It was going all too well to remain that way, right?
Last week, it was finally confirmed by the National Hockey League and its players that a 24-team playoff tournament would kick off at the start of August, to crown a Stanley Cup champion for the 2020 season, which was suspended back on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament is set to take place on August 1st, in two bubble hub cities, which were decided to be Edmonton and Toronto.
The fact that both hub cities are in Canada apparently didn’t seat well with NBC. Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun reports that “NBC wanted an American hub city, but clearly the NHL acted in the best and safest interest of the league.”
And now, it’s pay back time, and NBC has decided to bring along its own employees to cover the games in Canada.
“Hockey Night In Canada — brought to you, for the very first time, by Americans.
NBC will fly upwards of 50 broadcast people to Toronto — producers, directors, camera people, technicians and more — to serve as the world feed for all National Hockey League games played in this hub city, while many Canadian broadcast freelancers, out of work since March, are not at all happy about the snub.”
Canadian broadcasters have therefore called out the NHL for “selling them out” and you can tell this will turn ugly fast.
“It’s a travesty,” said one longtime Canadian broadcast worker, who asked not to be identified for obvious reasons. “The NHL sold us out. Our own government sold us out. All we want to do is work and this is our job.
“I could understand (NBC) bringing people in if we couldn’t do the job, but it’s proven we can.”
What does not make sense for the Canadian workers losing their jobs is the fact that the 14-day quarantine period was supposed to be not imposed on players, but now these workers will get the same privilege.
“I think the federal government was sold a bill of goods by the NHL,” said another disgruntled Canadian broadcast worker.
Maybe Canadian workers in the broadcasting industry have been without work since the start of the pandemic, and this decision to allow NBC to get their own American workers on site does not make sense to them.
We wonder how the league will have to respond to that as frustration grows louder these days…