Film & TV News – More Canadians will be subscribed to OTT services than traditional TV by 2020



Convergence Research Group (CRG) says there’ll be more Canadians subscribed to OTT services, like Netflix and Crave, by next year than traditional television. The Battle for the Canadian Couch Potato: OTT and TV report says based on 28 OTT providers, led by Netflix (the report does not assign revenue to Amazon Prime which did not increase price with its addition of video in Canada), it’s estimated Canadian OTT access revenue grew 33% to $1.12 billion in 2018. It predicts revenue will hit the $1.51 billion mark in 2019 and that by 2020 there will be more OTT subscriber households than TV subscribers in Canada. The report says with a decline of an estimated 204,000 Canadian TV subscribers in 2018, an additional 253,000 customers will unsubscribe from traditional TV service in 2019. Read more here.

Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN) employees have voted 98 per cent in favour of ratifying a new collective agreement. The three-year deal sees significant improvements to the existing pay grid and in working conditions for 72 members of the Canadian Media Guild. In most cases, pay scales will now start at a higher level and salary steps will rise over two years. Pay rates will increase 3.5 per cent on the anniversary of the APTN hire date as well as on that date the following year. The agreement also provides additional market-rate wage adjustments for video journalists, reporters, investigative journalists and graphic artists. There will also be across-the-board annual increases of 1.25, 1.0 and 0.75 per cent. APTN, which has more than 160 employees (including part-time and casual), also agreed to have workplace problems dealt with through a union-management joint committee, with the aim of resolving issues as they develop.

RDS employees have organized in Montreal. Approximately 85 employees of the Bell Media-owned French-language sports network have joined the union which will include employees assigned to the news service, excluding columnists, analysts, and senior producers. Bell Media had objected to certain positions being included in union certification unit, namely producer, content producer, administrative coordinator and administrative assistant, however the Canada Industrial Relations Board disagreed.

Sportsnet says an average of 909,500 Canadians tuned in to watch Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s Major League Baseball debut. The network says Friday’s Toronto Blue Jays game was the most-watched matchup of the season thus far. Overall, the game that saw Toronto trump the Oakland Athletics reached four million Canadians.

Emily Andras

The Writers Guild of Canada handed out its WGC Screenwriting Awards Monday night, recognizing the writers behind Canadian series Schitt’s Creek and Cardinal: Blackfly Season, among others. WGC special awards were also presented at the gala, with the WGC Showrunner Award going to Wynonna Earp executive producer Emily Andras, the McGrath Service Award to Bruce Smith (19-2, Cracked, The Hunger), and the Sondra Kelly Award to Jinder Oujla-Chalmers (Combat Hospital). Pat Holden (When The Lights Went Out, Dangerous Arrangement) and Amir Kahnamouee (Port of Call) each received the Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize. Find the full list of winners here.

Niobe Thompson

Niobe Thompson was one of the big winners at the 2019 Alberta Film and Television Awards. The Edmonton-based filmmaker picked up five “Rosies” including Best Director (Non-fiction under 30 minutes) for Boy Nomad and Best Screenwriter (Non-fiction over 30 minutes) for Equus: Story of the Horse. Wynonna Earp and Heartland also picked up multiple honours. Find the complete list of winners here.

Bravo says production is underway on Season 2 of its mystery-crime drama Carter, starring Jerry O’Connell. Shot in North Bay, ON, the sophomore season will debut later this year. The 10-episode, one-hour series sees the return of co-stars Sydney Poitier Heartsong (Homecoming) and Kristian Bruun (Orphan Black), as well as Brenda Kamino (The Glass Castle). Canadian Lyriq Bent (The Affair) also joins the cast for S2. Outside of Canada, the series was commissioned by Sony Pictures Television (SPT) for AXN, returning for Season 2 in Spain, Latin America, Brazil, Japan, Central Europe, and Russia. Carter will also return to WGN America in the U.S.

Crave’s newest original series We’re All Gonna Die is a caustic documentary about the end of the world. The six-episode docuseries, developed in partnership with 90th Parallel Productions, goes into production this summer. Drawing together science, psychology, pop culture, and philosophy, each episode explores one of the ways that humanity could meet its end – from nuclear war and asteroids to insect Armageddon and aliens. Crave has also confirmed its upcoming slate of Original Documentaries including Ron Mann’s Carmine Street Guitars, Bruce McDonald’s Hippie Highrise, and Triumph: Lay It On The Line from Banger Films and Revolver Films.

OMNI will air the 64th Annual Eurovision Song Contest, starting May 14. Competing for the chance to be named the best song in Europe, 41 countries will go head to head in Tel Aviv, Israel for the title. The contest will also be streamed nationally on

Supinder Wraich

CBC Gem will unveil a slate of new original Canadian series in May, including The 410 (Drama, 3×25), co-produced by and starring Supinder Wraich (The Good Doctor, Crawford), a South Asian female and aspiring influencer who turns to a life of crime to bail her truck driver father out of prison; Detention Adventure (Tween action-adventure, 10×11) following three nerdy friends and the school bully who must get themselves thrown into detention to find the entrance to a labyrinth of trap-laden tunnels protecting the fabled hidden lab of Alexander Graham Bell; and The Ninth (Comedy, 8×10) a baseball comedy that follows a sub-par Southern Ontario Intercity Baseball League team owned by a discount mattress impresario. Find a complete list of new content coming to CBC Gem in May here.

CBC Sports has announced extensive coverage plans for the 2019 IAAF Diamond League track and field series, ahead of the IAAF World Championships later this year and Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 next year. Beginning with the first event in Doha, Qatar, on May 3, CBC Sports will provide live streaming coverage of every meet, while broadcast coverage will be featured as part of CBC Sports’ weekend staple Road To The Olympic Games throughout the summer on CBC and CBC Gem. Radio-Canada Sports will also offer live streaming coverage of every Diamond League meet. Scott Russell and Olympian and World Championship sprinter Anson Henry will host CBC Sports’ coverage.

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