Audiences in China during Beijing's Games tuning in
UPDATE: Since we originally posted this story yesterday, CTV has announced they will air the opening ceremonies live starting at 6 PM PST in BC only. Here's the release from CTV:
CTV has decided it will air tonight's opening ceremonies for the Paralympic Games live after all - at least in Vancouver. The Olympic broadcaster's initial plan had been to run the ceremonies tape delayed on Saturday, packaged with Team Canada's first sledge hockey game. That decision had attracted some criticism. CTV now says it will air the opening ceremonies live in Vancouver beginning at 6 p.m. Pacific Time. The rest of the country, however, will have to wait. The show will air nationally on CTV on Saturday at 2 p.m. local time.
The show's producer, Patrick Roberge, told reporters on Thursday that he initially questioned CTV's decision to tape delay the ceremonies, but ultimately decided it was a good idea, because it would take advantage of the large audience for sledge hockey. Friday night's show at BC Place will feature 5,000 performers who have been rehearsing for months. Mr. Roberge also promises the show will feature French language and multicultural content.
As the Paralympics climb slowly toward respectability, it seems that even we enlightened Canucks know how to spoil the party. Tomorrow night's Paralympics Opening Ceremonies, which judging by the response we've been getting from readers, is going to be an exciting draw for Games fans. However, as others such as Vancouver Sun's Jeff Lee have reported , your TV schedule instead will feature the regular nightly newscast, and a bunch of the regularly scheduled programming like E-Talk Daily. Can we change this? Well, time is not on our side. But if enough of you begin contacting CTV Television via phone and email, perhaps we can convince them to reconsider airing the Paralympics Ceremonies live. Note, it is going to be shown live on TVs set up at Robson and LiveCity Downtown , and it is supposed to be aired the following day on CTV. If you think contacting the broadcaster might be fruitless, consider two things. First, the noise created about the fence around the Olympic cauldron forced a response from VANOC, and they moved the fence. And second, know that the Federal government just provided an additional $12 million in funding for broadcasters to improve coverage of the Paralympics . That's $12 million tax dollars, folks, and yet CTV is sticking with Ben Mulroney.
Here's the contact info we were able to dig up:
CTV National Office CTV.ca Online News Team: email@example.com CTV News: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: (416) 384-5000 Or, you can email c/o this web form .
CTV British Columbia Main Switchboard: (604) 608-2868 News Desk: (604) 609-5800 Or email email@example.com
TSN Audience Relations 1-416-384-7660
Rogers Sportsnet 1-888-451-6363 Finally, you should call VANOC, and ask them why the coverage is not being shown live:
VANOC 1.778.328.2010 (Vancouver office) 1.604.966.2572 (Whistler office)
This seems like a gimme for Vancouver's Mayor, so we're throwing a bone to him. Gregor, why don't you call a press conference asking that the Paralympics opening ceremonies be shown live? It might go some way to make up for the lack of any Vancouver showcase during the Paralympics by the Host City.
Also, for those of you awake early tomorrow morning, I'm representing CityCaucus.com on CBC Early Edition with Rick Cluff at 6:50am. You can hear it at 88.1FM in Vancouver, 690AM or online streaming live at www.cbc.ca/earlyedition.