The news of cuts at Bell Media is another dagger in to the heart of Canadian media. Part of the cuts will include the elimination local sportscasts. But as devastating as the news of these cuts may be, we should have seen this coming.
With the growing number of cable and satellite subscribers deciding to “cut the cord”, it is becoming obvious people are no longer watching TV, at least in the conventional sense. What’s more, it seems people are starting to like it.
I remember when I first heard of Napster and the ability to hear music without physically possessing it, making records, tapes, and CDs obsolete. That ate into the revenues of the music industry and in turn saw the closure of record stores. I remember people liking the fact that they can get music for free, even though it resulted in the loss of jobs.
One reason people have ended their cable subscription is the quality of programming. Take sports for example. TSN and Sportsnet are seeing a decline in viewership and it is not because there is too much coverage of the Maple Leafs. Instead of scores and highlights, the focus has been on anthem protests, domestic violence, and opinions of the US President. Those things may attract a few more socially-conscience people but it is alienating the true sports fan and they have decided they will no longer pay for this.
It is a shame that the cuts are being felt on the local level. Those who work in these outlets are truly passionate about their trade. Unfortunately, they are the ones, who in the end, are losing their jobs because of somebody else's misguided choices.
So who’s to blame for the decline in media? The answer maybe looking right in the mirror. All I know is that you could have seen it a mile away.