A Channel gets a relaunch as CTV Two

Remember the A Channel? Neither did I. It launched in the late 90’s targeting a 15 to 29 demographic, heavily male. It didn’t go far. In its latest iteration, CTV is trying it again, hitting 90 per cent of the English speaking market.

Rebranded CTV Two to launch Aug. 29

August 10, 2011 – 3:52pm — The Wire Report

The newly rebranded channels CTV Two will launch Aug. 29 and be accessible to almost 90 per cent of English viewers in Canada, Bell Media Inc. announced Wednesday.

CTV Two channels in Vancouver/Victoria, Alberta, Toronto/Barrie, London, Windsor, Ottawa and Atlantic Canada will replace the A channels in those markets.

The CTV Two stations will transmit in high definition and will feature series such as The X Factor, Two and a Half Men, Criminal Minds and Nikita, as well as local CTV News in most markets, the broadcaster said.

“As we stated to the CRTC, we are committed to the viability of the /A\ stations,” Kevin Crull, president of Bell Media, said in a statement in May.

“We are extending CTV, Canada’s strongest television brand, to our second network, so that these channels can resonate deeper with audiences, advertisers, and the communities they serve. Along with our investment in HD and our commitment to local programming, today’s announcement signifies a new beginning for this network.”


Online ads beat print ads

The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (which I’ve never heard of) reports that online advertising reached $2.2 billion in revenue last year, nosing out print at $2.1 billion. Television ad revenue leads the way at $3.4 billion. However, online grew at a rate of 23 per cent while TV revenue grew at a rate of 9 per cent. In the age of the mobile/ handheld/Ipad/etc., it seems the trend will only continue. I’ve been considering not renewing my subscription to the Regina Leader Post; why pay $400 a year for subscribing to the news I read online last night? If  Postmedia got smart, which I haven’t seen so far since it’s still working on 1999 convergence strategy, they would follow the New York Times model of charging for online content.

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.

e-book sales surpass print books at Amazon

Well, that was quick. Amazon announced yesterday that for the first time, it has sold more e-versions of books than printed books. Every day since April 1 2011, Amazon has sold 105 e-books for every 100 print books. The Kindle et al date roughly to Nov. 2007 and were quite an item of speculation when announced. Amazon says that Christmas gifts of Kindle and other e-readers drove the sales of e-version. For my part, as long as the royalties come in, e-version or not, I’m a happy writer.

MSM still more trusted than social/digital media

Notwithstanding certain elements of public opinion that views “lame” mainstream media as overwhelmingly dead, defunct, decease and demised, a recent UBC poll shows that in fact newspaper, television, online news and radio news are all more trusted than any other news source. That’s probably why these “old” technologies continue to exist, if not thrive, despite the digital revolution. Young people continue to have higher levels of trust in social media, but even they still put the dinosaurs of technology at the top of the trusted list. I suspect a simple reason is that professional reporters have higher standards of what and how to report than does bloggerworld, where all opinion is unfiltered, unchallenged and so forth.

Amend Elections Act

There’s been a lot of chatter, from MSM and digital media, about an archaic law that won’t allow reporting of election results until the polls have closed in that province. Thus, we in Mountain Time had to wait until 8 p.m. (10 p.m. Eastern) to find out the election results in the east. Digital media easily gets around this and a number of tweeters defied the law. What gets me is that the assumption is that somehow we in the west are so feeble-minded that we will change our vote just because we know how the vote is going in the east. Trust me, the NDP is not going to pick up more NDP seats in Alberta just because they swept Quebec. Amend the Act; it’s archaic.

Copyright bill has a chance to pass

With a majority government in Ottawa, the long delayed Copyright Bill now has a chance to pass. Years in the making, it has been proposed three times and fallen three times due to elections caused by minority governments falling. More than about time; a Reuters report states that Canada joins Russia and China on the “priority watch list” put out by the US Trade Representative’s office.  The International Intellectual Property Alliance states “Canada stands virtually alone among developed economies in failing to bring its laws up to global minimum standards for the digital networked environment.” Google News: Canada among top pirates.