Hockey. It’s Quebec’s game and no one else’s

with 21 comments

One third of all things being said about hockey in North America is being said in Québec.

The mighty american media, with 24 teams to cover in as many major media markets only produces 14% of the hockey news, according to Influence communication‘s annual report on the news and media of 2009. But we already knew that because of their obsession for vulgar sports like football and rural anachronisms like baseball, they had little time for hockey.

English-speaking Canada and its 5 teams produce 50% of all information about hockey in North America and that in itself would be quite impressive if not for the astonishing revelation that Québec, by it’s lonely self, produces 35% of all the information about hockey on the continent on any given day.

This is our game? I think what you meant is Ça c’est notre game…

Thirty-five per cent of all hockey news in North America emanates from Québec. Eighty-five per cent of it is about the Canadiens. Six of the top fifteen news stories of the year in Québec were about the Habs.

The amount of media coverage devoted to the Canadien is so out of proportion that Montreal newspapers have reporters covering the sports media, and a growing sub-genre of sports parodists that include Le Devoir’s Jean Dion—the only sports reporter who quotes Montesquieu more often than Bob Gainey—and Le Sportnographe who observe the sports world through the neglected perspective of left-of-center condescending intellectuals.

Hockey gets more coverage than federal or provincial politics, more than twice as much than arts and culture, five times as much as international news, and 16 times more coverage than news about the Rest of Canada. Just the small pityful part of the sports coverage devoted to sports and teams that are not the Les Canadiens is about the same amount of media space as is devoted to all the famines, revolutions and wars of the world beyond North America.

Influence’s numbers also give considerable scientific weight to the the conspiracy theories alleging that  the wealthy Montreal families who have owned the team and the Liberals who love them have been using formidable power of Hockey to create media blind spots in which they could hide bad news and scandals.

Late Liberal premier Robert Bourassa, for example, was rumoured to coordinate unpopular measures with General-manager Serge Savard’s trades. Separatist conspiracy theorists speculated that the surprise firing of coach Guy Carbonneau last spring had more to do with neutralizing a bad Liberal news cycle than hockey.

On March 9th 2009, Henri-Paul Rousseau, the former head of la Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec—a sort of public investment bank that manages the government’s savings—was testifying about untold millions that were lost during his watch.

According to Influence communication’s numbers, Rousseau was the most mediatized person in Québec that day with over 12% of all the news in the province revolving around him, his alleged mismanagement of public funds and speculations of how much the Liberal government had known about the catastrophe before calling an election.

Then, at 4:30 PM, just when the suppertime newscasts were putting together their lineup, the Canadien’s GM Bob Gainey fired coach Guy Carbonneau, a couple of games before the playoffs. Everyone forgot about Rousseau. « A few minutes later, his media weight suddenly dropped to 4,31%, losing 66% of it’s velocity », reads Influence’s report. That evening, 82% of the news was about the coach’s firing.

« One day, the truth will come out », famously declared Guy Carboneau when asked why he was fired.

In fact, the truth is already out.  Such media manupulations and shennannigans have become such an habitual part of politics in Québec that it’s hardly news at all…

Written by angryfrenchguy

January 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm

21 Responses

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  1. The following is a joke we told as kids in the ’60s:

    If the RCMP guards Pearson and the Secret Service guards Kennedy, who guards De Gaulle?

    Jacques Plante.

    Tony Kondaks

    January 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm

  2. Nice one Tony… LOL! Did I hear someone say: “Ça sent la coupe!…” Nah… I didn’t think so…

    Pure Laine

    January 11, 2010 at 10:24 pm

  3. Hey, if you want to have that as a point of pride AFG – that Quebec pays more attention to the Habs than politics and the news and social justice – it’s Quebec’s to take.


    January 12, 2010 at 12:40 am

  4. I wouldn’t say that hockey is Quebec’s game. Quebecers just follow the Canadiens not because they like hockey, but because the Canadiens won 24 Cups in its history. The Canadiens just happen to be a hockey team. I think Quebec could use more sport diversity. Soccer, baseball, football, and basketball are good sports to watch and follow as much as hockey.

    I agree that there is a collusion between the Canadiens and politics. The Canadiens management have always been federalist.


