For the past decade or so, I’ve made a habit of watching hockey highlights on television. I began with the sadly-defunct SportsPage (a triple-A show for much of the Canadian broadcast talent you see on the CBC, SportsNet and TSN), and subsequently watched TSN or SportsNet.
During the winter, these shows almost always open with hockey highlights, so I’d sit down at 23:00 and be done by 23:15 at the latest.
This has resulted in one subtle shift in my viewing. Instead of sitting back and watching the highlights from all the games played, I must now pick which clips I want to view. What’s the result?
Surprisingly, I watch far fewer highlights. I always check out the Canucks, obviously, but after that I’m kind of left staring at the other results and wondering which I should choose. I lean toward the Canucks’ divisional rivals and Canadian teams, I guess. Plus I’ve been watching a lot of Penguins and Blackhawks highlights, because they have the most exciting young players in the league.
Part of my problem, I suppose, is that I don’t know which highlights are worth watching–besides the score, there’s no metadata. I can’t tell which games went to overtime, or to a shootout, or which featured a fantastic goal or save.
Here’s a feature request for CBC Sports: add rating functionality to each video clip, enabling viewers to judge each clip. That would help me assess which highlights I ought to watch, and which I can give a miss.
What’s the big lesson? Well, there’s isn’t one. What’s the small lesson? A reminder about mediums and messages, and how moving video from the TV to the web inevitably changes our relationship to it.