Hockey Night Losing its Luster

Could it be?  Hockey Night in Canada was always seen as a great brand supporting the national pasttime.  But the luster appears to be fading after a major change.

With four Canadian teams making the playoffs this year (Habs, Jets, Canucks and Flames), Hockey Night should be peaking.  But after a change of ownership to Rogers Communications, the venerable Hockey Night is struggling.

Callum Fraser from The Hockey Writers shares further details:

It’s been less than a year — eight months, if you’re only counting the actual NHL season — since Rogers Communications Inc. took over Hockey Night in Canada from CBC, but that’s all the time in the world Rogers needed to take one of the country’s greatest pasttimes and shatter the reputation it had held for over 50 brilliant years.

And maybe it didn’t even take this long for the program to be slaughtered. Maybe the handcuffs were clamped on to the wrists of faithful Canadian hockey fans months ago, before the season ever started and before Rogers was actually able to go on air.

Decisions made as the franchise switched over to Rogers were seemingly what affected the well-being, popularity and previous admiration so many people had for Hockey Night before. Because, as Rogers senior vice president of NHL production Gord Cutler explains, they knew they wanted to distance themselves from the program Hockey Night once was.

Tim Thompson, the artist behind every exhilarating opening montage and emotional closing scenes, found himself on the outside looking in on Hockey Night’s production this season.

Fortunately, Thompson still works for CBC Sports and has been a part of the Montreal Canadiens organization this year, producing inspirational montages for their playoff run, but his presence is still dearly missed at the beginning of Hockey Night each and every game.

It is a great article.  Read the rest of it here.

Image courtesy of marke1996.

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