Friday, February 13, 2009

If This Works...

Altitude TV is set to make TV history (???) by televising the second period of the Canadiens Avalanche game tonight in black and white. I'm not sure how history is being made – but I don't really care. If the Habs second period is their best in three weeks, then we should all petition RDS for B&W broadcasts nightly. Don't worry Joel, you hair will look just as wonderful in two-tone.

Black and white Canadiens
I haven't personally watched a Habs game in black and white in a while. I used to have a portable B&W TV that I would use back in the 1990s from time to time, the Habs played in a shade of grey back then for me.

In terms of mainstream, black and white TVs only started to become outnumbered by their colour counterparts some time in the early 1970s. Colour TV was being innovated from the 1920s and made widely available in the late 1960s.

TVs only became widely available in Canada (black and white or colour) in the early 1950s. The first broadcast from the CBC was on September 6, 1952 from its Montreal, Quebec station CBFT – a bilingual, spoken broadcast in English and French. The first HNIC on television would soon follow:
Although the early TV experiments were centered around Maple Leaf Gardens, the first NHL game to be televised on CBC was actually a game in Montreal on Oct. 11, 1952, three weeks before Toronto's debut on Nov. 1.

When you consider all that – 1952 to 1972 – one could see why the Habs and their fans should be excited to see some black and white coverage; over that 20 year span:

– The Canadiens won 11 Stanley Cups in the time span
– In the 14 years where HNIC wasn't available in any format but black and white, the Habs took 8 of 14 Cups
– Prior to the age of B&W TV the Habs had only won 6 Cups in 43 years
– Since that era, the Habs have 7 Cups in 36 contested seasons (5 of those came when many people still had at least one black and white set...)

We needed an omen. Long live black and white. Thanks Altitude.

[If I'd have known Altitude were doing this, I'd have understood why Carey Price was practicing his imitation of a 1950s goaltender – it would have saved a lot of fretting...]

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