Canucks and Beyond

The Canucks-CBC HDTV Kerfuffle

04/16/2009 at 3:57pm EDT

Numerous Canucks fans have written with their complaints that CBC won’t be broadcasting Canucks/Blues games #3 and #4 in high definition. I’ve also seen the same concerns expressed on Twitter this morning, where Brian Wawryshyn of Canucks Corner finally explained to us that:

“Jim Hughson was on the @TEAM1040 and stated it’s logisitics with the truck. They could rent one but they won’t. Budget cutbacks!”

Sadly this makes some sense, given the cutbacks at CBC are massive this year and the cost of those satellite HD trucks are exorbitant.

But while Canucks fans continue to mobilize an effort to press the CBC into finding some way to get an HD feed for those road games, it’s fair to say Calgary Flames fans are even more annoyed at some CBC-related issues today.

From the CBC:

When the Calgary Flames face off against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night, Hockey Night In Canada won’t be there.

It’s the first time a Flames playoff game won’t be televised by CBC-TV. Instead the game will be carried by the cable network TSN, angering fans who don’t have cable.

Scott Moore, head of CBC Sports, said as part of a new deal, the NHL only allows CBC Sports to cover a maximum of two Canadian-based teams in the first round of the playoffs.

I’ve seen mention around the interwebs that getting the games on TSN is no big deal, perhaps even preferable to some people, but I think they ignore the very important point made in the paragraph above: CBC is a free access national network; TSN requires cable service.

While I realize this isn’t CBC’s fault at all (they’re doing the best they can with an imperfect situation) you have to feel badly for Flames fans. Cable is expensive and not everyone can afford it. In fact, these days I’d say a lot of people can’t afford it.

So if you’re upset about missing your HDTV broadcast, perhaps take heart that at least you’re getting a live, free broadcast of arguably the best quality in the NHL.

Hell, a lot of us can’t afford HD, either, so perhaps there’s another thing worth keeping in mind. These are tough times and, all things considered, missing HD for two road games is a relatively small sacrifice.

But if the Canucks do make it to the finals, well, we’ll talk. If such a miracle were to happen, I agree we should to demand to witness every bloody moment in the highest definition possible. :)

Update 6:53pm PT: Thanks to Dobber Hockey‘s Angus in the comments below earlier today, a note that Save-On Foods (i.e. Jim Pattison) will be coughing up the $100K to rent the truck for two games in St. Louis. Now that’s a very generous contribution!

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