Bell Media’s MuchFACT (A Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent) has reached a significant milestone, surpassing $100 million in total contributions to projects by Canadian artists. The announcement was made as MuchFACT confirmed 20 more fund recipients at its Feb. 9 music committee meeting where $484,215 was awarded to Canadian musicians. MuchFACT’s $100 million contribution to Canada’s music industry represents nearly 9,000 projects since the foundation’s launch in 1984. Some of its more prominent funding projects include videos for Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe, Lovers In A Dangerous Time by Barenaked Ladies and Sprawl II by Arcade Fire.
Vice Studio Media and Rogers Media have announced the start of production on a Viceland TV series based on the 2002 headbanger movie Fubar and its 2010 sequel Fubar 2. Eight, half-hour episodes have been ordered, reteaming director Michael Dowse and stars David Lawrence and Paul Spence in their original roles as Terry and Dean. The series is set to debut later this year.
Groupe Média TFO has announced the English version of its series Le Rêve de Champlain (Champlain’s Dream) will now be available to households across Western Europe. The distribution of the Gemini-award-winning series, which is based on explorer Samuel Champlain, marks the first expansion beyond North America for the Ontario-based public broadcaster. The three-year content deal will see the series introduced on RAI 3 in Italy, TV Catalunya in Spain and Groupe AB’s Toute l’histoire channel in France. The international distribution agreement comes on the heels of two significant content partnerships in the U.S.; one with PBS Learning Media and the other with Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
TSN has announced its expanded MLS ON TSN broadcast schedule for the 2017 regular season. Headlined by 75 games featuring Canadian teams, the roster features every Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Toronto FC match, 12 Montreal Impact matches, as well as English-language coverage of the 2017 MLS All-Star Game and the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, culminating with the 2017 MLS Cup. Highlighting the schedule are Friday night MLS matchups on TSN, while CTV will deliver a slate of seven marquee matchups on Saturday afternoons, beginning March 18. The 2017 MLS ON TSN season kicks off with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 4.
Super Channel and international entertainment provider GINX eSportsTV have inked a deal to launch the first 24-hour eSports channel in Canada. The new channel will target gaming enthusiasts and players and feature live eSports events, news and gaming lifestyle programming. The channel will be part of Super Channel’s four multiplexed channels and will launch across Canada in the spring/summer of 2017, available to all Super Channel subscribers as part of their existing package.
Slice has revealed The Real Housewives of Toronto, the latest series to join The Real Housewives franchise. Set to premiere March 7, the series is being produced by Lark Productions, in association with Corus Entertainment. The newest housewives include French-Canadian actress Gregoriane (Grego) Minot, model and former television host Joan Kelley Walker (Red Carpet Diary), socialite Kara Alloway, curvy jet-setter Roxy Earle, iFinance Canada Inc. CEO Ann Kaplan Mulholland and JOGA (Yoga for Jocks) CEO Jana Webb.
The FXNOW Canada app is now available on fourth-generation Apple TV. The app boasts all-new episodes, available next day, post broadcast, of FX/FXX series. Delivering an HD stream, the user experience is designed much like the FXNOW Canada app and uses iCloud to sync viewing progress across all iOS devices.
Smart-television maker Vizio Inc. has agreed to pay $2.2 million US to the Federal Trade Commission and State of New Jersey after settling allegations its TVs collected information on the viewing habits of 11 million users, without their consent. The FTC says Vizio used automatic content recognition, or ACR, to collect a selection of pixels on a second-by-second basis. It then matched those to a database of TV, movie and commercial content. Customers unwittingly opted in when signing up for the company’s “Smart Interactivity” program, which offers program suggestions based on viewing habits. The company says the ACR feature is not turned on in Canada.
CTV has greenlit a new 10-episode, one hour detective series for the networks 2017/18 programming slate. The untitled, ensemble drama series is from Ilana Frank, the producer behind Saving Hope. Casting for the series is currently underway with production set to begin this spring. The new drama centres on two female detectives working the major crimes unit, while navigating the realities of their very real and relatable personal lives.
OUTtv has licensed exclusive Canadian broadcast rights from BBC Worldwide North America for The Collection, an eight-episode drama series set in the world of haute couture. The series, written and created by award-winning showrunner Oliver Goldstick (Pretty Little Liars, Ugly Betty), features Tom Riley (Da Vinci’s Demons, Kill Your Friends), Mamie Gummer (The Good Wife), Richard Coyle (Crossbones, Life of Crime) and Alix Poisson (Disparue, 3xManon, Parents mode d’emploi). The series will have its Canadian broadcast premiere on OUTtv this Spring, but is already available on OUTtv’s streaming service, OUTtvGO.
Lionsgate reported revenue of $752 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2017, ended Dec. 31. The quarter’s reported results included 23 days of operations following Lionsgate’s acquisition of Starz. Revenue grew 12 per cent from the prior-year quarter driven by solid gains in Television Production and the Starz acquisition. Segment profits at Motion Pictures increased 55 per cent as reductions in direct operating expenses, distribution and marketing costs offset the decline in revenue from the prior year quarter. Television Production segment profits increased 117 per cent due to strong revenue and lower distribution and marketing costs. Net loss attributable to Lionsgate shareholders for the quarter of $31 million or basic net loss per common share of $0.19 compared to net income attributable to Lionsgate shareholders of $41 million or basic EPS of $0.27 during the prior year quarter. Adjusted net income attributable to Lionsgate shareholders of $34 million or adjusted basic EPS of $0.21 for the quarter compared to $55 million or adjusted basic EPS of $0.37 year-over-year.