Thursday, June 05, 2008

I'd Rather Give Up "O Canada"

I thought this was a joke when I saw some stories about it this morning, but if the CBC is posting it as news, I presume it's true:

One of this country's most familiar tunes may have been heard on CBC-TV for the last time Wednesday night when the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins and won the 2008 Stanley Cup.

The Toronto agency representing the composer of the theme tune for Hockey Night in Canada says the CBC has declined to enter into a new licensing agreement for the song for next NHL season.

A news release posted on the website of Copyright Music & Visuals quotes company president John Ciccone as saying the CBC's licence agreement for the hockey theme song ended with the Stanley Cup final.

So they'll pay Don Cherry $700,000 a year to make bigoted comments for 2 minutes every week, but won't dish out $500 a night for the most beloved tune in Canada? I hate to sound like a Conservative lackey here, but SHAME ON THE CBC!

If I were running TSN, I'd swoop in right about now...

SOMEWHAT PREDICTABLE UPDATE: Well, that didn’t take long, did it? The Liberals are already attacking the Tories over this one, in what I can only hope is a tongue in cheek press release:

OTTAWA - Conservative Heritage Minister Josée Verner must stand up for one of Canada's most famous musical traditions and do what she can to ensure the CBC keeps the Hockey Night in Canada musical theme, Liberal Heritage Critic Denis Coderre said today.

"The Hockey Night in Canada theme is a part of Canada's culture that goes beyond sport," said M. Coderre. "This is a great opportunity for the Heritage Minister to finally get off the bench by defending an important Canadian tradition."



  • I imagine the CBC never intended to drop the song for hockey night in canada. In negotiations the "Toronto agency" probably tried for a large fee increase, and the CBC refused. By putting this non story out into the media, this "Toronto agency" is gonna get a nice bump on their clients licensing agreement.

    By Blogger James McKenzie, at 1:17 a.m.  

  • Remember the stink when they weren't going to renew Ron MacLean's contract? They ain't seen nothin' yet.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:07 a.m.  

  • Yeah, leaking this one out was a smart move by the rights holders.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:19 a.m.  

  • The article says $500 per use of song, is that for the full song or each sample?

    We might be talking about a 10 "uses" per game @ $500 = $5,000 per game. $10,000 per week because of doubleheaders, add in the Radio-Canada for another $5,000 and we're up to a total of $15,000 per week.

    Call the season 8 months long and we get to around $500,000. Maybe CBC is being responsible with its budget which is essentially tax dollars.

    By Blogger Brettinhalifax, at 10:51 a.m.  

  • Apparently it has more to do with the CBC putting pressure on the 80-year-old composer to drop a lawsuit against them for copyright infringement (selling the song as a ringtone).

    I can't fight the impression that someone inside the CBC is trying to sabotage the corp. so it will be easier for the Conservatives to argue for its demolition or sale How else to explain cancelling 'Intelligence', putting on 'Jeopardy' and 'Wheel of Fortune', and now this!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:32 p.m.  

  • I'm with Calgarygrit - actually O' Canada kind of sucks, so I'd dispense with it for free.

    What the CBC should do is buy the rights to the song, while threatening to slightly modify the song, and then call it their own (a la Ray Parker's Ghostbusters vs. Huey Lewis and the News).

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 12:37 p.m.  

  • Can't CBC just dump Bob Cole and use the money saved to renew the license? There's a solution that I don't think anyone would complain about...

    By Blogger UWHabs, at 3:56 p.m.  

  • What's actually happening here, if you read between the lines of the various reports, is the CBC is trying to get all rights to the tune for a low-ball fee, rather than continuing with the existing licence arrangement.

    This keeps them from being sued for unauthorized use in future, and also lets them benefit from, for example, licensing the thing as a ring tone.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:24 p.m.  

  • It's sad when a story like this raises more stink with the public then the real issues surrounding our nation.
    A couple of points:
    1) The politicians should stay out of this. They have better things to do or rather, they have better things they NEED to do.
    2) All this crap about "how I used to sit on pa's lap every Saturday and watch the game and now pa is dead so removing this song is like removing my dead father...". Shut up, give your head a shake. If changing a pre-game jingle erases your father and your relationship, then you didn't really have that much of a relationship to begin with. Crocadile tears.
    3) The CBC got played here but hopefully they will stick to their guns. Nobody is going to TSN to watch hockey and we all know why.

    By Blogger Kelly, at 6:07 p.m.  

  • Boo Kevin!

    This, in all of its ugliness, is a part of Canadian culture. The British have Waterloo, we have game seven of the Summit series. Saving this iconic piece of Canadiana will not be incredibly expensive. Lets say they pay 10 million bucks to buy the rights to the damn thing. That is 33 cents per Canadian. I don't even like hockey and I'm defending it.

    If this was some canoe museum, Anne of Green Gables memorabilia or Ojibway wigwam that nobody would visit we wouldn't hear about it. Low culture is still culture, and it is worth saving.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 8:35 p.m.  

  • No. Sadly it is not a tongue in cheek press release.

    It's Coderre. He's probably serious.

    Surely this is all Shane Doan's fault.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:48 p.m.  

  • CG said . . .

    ** Yeah, leaking this one out was a smart move by the rights holders.**

    Smart? Certainly! Too greedy? Absolutely!

    The greedy gambled and lost. We Canadians have too many 33 cent expenses as it is.

    Thank heaven for someone with a backbone.

    Wish they could review and adjust ED*s paycheques. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 11:12 a.m.  


    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 4:59 p.m.  

  • It's only a song. Get over it.

    By Blogger Nastyboy, at 9:46 p.m.  

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