Television broadcasting will change the landscape of Canada’s game
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
Earlier this month, the NHL returned and it was the beginning of a new era in the history of televised hockey.
The TV landscape was changed when the NHL announced last year that Sportsnet will have the rights to the NHL for 12 years, including the rights to Hockey Night in Canada. This means that Sportsnet has the rights to every national game. It’s like TSN switching rights with Sportsnet. This caused a lot of people to talk, although the main discussion for four months was about the announcement that Ron Maclean will be replaced with former Much Music VJ, George Stroumboulopoulos, to host Hockey Night in Canada.
Stroumboulopoulos knows a lot about hockey, but many people think that Maclean could still host the show because he connects hockey with various other things like poetry. Meanwhile, Stroumboulopoulos hosting is like watching his former talk shows, resulting in criticism from social media. On Twitter, a lot of people were discussing how the new version of Coach’s Corner is not as great as the older version when CBC handled it.
Although Maclean is still on Coach’s Corner, he is also now hosting Hometown Hockey, where Maclean talks about a city that is related to a hockey player or a city near a NHL team with a game there that night.
CBC not getting the rights to the NHL is one of the things that is causing Canada’s national sport to be more like an American sport. Sportsnet’s coverage of the NHL is like watching The NHL on NBC. The new version is not as great as the old version because the team of panellists on the show focus on the facts of the game, but fail to connect with historical information.
There are various other reasons why hockey is Americanized. Since 1993, all of the teams that have won the Stanley Cup are from the United States despite the fact that those teams have a lot of Canadian players in them. In addition to this, the headquarters of the NHL are in New York City and the commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman, is also from New York City.
Television plays a large role in who the public receives the sport. Because Sportsnet got the rights to the NHL, hockey might be more like an American sport than a Canadian sport.