Why Hockey Night Is Pushing Me To NBC

Spencer CallaghanAnalyst IJune 2, 2008

I just couldn't take it anymore.

I was watching Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Hockey Night in Canada and I just had to switch over to NBC — it's just that bad.

Between Bob Cole's delayed reaction to every play, Greg Millen's horrible colour commentating and the Gary Roberts love-fest that is Coach's Corner, the CBC has completely lost its way.

Now HNIC is going to get good ratings in Canada no matter what, but imagine how much better the show could be if there were some new ideas and new blood injected into it.

The Canadian Broadcast Corporation's cash cow has turned into a tired old bull and it's sad to say that NBC's broadcast is far superior, not just in video and sound quality but in on-air personalities, insight and entertainment as well.

The anti-HNIC chorus is gaining a lot of new voices here in Canada with many media outlets jumping on the poor quality of the broadcasts and it makes you wonder just how long they can hold out before the brass at CBC Sports realize they need to make a serious change of course.

There has been a lot of talk recently about a new Golden Age of Hockey brought on by all the talented young players starting to come into the league, but on HNIC they are too busy clinging to the past to realize that the future is passing them by.

I have had my issues with HNIC due to its blatant pro-Leafs bias in the past but this goes way beyond that — the show is full of tired old personalities and cliches and run by a bunch of execs who think that because Canada is mad about hockey that they can do no wrong.

In many ways it is Canadian arrogance. No one could ever imaging that an American broadcaster could do a better job than the CBC — but they are.

There are some bright spots on HNIC. Kelly Hrudy is one, P.J. Stock is another (thought I'm sure I may be debated on that one), but largely it is the same old cast selling the same old "Canada is hockey" lines with nothing new to say.

So without turning in my passport, let me boldly state (and hope to not be lynched) right now when it comes to hockey broadcasting, the Americans do it better.