October 23 2009 11:59AM
The Vancouver Canucks host the hated and dreadful Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow at GM Place at 4 PM Pacific. Before you start complaining about the early start time, shut up. I don't want to hear it, because you're wrong.
And here's why.
The start time for the Canucks game against the Maple Leafs has NOTHING to do with a Toronto-centric and Toronto-loving CBC. They are not starting the game at 4 PM PT because they are trying to appease the Toronto hockey market.
They are starting the game at 4 PM PT for one reason and one reason only - MONEY.
The fact is that starting the game at 7 PM ET provides a combined Canucks and Maple Leafs market that will bring the CBC the most money and most viewership possible. PERIOD. They can guarantee that the Eastern market will watch that game because it is in their prime-time game, and therefore viewership will be sky-high.
Is there any chance that an Eastern market (Toronto or otherwise) would START watching a hockey game that started at 10 PM ET? No, except for maybe the most loyal and dedicated fans. But that would significantly reduce the number of viewers watching the game. And that would drastically decrease marketing revenues.
So for all those Canucks fans out there crying "Poor us! The CBC never thinks about Vancouver! They only care about the Toronto Maple Leafs!" No, no they don't. They only care about money.
And a 4 PM PT start is the best means to that end. When the Canucks' fans' dollars start outweighing the Leafs' fans' dollars, only then will you see a 7 PM PT start time when the Leafs come to town.
But don't count on that happening any time soon.