Is the long-standing love affair between the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Sports and Toronto on the rocks?
If you have spent any time watching NHL hockey on the CBC over the years, you will be familiar with the love affair that exists between Canada’s national broadcaster and the city of Toronto. Please do not get me wrong, I am not subscribing to the theory held by some that the NHL itself has a pro Maple Leafs position, but the CBC certainly does. This has a logical side as the Southern Ontario market is the largest in the country. It stands to reason that announcers and analysts are going to make the best out of some pretty poor Leafs teams, given the interest in keeping those people tuned in.
So what has happened with the 2015 Pan American Games currently being held in Toronto and other Southern Ontario venues? The CBC seems to have rendered these games significantly less than important.
While the CBC offers online streaming of live events, the best it can provide on weekday television is a few hours a day of live coverage and a nightly program that recaps the day’s events. It’s as if the games were taking place in Uzbekistan instead of Toronto.
I understand these are not exactly the Olympics, but given the large market in Southern Ontario I find it odd that wire to wire, daily live coverage is not being provided. It is July, you would think they would jump at the chance to air special Games coverage.
I know there were some who were very much against the Pan Am Games bid when it was announced years ago. Not just the usual environmental activists, but those who covet a Summer Olympics in Toronto fear that the Pan Am Games will take the city out of contention for many years. They believe Toronto is a Summer Olympic-class city and the much smaller PanAm games sullies that image.
Whether hosting the PanAm Games will have any effect on future Olympic bids from Toronto is debatable. What is not is that the CBC is short-changing not only Toronto, but all Canadians with an interest in watching the PanAm Games – being held in their own country – live on television.