The twists and turns that this story takes! It was reported yesterday (on the front pages of the Globe and Mail and National Post, no less) that CTV had stepped up to the plate, so to speak, and bought the rights to the Hockey Night in Canada theme song, reportedly for $2.5 - $3.0 million. The deal struck with Ms. Dolores Claman gives CTV the rights to use the theme song “in perpetuity” for their TSN and RDS broadcasts. It was also reported that CTV had, just days earlier, reached agreement with the NHL on a six-year deal to broadcast 70 NHL games per season on TSN.
So, you might ask, just how much was the CBC paying Ms. Claman for the use of her theme song on HNIC broadcasts? It was also reported that the CBC was paying $500 each time the theme song was played, as well as “other undisclosed fees”. Over an 85 game HNIC schedule and assuming that the theme is played twice per game, that works out to be $85,000 per year! Peanuts, you might say!
What if the CBC had decided to buy the rights to the theme song, as CTV has done, “in perpetuity”? How much should they have been willing to pay? At the paltry sum of $500 per use, over an 85 game season for 100 years, and assuming that Ms. Claman (who I presume is a retiree) would be happy earning the 30-year T-Bill rate of interest (currently 4.17%), the present value of this 100-year income stream is approximately $2 million.
Now, I have no way of knowing whether this would have been acceptable to Ms. Claman – perhaps she considered $500 per use of the theme song much too low – but it seems that the CBC missed out on a golden opportunity to secure the rights to the much-beloved HNIC theme song at a perfectly reasonable price. Instead, CTV put a move on the CBC that left the CBC standing at the blue line with their shorts around their ankles. Good on yer, CTV!
I realize that the last two blog entries have been somewhat off-topic, given that this blog is devoted to protesting the demise of classical music on CBC Radio Two, but is there any better illustration of the mismanagement of the CBC than this most recent fiasco?