I’ve Boycotted Most Canadian TV Channels for Replacing Good American Ads

Here in Canada, for a lot of American sport events, the American commercials are replaced with terrible Canadian ones. This is true even on cable on the American channel itself, not just the simultaneous broadcast on the local network. In Nova Scotia, where I am located, the commercials are even sub Canadian standards. They’re so awful I will often skip watching a show or an event, or go out to a place where I can watch it without those commercials. Or I’ll get what I’m looking for from another source, like news from CBC NewsWorld or MSNBC instead of CNN that’s now proliferated with ghetto budget local business ads when I’m there to be thinking globally.

Do these Canadian ad buyers think they’re getting their money’s worth for those prime spots?

I know there are some rules about rights across the borders, and Canadian content rules and such, but that’s for the channels to worry about. The ad buyers don’t have to buy in to this, and without them, the channels don’t have commercials to run. The channels probably offer ad time with events like the Super Bowl as a bonus to a package rather than selling ad time during the event like it’s done in the US. Still, I would decline it if I were a Canadian ad buyer cause I don’t think people think of those spots fondly.

This comes to a point with the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is as well known for its ads as the game itself. Just observe the chatter the day after the Super Bowl. To watch the Super Bowl with local commercials is like to watch the Super Bowl with one real team and one team of local substitute players. I resent having to watch the Super Bowl with crappy Canadian commercials so much I watch the event on broadcasts with American commercials now, I have blocked the Canadian channels overriding American signals. That means CTV for this Super Bowl, and Global and ASN from previous other offences.

Now, those channels don’t even have a chance that I might surf by and catch something I like when channel surfing. I get local news from the CBC solely now, and you know what? I’m doing just fine without those other channels. I’m not even losing Canadian content, cause it’s not like they show much Canadian content anyway. Why bother with Canadian commercials on prime events, or even just for the Super Bowl, if resentment like this, with some people turning it into action, is what you get?

For events less prime than the Super Bowl, where I might put up with Canadian ads on overridden American shows, I take note of some of the advertising companies and occasionally put them on my “no buy” list. It’s not that I end up watching the commercials to do this. Usually, they annoy me enough from what I’m doing to distract me, and then it’s an easy choice. Eastlink was the first on my list.

I wonder if some of these companies ever imagined their advertising strategies to lead to this?

Oh, and here’s a great example why I go the extra distance for the Super Bowl with the real ads. 🙂

Do You Think Canada’s 3-2 Overtime Win for Men’s Hockey Olympic Gold on Home Ice Was the Best Hockey Game for Canada Ever?

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I don’t need to blog about Canada’s 3-2 overtime win over the United States for Gold in Men’s Ice Hockey at the 2010 Olympics. Everybody is pretty much writing about it.

What I want to know is if you think this were the best hockey game ever for this country?

It had excitement with all the exciting plays, including two posts by Canada in regulation time.

It had anxiety with the Americans scoring in the final minute to tie it and send it into overtime.

It was back and forth with the rushes and scoring.

It was great to watch with the quality play, hits and saves.

It was epic with everything on the line, and avenged a loss a week ago that just deflated our country. The rally was also phenomenal. The pressure unbelievable.

It was decided spectacularly in sudden death overtime, with my fellow 22 year old Nova Scotian sensation Sidney Crosby coming through like you knew he would. Eight periods of no scoring but he came through when it most counted with the literal Golden Goal in sudden death overtime. There was nobody more suited or symbolic to score that goal! (See CTV video of Sidney’s winning goal)

YEAH!!!

That’s what legends are made of!!!

Step aside, Paul Henderson!!!

Finally, it was on home soil, and best of all, there was arguably the ultimate prize at stake in the Olympic Gold Medal against an arch enemy.

I never saw the 1972 Summit Series, but there was no medal at stake, although a cultural moment. However, in today’s media frenzy environment, losing this game would have never gone away with YouTube and blogs leaving so much content we Canadians would never be able to avoid.

