Football: TSN, Radio-Canada rapped for coverage cutout

The best way to frame this is to wonder what Canadian Interuniversity Sport will do about TSN's handling of the Vanier Cup. Do they say, mistakes happen (which they do with a live broadcast) or say, we can do better?

Two sports media critics, The Globe & Mail's Bruce Dowbiggin and the Toronto Star's Chris Zelkovich, both called TSN out. First Dowbiggin, who noted it wasn't just a transmission problem:
"The first two TDs in the Queen’s-Calgary game were missed completely by a transmission box failure. Service was restored and then lost twice as (studio hosts) Rod Smith, Darren Dutchyshen did the Ralph Kramden 'humina-humina' back at the Grey Cup anchor desk in Calgary. The same transmission problem Saturday also put Radio Canada's French broadcast of the Vanier off the air, too.

"When service was restored, the quality of TSN’s cast was less than their standard. Cameras followed the wrong runner, switching problems left the wrong camera on screen and there was the usual bevy of 'Oh, my' from an effusive Rod Black.

"... with all its best people at the Grey Cup, the talent might have been a little thin on the ground for the Vanier."
(Personally, Dowbiggin took a cheap shot at Dutchyshen and Smith. The on-air people had nothing to do with the problems and were just doing their jobs. One, it is on the highers-up and two, who the hell is Ralph Kramden?)

And Zelkovich noted this has been happening a lot lately:
"On Saturday, disaster struck again as TSN viewers missed chunks of the Vanier Cup. The channel called it a 'last-minute technical malfunction with transmission equipment at the stadium.'

" 'It was a supplier issue beyond our control,' said TSN spokesman Greg McIsaac. Hmm, TSN is victimized two weeks in a row by events beyond their control."
Well, at least the network has nothing major coming up between now and late February ... oh right. Thank you, Robert Carnell of Salt Water Music (which airs every Friday at 6 p.m. on CFRC 101.9 in Kingston, way to drop that in there):
"If you are 'Canada’s Sports Leader' then stop making excuses. They had too much coverage on the weekend for their resources it came back to bite them. Queen's-Calgary suffered as I heard the halftime show was spent on the Grey Cup. How about talking about the game at hand?

"Let’s hope these problems don’t come up at the Olympics. If they can’t handle Queen’s-Calgary properly I’m not hopeful for all the sports they have to help cover.

"The Score had much better coverage this season when they were handling CIS Football. They are 3rd place among the sport stations and games on The Score didn’t have all those technical issues."
Personally, there was reason for optimism when TSN signed on for the football and basketball championships. The basketball nationals (March 11-13 for the women, March 19-21 for the men) are a couple weeks after the Olympics, when a lot of the on-air people, producers and techs at TSN who do work very hard are going to have a lot of time owing. What kind of production values can CIS diehards expect then?
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  1. To be fair though, the Olympics aren't going to be a TSN production - right? That coverage is going to come from some combination of the alphabet soup consortium and the "host broadcaster", right?

  2. Yes it's CTV/Rogers doing the games or TSN/Sportsnet. When it comes to live programming Sportsnet nowadays just handles regional hockey games. Might have a rare Team Canada soccer game but other than that they don't do much live programming. Which is why I viewed TSN/CTV as the one mainly in charge of the TV production.

  3. Does a large potential audience excuse poor preparation, content, and presentation? That question will be answered in time. Hopefully the question will be answered with a complete realization of the work that has yet to be truly tackled at the grassroots level.

    I know how I felt when I watched the debacle on Saturday. I know I'm not the only one.

  4. No, it does not excuse it, in my opinion. You can always do better.

  5. For anyone who missed it in the liveblog, Deux Fans had the line of the night about the TSN/SRC coverage:

    We were forced to watch it in English - Now you're forced to watch it in French - Canada is a great country

  6. i am looking for dvd copies of the laval-queen's
    mitchell bowl and the vanier cup..anyone?
    wasn't able to record the games!