    January 12, 2010 at 12:42 pm

  5. Antonio,

    The Canadiens were being intensely followed by French Canadians long before they won the Cup. The team was founded in 1909 and it recruited French-speaking hockey players specifically to capture francophone interest as a rival for the Montreal Wanderers.

    Their success, at a time when French Canadians were experiencing drastically different economic conditions then the English minority, explains the initial craze for the team. Tradition did the rest.

    Pure Laine

    January 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm

  6. Antonio wrote:

    I agree that there is a collusion between the Canadiens and politics. The Canadiens management have always been federalist.

    I don’t know about any “collusion” but, certainly, many owners if not all have been federalist. So, too, was Charles Bronfman, the former owner of the Expos. Bronfman famously warned prior to the ’76 election that if the PQ were elected he would move Seagram’s out of Quebec. He didn’t, of course, but many others did.

    I recall Serge Savard doing a jig on the ice at a Canadiens’ game the night of the PQ’s ’76 election victory when it was announced during the game that they had won. I believe since that time Savard has become both a federalist and a capitalist.

    Tony Kondaks

    January 12, 2010 at 1:59 pm

  7. There is no professional baseball in Quebec
    There is no professional basketball in Quebec
    There is no professional soccer(other than 2nd tier) in Quebec

    That is why the media is is busy with the Canadiens.
    There is nothing else……

    BTW- Not to nitpick but Your cartoon would be more effective if you used the word ‘past’ instead of the incorrect ‘passed’ Also in English we use ” ” to denote quotes and not <>.
    I’m not saying this to be pedantic I respect your abilities in another language.

    justan Alias

    January 12, 2010 at 2:29 pm

  8. If people in Quebec are more willing to get excited about hockey than reality, then they deserve what they get.

    Really, this is a very depressing view. But then, most people, wherever they live and whoever they are, aren’t that interested in such things as politics, economics, philosophy and the like.


    January 12, 2010 at 8:07 pm

  9. you need to get a grip on reality there, michel.

    maybe if you bought a hockey team – people would listen more carefully to what you were saying.

    you could always start a political movement but as your lawyer i would advise you that it is easier to buy a hockey team.


    January 12, 2010 at 8:56 pm

  10. Icing by the media should be illegal.
    I guess you get to take a penalty pot shot at Charest.


    January 12, 2010 at 11:26 pm

  11. whilst watching the devils on tv – edward picks his nose when nobody is looking.


    January 14, 2010 at 12:20 am

  12. oooohh! 2 minutes for high picking.


    January 14, 2010 at 12:24 am

  13. “There is no professional baseball in Quebec
    There is no professional basketball in Quebec…
    …That is why the media is is busy with the Canadiens.
    There is nothing else……”

    Until recently, Québec had a baseball team. I’m not surprised you don’t remember, the people and media of Québec were really not at all interested in the Expos. The Montréal Matrix barely lasted two seasons.

    I don’t think it’s lack of choice. If there were a market for other teams, they would exist.

    I look forward to the day that the Nordiques return, and the rivalry is reborn.


    January 14, 2010 at 12:54 pm


    Perhaps this was one reason the Expos left?


    January 14, 2010 at 5:05 pm

  15. I most certainly do not watch the Devils on TV. That is a low blow.


    January 16, 2010 at 11:46 am

  16. This situation is making me sick and is brain numbing. Without even paying attention to the numbers, you can say that half of the crap thats being said about the Canadiens in the medias is amateur analysis or pointless ramblings about already old-as-hell topics. When the Als and the Impact each won their respective championships, very little coverage was provided to these events and it made me wonder, what do the teams need to accomplish in order to get media attention?


    February 9, 2010 at 7:12 pm

  17. À propos,
    @alias Justin,

    «BTW- Not to nitpick but Your cartoon would be more effective if you used the word ‘past’ instead of the incorrect ‘passed’»


    February 27, 2010 at 8:35 pm

  18. Le mot «««past»»» serait néanmoins tout indiqué pour caractériser la défunte gloriole de l’équipe.

    Le bon vieux temps des Canayens.


    February 27, 2010 at 8:45 pm

  19. Quebec`s only official hockey team of the NHL is called LES CANADIENS yet they want to separate from Canada, just a funny thought


    June 12, 2010 at 8:21 am

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