CBC’s extensive coverage plans for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Feb. 9-25, include 21 hours of daily broadcast coverage, web, podcast offerings and a CBC Olympics Virtual Reality app that will live stream events. CBC Radio’s Olympic Games Report will feature hosts Scott Regehr, Martina Fitzgerald and Jill Dempsey, while Jamie Strashin is the main CBC Radio reporter on the ground in Pyeongchang. Additionally, CBC Kids is offering a dedicated Olympic Games website; while CBC Music is streaming playlists like K-Pop Idols and a special Olympic Games playlist, where athletes talk about their favourite Canadian songs.
The CRTC has approved a share buyback plan by CHEK-TV Victoria that would result in the Sampson family move from minority shareholder to own more than 50 per cent equity in the station. Under the shareholder’s agreement, CHEK employees will retain effective control of the company. CHEK employees and local investors purchased the station in 2009 from Canwest Global, when it made the decision to shut down its secondary E! Network, CHEK was part of.
The CRTC has approved the acquisition of IPTV provider Zazeen by Distributel, which will pay Zazeen’s three founders $1 each. Distributel is a major creditor to Zazeen, according to the application.
The CRTC is asking a number of companies, including Netflix and Google, for information on its subscription, ad and other revenues in Canada. During the Let’s Talk TV proceedings in 2014, both companies refused which led former chair Jean-Pierre Blais to threaten revocation of Netflix’s operating exemption. The CRTC’s most recent request says the information would be designated confidential, which the commission was previously not willing to guarantee back in 2014.
Netflix has picked up Quebec zombie film Les Affamés (Ravenous) and is talks on possible future projects with its Quebec-based director Robin Aubert and other Quebec artists as part of the company’s $500-million investment in Canada. Les Affamés won the award for best Canadian feature film at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. It will start streaming in most countries this March, and in Canada next year.
The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) says Canadian production volumes soared to an all-time high of $8.38 billion in 2016-17, up 24 per cent over the previous year. The CMPA’s annual report Profile 2017: An Economic Report on the Screen-Based Media Production Industry in Canada, says record growth helped generate 171,000 full-time jobs and added $12 billion to the country’s GDP. For the first time, B.C. has surpassed Ontario as the country’s top locale for film and television production with volumes hitting $2.99 billion, just ahead of Ontario’s $2.97 billion. Quebec was third with $1.75 billion.
CHCH and Motion Content Group have announced a development partnership to invest in the creation of original Canadian programming with international appeal. Together, the companies will work directly with writers, as well as third party producers, to secure premium returnable series and build international co-productions. The initiative is being led by Jennifer Chen, VP of Programming for CHCH, and Tony Moulsdale, Global Director of Programming for Motion Content Group.
DHX Media will produce 26 more episodes of the hit animated comedy series Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs with Sony Pictures Animation, in association with Corus Entertainment. Following the international launch of season one last year, Turner has now picked up Season Two of the series for its Cartoon Network and Boomerang channels across Europe, Middle East & Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, where it will premiere later in 2018. In addition, DHX has signed new deals for Season One with France Télévisions, Disney Channel GSA (Germany, Switzerland and Austria), RTL in the Netherlands, ABC Australia, RTP Portugal, and TV3 in Ireland.
Bell Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund has announced its support for 17 Canadian film projects through the fund’s Script Development Program. The slate includes films in all stages of script development, from story optioning and first and second drafts, to third drafts, polish and packaging. Highlights include My Salinger Year from Oscar-nominated director Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar); How Black Mothers Say I Love You from director Clement Virgo and based on the play by Trey Anthony (Da Kink In My Hair); Cam Baby from director Nathan Morlando (Mean Dreams) and based on the play by Jessica Moss; and Come Home Year, the latest screenplay from Mary Walsh. Find the complete list here.
TVO says Steve Paikin will continue to host The Agenda in the wake of sexual harassment allegations from former Toronto mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson. TVO CEO Lisa de Wilde says the station has launched an independent third-party investigation into the allegation and “evidence to date” does not justify removing Paikin, pending the outcome. Paikin took to Facebook this week, calling the allegations “100% false.”
Daniel Caesar, Hedley and singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez, who is nominated for an impressive four JUNO Awards, are all set to perform on The 2018 JUNO Awards Broadcast. The show will air live from Vancouver’s Rogers Arena on Sunday, Mar. 25 on CBC, CBC Radio and cbcmusic.ca/junos. More broadcast details will be released in the coming weeks.
CTV has released more of its spring schedule, including the return of The Voice to its lineup. Joining Deception, For The People, The Crossing and Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Station 19, is one-hour detective drama The Detail, Masterchef Canada and the revival of Roseanne. The network has also confirmed premiere dates for new CTV Two comedies Living Biblically (Jay R. Ferguson), Splitting Up Together (Jenna Fischer, Oliver Hudson) and Alex Inc. (Zach Braff).
Corner Gas Animated comes to life on The Comedy Network beginning Apr. 2. Created by and starring Brent Butt, the 13-episode, half-hour reboot of the Canadian series sees the return of characters Brent (Butt), Lacey (Gabrielle Miller), Oscar (Eric Peterson), Hank (Fred Ewanuick), Davis (Lorne Cardinal), Karen (Tara Spencer-Nairn), Wanda (Nancy Robertson), and Emma (Corrine Koslo), who all get a cartoon makeover.
Bell Media says Sunday’s Superbowl attracted an average audience of 4.45 million viewers on CTV, CTV Two and TSN2. Comparable to the 4.47 million viewers the big game drew in 2017, those numbers are down 40 per cent from the 7.32 million viewers who watched in 2016 – the last broadcast prior to the CRTC simsub ruling taking effect that allows U.S. ads to air during the game in Canada.