from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
The Saturday evening tussle between the Canadiens and the Edmonton Oilers marked the first time this season I’ve watched a hockey game on the CBC, and I felt like I’d hopped a flight to Las Vegas and landed in the midst of the MGM Grand Race & Sports Book.
Wall-to-wall gambling ads doesn’t even cover it. There were times when the face of the oleaginous Cabbie would appear to offer in-game updates or various betting parlays. Almost overnight, Hockey Night in Canada, one of our most sacred institutions, has become a gambling website. It’s not even NHL hockey — it’s FanDuel hockey.
HNIC isn’t alone. The wholesale takeover of the sports world by gambling interests has completely altered the simple experience of watching the game with your family on a Saturday night. ESPN, TSN, Sportsnet, TVA, now the CBC — they’re all in it, and the experience is the same whether you’re watching the NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB or (for all I know) professional lacrosse.