The 1987 Canada Cup with Gretzky and Lemieux was definitely spectacular, being the only tournament at the time which really featured professional players against professional players. However, as representative as those events were at the time, they weren’t the Olympics. It kept the focus all on hockey, sure, but there’s something special about the Olympics and the whole nation going for every sport. Don’t forget, Canada has the most gold medals in any single Olympics game now with that 14th gold medal from men’s ice hockey.

We did beat the US in 2002 for Olympic Gold on their ice to win our first hockey gold in 50 years, of course, but that was their home ice. It was also not nearly as close in a 5-2 victory, and no sudden death. As sweet as that was, though, given the wait and location, I think it’s different on our home ice, in front of our fans. We get to celebrate our own on home ice and we get to sing our national anthem afterward as a nation united.

All in all, every past historic victory lacked something this one did. It wasn’t a big thing in each case, but I never said this was the best win ever by a long shot. Just the biggest win in the legendary history of ice hockey in this nation.

But do you agree? I’d love it if you took a moment to cast a vote below or leave a comment. Thank you.

Congrats to the US for having a great tournament, especially goalie Ryan Miller. Thanks to Jarome Iginla for the hard work on the boards to get the feed to Sidney.

Meanwhile, LET THE PARTY BEGIN!!!

See CTV’s video for the gold medal presentation to team Canada.

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Blown the Podium Campaign Introduced by Canadian Olympic Committee

Monday, Feb 22 2009

The new BLOWN the Podium Logo

With seven days of Olympics competition remaining, the Canadian Olympic Committee has introduced the Blown the Podium campaign after conceding Canada will not achieve its Own the Podium campaign goal of finishing first overall in the medal count.

COC CEO Chris Rudge said “we are going to be short of our goal” at the team’s daily news briefing.

Canada entered Monday with9 medals (4G-4S-1B), tied for fourth with South Korea. It is far behind the United States at 24. Germany was second with 17, followed by Norway with 12. Canada is even behind its pace in Turin 4 years ago when it had 13 medals at this point in the games. Canada finished with 24 medals then, third overall and its best winter Olympics showing ever.

Considering the US has 24 medals now, and it is uncatchable, Canada is not going to even reach its Turin performance!

So much for the ambitious Own the Podium campaign introduced 5 years ago.

Introduced on a “feeling” that the Canadian team needed to aim high and capture the imagination of the Canadian public, Canada showed a great start with the best winter Olympics showing in 2006 just a year after the campaign started. This was with the men’s hockey debacle. However, whatever projection data the COC had in hand prior to this Olympics, it wasn’t accurate. Its star athletes have hardly stepped up so far, while a few it overlooked for sponsorship and media attention stepped up big time.

Regardless, this program which saw $117 million invested in athletes, $66 million of which was taxpayer dollars, will fail miserably in the outcome. It has even caused frustration and complaints among some. Long track speed skater Denny Morrison, who wasn’t even close in his 2 potential medals, stated his training went downhill after his rival and training partner Shani Davis was banned from training with him in Calgary due to Own the Podium restrictions (CTV, Feb 20). It was a sort of “don’t train in Canada” version of “buy Canadian”. Whether you believe Denny or not, losing a training partner that pushes you to your best can’t be good for your training. Furthermore, Shani Davis agreed. Davis met Morrison in Calgary just before Turin and made Morrison rise in the world rankings quickly.

Norwegian skier Aksel Svindal also said the program did Canadians a disservice by preventing him from training with the Canadian alpine team on the Whistler slopes, as he’d done in the past. Aksel won gold in the super G, and claimed to be faster in the middle of the course than any competitor, something he said the Canadian skiers could have benefited in training from his knowledge.

Ouch!

The Blown the Podium campaign will have the French name of Pas Nous le Podium, correctly translated or not because at this point, the COC doesn’t care much. About the campaign, of course, not about the French language. Even on such a meaningless thing, to leave the French out of it would be upset the French community who has already whined incessantly about how there wasn’t enough French in the opening ceremony! (CTV Feb 15)

I hope they complained in French because it would have been hypocritical for them to do so in English. The way I understood it, there was a greater percentage of French in the ceremonies than French Canadians of the French population, and that makes me plenty satisfied they got their fair share.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 10.6

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Did Evgeni Plushenko’s Mouth Cost Him the Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medal versus Evan Lysacek?

