Friday, August 2, 2013

Where's The Canadian Content?

Evan Bezemer, Jeremy Stott
Photo credit: Suzanne Sewell

Why is Sportsnet showing the Canoe Kayak U23/Junior World Championships? Who is their target audience? If you watched yesterday's highlights show at midnight (repeated this morning at 11am) and enjoyed the races Sportsnet chose, you either know a lot about the junior canoe/kayak world or don't care who you see race.

I wanted to see our Canadian racers compete on the world stage in Canada. I want to follow Canada's junior paddlers as they rise to the senior team and beyond. Only one of the races that was telecast had Canadians racing. It's not like our paddlers didn't do well or they didn't have videos from their races.

Canada had four boats advance to A-finals yesterday. (You can read about the full Canadian results here) The only Canadians shown on television was the team of Lissa Bissonnette, Andreanne Langlois, Alexa Irvin and Sarah Vegas-Dubois who finished second in their K4 women's 500m semi-final. At the end of the telecast, the commentators, Tom Hall and Geoff Laplante, discuss the highlights of the day (obviously recorded from the full day online streaming of the event not for the one hour highlight show). They mention the women's K4 as well as Marshall Hughes who advanced in the K1 Junior Men 1000m by finishing second in his semi-final. Another highlight for them was Jeremy Stott and Evan Bezemer (pictured above at the team trials last month) who advanced directly to the final by finishing third in their morning heat in the Junior Men's C2 1000m. Another pair, Roland Varga and Marc Tarling advanced directly from their heat to the final of the C2 U23 men's 1000m.

These were the "highlights" of the day (for Canada) so why didn't Sportsnet show these races? I thought that the highlights show of an event held in Canada on a Canadian channel would show Canadian content.

Sometimes when Sportsnet show World Cup events, the telecast will only show finals (and will not be a Canadian-made broadcast). If Canadians don't make the finals, we don't get to see them. That wasn't the case this time though, they were showing heats - but not the heats that the Canadians were in.

They showed the 1st heat for the C2 Junior Men 1000m, for example. Jeremy Stott and Evan Bezemer finished 3rd in heat 2.

Marshall Hughes was second in the 3rd semi-final in the K1 Junior Men 1000m. Sportsnet showed the 2nd semi final.

I could give similar examples for every race they showed. Did they just randomly choose races without checking to see the start lists?

Most Canadians stumbling upon the program or amateur sports fan who would have made a point of watching this world event being held in Canada would want to see up and coming Canadian athletes and our future Olympians.

I hope Sportsnet show more Canadian content in the next few days. I am away tomorrow so won't be able to watch online. I'll be relying on Sportsnet to show the day's highlights and hopefully they will show the ones that matter to Canadians.

I do have to say that I've very thankful for amateur sports coverage on Sportsnet, so although disappointed by the lack of Canadian content, still thankful for the ability to watch canoe/kayak.

[later edit: I'm happy to add that the telecasts improved over the weekend with many Canadian teams and competitors being shown]

To watch the livestream daily, click here.

To see the schedule, start lists and results, click here.

To watch the event live in Welland, Ontario, visit the Canoe Niagara website for more info. 

Sportsnet schedule:
Friday Aug 2 midnight Sportsnet ONE (repeat 11am Friday)
Saturday Aug 3 midnight Sportsnet ONE (repeat Sat. 11am)
Sunday Aug 4 3am Sportsnet ONE (repeat 8:30am)
Monday Aug 5 midnight Sportsnet ONE (repeat 10am)

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