What were we saying about former CTV head Ivan Fecan the other day? His chickens have really come home to roost. Bell Canada’s executives are the chumps. And it could not have happened to a more deserving crew of capitalists. It often happens that the experts on screwing the public are the most gullible.
The news reporter on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) National News last might could hardly contain herself: the CBC has won the Canadian broadcast rights to the next set of Summer and Winter Olympic Games. When CTV bid $153 million for the Vancouver and London Games to the CBC’s paltry bid, estimated at about $50 million, it set up CTV’s future owners—Bell Canada—for Olympic losses in the tens of millions.
Bell Canada has absolutely no concept of the showmanship and chutzpah involved in the television network business. Ivan Fecan seemed to be playing a very complex game to convince Bell that ownership of both the mobile telephone networks and the television networks was the future route to great riches. It is also the route to great losses if you are ignorant of the wants of your potential customers.
All that Bell is ending up with is a television network business that they paid too much for and that the executive group does not understand.
The only risk in all of this is that the Bell bosses might get mad and try to get their good friend Stephen Harper to do something about that damn CBC. Actually there is not too much more he can do to the people’s radio-television network. Everyone knows he hates the CBC and keeps cutting its government funding.
The keen observers of this Olympic television rights fiasco are just waiting for the end of the London Games and getting tickets to watch announcer Brian Williams going into the CBC English-language headquarters on Front Street in Toronto. Thousands would pay big bucks to see Brian begging the CBC brass for his old job back. And he will probably get it, at a reasonable cut in pay!
But it is Ivan (pronounced like Yvonne) Fecan who is doing all the chortling in retirement. He not only made the big bucks for himself but he did a service for all Canadians: he stuck it to Bell Canada.
Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry
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