Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Leafs Get Unlimited Texting....According To Their Contract

Well well well, in one of the more interesting NHL ownership squabbles of late it looks as though that group of communist Ontario teachers have sold their stake in MLSE (The Leaf, Raptors maybe, and some futball team no one like) to a group consisting of Canadian media giants Bell and Rogers.

The real question here is how will things be different, and are their any jokes to be made at the expense of Toronto Maple Leafs and their new owners that don't involve texting (NSFW and sorry).

Casual television watchers (like if you are a Big Bang Theory or X-Factor supporter, fools) and cell phone users must be wondering how these two competitors will be able to work together and they may be surprised to learn this is not the first time they have.

Remember that thing with the fire and ice and hockey and Crosby? You know that event that brought a peaceful nation together at last? It was the Olympics, the other sporting event that happened in Vancouver that didn't result in a riot.

For decades the CBC was the sole media entity that brought you coverage of the Summer and Winter Olympics in Canada. That all changed when two media giants (in Canadian terms) came together and out bid the crown corp. I am of course talking about the entity known as Canada's Olympic Broadcast Consortium. I lovely entity which Joshua Staav and I once stole Coke Zero from which was comprised Bell Media and Rogers Media.

So likely Toronto FC will now have a new home on Omni Television, which really makes sense when you look at their demographics. That's not racist.

Both networks already play as many Leafs games as they possibly can, so that won't change. Maybe the networks will work together to give people who watch the Leafs games the best possible in game analysis, though that really just means watching the TSN feed and letting Jeff Marek on the panel.

"But Dan," says the astute reader (singular) of my blog who was in my Vancouver Olympics course at Brock University (name drop), "I knew all about the Olympic Consortium, I remember watching Olympic highlights brought to me by hipsters in a hot tub and watching Biathlon on Omni, and recaps on RDS. Give me something new!"

Settle down imaginary person. Years ago did you know that Rogers Sportsnet and TSN shared office space in a building in Scarborough, Ontario? and further more they shared a parking lot?

From 2001 to 2008 the two competitors shared the Agincourt complex. Altercations were few and far between even though Bob McCowen often said on air he enjoyed throwing bottles at the TSN studios. Competing Anchors Shawn McCormick (of Sportsnet and drunken Oilers/Leafs game fame) used to carpool with his wife and Jennifer Hedger (of TSN and yelling at Shawn at said hockey game fame) to work.

But alas all was not well in sports media land. Darren Dregor crossed the parking lot (without being compared to a female dog by Peter Mckay, Canadian politics joke), started wearing nice suits and joined the TSN crew. Sportsnet moved downtown and TSN remained the only thing of substance in the Scarborough area.

So the two networks CAN work together.

Will this change the way they report on the NHL and it's favourite son, The Toronto Maple Leafs? Probably not. I mean I'll probably make tampering jokes every time anyone on either network talks about trade rumours but let's me honest, Brian Burke controls what they talk about anyway and both national networks are already huge homers for the blue and white. I was going to put a link in here but it seem like a waste of time, just check out the network websites, there is probably a story about what a good captain Dion Phanuef is or how the Leafs are right on the path Brian Burke envisioned for them three seasons ago.

I guess the Score is a little weaker, but I know of a couple hockey teams in the Toronto area that could use the sponsorship anyway.

On the plus side I assume that Leafs players will no longer have any issues with their cell phone plans, and those pesky roaming charges when they use Twitter on road trips will be waved. Who am I kidding everyone has a problem with their cell phone plan unless your name is Nathan Reboh.

I wonder is Damien Cox will still be critical of the Leafs, probably not, but you have to ask, right Damien? 

This isn't that exciting, I'm going back to listening to The Clash and doing all that other stuff that is supposed to get creative people out of the funks they put themselves in.

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