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Complaints About Hockey Broadcasts In Canada

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Of all the headaches the NHL broadcast contract has given Rogers Media, one stands out: the constant stream of complaints from viewers.

On Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media, along with the comments following online stories, the majority of gripes fall into two broad categories. The first can be summed up as get rid of Hockey Night In Canada host George Stroumboulopoulos and bring back his predecessor, Ron MacLean. The second is hate for the new look and new faces Rogers brought to the broadcasts, with the bulk of the complaints about Hockey Night, which was a CBC institution for 62 years.

The belly-aching makes some Hockey Night staffers, who go back to the days when the CBC produced the show, shake their heads. They find the non-stop complaining ironic, considering that in the final CBC years, which ended in 2014, viewers complained a lot about that version of Hockey Night on the same forums.

“We were under siege,” is the way one veteran Hockey Night staffer describes the complaints about the show that hit the CBC. Another long-time employee says the criticism was not as intense as that being fired at Rogers: “There was complaining, sure, but not like this.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rogers

Comments

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Rogers is genuinely the worst.  HNIC is basically unwatchable.  Thank god for gamecentre, or whatever the *#$%@& they’re calling it now.

Posted by Garth on 04/19/16 at 07:26 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Very difficult to watch HNIC anymore.

It wasn’t broke, so the results of the ‘fix’ are, understandably, failing.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 04/19/16 at 07:31 AM ET

gowings's avatar

We used to watch Don Cherry after the first period…..then go back to TSN. It’s not too bad when you can change channels in btw….but now…..you can’t

Posted by gowings from MTL on 04/19/16 at 08:16 AM ET

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It wasn’t broke,

Exactly.  Pre-Rogers there were nitpicks, but Rogers came in and made everything worse.  Looking at HNiC now it makes me wonder why I ever complained about PJ Stock.  I’d take him over anyone and everyone currently on HNiC that is not named Elliotte,

Posted by Garth on 04/19/16 at 08:17 AM ET

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And here’s how bad it is: I’ve chosen to watch the NBCSN broadcast over Bob Cole and whoever the f*ck he’s with for the Red Wings games.

Posted by Garth on 04/19/16 at 08:20 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Strom of is a smart,intelligent , and knowledgeable hockey guy. I have no problems with him, or grapes.

However, the mindless “let’s set the scene ” interviews before games with players on the ice is such a gimmick, and is totally useless. Nothing of any importance has ever come from one of these , or the between period interviews…Ever!!

Now, we get the “on the bench” coach interview, which is also completely useless.

While I’m at it, 3 guys standing around on “ice” in front of a video wall, is also a complete waste of money, except for the money spent on tailored suits and shiny shoes…..

Please, just give me intelligent insightful talk between periods (hot stove, or insider info), and skip the high tech crap.

Now, excuse me, I’ve got to chase some kids off my lawn… shut eye

Posted by Down River Dan on 04/19/16 at 08:28 AM ET

Primis's avatar

And here’s how bad it is: I’ve chosen to watch the NBCSN broadcast over Bob Cole and whoever the f*ck he’s with for the Red Wings games.

Posted by Garth on 04/19/16 at 09:20 AM ET

You should have been doing that a long time ago.  Cole has not been good or relevant for at least a decade now, if not more.  He’s awful.

Posted by Primis on 04/19/16 at 08:46 AM ET

Ajax19's avatar

I’m not Canadian.  I live in Detroit.  I’m a Wings’ fan. I used to watch HNiC every Saturday.  I would always, always watch CBC Hockey during the playoffs over NBC or any US feed whenever I could.  It was what all TV hockey broadcasts should have aspired to be.

Since Rogers took over, I barely ever watch HNiC.  CBC is an afterthought in terms of playoff coverage.  The product is horrible.  Strombo doesn’t help at all.  I miss the Satellite Hotstove.  And some of the new play-by-play and color talent is the worst I’ve heard.  The fall in quality has been dramatic.

Posted by Ajax19 on 04/19/16 at 08:53 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I like the camera angles they do, no doubt.  It’s a change of pace and fun to see a different perspective.

Posted by TreKronor on 04/19/16 at 09:00 AM ET

bigdee89's avatar

Please, just give me intelligent insightful talk between periods (hot stove, or insider info), and skip the high tech crap.

That’s exactly why I love watching FSD.  Mickey is a homer but there’s no fluff and BS in their broadcasts.

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 04/19/16 at 09:03 AM ET

shazam88's avatar

time to roll in Howie Meeker

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 04/19/16 at 09:25 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

time to roll in Howie Meeker

...Oh golly!! ...Gee Whiz!!.. wink

Posted by Down River Dan on 04/19/16 at 09:36 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Meh…the HNIC broadcast on Sunday of the Wings-Bolts game was lightyears ahead of anything NBCSN-Outdoor Network has done this season.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/19/16 at 09:40 AM ET

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The complaints might be strange to longtime HNiC employees, but I guarantee they’re not strange to the Rogers customer service call centre employees, because HNiC is now pretty much exactly as bad as Rogers hockey broadcasts were before they got the exclusive contract.

Posted by Garth on 04/19/16 at 09:41 AM ET

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Meh…the HNIC broadcast on Sunday of the Wings-Bolts game was lightyears ahead of anything NBCSN-Outdoor Network has done this season.

Oh boy, I could not possibly disagree with you more.

