Corus Entertainment and Rogers Sports & Media are joining foundational Canadian partner Bell Media in broadcasting worldwide TV and streaming special One World: Together At Home, in support of the fight against COVID-19. Airing this Saturday, Apr. 18 at 8 p.m. ET, the special will be available on Bell Media channels CTV, CTV2, TSN, CP24, MUCH, MTV, and in French on VRAK; on Corus channels Global, National Geographic, and ABC Spark; and on Rogers Sports & Media’s Citytv. The special will also be streamed live on the iHeartRadio Canada App, the CTV App, the Global TV App, globaltv.com, globalnews.ca, etcanada.com, and Citytv.com. Additionally, Canadians can listen to the special live on radio, including iHeartRadio Canada’s Virgin Radio stations and select Rogers’ stations across its Adult Contemporary and KiSS brands. Launched by international advocacy organization Global Citizen and the World Health Organization, the special is curated in collaboration with Lady Gaga and will include performances and appearances by Alicia Keys, Amy Poehler, Andrea Bocelli, Awkwafina, Billie Eilish, Camila Cabello, Céline Dion, Chris Martin, Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Lizzo, LL COOL J, Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, and Usher, among others.
ET Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Country Music Association and the CCMA Foundation, are presenting Canada Together: In Concert, a five-night broadcast event showcasing 20 of the biggest names in country music coming together in support of Canadian COVID-19 relief efforts. The concert series premieres Monday, Apr. 20, airing nightly on ET Canada at 7:30 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m PT on Global, and broadcast simultaneously on Corus country radio stations Country 105 (CKRY-FM) Calgary, CISN Country 103.9 Edmonton and Country 104 (CKDK-FM) Woodstock. Featuring performances and interviews with artists remotely from their homes, among those participating are Shania Twain with Dallas Smith, Lindsay Ell, and High Valley (Apr. 20); Luke Combs with Brett Kissel, Tenille Townes, and The Washboard Union (Apr. 21); Lady Antebellum with Meghan Patrick, The Reklaws, and Dean Brody (Apr. 22); Morgan Wallen with James Barker Band, MacKenzie Porter and Tim Hicks (Apr. 23); Jordan Davis with Gord Bamford, Jess Moskaluke and Jade Eagleson (Apr. 24). Proceeds raised will be donated equally between Food Banks Canada and the Unison Benevolent Fund.
Rock for Relief: A Living Room Concert for Vancouver Island will be broadcast and livestreamed without commercial interruption on CHEK (Shaw ch. 6, Bluesky ch. 109/ Telus Optik ch. 121) as well as the CHEK News Facebook page and YouTube channel on Friday, April 17, 8 p.m. Rock for Relief will feature performances by David Foster and Katharine McPhee, Randy and Tal Bachman, the Tenors, Trevor Guthrie, and current American Idol contestant Lauren Spencer-Smith from Nanaimo, as well as local favourites Jesse Roper, Carmanah, Aaron Pritchett, Kathryn Calder and others. The special will also feature appearances by Steve Nash, Silken Laumann, Rick Hansen, Jim Treliving and hosted by CHEK personalities Stacy Ross, Joe Perkins, Jeff King and Ed Bain. The Island-wide fundraising effort is a joint initiative between CHEK, the Victoria Foundation and Nanaimo Foundation, with donors able to direct funds to the Rapid Relief Fund, supporting Greater Victoria and the Cowichan Valley or the Community Response Fund, supporting communities north of the Cowichan Valley.
Thinktv’s latest weekly report highlights that TV viewing is up across every demographic. For the week of Mar. 23, year-over-year overall viewer growth was up 12% (P2+), and up 10% for Adults 25-54. Conventional National News and Specialty News Networks continue to see exponential growth. TV viewing by the A18-24 and A18-34 year-old demos saw double-digit growth across almost every daypart. Quebec Franco viewing has also increased across every daypart, with a dramatic 61% increase during daytime and an astounding 474% increase, year-over-year, in viewing French language specialty news networks with A25-54.
