Sun News Network doing OK

Sun TV News network is drawing about 12,000 viewers an hour, about the same as BNN, but way behind CTV (40,000) and CBC (70,000). While Sun is trying to position this as better than they expected they would be at this time, it still isn’t very good. True, it isn’t offered by all providers, but on the other hand Quebecor is providing it free in Toronto, skewing the numbers a bit more. The big test will be to see how many people are willing to pay for it when it is available across the country. Given the dire straits of Sun newspapers, it will be a tough challenge to try to market that style of news on an all news cable channel.

CAB shifts focus to copyright

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters, long a lobby group for commercial television, is shifting its focus from advocacy and regulatory affairs to copyright. CAB was considering disbanding (members probably wondered what they got for their fees and in the climate of declining ad rates, probably don’t want to put more money into their trade association, particularly when they’re all competitors. Now, if we could just get a copyright law out of Ottawa.

J-Source, January 14 2011

Fox News North to be foisted on cable subscribers

Not as much attention is being paid to how Pierre Karl Peladeau plans to organize and finance his conservative all news tv network: he wants CRTC to classify it Category 1, so that it is mandatory in every cable package. With content that will reflect that of Sun newspapers, which consumers are rejecting in droves, this new beast would never take off unless it was heavily subsidized by we, the hapless cable subscribers. How about this CRTC: scrap all categories, and let subscribers subscribe only to those channels they want. You want the 500 channel universe, you got it. However, the reality is that most TV viewers watch six to eight channels regularly, and this would kill a lot of overspecialized tv channels. On the other hand, would anyone seriously miss Fisshing TV?

Financial Post, June 16 2010

Al Jazeera English coming to Canada

AJE has reached agreement with BCE, Rogers and Videotron to be carried on their cable/satellite operations (AJE has already received CRTC permission to broadcast in Canada). This is good news: another news medium and one that is distinctly more international than The parochial and understaffed North American networks, cable or otherwise. AJE is not to be confused with AJA, Al Jazeera Arabic, which has been charged with anti-Semitism and support for Al Quaeda. It’s worth a look, but I’m sure Canada’s Jewish community will be scrutinizing it very carefully for the kind of biases its sister channel takes.

Report on Business, May 5 2010

If you enjoy a rant….

… then you’ll enjoy a collection of rants. This from Topic: NBC’s coverage of the Olympics, particularly what it chooses to broadcast live, and how much tape delay there is. Interesting; I thought NBC poured millions into research of coverage of the Beijing Olympics to figure out who to deliver what content on what platform, but they still seem to be stuck in traditonal TV broadcast mode: we’ll show the best story in primetime, and who cares what the results are, as long as we’ve got a heartwarming story to tell.

Deadspin, Feb. 17 2010

CITY TV whacks local news

CITY TV has five stations, all of which except Toronto are losing their noon, five p.m., six p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts, essentially leaving the morning show to do local news. And Rogers has the gall to state “We strongly believe in local television and we’re strongly committed to local television.” Oh yeah? Then why are you cutting local content? Some practitioners are so focused on staying on message they forget that the message doesn’t make sense. 60 jobs will be lost in all.

Globe and Mail, January 20 2010

Another ray of hope: employees pony up to save CHEK TV

Staff at Victoria’s CHEK TV have put up $500,000, including $22,000 from Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, to keep the station afloat for the next three years. Unfortunately, they’re only at 25 per cent of the budget they need to carry out their plan, and they’re looking for business support in Victoria. Here’s hoping they’re successful; if not, it’s literally lights out by the end of August.

Victoria Times Colonist, August 12 2009

CRTC ups funding, calls for TV hearings in the fall

As per the budget, the CRTC upped funding for local television to $102 million. More importantly, it called for public proceedings into the future of conventional broadcasting starting in the fall. That might be more meaningful in the long term, as the CRTC is upping funding and granting one-year licenses to tide the nets over the short term.

CTV, July 6 1009

Feds ponder help for small stations

The Globe reports today that the feds are considering a $150 million fund for news for small TV stations. Considering that both CTV and Global have put up their secondary string of A and E channels, this might be good news for them, allowing them to either find a buyer or get them off the chopping block. Sill no new money for CBC though.

Globe and Mail, April 8 2009

Bad news all around for media

There’s so much bad business news about Canadian and other media I’m just going to do a brief roundup:

  • Canadian magazine sales down all around, except for something called Hello!
  • Canadian tv nets profit falls from $113 million to $8 million (and they want to charge cable fees to recover)
  • Globe and Mail laid off a bunch of people
  • And the capper: the free Toronto giveaway/transit paper Metro fired all its professional and replaced them with J-school internes. Nothing personal internes, but you’re not real reporters.
  • Here’s a roundup link to other depressing media news from around the world: New York Mag