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Sean Leahy

How CBC could still be using 'The Hockey Theme' on HNIC

Sean Leahy
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Please recall two years ago when CTV Inc. purchased the rights to "The Hockey Theme," Hockey Night in Canada's iconic song, things got pretty messy.

From online petitions to lawyers getting involved to broker a last minute deal, in the end, then-CBC head Scott Moore claimed "the two sides were so far apart and there was so much bad blood that we knew a deal would be difficult."

Moore also claimed that CBC offered mediation, arbitration and to meet CTV's price, but never heard back from Copyright Music & Visuals, the copyright administrator who controlled use of the song.

But according to Brian Lilley of QMI Agency, the messy breakup that ended with "The Hockey Theme" now being broadcast on TSN's airwaves could have been avoided:

John Ciccone, president of Copyright Music and Visuals, which acted as the copyright administrator for the hockey theme, told QMI Agency that the CBC was offered a chance to continue using the song for the previous $500 per game fee.

"Taxpayers should also know how CBC prioritizes their expenditures," Ciccone told QMI Agency. "They did admit that the $500 per game was a fraction of what they spent on one net-cam. Judging by how loudly the country responded in June of 2008, it appears that people do care about accountability."

CBC declined comment on the story. An anonymous CBC employee told Lilley that the contest that was held to find a new theme would have cost the publicly-funded station "millions" to run due to production costs, judges fees and getting musicians Alex Lifeson of Rush and Kim Mitchell to perform the winning entry with a full orchestra.

According to lawyer Michael Drapeu, who's worked with QMI the past several years, access of information requests regarding CBC and how much they spend on things such as advertising costs and the HNIC theme contest have recently been ignored by the station.

Now that two seasons have gone by, we'd like to ask our Canadian friends whether or not they like the new theme ...

Or the original?

Whatever your choice, just think, it could have been 30 seconds of cats meowing and babies crying ...

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