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CTV buys hockey night song


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CTV buys hockey night song

Jun 09, 2008 03:53 PM

Curtis Rush

Precious Yutangco

STAFF REPORTERS

CTV has purchased the rights to the Hockey Night in Canada theme song.

In a shock announcement just before 4 p.m. today, CTV announced the public-relations coup.

Last week, Copyright Music & Visuals announced that the contract for the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada to use the song had expired at the end of this year’s Stanley Cup final.

It said the song would not be used during next season’s broadcasts because a royalty deal could not be reached with CBC.

CBC has scrambled ever since to save face in reaction to an outraged public.

As early as this morning, CBC proposed mediation in what they said was a final attempt to make a new deal for the rights to the song.

CTV owns The Sports Network, the all-sports network known as TSN. TSN broadcasts NHL hockey and CTV suggested that is where the song will be heard.

The public broadcaster said this morning that it had asked sports lawyer Gord Kirke to step in after negotiations broke down last week between CBC and the company that owns the rights to the song.

"We feel this song is worth one last attempt to save," Scott Moore, executive director of CBC Sports, said in a statement earlier today. "Canadians are passionate about its association with Hockey Night in Canada."

Talks between CBC and Copyright Music & Visuals, which holds the rights to the song, ended Friday after the two sided failed to meet a 5 p.m. deadline.

CBC then announced that it would begin a national contest to find a replacement song, awarding $100,000 to whoever can come up with the best theme as decided by fans and experts.

Kirke is a professor of sports and entertainment law at York University and the University of Toronto, and is described by CBC as an expert in mediation and negotiation.

Kirke is also on a search committee looking for a new management team for the Maple Leafs. The Leafs have hired Ron Wilson as coach, but still are looking for a permanent general manager to replace interim boss Cliff Fletcher.

Kirke said Canadian fans have clearly expressed a preference for CBC to keep using the hockey theme song. “I welcome the opportunity of exploring means by which this can continue," he said in a statement.

Last week, Copyright Music & Visuals announced that the contract for Hockey Night in Canada to use the song had expired. The national uproar that resulted – including the creation of the website savethesong.com – apparently spurred further talks last week.

Under terms of the now-expired contract, CBC reportedly paid about $500 per broadcast for the rights to the song.

Talks for a new deal with composer Dolores Claman had stalled over a lawsuit launched four years ago against the CBC, claiming breach of contract, particularly over the use of the song on cellphone ring tones.

Last week, Moore cited the lawsuit as an impediment to reaching a new royalty agreement.

Jeff Keay, spokesperson for the CBC, said today that the CBC is still pushing ahead with its national contest to select a new theme song.

He said Hockey Night in Canada will incorporate the new music into the show.

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I don't believe this is the end of the world as it's being pitched in articles on the subject. Provided CBC tiptoes very carefully with this issue, and their contest is messaged carefully, I think it's almost a non-issue (though admittedly handled in a poor manner by some of the suits there).

I think an even funnier flub is CTV buying the rights to it. The song and the show belong together. I think that was a lousy and somewhat sleazy move though admittedly it didn't cost them much coin to do it.

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Talks for a new deal with composer Dolores Claman had stalled over a lawsuit launched four years ago against the CBC, claiming breach of contract, particularly over the use of the song on cellphone ring tones.

That's the ringtone I've had for just over a year now.

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If you want a good laugh, check out the user comments about this issue on the cbc website. The stupidity of the masses just astounds me.

I like this little gem:

CBC is run by artsy-fartsy political appointees with nothing but disdain for hockey and sports in general. They produce shows they think we should all watch but don't while sneering at shows we shouldn't watch but do.

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