TORONTO — Sports fans have never had as much choice when it comes to watching live events as they do right now. The remote control — and the wallet — are getting workouts because of it.
Longtime rivals Sportsnet and TSN remain power players on a Canadian sports broadcasting scene that seems to be changing by the day. Other competitors also made their mark over the last year with consumers spreading their dollars around to enjoy the convenience and wide-ranging choices now available.
Canadian tennis player Bianca Andreescu’s early-season success helped build the DAZN brand in Canada. The CBC, meanwhile, has ramped up its coverage of domestic leagues and amateur sport in the leadup to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo.
Factor in a bevy of online options and viewers have a sporting smorgasbord at their disposal.
“There is so much choice out there that has never existed (before),” said Keith Pelley, a longtime Canadian sports media executive who’s now CEO of golf’s European Tour. “That’s the reason why (1970s variety show) Donny & Marie had a 60 share. It was because there was very limited choice.”
Many sports consumers still pay for traditional cable while others pick and choose online packages — direct-to-consumer, or over-the-top (OTT) — and subscribe by the year, month, week, or even the day, depending on the event and the outlet. Broadcasts are available on laptops, digital media players, desktops, smartphones, and of course, old-school television.
The game has changed over the last few years and more developments can be expected as the domestic sports broadcasting scene evolves.
“I always say A, B, C: Always be changing. If you’re not, then you definitely run the risk of falling behind,” Pelley said from Surrey, England. “But there’s no question that you know what (viewers) want, they want unlimited choice. But also you have to understand that different demographics want different things.”
Former Sportsnet president Scott Moore, the CEO of media company Uninterrupted Canada, predicts that direct-to-consumer options and sports betting will be the two biggest developments that will impact sports broadcasts over the next five years.
Moore, speaking at the recent PrimeTime sports management conference in Toronto, said direct-to-consumer is a game-changer with its “ultimate bandwidth.”
“Every sport, every game, every contest can be broadcast and broadcast in multiple ways to multiple different end points,” he said. “So if you’re a consumer, you can watch on your big-screen TV, you can watch on your tablet, you can watch on your phone. You can watch the English broadcast, you can watch the Punjabi broadcast, you can watch the Japanese broadcast.
“Soon you’ll be able to watch a broadcast that is brought to you by regular commentators, you’ll be able to watch a broadcast that’s all about sports betting, you may be able to watch a broadcast that is specifically targeted to high-end stats geeks.”
Moore added that in traditional prime time there can be limited shelf space, but an unlimited schedule really opens things up.
“So that’s the one area that I think is just going to have an explosion effect on sports media,” he said. “The other is sports betting. Sports betting, as it becomes legal in Canada — and I believe it will be legal in Canada in the next two years — will impact every part of the sports ecosystem.”
Moore’s successor at Sportsnet, Bart Yabsley, said the live nature of sports is tough for other forms of entertainment to match.
“It has the ability to draw millions and millions and millions,” Yabsley said in a recent interview. “We all saw what happened during the Blue Jays’ run (in ’15 and ’16). We all saw what happened during the Raptors’ run (last spring). There’s almost nothing else like it.”
Sportsnet landed the national hockey rights in 2013 with a monster $5.23-billion, 12-year deal with the NHL. The network also has rights to the Toronto Blue Jays, Grand Slam curling, Rogers Cup tennis, IndyCar and the Canadian Hockey League.
The Toronto Raptors’ rights are split between Sportsnet and TSN, which also boasts a solid lineup with regional NHL rights, the world juniors, CFL, Season of Champions curling, golf and tennis majors along with Formula One and NASCAR.
Moore, who like Pelley has worked at both Sportsnet/Rogers and TSN, said when it comes to evolution, smart legacy players with strong brands have the best chance to succeed.
“They’re the ones who not only have the brand, who have the audience, who have the following, but if they’re on top of the evolutionary technological changes, they can still win. It’s not going to be just the upstarts,” he said. “And I think if you look at some of the upstarts that have come out in the business as it relates to sports — Twitter, Facebook, Amazon — have been abject failures at revolutionizing the way traditional sports are broadcast.
