The CRTC will now renew the licenses of most TV service providers on a year-to-year basis, rather than the usual seven-year term. The commission says the move will enable it to closely monitor providers’ practices as new pick-and-pay reforms take effect Dec. 1. As providers roll out the new choices, the commission is instructing them to keep their offers simple and transparent, offer deals and discounts regardless of the entry-level package selected, provide online tools allowing subscribers to easily add or remove channels, and offer different options to obtain a set-top box. The CRTC is offering online tools on its website to help Canadians find the best services and negotiate with their provider.
An Ontario court has sided with Bell Media in a legal battle over streaming service VMedia. VMedia was ordered to pay Bell $150,000 in costs based on a judge’s finding that the new service violated the Copyright Act by streaming CTV and CTV2 without permission. VMedia says it will continue to offer the app, but with channels that have given express consent.
The CRTC is considering applications for the renewal of television licenses held by large, French-language ownership groups Bell Média inc., Corus Entertainment Inc., Québecor Média inc. and Groupe V Média inc. Three days of public hearings this week in Laval, QC. are set to wrap up today (Nov. 24).
Lionsgate has reached major deals with two leading distributors for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Studiocanal, which already distributes Lionsgate’s films in Germany, has expanded its existing deal to also distribute features from the company’s Summit Entertainment label, beginning with Otto Bathurst’s adventure film Robin Hood: Origins. Lionsgate is also partnering with German distributor Tele München Gruppe to distribute the eagerly-anticipated war action drama Horse Soldiers from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Baker Brothers’ sci-fi thriller Kin and the thriller Down a Dark Hall from Twilight producer Stephenie Meyer.
REEL CANADA has received funding from the federal and Ontario governments supporting National Canadian Film Day 150 as an official Signature Project of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. The Apr. 19 event is set to become the world’s largest, one-day film festival, involving more than 600 community screenings at venues across the country, from libraries to record stores. Major broadcasters like CBC, Bell Media and Corus, APTN and Quebecor will air Canadian films on various channels and streaming platforms. REEL CANADA will also host a special Indigenous Film Summit in Abbotsford, BC, on Mar. 6 and 7.
The Directors Guild of Canada has applied to the Canada Industrial Relations Board to enlarge the scope of the sector it represents. The Guild wants to encompass all independent contractors, who are permanent residents or Canadian citizens, engaged in computer graphics, production or set design, location management, picture & sound editing and art direction. If approved, the expansion would exclude computer graphics, set and production designers and art directors in Alberta, BC and Manitoba, as well as picture and sound editors in BC and Alberta.
CTAM Canada (Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing) has announced the lineup for its 4th annual Broadcaster Forum on Dec. 1 in Toronto. This year’s forum, focusing on innovation in the Pay TV ecosystem, offers attendees five sessions looking at Canadian-specific market research, two moderated panels of industry leaders and a special Q&A with Heather Conway, EVP English Services at CBC. Panelists include Tom Elam, VP and GM, Service Provider Business, TiVo; Jay Gardner, Director of Product Development, Shaw Communications; Joel Orvis, Director, TV Product Management, Bell Canada; Pam Westman, Head, Nelvana Enterprises; Vanessa Case, Executive Vice President, Content, Blue Ant Media; Mark Branch, Director of Sales and Business Development, Deluxe; and Josh Scherba, SVP, International Distribution, DHX Media.
The Eastlink TV Independent Production Fund has announced funding commitments for five Nova Scotia television productions/miniseries. Among the successful projects earmarked for a share of $755,000 in funding are Season 3 of the Inspector Gadget TV series, produced by DHX, Mr. D Season 6 and new TV drama Pure, set to debut on CBC in January.
Numeris data shows the premiere episode of The Beaverton drew a combined audience of 379,000 viewers on Nov. 9, making The Comedy Network the most-watched specialty channel in Canada for adults 25-54 and 18-49. The show is a televised adaptation of popular online satirical, fake news site TheBeaverton.com.