Sunday, January 26, 2014

A(nother) rant against Global, and my frustration with the current landscape of Canadian television

     The stars arrive Sunday (January 19) night for "Global
     Presents The 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
     Live Asterisk".

If you happened to have stumbled across these parts this time last year, you might remember me laying in to Global TV, truly a perfect shining example of Canadian television, for absolutely shitting the bed with regards to their telecast of the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. For viewers like myself watching on the east coast, the first 40 minutes of the broadcast (or roughly one third of the show) were spent watching a rerun of an ancient home renovation show called "From the Ground Up with Debbie Travis" while Global flashed a crawl on the screen telling us the SAG Awards would start soon*

(*Just as soon as the network frantically tries to figure out why they were not getting a signal of the show into the country).

Well this year, in a horrifying feat of spectacular trainwreckery, Global managed to outdo themselves.   Now credit where credit is due, they did manage to air the entire show this year (or so I am led to believe), which might make those two hours the most successful broadcast in the network's history. But this year they decided to air the show on a delay of 24 hours - the awards were presented, and aired on American cable channels TBS and TNT, last Saturday (January 18) night, while Global opted to air the telecast on Sunday (January 19) night.

Leaving aside the fact that, as someone pointed out to me on Twitter, E! carried a live red carpet pre-show on the Saturday night anyway (someone high up in an office at a Canadian broadcaster really did just decide at some point that we're all stupid and everyone else has run with that idea for years if not decades), the decision to delay the show by a day is really baffling to me. The idea was tossed around that Global didn't want to compete with CBC's broadcast of "Hockey Night in Canada," but to me that's a much preferable form of ratings competition than CTV's Sunday night broadcast of the NFC championship game. Global said in a statement that they were delaying the SAG Awards to air them on a night that was more convenient for their audience - which either means they felt it was more convenient to ensure their audience they would see the entire show this year (not a good reason in any way to delay the telecast), or decided that because we as idiots are used to seeing such an event on a Sunday night (or that there are more of us around to mindlessly gawk at them), we won't mind that the winners will have been known for 22 hours beforehand.

Global's continued butchering of the SAG Awards is just one symptom of a larger problem for Canadian TV nerds like myself, and it's this: yes, we get all (or at least most) of the programming we know and love - but we have no way of watching it in a non-bastardized form.