Tag Archives: convergence

CJAD loses Habs broadcasts to Team 990

It was the worst-kept secret in the radio industry: Bell-owned Team 990 has secured the English-language radio broadcast rights to Canadiens games for the next seven seasons.

No financial details have been announced for the deal, but it’s clear that the station is putting some serious dough into this contract, because losing out again to Astral-owned CJAD was simply not an option. You can’t have an all-sports radio station that doesn’t carry broadcasts of the most popular sports team.

No announcement has been made about the play-by-play team yet, most likely because one hasn’t been decided. Still, rumours are spreading wildly, everything from Shaun Starr and Elliott Price to having the CJAD team move over to using the TSN play-by-play to bringing back Dick Irvin and the reanimated corpse of Danny Gallivan.

Okay, I made that last one up.


Though it’s great news that this little station that could has scored this contract, it’s a bit worrisome for critics of Canada’s media oligopolies. When Mike Boone wrote about the deal a couple of weeks ago, he said it was helped significantly by a deal Bell signed for regional English-language TV rights on TSN. Bell’s business agreements with the Canadiens are many (though Bell itself does not own the team), from the naming rights to its arena and practice facility to its French-language TV rights to mobile rights to broadcasts.

This deal takes Bell one step further toward doing with the Canadiens what Quebecor wants to do with a Quebec City hockey team and what Rogers wants to do with most of the professional sports coming out of Toronto.

There’s also, as one Team 990 personality told me during their recent 10-year anniversary party, the problem that the station might be restricted a bit in what it can say about the team. Doing impressions of Jacques Martin might not fly so well when you’re the official broadcaster.

What about CJAD?

Though it certainly can deal with not having the Canadiens easier than Team 990 did, CJAD is still going to have to find a way to fill hundreds of broadcast hours every season. And they’re going to have to deal with the loss of advertising that comes with losing such a big audience-getter. There’s no word yet on what they’re planning to do.

There’s a story in The Gazette and some discussion in the Radio in Montreal group.

UPDATE: Some comments from the peanut gallery on Hockey Inside/Out.

Voir to do TV show on Télé-Québec

Télé-Québec announced this week that a new show is going to start this fall that has the Voir newsroom talking about culture. This is to replace Ça manque à ma culture which was recently cancelled.

If this idea of an alt-weekly doing a cultural TV show is familiar, I can’t imagine why. ICI does the same thing, but it’s on Vox where nobody watches it. (I watched that show for the first time yesterday, it’s not bad for a Vox production, but hardly compelling either.)

Of course, they deny that they’re copying ICI’s idea.

It’s interesting to see if this becomes a bigger trend, having print journalists do TV shows related to their beats. It certainly saves money (yay convergence!) paying one person to do two jobs (ICI and Vox are both owned by Quebecor), and these roundtable discussions are super-cheap to produce – just put some guys in front of a camera and have them chat for a while.

But it also means we have fewer voices. Eventually we’ll be down to one journalist each from CTVglobemedia, Canwest, CBC/RadCan, Gesca and Quebecor covering a given beat. And maybe not even that.