The year was 1995, and the New Jersey Devils were playing the Red Wings in the fourth game of the Stanley Cup Final. Unfortunately I was unable to watch the game, and with the Internet being a “crazy fad” at the time, there didn’t seem to be a way to get the score in a timely fashion. After becoming frustrated that the Pacific edition of TSN SportsDesk was an hour away, I finally stumbled upon a new channel called SportScope. What a novel concept: a 24 hour sports news channel, constantly showing the scores of games (in text only, with 1950s showtunes playing in the background).
Over the years, the channel evolved into Headline Sports (aka the Mark Hebscher era), and didn’t have a license to show any televised sports, or highlights from TSN! And then finally, came The Score (first featuring a white ticker, then the dark one we are accustomed to today). Now comes news that a format change is upon us…great.
Specifically, Hardcore Hockey Talk is gonzo. Although Steve Kouleas gets annoying, he still knows his stuff. Steve Ludzik and Mark Osborne on the other hand…yikes. More importantly, The Score Tonight is also being taken off the air. It’s too bad, as the co-hosts Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro are one of the funnier late night duos. Just to be clear, the aforementioned on-air personalities are being re-assigned. The same can’t be said for longtime employee Tony Ambrogio, the king of voice-overs, who was laid-off.
The head honcho at The Score claims to want to tailor programming towards the 18-34 demographic, and thus include more behind the scenes action that can be seen on Deadspin and TMZ, while also increasing humorous elements on the channel. The Score brass is really missing the mark as to why this (and my) demographic tune in…and believe me it’s not for “fluff” shows like Branded. Besides the 24/7 ticker, the fact that I can tune into highlights at almost any given time (BoDog Fights aside) is the network’s bread and butter. Don’t get me wrong, Cabbie and Gerry Dee are funny, but it’s not the reason I subscribe to the channel. The Score may have second thoughts about these decisions once bars/restaurants start putting on TSN or Sportsnet, instead of seeing an interview between Gerry Dee and some random Mixed Martial Arts fighter.
Maybe in all this mess, they will bring back Deb Matejicka.