Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Olympics 2012: Where the hell are the Canadians?

Am I the only one wondering whatever happened to Team Canada at the 2012 Olympics?
I watched the games all day yesterday trying to get a glimpse of a Canadian, any Canadian, on CTV's coverage. All I saw was stupid bunch of foreigners.
There wasn't a single Canadian in the synchronized diving, nor was there a Canuck gyrating during the men's gymnastics. As a result, I'm now in the know about cute little Lithuanian divers, a Canadian ex-pat who chose to swim for the U.S.A. and a lovely boy named Tom who choked on the British synchro-diving team.
I did hear about a Canadian equestrian who was bucked from her horse, but I didn't see it because, apparently, there wasn't a camera around when it happened. There were whispers about our rowing team, a few tweets about them, but as far as CTV was concerned they weren't as important as beach volleyball played by the East Europeans or the Chinese.
True, there was a bit of tennis. But who the hell cares? We all know when Venus and Serena, Federer and Murray are around, our tennis players will soon be picking up balls by the backboard.
What gives?
When the 2010 Olympics were on in Vancouver, you couldn't turn on the tellie without seeing Canadians with their little red mitties fist-punching the air.
Not in London. They must be volunteering as security guards or something.
Is it just that Canadian summer Olympians suck?
I do not think so. I just think the network treats them like they are second rate sisters.
After consulting Scott who covered four or five Olympics, here's what I've figured out.
In order to win the bid for Vancouver, the network had to put the full force of BellMedia behind it. CTV was also the host broadcaster, so they had to cover everything.
That's why we got to see everything.
This time it's different.
After blowing its entire wad on Vancouver, CTV is simply taking the feed from the host broadcaster, presumably the U.K., and you know how well the Brits have been managing things. They probably are  pinching pennies to pay for the Queen for her cameo at the Opening Games. Clearly, they are not covering everything.
To properly cover the Canadians, CTV would have to hire extra crews and they haven't done that. Heck, they only have a skeleton crew calling the events, unlike Vancouver, where they even had the idiots from ETalk! as well as the whole cast and crew from CANADA A.M.
In London, they have Brian Williams, James Duthie, Jennifer Hedger, and the two Rods. That appears to be it. Now you may be saying that the other events are on TSN or RDS or OMNI or Vision, the monopolized poor sisters of CTV. That may be. However, most people are watching the main network, so if the Canadians are up the channel on speciality channels, well, they are SOL.
What I find most galling is the fact that even the precious segments which feature cool and dramatic stories about athletes, called the Differnce Makers, are not about our athletes at all.
The ones I saw yesterday featured Tom Daley from the U.K. and Missy Hamilton, the American swimmer whose parents are Canadian. She has become the darling of CTV which is trying to claim her as Canadian even though she's lived in the States all her life.
That's like saying Goldie Hawn is a Canadian because she has a cottage in Muskoka.
I hope I'm wrong and the coverage improves.
CTV is making a shitload of money from the Olympics and from Canadians themselves and needs to sacrifice a little of its bottom line to show our men and women in action.
Likely that won't happen and if a Canadian rowing crew wins a medal, they probably won't have had a camera at the Henley.

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