Evgeni Plushenko mid-jump

UPDATE:
Canadian Olympic silver medallist and former world champion figure skater Elvis Stojko wrote an article trashing the Olympics’ men figure skating results
called The Night They Killed Figure Skating. It pretty much sums up my sentiments. But who was I to say such a thing? Thanks for setting the record straight, Elvis! You tell them! They had the ultimate showman back on ice and they’re going to drive him away for more pansies to be competing. Some people just can’t get over how insignificant they are, you know? Pity the sport. Evgeni was very diplomatic in defeat at the podium ceremonies, though. A showman to the last moment.

Also, see my follow up post after watching the ladies’ free skate:

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After the men’s figure skating short program, Evgeni Plushenko was in the lead and said something to the extent that the future of men’s figure skating was in the quad, or quadruple jump. The story went through the press as a challenge to all male figure skaters’ manhood if they did not do quads in their programs, as he vowed to be a man among boys. (CTV News, Feb 17 2010)

Without a quad it’s not men’s figure skating.
— Evgeni Plushenko, three-time world champion and 2006 Winter Olympics Champion

Well, tonight, in the long program, Evgeni did a very difficult quad-triple combination, and was still beaten by the American Evan Lysacek, who did not do a quad jump.

The difference was Lysacek had a lot of elements piled up in the second half of his program where they had 10% more value. Evgeni and Evan actually had the same “component” score for elements in their program. Shockingly, Lysacek beat Plushenko in the technical component despite Evgeni having piled up points for his quad-triple axle combination. Evgeni had a full minute without jumps to finish up his program. Both skaters were nearly flawless otherwise.

Lysacek finished a point ahead of Plushenko, with Evan getting 257.67 and Evgeni getting 256.36 points.

Scoring systems and all, some of it is still human judgment, and I can’t help but think that if Evgeni had kept his mouth shut, he might have gotten gold. You can’t look at his comment on the future of skating just as an insult just to the skaters like the media did. Who do you think judges the event and truly determines the future of figure skating? Some people seriously need to get over themselves!

All and all, though, what a night of brilliant skating!

Daisuke Takahashi won bronze with a distant 247.23 points, but was the first Japanese man to end up on the men’s figure skating podium at the Olympics.

Patrick Chan of Canada, who I’m not a particular fan of, I must say, finished 5th. Maturity and charisma wise, he was literally a boy among men.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.0

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See Dave Carroll’s New Success With The Cable Song Video

Dave-Carroll1Just a few months ago in July 2009, Nova Scotian musician took his music success to a new level with a YouTube viral sensation, United Breaks Guitars. It changed his life, as he said during a little concert in Halifax for the Tunes at Noon series in August. However, he was going to follow through all his previous commitments before taking on new ventures in October, like a true professional.

Well, it’s October and I just saw a song commercial featuring Dave Carroll protesting the proposed hike in cable fees in Canada, in the Local TV Matters campaign (FAQ). The full version is below, though I can’t find lyrics online at time of posting. It seems someone recognized Dave’s talent to write a good song to tell a story, as demonstrated in United Breaks Guitars. The story of how this all came about is below, courtesy of Dave Carroll on MySpace.

In July, after UBG (United Breaks Guitars) had hit, I was introduced by a CTV representative to the issue of supporting local television in Canada.

In a nutshell Cable TV does not pay for local programming like the local news and broadcasters don’t earn enough from advertising to continue to operate at a loss.

Sons of Maxwell built their career with the help of local television and for a lot of other reasons I believe in the project, so I agreed to write and produce a song in support of a great cause. It aired tonight (Wed Oct 7) for the first time following the 6pm local news across Canada and may do so again for the rest of the week.

It was a pleasant surprise for me to see Dave and his new success in more traditional media.

Congratulations to Dave and I’m really looking forward to seeing more of your success in the future!

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