February 10, 2014 - 7:29 AM
By Alan Pergament
This is what I'm thinking:
On the first official day of the Sochi Olympics, I got a text from a friend who has Verizon's FiOS asking where he could find CBC's coverage to watch the opening ceremonies live instead of waiting several hours for NBC's coverage.
I had to tell him that FiOS doesn't carry CBLT, the CBC affiliate out of Toronto.
The absence of CBC on FiOS and DirecTV is irritating to many Olympic and National Hockey League fans with those carriers, especially since they know Time Warner Cable carries the CBC and CTV affiliates out of Toronto.
So I asked the spokesperson for FiOS if there are any plans to bring CBC into Western New York.
Here's the response from spokesman John Bonomo: "We are interested in carrying the station and working towards carriage. However, we do not have a time frame, and it will not happen until after the Olympics."
If history is a guide, it wouldn't be terribly surprising if the Buffalo Sabres went on a five-game winning streak before FiOS offers the Canadian channels.
Bonomo didn't have an answer as to what are the issues keeping CBC off of FiOS.
I suspect they are the same issues that are keeping CBC off of DirecTV. The fact is that other than Buffalo, Detroit, Seattle and a few other markets near the Canadian border, there probably hasn't been much interest in pressuring the carriers to carry CBC.
TWC subscribers also were fortunate that the CBC and CTV were carried by Adelphia before TWC took over the cable system and the status quo was kept in regards to those channels.
It is unfortunate that TWC doesn't carry the two Toronto affiliates in high definition, especially during the Olympics. But I've been told that people with antennas on their roofs or powerful indoor antennas in some areas can get the Canadian channels in HD.
I watched Friday's opening ceremony live on CBC and was impressed even though it wasn't in HD. But I must admit watching some of NBC's taped coverage in HD was a much better viewing experience.
I had to laugh at one point during the late news Friday when Channel 2 anchors Scott Levin and Maryalice Demler read messages about what viewers thought of the opening ceremonies. I'm not sure if they chose which comments to read or if they were chosen for them.
Levin read a comment from a viewer who said how much she enjoyed watching the opening ceremonies live in the morning. In other words, she was watching on CBC, which carried the opening two times before NBC carried it.
Channel 2's promos are the best in the market. But I doubt that it wanted Levin promoting NBC's competition in TWC homes here.
Levin also didn't do a very good promotional job earlier when he said that Jimmy Fallon will make his debut as the host of "The Tonight Show" after the Olympics. I'm also not sure who wrote Levin's copy but Fallon's premiere actually is Monday, Feb. 17, several days before the Olympics ends. NBC is hoping the Olympic lead-in will help the local newscasts that week and that will also help Fallon.
Speaking of Fallon, his final "Late Show" on Friday before he moves to "Tonight" included a monologue shot at Donald Trump. After noting that his fellow NBC star ("Celebrity Apprentice") said he would cut taxes 50 percent if he were elected governor of New York State, Fallon cracked that the response from New York's citizens to Trump's offer was "I would rather just pay taxes."
All the Western New York Republican talk about Trump's possible race seems to ignore something implicit in Fallon's joke -- Trump is even less popular downstate than high taxes.