The Spin Cycle




The Spin Cycle:

Remarkable. Listening to the CBC, one would think they only had a single option: buy the song  --- that they couldn't afford.

Couldn't be further from the truth.

In fact, we had stopped discussing that months earlier. CBC said they weren't interested in buying. Not at the industry standard price. That's fine. No problem. Just another idea to try getting us out of the logjam.

So we kept our attention on simply doing the same thing as the last 10 years. That was the old $500 per game thing.

In all the print, broadcast and internet news coverage, you'd be hard pressed to find the CBC clearly mention this simple same-as-before option, or why they rejected it.

The CBC doesn't seem to want the public to know that they had different ways they could have saved the song. Keeping it on Hockey Night In Canada for years to come:

  1. Status Quo: virtually identical to the license in place for the past 10 years. $400 - $500 per game. No fee increase for the first 2 years. Easiest.

    To address their concern of trying to do a deal with a lawsuit cloud over their head, we offered to settle by essentially covering our costs.

  2. Mediation: Proved to be unsuccessful.

  3. Buyout: based on industry standard pricing. Simply take average annual earnings, multiply by 13, there's your price tag. CBC paints it as throwing money away. They do not mention facts presented to them on how they could easily earn that money back. This seems to make more sense than just licensing it year after year with no ownership, and they could also dictate how/where it was used.

  4. 3rd Party Buyout: one of the interested music publishers would buy the song. CBC doesn't have to spend the buyout price. CBC would have a new partner. We would be happy to consider the purchase price as settlement, so the lawsuit disappears. Everybody wins. 

  5. Announce a Contest to Find a New Theme: This was of course the CBC's idea (certainly not ours).


CBC chose #5.

As outlined in this Open Letter, CBC did most recently offer to buy the song outright. However, they offered less than 1/3 of what other publishers were offering.

That 1/3 was also to cover six years of legal bills and losses (see public records of CBC admissions).

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John Ciccone
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