Basketball: Windsor columnist blasts TSN for coverage of women's final

All season long, it seemed best to believe TSN actually wanted to cover CIS, not just to have it and shut out The Score, Rogers Sportsnet or CBC Sports. That would be very cynical for them to do that, and for us to just jump to that conclusion without giving it a chance.

However, Windsor Star columnist Bob Duff, who apparently has no desire to ever appear on The Reporters, threw down the gauntlet with regard to the TSN2 coverage of the women's basketball final.
"During the contest, the TSN crew continually mispronounced the names of Lancers players. Forward Iva Peklova's first name was pronounced I-va, when in fact it is Eva. Guard Bojana Kovacevic became Kovachek and coach Chantal Vallée was called coach LaVey. Guard Miah-Marie Langlois was twice simply referred to as, 'that rookie.' Team captain Shauvan Reaney's named was misspelled Reany in one of the few graphics displayed during the game.

"It was all part and parcel of the obvious evidence that little homework was done by the broadcast crew of Lisa Bowes, (Calgary Dinos coach) Shawnee Harle and Paul Johnson, not to mention the miniscule effort was put into the production end of the broadcast. As mentioned, graphics were few and far between. The time clock was never displayed and the score was shown only at the end of each quarter and not at all at the conclusion of the game.

"Come on TSN — if you want to call yourself Canada’s sports leader, then step up your game — or leave the amateur sports to networks that really care."
Wait until Duff finds out TSN2 is tape-delaying the second semifinal of the men's Final 8, which could involve the Lancers if they're seeded fourth or fifth and win on Friday. Also, throw in TSN pulling rank on SSN Canada and Shaw Cable 14 in Hamilton at the last minute at the women's tournament and it's understandable why people are upset.

The all-things-considered is it's not like TSN2 was going to get a ginormous audience showing CIS basketball. This is all chicken and egg. Who decided to go with TSN as a broadcast partner without getting further assurances it would put forth more than a token effort?

It is kind of like a scene in Almost Famous where Jeff Bebe (the Jason Lee character) screams at his bandmate, "You allowed this T-shirt to happen when you allowed Dick to manage us." Replace T-shirt with telecast, Dick with TSN and manage with broadcast and it would seem to describe the situation aptly.

How much is on the CIS brass for not marketing well? How much is on the media for only taking a perfunctory interest in university basketball and football for 2-3 weeks a year?

(The funny part is I had an instant reaction when Bowes said Kova-check instead of Kov-a-sev-ich. It just sounded wrong even to ears that were developed in and around Napanee, Ontario, which is pretty WASPy.)

Windsor snubbed by TSN (Bob Duff, Windsor Star)
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  1. What was even more shocking was Shawnee Harle saying, 5 minutes into the telecast and before the tip off "Yeah, Windsor's good...but Simon Fraser is just too dominant". Yikes. Way to not show your CW bias much.

  2. I watch a bit of the first quarter and honestly after that, I had to shut it off. The commentating was so off base and so dreadfully poor. I hope this is a wake up call for the mens tournament because I will not hesitate for one second to turn that off too.

    Just watching the first quarter, I was amazed...forget the player's pronounciation, I felt like the game was treated like it was Little Leaguers or something...maybe the Little League World Series - except the commentating in that is 1000x better - Back to forget the player's pronounciation, how about knowing what players had the ball or how about knowing something more than what year they are in..wooow

    I felt like the commentators had looked at the stat sheet for about 10 seconds and made conclusions off of that alone about the players

    /end rant

  3. The time clock was never displayed and the score was shown only at the end of each quarter and not at all at the conclusion of the game.

    Seriously? Really?

    Like, really? Really really? Really.


  4. Can anyone say they're really shocked though? I mean when we consider the Vanier disaster, the distinct lack of any CIS coverage in a game that isn't in some sort of National Championship context - I'd personally be shocked if anything but this occurred.

