CTV acquires rights to hockey theme song
Published Monday, June 9, 2008 7:16PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2012 8:24PM EDT
Canadian hockey fans can continue singing a happy tune -- the tune to the hockey theme song that is.
CTV has acquired the rights to the theme song that has played on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada for 40 years.
Last week, the CBC publicly announced that it could not reach a deal with the song's copyright holders. CTV sealed the deal with Copyright Music & Visuals Monday morning.
Beginning this fall, the song will now be heard in NHL broadcasts on TSN and RDS. CTV will also air the song as part of its hockey coverage during the 2010 Olympic winter games.
"The song has a long and storied history in Canadian sports and has become ingrained in the hearts and minds of hockey fans across the country," said Rick Brace, President, Revenue, Business Planning and Sports, CTV Inc.
"It is an iconic tune, embraced by Canadians everywhere, and we felt it was imperative to save it," he said in a news release. "It's an honour and a privilege to own such a cherished piece of Canadiana."
The song was created in 1968 by Vancouver musician Dolores Claman. Since then, it has affectionately become known as Canada's second national anthem.
Claman also issued a statement Monday, saying she is happy the song will continue to be a hockey tradition.
"I am very moved by how so many Canadians have taken the hockey theme to heart," she said. "We are so pleased the song has found a new home.
"Throughout our negotiations, CTV displayed a tremendous amount of respect for my family and the song," she continued. "'The Hockey Theme' means so much to Canadians, and we know it's in good hands with CTV."
The announcement comes on the heels of another TSN deal that ensures the network packs a hockey punch for seasons to come.
TSN recently inked a six-year multi-platform NHL deal that will see more coverage of Canadian teams than ever before, with at least one Canadian team in every game.
Song will be reengineered
Brace said the network's hockey shows will have a new opening that will incorporate a new version of the theme song.
Though there will be a new version of the song, the tune will be instantly recognizeable to fans.
"We will have to re-orchestrate it," he told CTV's Newsnet. "It will still be the same music but it will be a different arrangement. It will be exactly the same tune."
Brace said that although the song is closely associated with the CBC, hockey fans associate the tune more with their favourite sport. He said TSN and RDS both have strong brands when it comes to hockey and will have no problem making the song their own.
The executive refused to say how much the network paid for the song but he called the deal a "fair" one that is of great value to CTV.
"We're in hockey for the long haul," he said. "The value will span across our lifetime and the lifetime of generations to come."
CTV first inquired about the deal last week when news reports suggested CBC and the copyright holders were at odds over a new contract.
Brace said the network made their move when CBC released a press release on Friday announcing it had not secured the deal and was instead launching a contest to search for a new theme song.
"It's wonderful to have been able to save it," Brace said. "It was headed to obscurity. It was going to fade away and we're glad we were able to make a deal, buy the rights in perpetuity for all platforms. You're going to hear a lot of it."
Fans said they were happy to hear the song would be on air for years to come.
"You got the TV on in the background, you're cooking, cleaning, doing your homework but you hear that song and you perk right up, you know hockey is on," said one fan. "You know no matter what happens, it's going to be a good day."
"It should be saved, it's part of our heritage," said another fan.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Naomi Parness