With the NHL inking a new television deal with Rogers not too long ago, the format for Hockey Night In Canada has changed drastically at the hands of the communications giant. They have control over Canada's biggest hockey night, and have left many Canadians disappointed with the changes this season. CBC built the show, and in one season Rogers has ruined it.
Here are the Changes and mistakes that are leaving everyone shaking their heads:
1) Shortening Coaches Corner
Yes, you heard that right. The much popular Coaches Corner with Ron MacLean and Don Cherry was cut in airtime this season to make room for more analysts in other segments to speak. Wether you like Ron and Don or not, everyone can agree that their segment is entertaining, wether you are getting a laugh of what their opinions are or actually learning information. The segment is very popular with Canadians, and Rogers seems to not have realized that with their decision to cut it.
Don Cherry on the November 8th segment of Coaches Corner showed a bit of his displeasure with his new Rogers bosses. On air MacLean told him they were short for time (because of the airtime cuts) and Cherry snapped with a very frustrated and displeased manner “Why are we tight? Why are we tight?”. His reaction isn't just his opinion, it's the thought of thousands of viewers as well.
2) Ron MacLean put on the shelf; Hello George Stroumboulopoulos
Ron MacLean used to head the intermission panels, as well as co-host Coaches Corner. Ever since Rogers took full control over HNIC, MacLean has found himself without the panel job, which has been given for some reason to George Stroumboulopoulos. MacLean has been moved to sunday's now, only giving him 5 minutes of airtime on HNIC.
George never had a hockey background, and all of a sudden hockey fans are watching him lead Canada's biggest hockey night. MacLean was arguably the face of saturday night hockey and now he's been shelved to make room for a guy that has no business being in the position that he is. Strombo has no credibility in the hockey world, and fans now see his face for much of the broadcast. MacLean had the job for years, and Rogers removed him for George in an effort to attract younger viewers. Obviously they completely missed the ball on this, and the internet is full of angry Canadians ranting their hate for the host change.
3) Changing the HNIC theme song....
When the iconic theme song was sold to TSN a few years back, CBC held a contest for viewers to submit their songs and the winner would win $100,000 and have their music being played as the new theme song. Viewers were disappointed that the original song was gone, but quickly the contest picked up popularity and some great songs were submitted, with the winner and new theme song being this one:
The new song was enjoyed and it was a great fit with the broadcast. And Rogers quickly retired the fan-chosen theme song and instead created their own for the 2014-2015 season:
The mistake Rogers made was taking out the theme song that fans voted for and replacing it with one of their own. In an attempt to make Hockey Night In Canada more unique, they made a change to something that was perfectly fine before, something that wasn't just any theme song, it was the theme song that the FANS wanted. But they decided that wasn't important.
4) Hockey Night In Canada, with Nick Kypreos?
This one personally befuddles me. He is an anchor for Sportsnet, and all of a sudden, like Stroumboulopoulos, he is a face of the biggest night in hockey? Kyper isn't a fan favourite in the broadcasting world, so why choose to put someone not liked on the most viewed night?
5) The Play Breakdowns
As part of the new set, Rogers has a huge LED wall screen and floor that can display anything, even making the floor look like a crease. That's cool and all, but no hockey fan needs Strombo and Kyper breaking down a save or a play. Everyone who see's this segment can notice for themselves the simplicity of the plays they breakdown, meaning any hockey fan could have figured it out for themselves. For example, no hockey watcher needs to see Kypreos pretending to be a goalie on the screen and showing his positioning to the shooter and what a goaltender should do. Fans want to hear about more hockey news and rumours, not glorifying simple plays and breaking them down.
In the end, Rogers has changed and ruined Canada's most watched hockey broadcast. Saturday nights is the night hockey lovers enjoy the most, and Canadians now have to watch it on a show that dumbs plays down and has hosts that are disliked. With the hate the new set up is getting, one can only wonder when Rogers will wake up and realize the mistakes they've made, and hopefully correct some back to what the fans enjoyed before.