Who Needs Hockey?

I kid you not, the following is a press release I found in my inbox when I got home this afternoon. In wake of the NHL lockout, CTV has decided to create “Big Bang Night in Canada”. Four episodes of the hit sitcom will air each Saturday night from 8-10pm. Of course, this is just a minor change from the usual comedy of watching the Leafs lose every Saturday. Nerd’s Corner at the first intermission, anyone?

CTV already shows five Big Bang Theory repeats a week, plus the new episodes. Through the end of last season, 111 episodes have been produced. That’s enough to last 27 and 3/4 weeks, so CTV is prepared for the lockout to last all season. Who knows, maybe in April and May fans will vote on which episodes are the best during the “Big Bang Playoffs”.

CTV Senior VP Mike Cosentino went as far as to call the move a “stunt”. I guess the question is, with sitcom repeats accounted for, does CTV even need to spend millions of dollars on the next NHL TV rights package.

Anyway, here’s the press release.

CTV announced today plans to launch “BIG BANG Night in Canada,” a timely, new two-hour block featuring back-to-back episodes of Canada’s #1 television series, THE BIG BANG THEORY, Saturdays from 8-10 p.m. ET/PT, beginning Oct. 13 on CTV. Each Saturday, the two-hour block will feature four, fan-favourite episodes from the hit series.

Aimed squarely at the millions of hockey fans coast-to-coast-to-coast, the Saturday-night initiative has been created to provide a weekly distraction from despair, while offering a few laughs along the way.

“If anything can fill the void felt today by every hockey fan in Canada, it’s humour from Canada’s most-watched series,” said Mike Cosentino, Senior Vice-President, Programming, CTV Networks. “From a scheduling perspective, this weekly stunt is an unmissable opportunity to bring even more viewers and advertisers to CTV on Saturday nights in primetime. Like hockey, THE BIG BANG THEORY has mass appeal with viewers whose statistics are similar when it comes to age, demographics, and loyalty, so there is natural synergy in this scheduling move.”

CTV will support “BIG BANG Night in Canada” with a cross-platform promotional blitz in advance of and during the Season 6 premiere of THE BIG BANG THEORY, airing Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The “BIG BANG Night in Canada” comedy block leads into new comedy THE NEIGHBORS at 10 p.m. ET/PT and last year’s most-watched new comedy series WHITNEY at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.

7 thoughts on “Who Needs Hockey?

  1. I think this is a silly bit of self-promotin by CTV. They are just showing old episodes of a sitcom and think this can replace hockey. Anyways this show was much better when it first started than it has become.

    • I still love it, but I’m not going to spend 2 hours watching repeats every Saturday night. Sad thing is people will and it will probably easily win the night with no hockey.

      • Has CBC announced what their replacement programming will be on Saturday nights? Will Ron MacLean be flogging movies again?

        • Not officially, but if i had to guess, yes. They were supposed to have preseason games on September 29. Now they have The Don Cherry Story II.

          I wish they’d work out a sub-license with Rogers and the CHL to show a CHL game each week, but I doubt it will happen.

  2. Big Bang Theory has dominated the ratings all summer long and into last spring. Tons of people are watching the daily re-runs that CTV has after the 6pm news. The only time it was beat was when CTV had the Olympics running.

    If people are going to watch TV on Saturday night w/o hockey, there is a good chance they will be watching this (unless CTV drives the show into the ground and it becomes unpopular)

  3. Global should counter with a “Simpsons Night in Canada”. 7-10 every Saturday night.

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