    That's not to say that it is acceptable. I personally heap a heavy portion of the blame on the CIS and the individual conference's attempts to make themselves legitimate enterprises in the eyes of Canadian Sport media. At some point we have to acknowledge that this is absolutely ludicrous and need to start pushing for better. Until then, it's going to be a cycle of mediocrity.

  5. Seriously? Bob Duff? Criticizing CIS coverage? You mean the guy who has written — what two? — CIS pieces in the past — what three? — years?

    And, the last piece I remember reading in the Windsor Star (not his blog) was his column in defence of Mike Morencie.

    You might remember that one; it's the one with two — maybe it was three — glaring errors in it.

    Hey Bob, don't throw stones — well, you know the rest.

  6. The most shameful part is the Calgary coach. You would think that given the opportunity she would a least care enough to do a good job and promote the CIS. Instead she turned in a performance that was simply terrible. As a stakeholder in CIS basketball she needs to do a better job.


  7. @AlwaysOUA: Considering the job the CTV consortium did the Olympics, yeah, it is shocking they were so small-town cheap.

    @Rob: They had a score display. Didn't notice the time.

    @10:57 ... At least he spoke up this time.

    Three years ago after Windsor beat Carleton in the Wilson Cup, Duff questioned how it was the Ravens still got to go to nationals.

    Is he going to write the same column this week about the Windsor men getting to go to nationals after losing to Carleton in the Wilson Cup?

  8. Some of you might appreciate the William Houston column where CTV (TSN's parent) is criticized for making "swinging dick decisions instead of smart Olympic decisions" with Vancouver 2010 coverage.

    That seems germane. When it doesn't matter to Keith Pelley, et al., they cover it like they don't care, and it shows.

  9. Your last point is what I was trying to draw out in my previous comment. The CIS is filler for TSN/CTV and it becomes pretty clear that they'd much rather have some poker tournament on TV than any CIS content of consequence.

  10. It is up to the schools - the SIDs or designates - to provide pronounciation guides and not media guides with old press clippings and other useless info... just my two cents from the cheap seats.

  11. Bullshit. It is up to the people on the air to figure out how to say names properly and to do more than 10 minutes of research into the entire game. Any serious announcer would be embarrassed if they said a name wrong, not blame somebody else.


  12. Chet is right — announcers have to learn the names no matter what. That is above all else.

    It helps immensely when a school provides a pronunciation guide. Many do.

  13. And people should not come down on Shawnee Harle too much. She's a basketball coach, after all.

  14. well the problem here is canadians are way too obsessed with hockey too care about any other sport, its a shame because basketball is growing at a rapid rate in canada and will soon be experiencing some success at international levels, just look at all the canadian talent coming up through the ncaa, etc. Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph from ontario recently were named as the 2nd and 3rd canadians ever to be named to the prestigious McDonalds All American Game. Did we see any coverage of this on TSN or Sportnet? NO The SCORE was the only place I saw this story covered and it really pisses me off hoe some media types and people in this country act like hockey is the only sport that matters, when there are kids in other sports like basketball who are working extremely hard to put canada on the map and do us proud

  15. hey anonymous # 1, did Harle not end up being correct? As a coach in Canada West who has had to face SFU and their dominance in the past several years, I would say Harle new what she was talking about, and was merely sharing her knowledge with the viewers...

  16. Brian - not to mention Dwight Powell, who has trained with Team Canada, being one of the top sought after high school players in the country beside Joseph and Thompson. Next year you have Myck Kabongo...the two 7 foot giants Bhullar brothers, Sim (7'4), a sophomore, and Tanveer (7'2), a freshman, playing at the Kiski School in Pennsylvania along side another Canadian, Stefan Jankovic (6'9) who is one the most sought after recruits for 2012. Another one to watch for in this year's graduating class is Kadeem Green who is off to Missouri.

    Point is, basketball in Canada is certainly on the up swing, but it will never really get any recognition until the end product produces results, ie. Canada winning an Olympic Medal or pulling off a couple of shock "upsets" in the FIBA World Championships

    just my 2 cents

    p.s. i bet half the names listed here 99.9% of Canadians that call themselves hoop fans have never heard of.