Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Monday, July 5, 2010

OLN Tour de France coverage sucks balls.

Letter I sent to  just now:

To whomever is the front line reader of these emails at OLN : pass this on to your masters at CTV:
I have watched the Tour de France on OLN  for a decade. On weekends I watch when home in the morning, and watch in the evenings when I work if my schedule dictates that. Only now, on the first evening it's on and guess what? It's not. Whose stupid decision making idea was that? Where was it announced on your site that this change was occurring?
MonsterQuest? Operation Repo? UFO Hunters? Really??? What the hell do they have to do with Outdoor Life. I dont give a crap about monsters that don't exist in Lake Champlain. Thats TLC stuff at best.  Stuff I would never watch on yours or any channel. It was bad enough seeing the Operation Repo commercials over and over during the morning Tour coverage yesterday. I couldn't imagine wasting a summer evening with that.
I can't adequately describe how angry, pissed off, disappointed and disgusted I am with your cheap ass network right now. You regularly fail at announcing schedules till the last minute, and you really failed dedicated viewers like myself and others I know who are just now finding out about this and maybe have no other option to watch the Tour de France in Canada . You don't even offer any video highlights online.
This had to be a flagship event for you in your programming. And yet you decide to cut it in half. I suppose CTV blew its sports programming budget on the Olympics this year and let everything else gets cut.
As a result, with no PVR or VCR - as I didnt need one I thought for the Tour, I am going to go without watching probably one of the only sporting events that I enjoy watching in the summer.
When OLN is a channel I have to pay extra for, it's done.  If Versus was available on satellite or cable here in Canada I would never look at your channel again.

I know no one will read it or care. But yeah. Idiots. It was the one thing I was looking forward to in July on TV.

Edit: Maybe it is Rogers fault. I just noticed that it is not a CTV owned network anymore. So it's likely the Ass Hat accountants there that play programmer who didn't care enough. Couldn't put it on Rogers Sportnet either.

I did locate some tiny video highlights too. One was 3 minutes of today's finish. This morning was 3-4 hours of TV, so that is more than adequate. Not.

UPDATE: July 6, 2010

Got this reply this afternoon from OLN

Thank you for taking the time to email with your comments surrounding OLN programming and Tour De France. Your comments are important to us and your feedback will be passed on to the programming department for review.
OLN is providing LIVE coverage of this year's TDF only. In previous years, OLN viewership patterns have shown that the live portion of the tour has received the strongest audiences.
Due to station programming requirements, we are unable to pre-empt regularly scheduled programming in order to provide repeat coverage of the daily tour stages in primetime.
For additional details about this year's TDF, videos, news and standings please visit,
My response just now:

Thanks for your reply.

So I guess that means that prime time viewership (in the middle of the summer) for the Tour was less than during the week in the morning when everyone was/is at work? Interesting. What were the comparative viewer numbers during the week AM and PM? And by the way, the PM broadcast was a different show with more colour commentary, with different hosts, and was edited for length over the morning time slot which often went long. You also ran it for West coast after midnight (Eastern).

I have posted your reply on my blog for my readers and contacts interested in your programming descision in regards to the Tour this year.



Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you Mike! I emailed my frustration to OLN, all readers of your blog should do the same.

rachel b said...

I too wrote to OLN this morning to express my disappointment with their decision. I think the claim about not wanting to pre-empt regular programming is ridiculous. If it was possible to cancel only OLN without losing the other channels in the package, I would.

Le sigh.

Anonymous said...

I agree as well. I have been looking forward to watching the Tour for months only to find out I won't see any of it because OLN is only showing the live broadcasts and nothing in the PM. Ridiculous. I pretty much stopped watching OLN at all this past year because of all the silly monster/ufo shows, and now those even usurp the Tour.

Sheridan G. said...

Completely agree Mike, good to read your blog and have people to commiserate with. I've also sent and e-mail to OLN expressing my disgust. Apparently OLN has decided to taget the trailer trash (Operation Repo) and conspiracy nutjob (UFO Hunters) demographic. As long as the cable providers continue to package all of their channels together there's not much you can do, other than cancelling your cable, which since rogers owns oln doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

Sunflowers said...

July 8, 2010
Hi Mike..

Well I am sure happy to see that I wasn't the only one who wrote to OLN about this year's coverage of the Tour De France. I too have been watching for nearly a decade.

When Lance Armstrong was really doing his thing. Then other years I would watch each evening during the month of July.

And like you OLN sent me a reply that is sent out to everyone. Needless to say I am so bloomin disgusted with OLN and the only time I watch the channel is for the Tour de France. Their other stuff is junk and I am not interested in Monsters & Repos, etc.

