It’s as Canadian as beaver pelts and Bruni Gerussi and more people can keep up with its tune than our National Anthem. However, the CBC announced recently that it will not be renewing the Hockey Night in Canada theme.
One of this country’s most familiar tunes may have been heard on CBC-TV for the last time Wednesday night when the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins and won the 2008 Stanley Cup.
The Toronto agency representing the composer of the theme tune for Hockey Night in Canada says the CBC has declined to enter into a new licensing agreement for the song for next NHL season. [CBC]
In disbelief, many Canadians are shocked, outraged, and there is a huge reaction from the blogosphere. One of my teammates from January’s Test the Nation is even starting a petition:
If ever there was a sign that the CBC has lost touch with Canada, this is it… …are they mad? No, really. Are they mad? I mean, I know no one watches the CBC, but I thought that was a bad thing, not something to be encouraged by screwing with one of the few bankable properties the Corp actually owns. [There is a petition you can sign at the bottom of this post at Nunc Scio]
There are copyright issues, legal battles etc. but when it boils down to it, I truly think this tune belongs to all Canadians. When I hear the scratchy, “Hello Canada, and hockey fans in the United States and Newfoundland,” intro I get chills. The tune kicks in and you know you’re setting in for a great night of hockey. There’s a even a Facebook Group dedicated to make the HNIC theme the song for medal ceremonies at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
If you’d like to keep the song on air, sign a petition, write a blog post, create a Facebook Group and let your voice as a hockey fan and a Canadian be heard.
Update: “Contrary to published reports, CBC Sports hasn’t yet pulled the plug on the Hockey Night in Canada theme song.
Scott Moore, the executive director of CBC Sports, told Newsworld on Thursday that negotiations for a new licence fee are ongoing with the representatives of composer Dolores Claman.
“We’ve been reaching out to [Claman] and her representative, and haven’t heard back,” Moore said. “We’re prepared to do a deal, we’re prepared to talk, but we’re not prepared to do a deal at all costs.” – [CBC Sports]
Update: CTV buys the rights to the Hockey Night in Canada theme song: “Like an aggressive team snapping up a rival’s top player, Canada’s CTV television network has acquired rights to the “Hockey Night” jingle that has traditionally opened hockey broadcasts on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
The move, announced by CTV on Monday, is a major blow for public broadcaster CBC, where the theme has acquired iconic status as the opening for Saturday “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcasts of National Hockey League games since 1968.” [Reuters]
Update: CTV/TSN buys the HNIC theme song “in perpetuity” [InsideTheCBC]
Stephen Colbert even chimes in about ownership: