The CRTC has given Bell until July 1 to offer more than one 10-channel package to subscribers. In December, the CRTC mandated that all TV providers let subscribers top up their plans with extra specialty channels. The commission received a complaint from a Bell customer in Ontario, questioning if the company’s practice of limiting subscribers to only one package of 10 channels for $20 a month defied CRTC regulations. The commission has ruled it does and found the company in non-compliance.
Quebec’s Minister of Culture and Communications Luc Fortin has asked the federal government to review the CRTC’s rulings on the renewal of television licenses for major French-language property groups. Fortin argues the decision to remove certain license conditions around original French-Canadian programming could prompt ownership groups to do more dubbing of English-Canadian programs to feed their French-language specialty channels, to the detriment of original French-language Canadian productions.
CTV will expand local news starting this fall, delivering 5 p.m. weekday news broadcasts on all of its stations across the country. Joining the six CTV stations already airing CTV News At Five (CTV Vancouver, CTV Calgary, CTV Red Deer, CTV Edmonton, CTV Lethbridge, and CTV Atlantic) are CTV Saskatoon, CTV Regina, CTV Prince Albert (simulcast), CTV Yorkton (simulcast), CTV Winnipeg, CTV Northern Ontario, CTV Kitchener, CTV Ottawa, and CTV Montreal. Beginning this summer, both CTV Toronto and CP24 will air CP24 Live @ 5 and CP24 Live @ 5:30, while continuing to cross-simulcast CTV News At Six.
Rogers Media will expand CityNews across Canada, starting this fall. Currently airing in Toronto and the GTA, the expansion will see locally-produced, daily versions of CityNews in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Montreal. The one-hour CityNews at Six broadcasts and CityNews Tonight at 11 p.m. will debut in Edmonton and Winnipeg on Sept. 4 and expand into other markets in Winter 2018. Dave Budge, VP, News and Information, Television for Rogers Media, says the focus will be on viewer-driven, original stories introduced by local reporters. Stories from Rogers Media sister brands Maclean’s, Breakfast Television, and Sportsnet will also be featured.
Rogers Media has signed deals with Hearst, Graham, Raycom, and Weigel media groups to air Cityline in syndication in the U.S., starting this fall. The long-running, weekday talk show, hosted by Tracy Moore and covering fashion, home decor, parenting, food and beauty, will be available to more than 10 million American households in Chicago, Kansas City, Jacksonville, and Birmingham, among other markets.
CraveTV says the video-streaming platform set a record for new subscribers Victoria Day weekend with the launch of the Showtime series Twin Peaks. May 21 saw the site’s single-day subscriber increase percentage triple. The David Lynch and Mark Frost collaboration is the most-streamed title on CraveTV since its debut and after one week of data is the most-streamed launch of a Showtime series ever.
Sportsnet remains the country’s #1 specialty network for the third year running. Announced as part of the annual Rogers Media Upfront, Sportsnet was also #1 for male, female and millennial audiences in all core demographics.
While Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole don’t make their official return to TSN until September, Bell Media has announced that Tim Hortons will be the show’s title sponsor. SC With Jay and Dan – Presented by Tim Hortons will include brand integration in-show and set, as well as inclusion in digital and social media. A social media presence for the new show, marking the duo’s return to the network after a four-year run with FOX Sports 1 in L.A., is already being established at TSN.ca/JayandDan, Twitter and Facebook.
Global has unveiled its 2017/18 lineup featuring six new dramas and four new comedies. New dramas joining the fall schedule include Wisdom of the Crowd, starring Jeremy Piven (Entourage) as a visionary tech innovator who creates a cutting-edge crowdsourcing app to solve his daughter’s murder; and Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders starring Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) as lead attorney Leslie Abramson. The network’s comedy slate is headlined by the return of one of the most successful comedies in TV history, Will & Grace.
City’s 2017/18 programming lineup includes 12 new titles. Canadian cult classic Fubar moves to the small screen; City original Bad Blood follows the true-crime saga of one of Canada’s most notorious mob families. Coming in 2018, Versailles is a lush, Canadian drama about Louis XIV; The Resident, focusing on a young doctor whose ethics are tested, stars Canadians Emily VanCamp and Bruce Greenwood and will join City’s schedule mid-season.
The Youth Media Alliance 2017 Awards of Excellence were handed out May 31 at the CBC Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. The Grand Prize for Best Production, All Categories went to The Incredible Tales of Weirdwood Manor, produced by All Play, No Work and sister company Relish Interactive. Weirdwood Manor also took home the award for Best Original Interactive Content. Steven DeNure, president and CEO of DHX Media, was honoured with this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award. You can view the full list of winners here.
Global News Edmonton anchor Gord Steinke has been awarded with a Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from the Governor General of Canada. Steinke was recognized for his extensive community volunteering including his work as Honourary Lieutenant-Colonel of the 15 Edmonton Field Ambulance, part of the 41st Canadian Brigade Group, the TELUS Motorcycle Ride for Dad and the Kids with Cancer Society.
A record-breaking $6.46 million was raised during the 33rd Annual IWK Telethon for Children in Halifax. The two-day fundraiser was broadcast live June 3-4 on CTV Atlantic.
Hockey Night In Canada reporter Scott Oake talked to the Winnipeg Free Press about his family’s mission to raise $14-million for a drug treatment centre in Winnipeg following his son’s heroin overdose death. You can read more here.
Curling Canada has launched #notasportsbar on social media as part of its protest targeting Bell Media and Rogers over new fees that will be charged to curling club lounges when Sportsnet and TSN broadcast fees for licensed establishments increase next year. The clubs argue they are not profit-driven sports bars and small, volunteer-run organizations that can’t afford the hefty increase. Curlers are being encouraged to lobby federal Sport Minister Carla Qualtrough, Rogers and Bell.
Bell Media and the National Football League (NFL) have extended a multi-year rights agreement that makes Bell Media the exclusive broadcast partner of the NFL in Canada. The partnership includes expanded digital opportunities and syndication rights for NFL highlights in Canada, as well as expanded footage and programming rights. The expanded agreement also includes the NFL’s Thursday Night Football package, which will air on TSN and CTV Two for the first time, and return to RDS, beginning with the 2017 season.