“They’ve all tried to do traditional broadcasts and they’ve all failed at them. And the legacy players are back doing most of the broadcasts and using those other platforms as additions to their broadcasts.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 20, 2019.
Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.
Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press
Mi'kmaw journalist assesses media coverage of fisheries dispute – CBC.ca
Some media coverage of tension between Mi’kmaw and non-Indigenous fishermen, like what’s happening right now in Saulnierville, N.S., fails to tell the true story, says Trina Roache.
She’s a long-time journalist with APTN News who has covered the implications of the 1999 Marshall decision for years. The historic ruling recognized a First Nations’ right to earn a moderate living from fishing but the government has never defined what that means.
Last year, Roache released a documentary on the 20th anniversary of the Marshall decision asking what had changed.
Now, she’s covering the same tensions in Saulnierville where the Sipekne’katik First Nation launched their moderate livelihood fishery on Thursday. It’s being opposed by non-Indigenous fishermen who’ve cut traps and paraded their boats around the harbour in protest.
Roache spoke with host CBC Mainstreet host Jeff Douglas about what the journalist can do to better report on Indigenous issues and why an understanding of the treaties is so important.
Their conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
In general, are we driving you nuts?
A little bit, to be honest. A little bit.
It’s a story I’ve spent a lot of time on, and then sometimes when I read the headlines and when I see the mainstream coverage, it’s frustrating because there’s an imbalance sometimes or a language that happens in the coverage that to me creates a narrative that the Mi’kmaw are doing something wrong, which isn’t the case.
Can you give us an indication of some of that coverage or the imbalance?
The Mi’kmaq, they have a right. The Supreme Court of Canada decided in the Marshall decision that they agree, yes, the Mi’kmaq have a treaty right to make a living from fishing and hunting and gathering. They came out with the term “moderate livelihood,” didn’t define it, so it’s a little confusing. But they upheld that treaty right.
And so the problem is, is that when we call it an illegal fishery, that’s only because the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has not implemented their own law, like they haven’t addressed the Marshall decision to date. So there are no rules to govern a moderate livelihood fishery. And so in the eyes of DFO, it might be an illegal fishery, but in fact, the Mi’kmaq have a legal right, a constitutional right to go fish and make a living.
Chief Terry Paul also said that they have been waiting for essentially 21 years for DFO and for some sort of governance.
The Mi’kmaq are doing that work themselves. And that’s what you’re seeing today down in Saulnierville, near Digby. The Sipekne’katik First Nation in particular is down there issuing these moderate livelihood licences. They’ve got a management plan, they’re celebrating the anniversary of the Marshall decision, you know, kicking off this moderate livelihood with ceremony, the Grand Council’s there. This is not an illegal fishery. They have every legal right to do what they’re doing.
The Mi’kmaq are not protesting. So, again, we have to be very careful of the words we use when we’re describing what’s happening. But the protest part is that the non-Mi’kmaw fishermen down there are out on the water in their boats and trying to sort of stymie the Mi’kmaq, and not allow them to drop their traps or maybe cut their traps and not allow them to sort of carry out this moderate livelihood fishery. So that’s the protest part.
In addition to language use, like substituting the word protest instead of celebration or ceremony, illegal fishery, is there just a lack of understanding surrounding treaty issues?
We have a really important job in providing that balanced view. You sort of have the tenets of journalism, right? We all want to do fair, balanced, accurate, objective reporting. And as an Indigenous journalist, well, that’s what I do, too. And so sometimes what can happen, though, I think, is that we sort of assume that somehow mainstream journalism, predominantly white journalism, that is just sort of unbiased … Because I’ve been asked, well, how do you keep your journalism from turning into advocacy? And I’m like, that’s a terrible question, because you’re making an assumption somehow that because I’m Mi’kmaw reporting on Mi’kmaw issues that I can’t be fair and accurate and balanced.
