Noted sports and entertainment lawyer Gord Kirke has been called in for a last-ditch effort to bring about a resolution in the dispute over Hockey Night in Canada's longstanding theme.
Kirke will try to mediate a resolution between CBC and Copyright Music & Visuals for an extension of the licence for use of The Hockey Theme, which has been played on HNIC since 1968.
"We feel this song is worth one last attempt to save," said Scott Moore, executive director of CBC Sports. "Canadians are passionate about its association with Hockey Night in Canada."
Copyright Music & Visuals, the Toronto agency representing the song's composer, Vancouver's Dolores Claman, said on Friday that a new deal had fallen through. Previously, the CBC paid about $500 for each game broadcast by HNIC, the company said.
Complicating a bid for a settlement is an outstanding lawsuit filed against the CBC in late 2004 surrounding its use for ringtones and downloads.
Kirke, a professor of mediation and negotiation at Osgoode Hall Law School, has recently been leading the search committee for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment to find the next general manager of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs.
"I have been on both sides of negotiations with Gord, and I think he is a tremendous dealmaker," says Moore. "His ability to negotiate integral resolutions in sticky situations is incredible. Gord is an ideal candidate to assist CBC and the theme song rights holders in brokering a positive agreement."
Claman, 80, has written about 2,000 jingles over her career, including the Ontario theme A Place to Stand, which she co-wrote with her husband, Richard Morris.