TV & Film News – NHL, NBA return draws sports fans back to TV

Sportsnet says Canadian sports fans returned in droves last weekend for the long-awaited debut of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers and NBA, with the network reaching 10.7 million viewers on Saturday and Sunday. Beginning Saturday at Noon ET, Sportsnet aired more than 33 hours of live coverage across its TV channels, CBC, Citytv, the Sportsnet Radio Network and via SN NOW and NHL LIVE. Scoring a 19% audience share, Sportsnet coverage garnered a combined average minute audience of 821,000 viewers on Saturday and Sunday, according to audience data released by Rogers. Overall, 9.58 million Canadians watched all or some of the NHL on Sportsnet broadcasts. Saturday night’s Toronto Raptors’ performance over the L.A. Lakers, reached 2.59 million fans with an average minute audience of 890,000, making it the second most-watched regular season Raptors broadcast ever on Sportsnet.

The 2020 Leo Awards have been announced by the Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Foundation of BC. Among the multiple award winners were sci-fi thriller Volition, which earned three awards for Sound, Screenwriting and Best Lead Performance – Male for Adrian Glynn McMorran. Best Lead Performance – Female was won by Carmen Moore for Rustic Oracle. In the Dramatic Series category, Van Helsing claimed five awards, including Direction, Screenwriting, Cinematography, and Guest Performance Male and Female for Richard Harmon and Jessica McLeod. Documentary series Punk picked up four awards: Best Program in the category, Direction, Picture Editing, and Sound. Rust Valley Restorers earned five awards in the Reality category, including Best Program. Find the complete list of winners, here.

Schitt’s Creek has been awarded Outstanding Comedy Series at the GLAAD Media Awards. The 31st Annual Awards were announced during a livestream on GLAAD’s Facebook page and YouTube channel on July 30, with show stars Dan Levy, Karen Robinson and Noah Reid virtually accepting the honour. 

 

The 47th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards for Children’s, Lifestyle & Animation have been handed out with Sinking Ship Entertainment coming away with four awards. Dino Dana won for Outstanding Special Effects Costume, Makeup and Hairstyling, recognizing costume designer Christine Toye; Liz Roelands, key hair & makeup; and Karlee Morse, Special Effects makeup artist, while Bill Cobbs won Outstanding Limited Performance in a Daytime Program. Sinking Ship also won Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing Program for AppleTV+ series Ghostwriter, while Odd Squad won Outstanding Sound Editing for a Live Action Program, recognizing editors James Robinson, Bill Turchinetz, John Smith; Sound Effects Designer P. Jason MacNeill; Foley Engineer Ryan Lukasik; Foley Artist Jason Charbonneau; and Foley Mixer Brandon Bak. Thunderbird Entertainment’s The Last Kids on Earth claimed the award for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program.

New Metric Media and The Feldman Agency are partnering to launch Tourbo, an entertainment venture with a focus on developing premium proprietary projects and licensing popular brands that currently exist as screen-based I.P., podcasts and online content to produce live touring entertainment for the stage. The company says the Tourbo business model will be based on multiple revenue streams, including ticket sales, VIP upsells, merchandise online and in-venue. New Metric and The Feldman Agency have previously worked together to bring comedy experience Letterkenny Live! to audiences. Tourbo says it will be announcing a Call For Submissions shortly. 

CBC will premiere six-part docuseries Enslaved on CBC TV and CBC Gem on Oct. 18 and on documentary Channel Oct. 17. Led by Samuel L. Jackson, Enslaved sheds new light on 400 years of human trafficking from Africa to the New World. Based on a DNA test identifying his ancestral tribe, the series traces Jackson’s personal journey from the U.S. to Gabon for his induction into the Benga tribe. A Canada/UK co-production, between Toronto-based Associated Producers and London-based Cornelia Street Productions, in association with CBC and documentary Channel, the series will also premiere in the U.S. on EPIX Sept. 14. 

The Fabienne Colas Foundation has announced new support for the Being Black in Canada program from presenting sponsor Netflix, in collaboration with National Bank, and the support of Canada Media Fund. The 2020 program will expand to include 20 new participants from Montreal, Toronto and Halifax. Over the following two years, the program will further expand to include Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver and support a total of 70 new filmmakers and 55 alumni in 2021 and 2022. Being Black in Canada is Canada’s largest mentorship, training, and creation program entirely dedicated to Black filmmakers. Program participants benefit from mentorship and training across multiple areas of film production including screenwriting, directing, editing and post-production. They’ll also be provided with the opportunity to create individual documentary shorts. In 2019, the program included 15 filmmakers, ages 18-30, with their documentary shorts premiering at last year’s Montreal International Black Film Festival, Toronto Black Film Festival and Halifax Black Film Festival.

Canada Media Fund (CMF) has announced a new immersive talent development and co-production fund for UK and Canadian artists, filmmakers and creators, set to launch in November. The first exchange program dedicated to immersive storytelling between the UK and Canada, it will have a total co-production fund of CAD $510,000 on offer. Now open for applications until Sept. 17, the program aims to foster international collaboration on pioneering forms of immersive storytelling by bringing together those from theatre, performing and visual arts, games, TV, film, and other forms of digital and interactive media. Click here to apply. The year-long program is supported by a newly-formed international collaboration between StoryFutures Academy (run by the National Film and Television School and Royal Holloway, University of London), Arts Council England, CMF, The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Media Lab, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

TELUS has announced that Optik TV customers in B.C. and Alberta with four or more theme packs now have the flexibility to choose Amazon Prime as a benefit in their Optik TV package, courtesy of TELUS. Optik TV customers who add Amazon Prime to their TV package will also have unlimited access to ad-free listening of over two million songs on Amazon Music Prime, as well as Prime Reading, Twitch Prime, and Amazon Photos, among other offers.

Bell has launched Bell Streamer, the new all-in-one 4K HDR streaming device powered by Android TV. The super compact (6.5cm x 6.5cm) Bell Streamer is now available to TV customers in Ontario and Québec, with one-stop access to Alt TV, Crave, CTV, Fibe TV, Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, DAZN, hayu, CBC Gem, ICI TOU.TV, Tubi and more. Bell Streamer also features Google Play for access to thousands of apps, a remote control with one-button access to Google Assistant, and the ability to cast videos and other content from mobile devices to your TV with Chromecast built in. The 4K HDR Bell Streamer is included at no cost with new Alt TV Premium subscriptions on a 6-month term, or can be purchased separately online.

Thinktv has compiled last month’s Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Advanced TV Week presentations from Bell Media, Corus Entertainment, Rogers Sports & Media, CBC/Radio-Canada and Quebecor, showcasing the latest advanced TV products and advertiser opportunities. Check out videos and presentation decks from: