Canucks and Beyond

Habs en Français

04/17/2008 at 5:30pm EDT

From the CP via Yahoo:

In the excitement, French-language sports channel RDS has reeled in more Quebec viewers than CBC has nationwide with its Habs broadcasts. And even many English-speaking hockey fans are tuning in to the French coverage.

Some Anglos in Quebec say they’re choosing RDS over the CBC’s English coverage, and many believe the public broadcaster should stick to what it knows best - Toronto.

“The announcers are better, they’re not as biased and they don’t care who’s winning - they tell it as it is,” Pat Wychocki said of RDS…

This reminds me—as a kid out living out west, we almost always watched (or listened to) the Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques on a French language broadcast, when it was available.

A mostly-Anglo family, but like a lot of Canadians, we knew our hockey French well enough to appreciate the game that way. (I wonder if other Anglos developed the same habit?)

But as I recall, the issue wasn’t rebellion against English CBC’s supposed Toronto bias, just the belief that the broadcasters were more familiar with the teams as a rule, so the coverage was better.

Whether that’s true or not, is another matter. But what the hell—those were most effective French lessons of my life. :)

Update 1:10pm PT: From the CP:

The CBC hopes to give the Montreal Canadiens more ice time on Hockey Night in Canada next year, as the team heads into its 100th anniversary season.

The CBC executive director of sports told The Canadian Press the broadcaster is looking to air the Habs each week next season to audiences in Quebec and other regions outside southern Ontario.

Scott Moore says he spoke to the club and the NHL about bringing back English-language Canadiens telecasts every Saturday night.

This past year, the number of regional and national Habs broadcasts increased to 19 from 13 the previous year. It was a nice change for us who don’t live & die for the Leafs.

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