Sportsnet and TSN are moving into the sports betting space, as Ontario’s new iGaming online gaming market officially went live Monday. Sportsnet is launching programming across its TV, audio, digital and social channels with Wager Week, running through April 10, introducing audiences to the network’s new sports betting content brand, SN Bets. FanDuel Group also announced Monday it had reached a multi-year agreement with TSN to become the network’s official sportsbook partner, acting as the exclusive provider of sports odds across TSN programming, integrating sports betting alongside sports content. Read more here.
Media Central Corporation, the parent company of The Georgia Straight and NOW Magazine, has filed “an assignment in bankruptcy,” voluntarily agreeing to sell off assets to pay down its debt. The publicly-traded company says the filing does not affect the operations of its Toronto and Vancouver alt weeklies, which will continue regular publication. Kirk MacDonald, formerly President of Media Central, will remain President of subsidiaries, Vancouver Free Press Publishing Corp. and Now Central Communications Inc., which publish the Georgia Straight and NOW Magazine. It acquired both subsidiaries in 2020 and 2019, respectively. Media Central also operates digital cannabis platform CannCentral.com and eSports outlet ECentralSports.com. The company announced in March, it was in default in the amount of $1,026,000 to its debenture holders and attempting to negotiate an agreement. Read more here.
St. Joseph Communications (SJC) has entered into an agreement to acquire Victoria-based Assembly Digital, a digital media technology company that employs data and machine learning systems to scale audience growth and advertising solutions. Co-founded by Tobyn Sowden and Marco Pimentel, and part of the Redbrick portfolio of companies, Assembly’s proprietary tech analyzes billions of data points to optimize content experiences and ad placement based on real-time reader behaviour. The platform will be the newest addition to SJC’s multi-platform strategies for content creation and distribution. SJC Media publishes media brands including Chatelaine, Toronto Life and Maclean’s, touting 19 million monthly views across its digital network.
The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) has announced the shortlist for the annual CJF-Meta Journalism Project (MJP) Digital News Innovation Award, which recognizes news organizations powering journalism’s future through digital journalism. The three finalists for the $10,000 prize are: CBC for Black On the Prairies, an interactive project to ensure that the experiences of Black people in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were included in the global and national discourse on anti-Black racism. The project has since been adapted into a teacher’s guide for all grades across the Prairies; New Canadian Media (NCM) for its Collective Membership Model. Through an alliance with the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and affiliation with the National NewsMedia Council, NCM members gained access to pre-publication advice and professional development opportunities. The alliance resulted in an increase in NCM-CAJ members, 33% growth in its newsletter audience and an increased capacity to publish five articles a week; and Taproot Edmonton, for its innovative coverage of Edmonton’s 2021 municipal election, including an interactive survey that allowed voters to find which candidates best aligned with their values. The winner will be announced at the CJF annual awards ceremony on June 7.