TV & Film News – MTM report says gap between SVOD and TV subscriptions continues to grow

Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released a new report on how Canadians are consuming and paying for television. The TV Distribution report finds that the majority of Anglophones continue to subscribe to cable, satellite or fiber optic TV. However, the gap between SVODs and TV subscriptions continues to grow with 80% of anglophones subscribed to an SVOD service. Cable remains the most common type of paid TV service in the anglophone market, serving 32% of households; Fiber Optic TV (IPTV) subscriptions are higher in Quebec, Alberta and B.C. and among affluent anglophone households. In the Francophone market, even though traditional television subscriptions have fallen since 2014, three quarters of French-speaking households still subscribe. Subscription video-on-demand services, such as Netflix, are gaining in popularity with 68% of French speakers subscribing. Cable remains the most popular service with French speakers (43%) with 23% of French speakers using fiber optic television. 

CKRT-TV in Rivière-du-Loup, Que. will shut down on Aug. 31. Owned by the Simard family since it went on air in 1962, the station is the last ICI Radio-Canada Télé affiliate. Télé Inter-Rives plans to shutter the station and its six rebroadcasting transmitters and return its broadcast licence to the CRTC.

 

Hot Docs has wrapped its 28th annual Festival and announced the winners of the Rogers Audience Award. Honouring the top five Canadian feature documentaries as determined by audience poll. This year’s award was presented to: FANNY: The Right to Rock (D: Bobbi Jo Hart | P: Bobbi Jo Hart, Robbie Hart | Quebec); Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy (D: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers | P: David Christensen, Lori Lozinski, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers | Alberta); Someone Like Me (D: Sean Horlor, Steve J. Adams | P: Teri Snelgrove, Shirley Vercruysse | BC); Still Max (D: Katherine Knight | P: Katherine Knight, David Craig | Ontario); and Hell or Clean Water (D: Cody Westman | P: Jennifer Hawley | Newfoundland). Each film’s director receives a cash prize of $10,000 CDN. Dear Future Children (D: Franz Böhm | P: Johannes Schubert, Ansgar Wörner, Franz Böhm | Germany, UK, Austria) received the highest overall rating and won the Hot Docs Audience Award. For a list of the top five mid-lengths and shorts visit the Hot Docs website.

canadian music weekCanadian Music Week (CMW) has partnered with Hot Docs to present four Canadian music documentaries as part of the 2021 CMW Virtual Festival, May 18-21. CMW Conference registrants and Hot Docs members will have access to the premiere of Danny Alexander’s No Tickets At The Door, an in-depth look into Toronto’s diverse underground music scene and the myriad of challenges that musicians, promoters, and venues are facing. Works from the Hot Docs archives will also be featured including I’m Going To Break Your Heart, Feist: Look What the Light Did Now, and 6ix Rising. Registration for CMW is open

The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre’s 10th annual Toronto Japanese Film Festival (TJFF) will be presented across Canada June 5-27 online via the Cinesend festival platform, with select onsite screenings at the JCCC’s Kobayashi Hall planned for October, public health protocols permitting. International, North American and Canadian premieres include Hiroki Kadokawa’s foodie-friendly historical drama, Mio’s Cookbook, Shuichi Okita’s examination of aging and loneliness, Ora, Ora Be Goin’ Alone, Yuichi Fukuda’s manga adaptation and ode to high-school delinquency, From Today It’s My Turn!!!, and Masayuki Suo’s love letter to Japan’s silent film era, Talking The Pictures. This year’s anime premiere is LIP X LIP FILM X LIVE, a hybrid anime movie and live concert performance by “vocaloid” virtual popstars Lip x Lip. Find the full lineup here.

