Global Television has increased its footprint across Canada after picking up private affiliates that CBC dropped in several Ontario markets. Three Corus-owned affiliates in eastern Ontario, CHEX-DT in Peterborough, CKWS-DT in Kingston and Channel 12 Durham, are taking on Global’s news programming while maintaining their program supply agreement with CTV. CHEX-DT in Peterborough and CKWS-DT in Kingston will also launch their own versions of Global’s The Morning Show starting in October. As of Sept. 1, Newcap-owned CKSA-DT in Lloydminster changed affiliation from CBC to Global.
CRTC public hearings began Sept. 7 to examine skinny-basic cable packages and how they’ve been offered to consumers by the big four: Bell, Rogers, Shaw and Videotron. The commission intends to judge the distributors’ adherence to new pricing rules laid out March 1 and leverage the pending expiry of broadcast licenses to ensure compliance.
The Consumers’ Association of Canada has registered hundreds of complaints since the CRTC mandated packages rolled out. The Association claims that Canada’s biggest TV service providers have pushed the boundaries, heaping extra fees onto the $25 packages.
Meanwhile, the CRTC is offering a new online tool on its website starting next week to help consumers bargain for better TV deals. This in response to data showing less than 2 per cent of Canadian subscribers have opted for skinny-basic services. The resource is intended to help consumers detail their budgets, understand their viewing preferences and be aware of the types of competing providers in the market.
Shad (Shadrach Kabango), former host of CBC Radio’s q, launched a four-part television docu-series called Hip-Hop Evolution on Sunday Sept. 4 on HBO Canada. Hosted by Shad and written by music historian Rodrigo Bascunan, the program explores the history of hip-hop music, from the 1970s up to the 1992 debut of Dr. Dre’s solo album, The Chronic.
CBC is teaming up with Warner Bros. International Television Production (WBITVP) to give Canadian independent television producers an opportunity to get their unscripted show ideas financed and on-air during prime time next year on CBC. This is the second year CBC has offered the Format Incubator, and the first time WBITVP has been involved. Up to three unscripted pilots will be supported from development through to broadcast. Proposals are being accepted until Sept. 28. Full guidelines and details can be found here.
Bell Media’s M3 music television channel was shuttered on Sept. 1 and replaced by Gusto, the food and lifestyle brand for which Bell Media company acquired the rights earlier this year. M3, previously known as Much More Music and More Music, launched in 1998 as an adult contemporary spin-off of MuchMusic.
CTV is asking Canadians to record a portion of their day on Saturday, Sept. 10 for their Canada In a Day project. The video will then combined it into one Canadian story that will air as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017. Read about the project here.
Canadian comics Emma Hunter and Miguel Rivas will host The Beaverton, based on the popular satirical website of the same name, which will premiere in November on The Comedy Network. Live studio taping of the 13 half-hour episodes begins in Toronto on Sept. 24.
Bell Media and Canadian producer Michael Cohl’s Entertainment Studios are bringing Bat Out of Hell: The Musical to the stage in the UK. Cohl’s previous stage productions include Spamalot, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, and Rock of Ages: The Musical. The production marks the 40th anniversary of Bat Out of Hell, one of only 11 albums to reach double diamond status (two million copies sold) in Canada. Previews begin in February 2017 at the Manchester Opera House and casting is underway.