MONTREAL, QC. — I alternated between TSN and RDS on Wednesday night to watch the Canadiens-Hurricanes game. (The score was the same on both channels, unfortunately.)
I generally have no problem with the companies that sponsor hockey broadcasts. Try to sell me as many trucks, beers, and breakfast sandwiches as you want, I don’t care. Canadiens games are a hot ticket, and it’s perfectly understandable that anyone wanting to promote a product would salivate at the thought of an audience as big as RDS’ on a Habs game night.
However, now that Canada is headed towards federal elections, some new TV spots have appeared during commercial breaks. I saw some political attack ads (sponsored by several political parties) on both RDS and TSN, and they rubbed me the wrong way. It’s bad enough to see them during the news or other TV shows, but I feel that they especially have no place in hockey.
Hockey is already full of passion, rivalry, and irrational anger. We don’t need any more rivalries on game nights. We already have Team Vs. Team, Goalie Vs. Shooter, and Travis Moen Vs. Someone Else. Anything else is just superfluous. We don’t need one-minute spots where our political parties point out all of their opponents’ flaws. If I were to compare politics to sports, I’d say that attack ads are less like playful taunts between rival fans, and more like hateful acts that get sports fans negative attention in the newspapers.
I guess my problem with these ads isn’t just about hockey – it’s a long-standing belief of mine that they don’t solve anything. I believe that voting is proactive, and would prefer to vote FOR a person or a party to make a change, rather than AGAINST one who is allegedly going to ruin my country. I want political parties to tell me why I should vote for them. I always hated seeing negative political ads on American TV stations and was appalled the first time I saw one sponsored by a Canadian party a few years ago. (Which party it was sponsored by, and which party it criticized, are irrelevant.) This isn’t the type of political campaigning I believe Canadians should be subjected to. Canada is a country that’s supposed to pride itself on being peaceful, diverse, and tolerant, and these commercials don’t represent those qualities in the least. I do not need to remind you how many Canadians love hockey, and what country TSN and RDS are broadcasted in. It’s completely ridiculous that something as un-Canadian as a political attack ad would air during a broadcast of Canada’s game.
When I sit down to watch a hockey game after a day of work, I want to think about the game. I don’t care about who wants me to vote for them. I don’t even really care about who the hockey players will vote for, or whether or not they vote, although I kind of hope that they do. I just want to see the competition between two teams. That’s all.
Category: Fan Focus