Convergence Research has released its 2020 Battle for the North American Couch Potato Report, which makes the assumption that the coronavirus will not be a major disruptive force beyond 2020. Based on 43 OTT services (over 30 providers), led by Netflix, Convergence estimates Canadian OTT access revenue grew 37% to $1.53 billion in 2019 and is forecasting 36% growth to $2.07 billion for 2020, and $3.04 billion in 2022, continuing to benefit mostly non-Canadian players. In 2019, Convergence estimates Canadian cable, telco, satellite TV access revenue declined 2% to $8.38 billion and forecasts further declines going forward. Canadian TV subscribers declined/annum on average 2.5% in 2018 and 2019, with predicted 4% declines/annum from 2020-22. It’s estimated cord cutter/never households will grow from 32% to 35.6% this year and 42% in 2022. Among Convergence’s conclusions are that Netflix no longer has the same flexibility to raise pricing as frequently as it has in the past. Alternatively, Amazon and Apple have the luxury of expensing OTT programming as an additional operating cost to their core businesses.
Stingray has introduced new free, ad-supported TV channels with eight OTT providers including Huawei (worldwide), izzi (Mexico), XUMO (U.S.), LG (U.S.), Vizio (U.S.), Samsung (U.S.), TiVo Plus (U.S.) and Cliq Digital (U.S.). Stingray says the distribution agreements grow its potential reach by over 300 million viewers. The free, ad-supported TV (FAST) channels will live within its partners’ existing entertainment platforms with Qello Concerts by Stingray (concert films, live shows, music documentaries) carried by Samsung, XUMO, LG and Vizio; Stingray Karaoke carried by XUMO and LG; Stingray Classica carried by STIRR; and Stingray Naturescape carried by Samsung, Vizio, XUMO, LG and TiVo Plus.
TSN is airing a slate of classic Montreal Expos games, revisiting the team’s greatest hits. Highlights include Dennis Martinez’s perfect game, fondly known to Expos fans as “El Presidente, El Perfecto” on July 28, 1991. This became the 13th official perfect game in Major League Baseball history, with Montreal defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0; Games 3 and 5 of the 1981 NLCS, a major turning point in Expos franchise history, with a rollercoaster of a post-season; Pedro Martinez’s improbable “near-perfect game” on June 3, 1995, in which the legendary pitcher was perfect through nine full innings before allowing a double in the 10th; and Vladimir Guerrero hitting his 40th home run of the season on Oct. 2, 1999, adding to the career-high 131 RBIs he racked up that season. More classic Montreal Expos games will be announced in the coming weeks.
Sportsnet has been re-airing each game of the 2015 ALDS – Blue Jays vs. Rangers – in its entirety this week, culminating with Game 5 and Jose Bautista’s unforgettable “Bat Flip” on Friday, Apr. 17 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. All games are also airing on Sportsnet 590 The FAN (Toronto), Sportsnet 960 The FAN (Calgary), and Sportsnet 650 (Vancouver).
Canada Media Fund (CMF) has created a COVID-19 Information Hub. It features a comprehensive list of assistance programs for workers and businesses in Canada’s screen-based industries that will be regularly updated.
Telefilm Canada has suspended mail delivery at its four regional offices until further notice, including all cheques, DVDs, and packages. Additional information will be added to Telefilm’s COVID-19 FAQ section, and will be updated. Those with questions are urged to contact their Telefilm/CMFPA analyst or financing representative for details and available alternatives.
Telefilm Canada, in collaboration with Canadian Heritage, has announced that Canada has been selected as the country of honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse – an international trading venue for content of all kinds, where leaders from global publishing meet partners from the technology industry and related creative industries like film and games. The festival attracts exhibitors from over 100 countries, 285,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists and bloggers. Telefilm and its partners will be curating Canadian content and thought-leaders to showcase as part of the event’s THE ARTS+ programming. Interested parties can apply to participate here by May 8.