HomeRunningOpinion: Canadian broadcasting must do higher in highlighting Olympians

Opinion: Canadian broadcasting must do higher in highlighting Olympians

Opinion: Canadian broadcasting must do higher in highlighting Olympians

Like many sports activities fanatics, I relish the thrill of Sunday soccer, indulging in hours of uninterrupted sports activities motion with excessive stakes. It’s an expertise that, outdoors of main occasions like tennis or golf championships, the FIFA World Cup, or the Olympic Video games, is commonly unparalleled.

Whereas watching a tense Sunday Evening Soccer battle on NBC between the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars for a spot within the NFL playoffs, I used to be intrigued to see NBC play-by-play announcers Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth take a second to spotlight an Olympic athlete, U.S. decathlete Anna Corridor, who’s a powerful contender for a medal (presumably gold) within the girls’s heptathlon subsequent summer season in Paris.

The published showcased Corridor, sporting a Jacksonville Jaguars sweater, who waved to the typical 18.7 million viewers who tune in to look at Sunday Evening Soccer every week. All year long, NBC has persistently featured athletes like 100m world champion Noah Lyles, 800m Olympic champion Athing Mu, world and Olympic champion shot putter Ryan Crouser and 200m Olympic medallist Gabby Thomas on the published–all U.S. medal hopefuls for the 2024 Paris Olympic Video games.

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Apparently, on Saturday night time, former Canadian Olympic champions Andre De Grasse and Donovan Bailey had been prominently featured in a taped intro to CBC/Sportsnet Hockey Evening in Canada. This section featured two of Canada’s quickest sprinters discussing “pace” earlier than well-known broadcaster Ron MacLean and the Sportsnet panel previewed the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Pittsburgh Penguins recreation. 

Whereas it’s commendable that Hockey Evening in Canada offers a platform for monitor and subject stars, there must be extra constant protection, particularly contemplating CBC and Sportsnet are the official broadcasters of the Paris Olympics. If NBC can highlight upcoming Olympians or Paralympians of their hometowns, why can’t CBC or Sportsnet function upcoming Canadian athletes throughout the weekly Hockey Evening in Canada broadcasts?

The pitch

Think about the affect of getting an athlete drop the puck or take part in a 30- to 60-second interview throughout the broadcast. Such alternatives might introduce these athletes to a broader viewers, doubtlessly garnering new followers and sponsorships. For CBC and Sportsnet, these interviews might pay dividends throughout their Olympic broadcasting. Image MacLean in an interview with Cam Levins about his 300-km/week coaching routine for the Olympic marathon throughout the intermission of a Vancouver Canucks recreation. Or Jean-Simon Desgagnés, a world 3,000m steeplechase finalist, proudly sporting the Montreal Canadiens jersey on French tv–wouldn’t that be gold?

Canadian Olympians NHL
The Toronto Maple Leafs play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Hockey Evening in Canada on Feb. 11, 2023. Photograph: Adam Bishop/WC

With a mean viewership of round 1.5 million throughout an NHL common season Hockey Evening in Canada recreation, it has the potential to supply Olympic athletes substantial publicity, making a stronger reference to the Canadian viewers. And once more, it would pay dividends, come July/August. Extra Canadians will tune in, figuring out they’ve a horse within the race or a medal hopeful. With over 350 athletes representing Crew Canada in Tokyo, it shouldn’t be troublesome to seek out athletes who’re a fan of one of many seven Canadian franchises.

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