languages (i.e. non English/French) will probably be scaled back because there will be a lack of interest. ATN will be able to focus on field hockey and the such though. I think streaming will be exactly like CBC in 2008, with each event streamed using the IOC feed with no commentators. Then the CTV, TSN and Sportsnet feeds streamed online.

      • Yes I was referring to Beverly Thompson. I don’t watch a lot of morning television, so her name slipped my mind.
        Maybe CTV could have a “CTV Olympic Late Night” show (or something along the lines of that) that airs after primetime, when there’s no live sports to show.

  4. I can speculate other analysts for London: Leo Rautins (or Jay Triano and Michael Meeks if Canada men’s team does qualify), Stacey Dales, Tammy Sutton-Brown, and Bev Francis (basketball), Mike Smith, Donovan Bailey, Greg Joy (?), Charmaine Crooks (track and field), the aforementioned Byron MacDonald and Steve Armitage, Kelly Stefanyshyn, and Joanne Malar (swimming), Clare Rustad, Kara Lang, Jason DeVos, Charmaine Hooper, Rohan Ricketts (soccer), Daniel Igali (wrestling). Gymnastics could have Lori Fung or Kate Richardson. Too bad for you north of our border that Elfi Schleggel isn’t available to you because she’s with NBC! Debbie Fuller (diving). Catriona Lemay Doan has to do something else outside of both ceremonies. Silke Laumann might do rowing. Carolyn Waldo can analyze the synchronized swimming.

    Over on RDS, I can see Sylvie Frechette (synchronized swimming), Marianne Limpert or Nathalie Giguere (swimming), Bruny Surin (track and field), Anne Montminy (diving–did call some on CBC), Sandra Couture and Sylvie Beliveau (soccer)? Josee Corbeil is a cinch for volleyball. Don’t know a lot of French-Canadian basketball players who are capable of calling the basketball there. Perhaps UQAM’s men basketball coach Olga Hrycak (yes, a women coaching the men there). Handball is bigger in Quebec than in English Canada, so the coverage in that sport might be greater there. But I don’t know anybody else. That’s all I can muster up at the moment.

    APTN will likely bring back the Vancouver hosts like Rick Harp, Charles Clement, and Beauregard, for this even when they’re based in Winnipeg, unless something happened in between. Hopefully, those doing the call on the specific events they are more comfortable now with them. I do think ATN will focus on Olympic sports that holds great interest in the Canadian portion of the South Asian diaspora like field hockey, tennis, shooting, or athletes from the South Asian nations, along with the anchor ones of swimming, track and field, and gymnastics. Basketball has to be big for all the channels involved as the gold medal game is the final event in London, since NBA players generate massive worldwide interest. I expect all will air it live, the men’s game. As for OMNI, I am curious how many languages will get represented in events. If you recall, German and Spanish were omitted from Vancouver’s coverage despite having significant numbers in their demographic favor and was thought to be more suited for London. Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Ukrainian all will have to be back. How about Greek, Russian, Korean added? .

    • I wouldn’t count on Steve Armitage. He’s still a CBC guy.

      • Agreed, Armitage won’t be there. It will be Rob Faulds calling swimming/diving based on what I’ve heard (he did it in 1992 Barcelona, so it makes sense). Gord Miller, Andy Higgins and/or Donovan Bailey and James Cybulski will probably do athletics. That’s the closest thing we have to a guarantee right now. Looks like the old team of Cuthbert and McBean may return on rowing. Hoops will certainly draw Devlin and Armstrong. For the most part its a complete guess right now, I’ll have predictions soon though.

  5. It is going to be interesting to see the commentator and host assignments this time around. Given it is CFL Season and MLB will Chris Cuthbert, Dave Randorf and Jamie Campbell being calling their events from a studio in Toronto. I know that CBC did it 2008 with Nigel Reed and Bruce Rainie calling from CBC studios in Toronto and The 7 Network from Australia called events from their studios during the 2004 Olympics. I hope they don’t go that route.

    I hope CTV doesn’t make the same mistakes in their coverage. Please no Jessie or Dan or no Lanie. I don’t give a frogs fat ass about what posh spice is going to be wearing at the opening ceremonies in 2012. We had enough garbage during 2010.

    My predictions for hosts will be:

    Daytime – Micheal Landsberg, Seamus O’Regan, Beverley Thompson
    Afternoon – James Duthie and Lisa LaFlamme
    Primetime – Brian Williams with Jennifer Hedger

    Daytime – Dan O’Toole & Jay Onrite
    Primetime – Dave Randorf

    Daytime – Jeff Marek & Martine Gillarad
    Primetime – Ivanka Osmak & Darren Milliard

  6. I don’t think anyone will co-host with Williams in primetime and I hope they don’t use more than 2 hosts on any broadcast. LaFlamme will be taking over as the main CTV news anchor in fall of next year, so I’m not sure she’d be involved.

    I’d say Gino Reda will be there for sure, and TSN/Sportsnet will have to have “daytime” divided into two sections because on most days coverage will run from 3:30am ET through 6:30pm ET on TSN and Sportsnet. Coverage will probably go from 3:00am ET through 7:00pm ET on CTV.

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