Dear God, Sportsnet. Just Stop It With the Windows 8 Stuff.

by Kolby Solinsky
Editor, White Cover Magazine

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Listen, we get it, television. You don’t want the rest of us to know that you’re the next newspaper. We know, Rogers, that you don’t want to announces cutbacks or firings. We know times must be tight, and finances must be pinched. We know you’re losing money.

Aren’t you? If not, then why have you sold out in the worst way imaginable?

Explain to me, Sportsnet, why you have given away the home page of your website – your URL and therefore your entire online identiy, for God’s sake – as a bundle cog in some (hopefully for your soul) luxurious advertising package with Microsoft and Windows 8?

If you go to Sportsnet.ca, you’re likely to be greeted with what I have been the past two days. It’s a snappy new browser and interface. It actually looks all right at first, until you realize that it’s not Sportsnet’s new home page, but instead an artistic fuster cluck that was designed with no real insight or outlook. (Except, of course, for the profit of the today.)

Sportsnet now appears to be a weak, feeble version of what was once a flagship sports station. It’s a shadow of its former, confident self, like Jordan with the Washington Wizards or Markus Naslund on the New York Rangers.

It’s the opposite of The Score, a one-time dominant Canadian TV hub that has now become the world’s best North American sports app and blog site.

Then again, this mess all makes sense. Rogers, are you going broke? Is that you’re telling us? It’s what it looks like, after all.

Why else would you be selling your brand spankin’ new magazines for $2.99 at my closest corner store? (I thought you valued your journalism.) Why else would you have ever featured an online feature named “All Day Breakfast,” which was basically just an excuse for your interns to masturbate while writing.

Why else would you be throwing everything into the hands of a medium you clearly don’t understand?

If you don’t believe me, Rogers, then understand this: you are failing your readers. Is that not the one no-no for any self-proclaimed news corporation?

They don’t like it. Just read their testimonials.

“Hey, I know we’ve screwed you guys over enough over the last six months, but here’s an infuriating full-screen ad just to twist the knife a bit deeper,” wrote on guy, pretending to channel Rogers in his submission.

“Yeah, the new ‘Windows’ screen is incredibly annoying, and surprisingly hard to escape,” responded another.

One guy summed it up perhaps perfectly:

“This Error Message is brought to you by…..”

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You see, I actually don’t mind ads. Even as a journalist, I like them. I think I understand the artistic value in them. I appreciate the clever ones, like that 1960’s Volkswagen Bettle one that just said, “Lemon.”

I feel that writers and journalists should only ever be perturbed by ads when they are smarter and more efficient than their own copy, or programs.

Clearly, Sportsnet is ready and willing to toss it all on King Arthur’s table and let the bigger men feast.

Newspapers are now giving away full front page ads and selling them as wrap, like their paper were a sandwich wrapped and taped with Subway’s protective cover.

Newspapers are giving away their front page. THEIR FRONT PAGE. The thing they all fight to get on, and then fight to stay on. The front page is to a newspaper what your eyes are to your face. Imagine trading away your beautiful eyes for a bigger dick.

(It won’t serve you as well as you think.)

Because, after all, a dick’s a dick. It doesn’t serve you past tonight.

Once you sell out, you’re done. You’re already there.

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So, goodbye, Sportsnet.

Sincerely,
The Land of the Legitimate