Vancouver Day 12: Golden skate has tarnished moments
Coverage of Monday's ice dance finale showed the best of the CTV-Rogers consortium's work, and some of the worst.
The best came prior to the skate by leaders Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. CTV cameras showed them warming up and going through their routine in the corridors. It was a fascinating look into what athletes do before the big event. Coverage of the skating was solid, too, with Rod Black, Jennifer Robinson and Victor Kraatz restricing their commentary to the pertinent points. Black's pronouncement that the Russian pair's program was ``klunky" and ``slow" was bang on.
The fact the entire event was carried on Rogers Sportsnet no doubt pleased fans of the icy dance.
But things didn't go so well off the ice. CTV reporter Michelle Dube was stationed at the Ilderton Community Centre with hometown fans and, for some reason, decided to wear a Virtue and Moir ``Believe" sweatshirt. That's like a hockey reporter wearing a Leaf jersey.
After Virtue and Moir won the gold, there was some dead air behind the scenes and some obvious confusion. But the CTV-Rogers consortium managed to use its French-language partner RDS to get the first interview. Unfortunately, the RDS reporter who opened by gushing, ``I'm just so emotional right now." A little professionalism, please.
But the skate produced another ratings hit for the CTV family, with 7 million viewers watching their skate. Overall, the event averaged 3.5 million and the consortium's prime-time broadcasts averaged 5 million.
The day's big draw, no surprise, was hockey. The Canada-Finland women's game averaged 3.6 million viewers.
MORE GOOD: One of the strangest moments in radio came Monday night when the FAN 590 aired live coverage of Virtue and Moir's skate. Basically, it was four minutes of music interrupted by the occasional announcer's comment. On the other hand, that was preferable to someone actually describing what was happening (``they're skating forward, now they're spinning, now her dress flies up ...") It was also a bonus to anyone who was stuck in their car. Sure beat Joe on a car phone talking about the Leafs, too. ... Coverage of Monday's Canada-Finland women's hockey game was a model of how to do these events. The commentary by Kevin Quinnn and Cassie Campbell-Pascall was balanced, more about the game than Canada's chances. Lisa Bowes even interviewed a Finnish player. Interviews with foreign athetes should happen more often in all sports. .... Jamie Campbell had a great story during Tuesday's women's ski cross quailifying, telling how Julia Murray's father, the late Dave Murray, put a notice in the Whistler newspaper when she was born that ended with: Will she be a freestyle skier or a downhill racer?" ... Campbell made a great call on Ashley McIvor's ski cross gold medal Tuesday, as well. ... When a Great Britain stone hit something and basically gave Canada the victory in Tuesday's play, curling analysts Linda Moore and Ray Turnbull called it ``a bad break." There was no celebration that this was a good thing for Canada, which is the way it should be. ... While Vic Rauter, Moore and Turnbull are perforrming as expected, a real surprise has been Brian Mudryk's work with Russ Howard. Mudryk does a great job of using Howard's expertise.
MORE BAD: There's still too much jargon making its away across the airwaves on CTV. Cassie Campbell-Pascall referred to ``the PK" during Monday's women's game, a term that probably puzzed a lot of people who aren't regular hockey watchers. There was also a reference to a ``tranny" in ski cross, a term that may have a rather diifferent connotation to many viewers. Or maybe that's what the announcer was talking about. ... Slow reaction: CTV broke into ski cross coverage Tuesday to report on favourite Sven Kramer being disqualified from the 10,000 metres even though he set an Olympic record. We were promised an update. Two hours later, not another word had been heard. ... Maybe it's just me, but doesn't that CTV voice-over announcer sound a lot like Duffman from The Simpsons? ... During Tuesday's Great Britain-Canada women's curling match, microphones caught the Scots discussing strategy. Surely, CTV could have supplied a translation. Couldn't make out half of what they were saying. ... During women's ski cross qualifying Tuesday, analysts Chris Kent and Aleisha Cline discussed a recent article they felt was unfair to their sport. What this had to do with the event was not quite clear.