Guest GoHabsGo57 Posted March 7, 2008 Report Share Posted March 7, 2008 http://www.thestar.com/comment/columnists/article/310260 Could the CBC be facing another Ron MacLean-type public contract negotiation? Probably not, even though an online petition has already produced 227 virtual signatures pleading with Rogers Sportsnet to do everything it can to keep announcer Jim Hughson on its Vancouver Canucks broadcasts. The fear out west is that Hughson, the heir apparent to Bob Cole at Hockey Night in Canada, will abandon his regional Canucks duties when his Sportsnet contract expires at the end of this season. The fear at CBC is that Hughson, who has decided he can no longer serve two masters, will choose Sportsnet when his CBC deal runs out after the playoffs. "Doing both is really difficult," Hughson says from his Vancouver home. It's particularly tough in the NHL west, where every trip is a long one. Doing 47 Canucks games for Sportsnet Pacific, with many of those on Fridays and Sundays, coupled with 27 Saturday night CBC assignments (before playoffs) is just too much, Hughson says. "It's not completely impossible to do, but I don't know if it makes any sense to do any more," he says. Hughson says he doesn't want to play hardball. "I have great relationships with both networks," he says. ``I don't want to be a villain to anybody." At first glance, it looks like a slam-dunk for CBC. It has deeper pockets and the rate for national games is a lot higher than for regional ones. But Hughson's heart is on the Left Coast, so Sportsnet might not have to match the CBC. There's also the matter of the changing culture at the public broadcaster. While's MacLean's campaign netted him a huge raise, things are apparently a lot tighter these days. Add baseball into the mix and things get very interesting. Hughson is the best baseball announcer on Canadian television and Sportsnet might be willing to pay the big bucks to land him for both hockey and baseball. But 100 Blue Jays games might be more than Hughson wants to do and he has made it clear that his first love is hockey. Still, the CBC is making contingency plans. It has auditioned several potential baseball announcers, including the versatile Elliotte Friedman, in case Hughson hits the road. Since CBC's 24-game Blue Jays schedule doesn't start until June, there's plenty of time to settle that issue. From the CBC's standpoint, it just doesn't have enough talent to let Hughson walk away. With Bob Cole nearing the end, Hughson's value has risen substantially. More than likely, CBC will outbid Sportsnet, move Hughson into the lead role on HNIC and replace his lost Sportsnet salary with the baseball gig. ------------------------- IMO he should choose CBC. More money, plus the biggest Hockey Show in the world, Hockey Night in Canada. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.