And instead, when CBC or other media are calling this fishery an illegal fishery or keep referring to it within the report as this illegal fishery, to me that’s bias, right? That betrays an inherent bias in the reporting and not including enough Mi’kmaw voices. If you’re going to do a story about the Mi’kmaw, you have to make sure you’re talking to the Mi’kmaw. And you have to make sure that if you’re going to do a story about this, I hope you’ve read the treaties … So even if you’re not going to do Indigenous stories, as a journalist in Canada or wherever, you should know the history of the land that you’re standing on.
To be dismissive or refer to it as an illegal fishery is really covering over all this backstory and history and this treaty relationship that’s very important and really matters today. The treaties might have been signed before but they still count today, and if we’re going to report on these stories then we really need to understand what it means.
Going back to your point about where people get their information from, particularly on Indigenous issues, it’s from us and so we are then mis-educating, inadvertently?
It’s true because we do play an important role in just public information … I was thinking of this earlier because the battle cry of the non-Mi’kmaw fishermen or fish harvesters back in 2000 after the Marshall decision came down was they’re going to ruin the lobster stocks. I mean, I remember hearing that again and again on the wharves from fishermen up near Burnt Church: the Mi’kmaq are going to ruin the lobster stocks.
And you still hear that today … and so as a journalist, sometimes, like, you have to question and educate yourself and question DFO so that the listener has a full picture and education because it’s misinformation. They haven’t ruined the lobster stocks in 21 years. What the Mi’kmaw do is a drop in the bucket compared to the commercial fishery … There’s only conflict when there’s money at stake, right? This is a multi-billion dollar industry, and so there’s a lot at stake. When inherent rights butt up against Canadian interests, that’s when it’s a problem.
Everyone can be nice and talk about reconciliation and all that nice stuff, but it’s when we butt up against the larger interests that you start to see the media sort of breakdown in how it’s reporting on these issues.
Three charged with witness intimidation over social media – BayToday.ca
North Bay Police have charged two women and a man after an investigation found that a witness involved in a criminal case was being intimidated over social media.
Police began an investigation in August and say “an individual who had provided information during an investigation before the courts had been the subject of a post shared on a social media site attracting several comments from people that created a safety concern.”
The investigation resulted in the arrest of three people in early September.
North Bay Police have arrested and charged Cindy Morin, 54, of North Bay, Lisa Cormier, 42, of East Ferris, and Raymond Prudhomme, 42, of Powassan with “Intimidation of a Justice Participant.”
All three were released from custody. Morin and Cormier will appear in the North Bay Courthouse on October 20.
Prudhomme will appear in the North Bay Courthouse on November 3.
Chief Scott Tod said “Public confidence in our courts being ethical and trustworthy means police have the added responsibility of identifying and charging people who try to intimidate or threaten a person involved in our judicial process. North Bay Police Service, like all our provincial and national policing partners, will vigorously investigate these types of offences that protect the integrity of our judicial system.”
Nunatsiaq News seeks applicants for journalism, communications, media studies bursaries – Nunatsiaq News
Bursaries worth $5,000 available to Inuit post-secondary students from Nunavut or Nunavik
If you’re interested in a career in journalism, communications or media studies, and you’re an Inuit post-secondary student from Nunavut or Nunavik, Nunatsiaq News would like to help you.
The northern newspaper has established two bursaries to be awarded annually to Inuit post-secondary students from Nunavut and Nunavik whose studies are focused on the following areas: broadcast television and radio, communications, journalism or media studies.
Each bursary is worth $5,000.
“Nunatsiaq News is an important voice in Nunavut and Nunavik, but Inuit are sadly underrepresented in our journalism team,” said the paper’s publisher, Michael Roberts. “It’s a rigorous profession, and reporters need the proper tools to do the work. That’s why we are launching these bursaries in the hope that it will encourage more Inuit to join our industry in the future.”
As well as providing bursaries, Nunatsiaq News will offer internships, freelance work or summer employment to students.
“While we have worked with Nunavut Sivuniksavut and Nunavik Sivunitsavut on short-term journalism training,” said Roberts, “post-secondary studies are key to increasing Inuit representation in newspaper publishing.”
The bursaries are delivered through Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards program, to which the Nunatsiaq News has donated funding.
The deadline for applications is Sunday, Nov. 1.
You can apply online on the Indspire website.
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