I live in Vancouver,BC and the Live Broadcast is at 5:30am..
People may be up getting ready to go off to work or get their young children to go to Daycare - they don't have time to sit and watch TV be it the TDF or whatever.

Each day I am getting more livid and even if I had a DVR to record the Live Broadcast that doesn't give the Primetime stuff that was
repeated in the evening...

I have been fortunate to have been in many of the Regions of France so each July it is a time to reflect on those wonderful times.

I am not sure if Shaw Cable or Rogers has taken over CTV but that isn't OLN. I don't know who owns OLN ?

Thanks so much for your comments and I agree with you whole heartedly.


Sunflowers said...

It doesn't seem to be helping whether we write to OLN or not, they really don't give a hoot.

I wrote a rather harsh letter to them on Monday and all I got back from them was their automated response just like everyone else seems to receiving.

This bit about not wanting to pre-empt regular programming is simply JUNK.. How come for the past decade they had REPEAT BROADCAST in PRIMETIME each evening, then this year nothing and no other reasoning other that not wanting to pre-empt the regular programming. I don't buy that nonsense.

And also they don't have or had anything to do with FIFA Broadcasts

I am a Senior and have always watched the TDF and really do enjoy it. Now my son is also watching as he is riding and just finished in mid-June the Ride to Conquer Cancer and will again be riding in August.

Well guess I had better get off my rant as it just gets me more upset.

If anyone knows who we can contact other than OLN do let us all know.
Because OLN isn't listening..

Thanks again.. Sandy

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm frustrated too and made up this Facebook group to see how much interest there is really. So far, not too much action there
OLN.CA Bring back the evening Tour de France re-broadcast

Mike Wood said...

thanks for posting everyone. It certainly is good to know I was not the only one to be angry about this stupid decision on OLN's part.

The Facebook group in the previous comment is located here

Sean, Canmore, AB said...

More agreement here Mike. Thanks for getting this going. Lets keep digging at will be interesting to discover what the reasoning is here at the corporate decision level.

I miss Bob Roll at night!

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

I absolutely agree!!! Luckily, I have been able to watch the majority of the live coverage but I love to watch the evening show as well and all of the extras that Bob and Craig talk about. They give more interviews and information. It is always a fun 3 weeks and that includes sitting with my family and watching it in the evening when everyone can see the race and get excited. I never write these blogs but I hope that the more of us who respond will encourage OLN to bring the evening coverage back for next year at least, because really, is anyone tuning into Mantracker??? The fact they they arn't airing TDF is ridiculous.


grew said...

Your comments to OLN are right on the mark. I started a facebook group called "OLN's tour coverage SUCKS" There has been some good discussion and comments there. Let's hope for better next year - rumour has it that Sportsnet might be picking up the coverage next year.
Gail Wozny

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU - I started to think that maybe I was the only one who has spent the last week angry and frustrated about the coverage- When I phoned to find out if I could pay extra to have the nightly coverage show I was told that the decision had been made that there was not enough viewers for in Canada - Really? The forth re-run of Mantracker was really a better business descision? World wide audience of millions but you went with old reruns of hack shows? Really? I have a year to figure out how to get decent coverage next year- and if I can drop OLN so be it.

Anonymous said...

Spot on Mike. My sentiments exactly. I can only hope they come to realize what a flawed decision this was and correct it for next year.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,Like you I emailed OLN,and received the same
wishy washy reply.
Maybe we should send a request to CTV they seem to want to step into some big sports shoes.
If we inundate them with requests they might have time
to get organised for next year.
Chris T.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for expressing so eloquently how I felt when I went to watch the tour the first evening and IT WASN'T ON! I, like you, look forward to July every year and am so disappointed that I am missing the most exciting stages cause like most people I have to work! I love the mountains and won't see any.

Anonymous said...

OMG you said everything that we have been feeling about OLN's seriously crappy coverage...WTF? Why can I tune in at any time of day during the olympics and watch rebroadcasts, but one of the biggest sporting events in the world I have to be up at the crack of dawn and miss the rest as I drive to work...I hope OLN never hosts the viewing of TDF again...I am cancelling OLN channel the minute the tour is over for sure!!!

Anonymous said...

Funny, you said everything that I did in MY complaint to OLN.

Just in case you're wondering, I got the same form email you got, then like you, never heard from them again.

Douche bags probably won't even show it this year (2011).

Mike Wood said...

For those interested, as I am getting some hits on this post again., TSN is going to be airing the 2011 Tour. Not OLN. At this point unclear on the prime time schedule yet.