TV deal fiasco still bites

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

It's an issue that just won't be brushed go away, no matter how hard the Canadian Curling Association tries to sweep it under the ice.

Just like the ill-fated TV contract with CBC it signed a year ago. The position of Dave Parkes as CCA CEO is still being called into question in a number of publications since he was ultimately responsible for the whole fiasco -- which has since been straightened out. And some were outraged that Parkes actually received a raise and a bonus despite the controversy that the TV deal caused.

Even some provincial associations had their noses out of joint over the well-chronicled TV negotiations that have resulted in a return to the way things were before the exclusive CBC pact when TSN and CBC split the curling coverage. It got so bad, in fact, that the associations demanded a meeting with Parkes and the board's executive in Ottawa in late October.

But not one rep raised the question of Parkes' job, his raise or bonus there, Manitoba Curling Association executive director Ian Staniloff said recently.

"Once we were behind closed doors and told what the CCA's been going through, everyone felt much better because they felt they had been out of the loop," Staniloff said. "It was a good meeting."

As far as details concerning Parkes' pact?

"That's up to the board of directors and was not our business," Staniloff said.

In other words, no one will be held responsible for the public relations nightmare the ill-fated TV deal caused all last season.

SHORTCHANGED: Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton is ranked eighth on the World Curling Tour list with $19,000. But that does not include the $10,000 his foursome won at the Asham Open Classic because Arnold Asham declined to pay the WCT sanction fee.

"It does hurt us in the rankings," third Jon Mead said recently. "But I have no ill will towards them for what they did, those fees are very expensive.

"The only thing it really affects is the Players' Championship and we will have enough big events before then to earn enough points. But that's not what this year's all about anyway. If we don't win in Halifax (Olympic trials) and Turin (Italy the Olympics), then it won't be what we're going for this year."

Asham was not sure what those fees are now but believes they were once $100 per team.

"And there's got to be some benefits for it, although we probably could have gotten more out-of-town teams," he said.

BITER: The entry deadline for both the Safeway Select Northern Berth Bonspiel and the Great Canadian Travel Senior Women's Berth Bonspiel is today at 4:30 p.m. The latter spiel will now offer three spots into the provincial championship because the berth bonspiel in Thompson was cancelled recently. To enter either bonspiel, contact the MCA office.

Coming Up

The Manitoba Curling Tour's East St. Paul Cash Spiel for both men and women started Tuesday night ... The MCT's White's Drug Store Classic will be held in Swan River, Nov. 11-14 ... The Manitoba Curling Association's McDiarmid Lumber Senior Men's Bonspiel goes Nov. 11-14, with the winner, or highest-placed eligible team, earning a provincial berth ... Brandon's Linda Van Daele will attempt to defend her title at the 31st annual Glenboro Lady Sahara Bonspiel this weekend.

House Cleaning

La Salle's Randy Neufeld defeated West St. Paul's Rob Cosens 9-3 in the final of the Manitoba Curling Tour's Ken Kurbis Memorial Galaxy Bonspiel at the Rossmere Curling Club late Monday. Neufeld earned $4,000 while Cosens got $2,000.


Videos

Photos

Canoe Top Headlines