What exactly was Pierre Karl Peladeau thinking when he choose these words in his open letter to a number of papers including The Toronto Sun? The president and CEO of Quebecor, which own the TVA network, wrote:
“The CBC’s practice of buying high-priced U.S. programs such as Beautés désespérées (Desperate Housewives dubbed in French) and Jeopardy!, yielding no local economic or cultural benefits, is a permanent encroachment into the private broadcasters’ territory.”
In other words, it’s TVA’s job to create television programs which yield “no local economic or cultural benefits.” Hey Peladeau, if you say so yourself, I’m not going to argue with you.
By the way, while we’re on the subject, I know that Peladeau is not the first person to make the CBC/Jeopardy! criticism and I can understand how there can be disappointment when a public broadcaster spends money on foreign programming, but here’s an important memo to all critics of the CBC. Jeopardy! is not a high-priced U.S. program!
That’s kind of like accusing someone of spending their money at a “high-priced” Westmount boutique after they’ve just purchased a t-shirt at the Winners at Place Alexis Nihon. Yes, I suppose that particular Winners is technically located just within the border of Westmount, but what’s your point?
The only thing shocking about the CBC spending money on a show like Jeopardy!, is the realization that they couldn’t afford anything else. Besides, on my Videotron cable line-up here in Montreal, CBMT (CBC) carries Jeopardy! at 7:30 while WPTZ (NBC) carries Jeopardy at 7:00. The CBC hasn’t even figured out that the way to make money with American programming is by simulcasting it. (I am aware, however, that the CBC does simsub Jeopardy! in Vancouver and Toronto.)
As for Desperate Housewives airing on Radio-Canada, let’s just say that if you were to look up the term “jump the shark” in a dictionary, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if I found a picture of the Desperate Housewives.