Would this be the last nail?
I hope, I hope, I hope this comes true:
Remember this number: $1.4-billion over 10 years. That figure could deliver the most coveted prize in Canadian sports television to CTV-TSN, according to sources.
The prize, of course, is Hockey Night in Canada, the CBC's long-time ratings leader, rights to which will expire at the end of the 2007-08 National Hockey League season.
According to insiders, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has already talked to the CBC and CTV-TSN about the bidding process.
Two well-placed sources say Bell Globemedia, which owns CTV and TSN as well as The Globe and Mail and part of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is likely to proffer a bid that the CBC may find impossible to match -- $140-million a year for 10 years, for a total of $1.4-billion.
With Chris Cuthbert, and more recently, Brian Williams moving over from public to private, it's easy to see how the talent could make the shift. I would hope that if Don Cherry's still around, he gets an offer. And it would be silly not to bring in Ron McLean - he's trusted, recognizable, and it's not like he'd have anything else of importance to do at CBC.
The only thing I'd miss would be the old HNIC theme song...assuming CBC or Dolores Claman or whoever controls it wouldn't put it up for purchase in a fire-sale. Wouldn't that be delicious: take it all, lock, stock, and barrel?
It seems a bit morbid to start a two-year CBC deathwatch, but what the hell? It's a lot more fun than watching the CPC try to gift-wrap turd.