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