The 31st annual Inside Out Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival has unveiled its lineup showcasing 143 films, including 33 feature films and five episodic series, online from May 27 – June 6. The festival’s opening night film will be the Canadian premiere of Natalie Morales’ socially distant, platonic love story, Language Lessons, which won the audience award at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Documentary highlights from the program include Zachary Quinto-narrated film Yes I Am, The Ric Weiland Story, introducing audiences to queer icon Ric Weiland, one of Microsoft’s first programmers whose efforts to establish representation and resources for the LGBT community still have a profound impact. 

Food Network Canada and Corus Studios dive into the evolving world of cheese with food travel docuseries Cheese: A Love Story. Hosted by the world’s youngest Maître Fromager (Cheese Master) and owner of Toronto’s Cheese Boutique, Afrim Pristine, the series travels the globe meeting up with farmers, cheesemakers, shop owners, affineurs and chefs in Switzerland, France, Greece, Toronto, Quebec and B.C. It makes its debut June 9.

Super Channel will premiere unscripted docu-drama series, Bulloch Family Ranch, on Super Channel Heart and Home beginning Monday, June 2. Bulloch Family Ranch chronicles the everyday adventures of Julie and Rusty Bulloch, a working-class couple that juggles multiple jobs to make ends meet. Together, they are “parents” to over 30 kids. Only two are biological with the rest teens and young adults who have lived at – and periodically returned to – the Bulloch Ranch during times of need. 

TVO Original The Face of Anonymous is set to premiere Tuesday, May 25 on TVO and stream online at TVO.org and the TVO Docs YouTube channel, following its run at Hot Docs. The film follows the chaotic life of Christopher Doyon, also known as “Commander X” within hacktivist group, Anonymous. Directed by Gary Lang and produced by Storyline Entertainment in association with TVO, The Face of Anonymous reveals the human toll of Doyon’s online moral crusades that have targeted powerful figures and organizations.

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) will premiere Season 4 of award-winning series, Employable Me, June 9 on AMI-tv. The six-part documentary series features job seekers determined to show that having a physical disability or neurological condition shouldn’t make them unemployable. Past seasons have captured Rockie Awards for Best Lifestyle Program at the Banff World Media Festival, while Season 3 also earned a Diversify TV Excellence Award at MIPCOM in the Representation of Disability, Non-Scripted category.

Friday Night Thunder has premiered on APTN, a fast-paced docuseries following racing families at the Ohsweken Speedway, the only track on Indigenous land in Canada. Produced by Toronto’s Big Soul Productions, a 100% Indigenous-owned production company, and airing on APTN Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 12 p.m., Friday Night Thunder follows Glenn Styres, the founder and owner of Ohsweken Speedway, in the aftermath of a career-ending crash as he mentors other drivers on and off the track.

WildBrain has released its Q3 2021 results, reporting revenue growth of 4% to $102.2 million compared with $98.3 million in the prior-year quarter, driven by strength in the company’s Consumer Products business. Content Production and Distribution revenue was $35.6 million in Q3 vs $36.4 million year-over-year, reflecting steady production growth, offset by fluctuations in timing of distribution deals. YTD 2021 revenue rose 33% to $140.5 million vs $105.6 million in YTD 2020, driven by an extensive slate of new Peanuts content and the large distribution deal for the Peanuts library in Q2 as part of an expanded content partnership with Apple TV+. WildBrain Spark saw improvement as ad revenue continued to improve from the impact of COVID-19 and YouTube policy changes in Jan. 2020. Q3 revenue increased 2% to $9.6 million in Q3 2021 vs $9.5 million in Q3 2020. 

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF), in partnership with Netflix, the Black Screen Office (BSO), Canada Media Fund (CMF), Indigenous Screen Office (ISO), and la Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), has announced the participants of the fourth edition of the Netflix-BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative. Participants receive full access to the 2021 Banff World Media Festival, taking place online from June 14 to July 16. Participants will also take part in a tailored stream of programming and networking. Additionally, 25 of this year’s participants will take part in the Diversity of Voices Pitch Program, through which they’ll receive one-on-one mentorship from media leaders and private networking opportunities with senior executives and buyers.