Bell Media has won the right to appeal a CRTC ruling that would see U.S. commercials air during Super Bowl broadcasts in Canada and ban broadcasters from subbing in their own signals. While The Federal Court of Appeal has agreed to hear Bell’s challenge of the Canadian ad policy, Justice David Near denied a stay of the ruling, which is set to take effect Jan. 1, until the case is heard. Bell holds exclusive broadcast rights to the NFL championship in Canada until the 2018-2019 season.
Lionsgate Entertainment released its second quarter results of fiscal 2017 reporting revenue up 34 per cent to $639.5 million. Television production revenues were up 43 per cent, due to $43 million in domestic revenue from the Pilgrim Media Group, acquired in November 2015, as well as the mix of television episodes delivered in the quarter. Motion picture group revenue grew 31 per cent. Lionsgate’s already contracted future revenue remains at a near record $1.5 billion. Lionsgate’s pending acquisition of premium cable group Starz is expected to close by year’s end.
BCE Inc. third quarter results showed net earnings up 1.1 per cent to $800 million or 87 cents per share. The bottom line was bolstered by strong wireless performance with over 107,000 monthly net subscribers added and a 35 per cent increase in customer data usage. Revenue at Bell Media rose 3.5 per cent with the expansion of The Movie Network into Western Canada and CraveTV surpassing one million subscribers. Advertising revenue was down 3.7 per cent.
Halifax-based DHX Media has updated its revenue target range for the year, attributable to anticipated growth as it pursues acquisition opportunities for its WildBrain multi-platform Kids’ Network, particularly on YouTube. On a prospective basis, the company will be adopting a declining balance approach to expensing its investments in film and television programs, replacing the film forecast method. Annual gross margins for its proprietary content are now forecast to reach 52 to 60 per cent.
CTV will broadcast The 112th Annual Santa Claus Parade for the seventh straight year on Nov. 20. Marci Ien (The Social) and Kelsey McEwen (Your Morning) will host with Chloe Wilde (Etalk) returning as roving reporter. This year’s event features a performance by Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter Johnny Reid, who will also co-host.
CHEK, the first and oldest privately-owned TV station in BC, celebrated 60 years on Nov. 4 with an alumni reunion in Victoria. More than 80 station employees, past and present, gathered to mark the occasion. In 2009, CHEK became North America’s only employee-owned independent television station after staff and investors raised $2.5 million to buy the station and keep it on-air after Canwest announced it would shutter the station.
The CRTC has approved broadcast advertising on pay-TV services after a request from Family Channel operator DHX Media, supported by various interveners. At the same time, the CRTC has denied a request allowing advertising on on-demand services. The CBC, Corus, Eastlink, Quebecor, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw and other groups like CMPA and On Screen Manitoba, generally were in support of VOD advertising.
CraveTV has hit one million subscribers. Launched in Dec. 2014, the Bell Media offering was only available via certain TV providers until January when it became available via the internet. CraveTV is now poised to snag a portion of Shomi’s 900,000 customers when it shuts down Nov. 30.
Bell Fibe TV is now an app on Apple TV, but the company has not untethered its subscription TV service from its network. In other words, the Fibe TV/DVR box still has to be used as the primary device, with the Apple TV box secondary.
Telus customers with a Netflix Premium subscription can now stream 4K content directly from enabled set-top boxes, eliminating the need for additional remotes or hardware. Telus 4K offerings also include TSN 4K, adrenaline sports On Demand, Stingray Ambiance and an expanding collection of Optik Local productions and blockbuster new movie releases.
Bell Media’s new food & lifestyle channel Gusto has launched with a nationwide freeview, until Jan. 10, on more than 30 TV service providers. In addition to being the exclusive home to all-new Jamie Oliver programming in Canada, Gusto has nine original series and specials in production.
CNN is the clear winner in the Canadian ratings when it comes to U.S. election coverage. For the final presidential debate Oct. 19, CNN saw its share of Canadian viewers climb above the 1.5 million mark. Broken down into half-hour periods, CNN pulled estimated viewership of 1.2, 1.3, 1.5 and 1.1 million between 9:30 and 11:30 p.m. ET. That compares to viewer estimates of 428,000, 400,000, 300,000 and 194,000 on CBC News Network. CTV News Channel trailed with 112,000, 117,000, 125,000 and 108,000 estimated viewers. Compared to a regular October news night one year ago, CNN trailed the two Canadian news outlets by a wide margin.
Telefilm Canada has released a study on how the industry can better promote homegrown content to Canadians. Nielsen surveyed over 3,000 people this spring, finding Canadian viewers are consuming more content across all mediums. Compared to last year, viewers said they watched 13 per cent more TV shows, three per cent more movies, 15 per cent more non-traditional videos (YouTube, web series and shorts), and two per cent more documentaries. The study, which also offers recommendations on how to improve distribution and promotion, can be found here.
The iconic Corner Gas set was dismantled last week in Rouleau, SK. A popular tourist destination, the set was built in 2003 as a temporary structure but time and the elements had taken their toll.