CTV sends fat bill, sinks celebrations at Ukraine House [Article]

From the Province:

Ukraine HouseThe Olympic party may be over but at least one country’s hospitality house may be facing a stiff bill for broadcasting the Games to its visitors.

Ukraine House, sponsored jointly by a local non-profit group and the country’s Olympic organizing committee, learned halfway through the televised Games it was infringing on CTV’s broadcast rights for turning on two TVs in the hall.

The screens went dark before the Canada-Slovakia men’s quarterfinal hockey game on Friday night after CTV asked for $8,000 because Ukraine House was rebroadcasting its signal to an audience.

“If we had to pay the full amount, we couldn’t pay and without the Olympics on TV, (the house) just wouldn’t work,” said organizer Adam Kozak.

“We’re just a little guy,” he said. “We’re going to lose money and we had a very limited budget and we didn’t know about the (fee).”

He said the $8,000 amounts to almost a quarter of the house’s entire operating budget.

Ukraine House, which charged no admission, offered home-cooked meals and a cash bar, isn’t expected to even break even after paying suppliers and rent for the hall on Ash Street near 16th Avenue.

“We didn’t have huge crowds, but we were the friendliest (of the countries’ houses),” said Kozak.

Kozak said after a call, CTV agreed to waive the $8,000 fee in lieu of a $1,500 donation to the Rick Hansen Foundation.

CTV’s Andrea Goldstein said she wasn’t able to provide an executive to comment on the fee or if other houses were charged similar fees for broadcasting the Games to their patrons.

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Shame on you CTV!

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