One of this country's most familiar tunes may have been heard on CBC-TV for the last time Wednesday night when the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins and won the 2008 Stanley Cup.

The Toronto agency representing the composer of the theme tune for Hockey Night in Canada says the CBC has declined to enter into a new licensing agreement for the song for next NHL season.

A news release posted on the website of Copyright Music & Visuals quotes company president John Ciccone as saying the CBC's licence agreement for the hockey theme song ended with the Stanley Cup final.

The CBC "has advised the composer, owner and administrator of the musical composition that it is not prepared to enter into a new licence agreement with respect to the use of the theme," the release says.

The CBC had no immediate comment Thursday.

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'I think it would be foolish of the CBC not to bring back that theme. It is, at this time, probably the most recognizable theme in all of Canada. '

--Rob Griff

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The familiar theme music for Hockey Night in Canada was written in 1968 by Dolores Claman, who was raised in Vancouver.

In the news release, Claman expresses her disappointment that her song will no longer be heard in homes across Canada during hockey season.

"I am saddened by the decision of the CBC to drop the Hockey Night in Canada theme after our lengthy history together. I nevertheless respect its right to move in a new direction," she says.

Copyright Music & Visuals says it had offered the CBC a chance to renew its licence to use her song on terms that were "virtually identical to those that have existed for the past decade." 

Previously, the CBC paid about $500 for each game broadcast by HNIC, the company said.

A lawsuit filed against the CBC in late 2004 by Claman alleging that the broadcaster was overusing the Hockey Night in Canada theme has not been settled.

Copyright Music & Visuals says the litigation hasn't interfered with the CBC's use of music, nor was settlement of the suit a condition for the proposed new licensing agreement.