This whole HNIC theme song fiasco can be sumarized by one word: MONEY. The creator of the song, Dolores Claman, through Copyright Music & Visuals has sued CBC for an unreasonable sum of money ($2.5 million) for supposedly using the song in ways not allowed by their agreement. I believe the Copyright Music & Visuals then used that unreasonable sum of money as a bargaining chip against CBC by saying ‘ settle this lawsuit or we won’t renew’ but when CBC refused to settle the ridiculous lawsuit for a ridiculous sum of money they were forced to say thanks but no thanks. CBC even offered one last ditch effort by offering to go to arbitration to settle the issue once and for all but apparently Copyright Music & Visuals didn’t like that avenue, possibly because the inevetible outcome would be far below their rediculous $2.5 million claim and instead sold the song to CTV for what is rumoured to be around $2.5-3 million. If that sum is true it tells you exactly how rediculous the Copyright Music & Visuals $2.5 million lawsuit was. They were suing for as much as the song was worth.
What I find odd is why CTV would even be interested in the song. Yes, the song has a lot of tradition and intrigue to hockey fans and even Canadians in general, but does it really bring added value to TSN hockey product? The tradition was related to Hockey Night in Canada on CBC, not hockey in general and although the song has tradition and intrigue, I really don’t see it as something that will add to a hockey broadcast. In fact, for me it will detract from the hockey broadcast because I not view the song not as a symbol of hockey but rather a symbol of money and greed and commercialism at its worst. TSN does a lot of creative and original stuff with their hockey coverage and are very good at what they do (Pierre McGuire excluded) and effectively outright stealing someone elses open music just seems cheesy and amateurish.
Even more dumb is how CTV is trying to sell their buying the song as saving the song from “obscurity” and that they only got into the negotiations after CBC backed out on Friday. The song was not going to fall into obscurity and had it not been for CTV I expect it would likely still be on CBC next fall. I am almost certain that CTV has been in contact with Claman and Copyright Music and Visuals far before Friday. I am sure Claman knew they had CTV as a backup and thus felt at east putting all the pressure on CBC to agree to their demands and not vice versa. If Claman had no other suitors there likely would have been an agreement with CBC earlier.
So there we have it. Money and Greed have ruined yet another great tradition in hockey and we can no longer start our Saturday winter evenings with the same song we have for so many years.