Posted by Garth on 04/19/16 at 09:42 AM ET

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The irony about the intensity of the complaints about Rogers’ version of national hockey broadcasts, whether it’s Hockey Night or Sunday night’s Hometown Hockey or the Wednesday-night shows, is that the company went to great lengths to find out what Canadian fans wanted before it made all of the changes.

You can do all you want to find out what people want, but when you completely ignore them, it doesn’t matter.

Nobody, not even Damien Cox’s family, wants to see Damien Cox on TV, and especially don’t want him to be shown to be the buffoon he is every time he shares the screen with Elliotte Friedman.

I despise Don Cherry but he’s still very popular, so I guarantee you that the majority of those asked did not ask for Coach’s Corner to be shortened and turned into a pre-taped segment that wasn’t going to be discussing specific aspects of that night’s games.

And I can’t imagine a single person suggested that Ron McLean be exiled to Sunday nights in favour of George f*cking Strombolopoulos.

Posted by Garth on 04/19/16 at 09:48 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

HNIC seems to cater to the younger audiences. Problem is, younger audiences don’t watch TV much anymore; they watch other sources, if at all.

HNIC was perfect Saturday night viewing for people of a certain age…aka people who don’t care much for slick studios and 3D graphics, etc.

And Strombo, don’t even get me going on him. He seems like the guy you meet when watching the game with a bunch of friends, and you feel like punching him by the first intermission.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 04/19/16 at 09:58 AM ET

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HNIC seems to cater to the younger audiences. Problem is, younger audiences don’t watch TV much anymore; they watch other sources, if at all.

Absolutely.  They wanted a “younger” audience, so of course they got a 40+ year old hipster to pretend he likes hockey.

Posted by Garth on 04/19/16 at 10:02 AM ET

jpellek's avatar

Meh…the HNIC broadcast on Sunday of the Wings-Bolts game was lightyears ahead of anything NBCSN-Outdoor Network has done this season.

Posted by jpellek on 04/19/16 at 10:55 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

They wanted a “younger” audience, so of course they got a 40+ year old hipster to pretend he likes hockey.

LOL, that’s exactly how he comes off.

I always get the feeling he is making it up as he goes, that hockey was just a passing interest to him until this gig arrived.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 04/19/16 at 10:55 AM ET

jpellek's avatar

Meh…the HNIC broadcast on Sunday of the Wings-Bolts game was lightyears ahead of anything NBCSN-Outdoor Network has done this season.

I found it to be on-par with the NBCSN broadcasts. Garry Galley is an excellent analyst but Bob Cole just rambles now. Even my girlfriend picked up on how many times he said “and now” while the play was going on, got to the point where I couldn’t ignore it.

Posted by jpellek on 04/19/16 at 10:57 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I always get the feeling he is making it up as he goes, that hockey was just a passing interest to him until this gig arrived.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 04/19/16 at 11:55 AM ET

Be careful with this.  If you want hockey “lifers” you end up with Keith Jones, Jeremy Roenick, Ed Olczyk, and Mike Milbury.  None of which have any business on a hockey broadcast.

Posted by Primis on 04/19/16 at 11:02 AM ET

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Be careful with this.  If you want hockey “lifers” you end up with Keith Jones, Jeremy Roenick, Ed Olczyk, and Mike Milbury.  None of which have any business on a hockey broadcast.

True, but TSN balances their “we know what we’re talking about because we were mediocre players/coaches/managers” idiots with people who know what they’re talking about (ok, well, one for sure, Bob McKenzie) and they have hosts who know about hockey are aren’t playing the role of audience surrogate.

What Rogers doesn’t understand since they had by far the worst -and worst rated- hockey broadcasts is that people will watch HNiC unless you convince them not to.  It was the highest rated show in Canada for years and dominated the audience share in the playoffs.

HNiC does not need an audience surrogate to sit there in his skinny jeans and ask the stupid questions that people who don’t know anything about hockey would ask.

Posted by Garth on 04/19/16 at 11:41 AM ET

topshelf14's avatar

I’m torn on HNIC.

It was a staple every Saturday night in my house.  I still have it on these days and often choose to watch there broadcast over the FSN and NBCSN based on picture quality, ice mics and camera angles, but the on air talent is nowhere close to what it used to be.  George Strombo is trying to be hip, edgy and appeal to the younger audience but comes across as fake.  Nick Kypreos always seem to be repeating what others have already said and not truly have his own opinion.

I miss Ron Maclean, Andi Petrillo, and even PJ Stock minus the Stock exchange.  I miss the HNIC theme song, amazing pregame pump up videos and satellite hotstove. 

Times have changed and I’m not surprised viewership is down. I still like Bob Cole though even though old age has slowed him down.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 04/19/16 at 11:44 AM ET

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I miss Ron Maclean, Andi Petrillo, and even PJ Stock minus the Stock exchange.

I miss Andi Petrillo too, the generic blonde they replaced her with sucks.

And I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I miss PJ Stock.

Nick Kypreos

I think literally the only enjoyment I get from HNiC is the occasional time that Kypreos or Healy says something really stupid and gets schooled by Friedman.  Otherwise I generally just feel bad for Friedman that he is stuck being part of that clown show.

Posted by Garth on 04/19/16 at 12:01 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

And Strombo, don’t even get me going on him. He seems like the guy you meet when watching the game with a bunch of friends, and you feel like punching him by the first intermission.

I am 100% with you on that!  His choice of clothes will make him a little light in the loafers. Damien Cox is my choice for the arrogant tool of the year and beyond.

Actually on SportsNet in General the Men are terrible and the Women seem to know more about all sports

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 04/19/16 at 02:41 PM ET

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