Please Let This Be The End Of Tweets On Sports Broadcasts

The only exciting news to come out of another long NHL Trade Deadline Day on Monday was TSN airing a wildly inappropriate joke tweet that somehow got past whatever social media intern was supposed to be manning the system.

Screenshots of the broadcast quickly spread around the interweb and even earned a reply from one of the players in question. By 1pm, the TSN PR account tweeted out a general apology.

However, TSN didn’t issue a formal online or onscreen apology until last night during their Leafs broadcast, and that was only after the parties involved in the tweet, Maple Leafs players Joffrey Lupul and Dion Phaneuf, and Phaneuf’s wife Elisha Cuthbert issued a lawsuit threat to the network as well as the original author of the tweet in question. Below is the statement:

The following is a statement by Peter A. Gall, Q.C. of Gall Legge Grant & Munroe LLP on behalf of their clients Dion Phaneuf, his wife Elisha Cuthbert and Joffrey Lupul.

“On behalf of our clients Dion Phaneuf, his wife Elisha Cuthbert and Joffrey Lupul, we have sent a letter to TSN demanding that TSN issue a formal apology and pay a significant amount of damages to each of our clients for broadcasting a false and defamatory tweet during their trade deadline show yesterday. We are sending a similar letter to the author of the tweet, Mr. Anthony Adragna.

“It is bad enough that there are people who spend their time using social media to publish such false and malicious stories, but it is made much worse when a reputable media outlet like TSN gives broad circulation and credibility to these false stories by republishing them as TSN did.

“If TSN and Mr. Adragna do not immediately comply with the demands set out in our letters, we have instructions from our clients to immediately commence a lawsuit against them.

And TSN’s apology:

On Monday when TSN was reporting on the NHL trade deadline it displayed a scrolling ticker of tweets from the public.

In spite of TSN’s protocols to prevent unfounded and inappropriate tweets from making it to air, a false, and inappropriate tweet was allowed to run.

There was no basis for the false allegation made in this tweet.

TSN unreservedly apologizes to Joffrey Lupul, Dion Phaneuf and Elisha Cuthbert and regrets any embarrassment this unfortunate incident has caused to them.

It seems unlikely that this will go to court and no doubt TSN will pay damages to the trio in an undisclosed settlement.

We can only hope that this leads to the end of sports broadcasts being filled with boring and uninteresting tweets and hashtags. Does anyone other than the author actually read the endless stream that adds nothing of value to the broadcast? In the end, the TSN’s of the world will most likely continue to show viewer tweets, albeit with much more moderation, as they want to social media for further #engagement and improving their #brand.

— Dan | @SportsOnCdnTV

5 thoughts on “Please Let This Be The End Of Tweets On Sports Broadcasts

  1. I think at times, TSN is so arrogant that they think they’re made of Teflon. They’ve constantly boasted their coverage is the best. And at times, they sure act like they’re the bell of the ball all day long. It was actually nice to see them humbled by this.

    You would like to think it was simply human error to allow that to air, but i think it was aired purposely to attempt at being funny and edgy.

    I mean look at how much of a sideshow that became, with the llamas and guy playing music and so on. Even their comicbook hero promo to promote the tradecentre coverage was an attempt at more humor. An attempt to relate more to young viewers i guess.

    They built a great hockey brand providing “comprehensive” coverage. They should have just stuck to that rather than trying to be “hip”.

    I don’t know what it is. Are they still bitter at the NHL for losing the TV rights? And now the World Cup rights? I am not sure. Is it because their two funnymen, Onrait and O’Toole are gone, so they’re trying to somehow recapture that kind of “fun”? i am not sure of that either.

    But to me, its not Saturday Night Live. Its ok to be lighthearted, but seeing how it has been hot these days to pick on the Leafs and their demise, whomever was moderating those tweets, did so quite poorly.

    I get it. its a long day. It was going to be relatively slow with 9 hours of coverage that saw 1 trade of any significance in the first 4 hours. But they should have known better. They’re not the No. 1 sports network in Canada for nothing.

    They just don’t need to try that hard to be over the top and try to engage in controversy and silliness.

  2. It was a just regular old worker screening tweets. Including tweets is 100% an organizational effort to be hip; airing that tweet, however, was just her selecting the wrong one. Not an editorial policy.

    That llama-in-the-background thing is their style: goofy.

    TSN may be arrogant, nonetheless.

  3. The ironic part is that Phaneuf and Lupul play for the Maple Leafs part of MLSE, 37.5% owned by Bell, and were prepared to launch a lawsuit against TSN, owned 80% by Bell. The execs at Bell and MLSE all around couldn’t have been all too thrilled about this prospect essentially having two employees suing another part of the company family.

  4. Tsn is nowhere near as arrogant as espn in the states. I also hate tweets on tv

  5. Just desserts AFAIC. TSN tries to shamelessly pander to their audience and it bites them in the ass. Granted they are far from the only ones doing it, but hopefully after this happens a few times everyone will stop doing it.

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