Corks pop at the CBC after hair’s breadth victory over Global
Among the more hair-pulling, knuckle-biting, rant-inducing items of last week was the CBC’s widely reported announcement (cue the confetti, elephants and brass bands) that for the winter/spring season of ’07–’08 the CBC beat Global, moving into second place among Canadian television networks, just behind CTV. Pardon my Slovenian, but so bleeping what? For CBC Strangeloves to leap up and down in Valkyric ecstasy because they “posted a prime-time share of 7.8 during the winter/spring season, compared with Global’s share of 7.4, relying on BBM Nielsen Media data that were collected from viewers aged 2-plus from October 1, 2007, to April 6, 2008 (7 to 11 p.m.)” thoroughly demeans what is supposed to be a noble enterprise. Quacking on about numbers in this context reminds me of those godawful attempts by various chinless royals to humanize the Crown by appearing on British game shows.
The fact is Global put on an American mega-hit Monday night—House—and once those numbers are in, the CBC’s carefully constructed numerical house of cards will begin to collapse like the cut-rate facelift it is. While there’s nothing wrong with herding Canadians to watch schlock like The Week the Women Went (which I actually kinda liked), it’s not the sort of thing that should define, let alone articulate, the CBC’s purpose—a purpose that, in this season of puck mania, seems entirely devoted to fattening the coffers of a certain New York–based professional ice hockey league.
• CBC crows, Global grows [Media in Canada]• Writers’ strike and The Border give CBC a leg up over Global [Globe and Mail]• Boob Tube: The CBC thinks it knows what you want [Toronto Life]