Vancouver 2010: A moment belonging to all Canadians…if you pay $59.95.

I was worried about this the second I heard that CTV had received broadcast rights for the 2010 Olympic Games. I decided, this morning, that it might be an idea to go watch some of the final game from the Olympics, being in a hockey mood of late. From time to time I’ve watched the highlight reel from the 2002 final game, as broadcast by CBC. CBC, of course, is a publicly owned station, and its products essentially belong to all Canadians.

On YouTube, I found a series of fakes and photo montages, almost all of which complained that their original posting of the video clip had been taken down. CTV, of course, is interested in selling their DVD of the event, even though their announcers had hyped each medal win as “Canadian” or “belonging to Canadians”, “a moment in Canadian history”.

You shouldn’t copyright Canadian history. I’m not saying to put the entire DVD set online, but would it kill CTV to allow a few crucial moments onto YouTube? Toss an advert for the DVD set at the beginning, and let me see Jon Montgomery’s walk through Whistler, or the final 2 minutes of the Gold Medal Game, or Joanie Rochette’s figure skating program.

Of course it would, because CTV is an old-school organization that has very little idea how to market in the digital age, and quite frankly, is disinterested in doing so. By giving CTV Olympic broadcast rights, we’ve taken part of the broadcast, of the moment, away from all Canadians: we’ve denied Canada its own moments, its own history. Way to go, whoever made that call.

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