With news breaking today about a landmark 12-year, $5.2 billion deal between the National Hockey League and Rogers Communications for broadcast and multimedia rights, a broadcast journalism historian from Western University is available to speak to media about its impact on sports programming in this country.
“This shows just how dominant Rogers has become in terms of media in this country in a very, very short period of time. In many ways, it’s the same as they’ve done with wireless,” says David Spencer, a professor from Western’s Faculty of Information & Media Studies, who studies the history of media in Canada. “TSN getting shutout was the shocker of the shockers. Traditionally, they are very, very aggressive and very good in terms of getting content but not this time. I’m literally at a loss of breath over that one.”
Spencer has been a professor at Western since 1987 and has written a number of journals and book chapters on the Canadian broadcasting industry, journalism cartooning and the history of journalism and communications in Canada over the years. He has served as president of the American Journalism Historians Association and as head of the History Division for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.
“For the most part, sports fans don’t care who is showing the games as long as they get the games,” adds Spencer. “But for those of us watching the game within the game, this is a major blockbuster.”
Commentary reflects the perspective and scholarly interest of Western faculty members and is not an articulation of official university policy on issues being addressed.