Tag Archives: TSN

Body Break

Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod hosted Body Break for more than 30 years. Johnson says the TV segment was inspired by his experiences with racism | Body Break

Hal Johnson, who co-hosted Body Break — the long-running, informative TV segments promoting health and fitness — with his wife Joanne McLeod, says it was racism, and not fitness, that inspired the idea. Johnson shared a four-minute video on the background of Body Break, which started when Johnson was hired in June, 1988 to be a sports reporter for TSN, a division of Bell Media and partly owned by ABC/Disney. But that offer was recanted because executives at the sports network did not want two Black reporters. Continue reading

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TV monopolies and Canadian football

By TONY SEED

On Saturday November 25, the Canadian university football championship was held in Hamilton between the University of Western Ontario Mustangs and Laval Rouge et Or, with the former prevailing 39-17 . The Vanier Cup, attended by 10, 754 fans, was not broadcast on either CBC which featured an Alpine skiing race, an elite sport, or CTV, which featured the Hollywood doomsday movie Armageddon. Instead, it was relegated to TSN 3. (TSN is owned by Bell Media, with EPSN holding a 30 per cent share; Bell owns CTV.)

Sport in Canada has been commercialized, privatized, Americanized and colonized by private empires, reinforced by the sports media monopolies. To watch a Canadian championship, one has to be a cable TV subscriber. But even that is no guarantee. About ten years ago, CIS sports had to quietly pay the then Score TV cable channel $50,000 to come to Halifax to broadcast the semi-final and the final of the college basketball finals. (Score was later bought out by Rogers Sportsnet.)

Is it little wonder that the Vanier Cup is plagued by low attendance? Continue reading

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Sochi 2014: The NHL’s blatant provocation against the Olympics

This article, first published on February 21, 2014 during the Sochi Winter Olympics, exposes both the aim and the method of how the NHL, hand in hand with the sports media, began creating the conditions to justify launching its own private “World Cup of Hockey.”

The discourse runs like this: we poor owners have been victimized and our fans short-changed and held hostage by the Olympics, because “the best league in the world has been shut down” (Prime Time Sports, Rogers Sportsnet, February 18, 2014). “Just look at our empty buildings.” It is reminiscent of the old saw about the thief crying “stop thief!” | TONY SEED*

The NHL can only drool over the figures. The Canada-U.S. men's hockey semifinal drew a television audience of more than 15 million for CBC on Friday. Photo: Corey Perry of Canada tries a wraparound on Jonathan Quick of the USA as he is defended by Cam Fowler during first period action in the men's hockey semifinal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, February 21, 2014 | Jean Levac/Postmedia News

The NHL can only drool over the figures. The Canada-U.S. men’s hockey semifinal drew a television audience of more than 15 million for CBC. (Photo) Corey Perry of Canada tries a wraparound on Jonathan Quick of the USA as he is defended by Cam Fowler during first period action in the men’s hockey semifinal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, February 21, 2014 | Jean Levac/Postmedia News

SEEMINGLY out of the blue, the National Hockey League (NHL) based in New York sent their fabled Stanley Cup trophy to Sochi. The media slavered when it made its appearance at Canada House on Monday, February 17th. The iconic silver trophy had seemingly fallen from the sky or appeared as if a gift from the gods of sport with a spiritual significance comparable to a burning bush.

In the media euphoria, Canadian Olympic members were organized to pose with the trophy and world champion figure skater Patrick Chan to bless it with a kiss.

Four-time Olympian skier Brian Stemmle, also a CBC analyst, denounced the maneouvre, rightly asking: “Why is the Stanley Cup at Canada House in Sochi? Other athletes don’t bring their trophies. Hate when hockey tries to overshadow other sports.”

A new diversion began. Continue reading

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US NCAA: Poster boy for corruption and exploitation

usaid-cashThe annual US college hoops hysteria known as March Madness generates a multibillion-dollar wave of revenue – but the players don’t receive a dime of it. And this includes the 25 Canadian youth being hyped by TSN, which does not broadcast Canadian college games, as “the next generation of basketball” for self-serving reasons.

Dave ZirinThe Nation (April 1, 2013) – THE corruption extends to the college sports media industry. Over the past decade, the number of college football and basketball games broadcast on ESPN channels has skyrocketed from 491 to 1,320. ESPN now happens to be both the number-one broadcaster of college football and basketball and those sports’ number-one news provider. Covering sports and shilling for the industry have become carnally intertwined. Nationally credited journalists from ESPN and other media outlets reportedly show up at the Fiesta Bowl a week in advance, where they stay at the finest resorts and receive a different expensive present every day, courtesy of the tournament’s corporate sponsors. Continue reading

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Sochi 2014: Respect for one’s opponent in sport (2)

juegos-olimpicos-de-Invierno-2014Mike Babcock’s rant: “And the other thing that happens for the NHL player, and probably for you in the media, is the respect you have for the opposition.” Welcome to the G-20 Winter Games and the Harper agenda for a “new patriotism.” | TONY SEED* Continue reading

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Sports channels profit from NHL lockout

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Dome to nowhere (I)

TORONTO’S SKYDOME is the mother of “public-private partnerships” (P3) championed by neo-liberals as the template for economic development. It siphoned off hundreds of millions of dollars in public money to benefit private sports teams, the coffers of the construction monopolies and the finance capitalists who own Ontario’s debt. Whether the SkyDome ultimately came in “on budget” or not was irrelevant to the monopolies that were guaranteed their profits. As author/journalist Neil deMause reveals in his indepth exposé, when the budget was exceeded, in 1991 the financial oligarchy quickly swooped in to lend yet more money guaranteed by the state. The SkyDome reflects a medieval character of spending for the pleasure of a tiny aristocratic elite leaving the people to be spectators of the narcosis of American professional sport and consumers of a giant circus in which they participate only in a marginalized way. – Tony Seed Continue reading

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