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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Sound of Silence (and Poo)

Like a great white shark to a floundering seal, CTV hopes to bite into the CBC's market share while the latter remains embroiled in a bitter labour dispute. While it should come as no surprise that CTV will attempt to take advantage of the weakened public broadcaster, some of their planned tactics are definitely unorthodox.

"By making ourselves more like the CBC," proclaimed Bell Globemedia Inc. spokesperson Petunia Bowels, "we will fill the void created in the wake of the Media Guild lockout."

To this end, CTV will adopt CBC's silent broadcast strategy. Lacking any technical staff to help televise last Saturday's CFL contest between the Toronto Argonauts and the Edmonton Eskimos, the CBC decided to broadcast the game without the usual audio commentary. Instead the only sounds to be heard were those of the game and of public address announcer Al Stafford.

Oddly enough the match actually attracted a larger than usual audience, enjoying a 10% rise in the number of viewers. "Obviously the CBC is doing something right, and we here at CTV must act now before the window of opportunity passes us by" said Bob Goodenow, who while searching for a new job decided to declare himself the new president of CTV. (He offered a simple explanation: "I miss the attention, and it's my way or the highway!")

The first shows on the regular CTV schedule to get the silent treatment will be Canadian Idol and eTalk Daily, both of which are hosted by Ben Mulroney and his massive head of hair.

"Through our focus groups we've realized that people like to watch Ben Mulroney because he makes them laugh. They just don't need to hear his voice to do so."

Reached for comment in the Star Trek isle of the local comic book store, Ben Mulroney did not seem phased at the announcement. When asked what he felt about viewers not wanting to hear any more words come out of his mouth, Ben promptly soiled his pants and said "Hi! I'm Ben Mulroney! Want to be my friend?"