TV, Eh? Industry Roundup – CBC/Quebecor, Andrea Martin, Yahoo, and more

CBC, Quebecor end trade “war”

CBC, apparently, was in a “war” with Quebecor Media Inc., over CBC not advertising in its French-language newspapers. The claim, by Quebecor, is that CBC withheld advertising from Le Journal de Montréal and Le Journal de Québec, after Quebecor waged a two-year lockout with Le Journal de Montréal‘s union, Confédération des Syndicats Nationaux.

In retaliation, Quebecor’s telecommunications subsidiary, Vidéotron, withheld CBC’s specialty cable services from its programming lineup. CBC’s specialty cable services include CBC News Network, Réseau de l’information (RDI), ARTV, bold, and documentary. The new “trade relations” mean CBC’s specialties are again welcome on Vidéotron, while CBC will advertise in Quebecor Media’s print and online properties.

Whether this ends Sun News Network’s anti-CBC pieces remains to be seen.

Andrea Martin pulls out of Genie telecast

Andrea Martin was to co-host the 32nd Genie Awards, with George Stroumboulopoulos. Martin will now appear in taped video segments, instead of being on-stage with Stroumboulopoulos for the live telecast.

The reason for this pullout: Martin is cast in an untitled Judd Hirsch/Ben Falcone pilot, for CBS. Principal shooting on the CBS pilot begins March 8, 2012, and was allegedly cast March 6, 2012.

I won’t ascertain whether this is an error on the pilot production company’s, and/or Martin’s, part. Rather than mull over the reasons why Martin’s Genie role is reduced to video cutaways, at least she never backed out of the Genies to do this:

Yahoo to buy Canadian rights to the Olympics?

After the International Olympic Committee rejected two bids by the Bell Media/CBC consortium for the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2016 Summer Olympics, Yahoo wants a piece of Olympic action.

The Bell Media/CBC bids were worth about $70 million, for the two-Games package. To put this in perspective, $153 million was paid by CTVglobemedia/Rogers to the IOC, for the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2012 Summer Olympics.

Yahoo wants to stay relevant in the tablet/smartphone age. Since Rogers is no longer interested in Olympic Games coverage, this could be a way for Yahoo to be a spoiler in the Canadian market. The bids are affected by whether NHL players participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

While I don’t have a problem with the bidding war – the process is supposed to be competitive – I wonder if Yahoo’s bid is serious. I think the Olympic Games television rights are marked up (see: NBC spending more than $4 billion to sew up Olympic television rights until 2020, despite NBC’s $223 million loss on the 2010 Vancouver Olympics), but…Yahoo? That’s more of a left-field choice than Eric Thames and Travis Snider.

Odds and sods

Pelmorex’s The Weather Network shares its spring 2012 weather outlook. British Columbians could face colder-than-usual temperatures. In Southern Ontario, it’s going to rain more.

TVO chooses five finalists for its first annual TVO Doc Studio Contest.

The CRTC allows Viewer’s Choice Canada to expand from a regional to a national service.

As of January 23, 2012, cable/satellite providers who carry a Category B third-language, general-interest service, and/or a foreign-language, general-interest service, must provide a Category A channel in the same language. In layman’s terms, a cable/satellite provider can’t carry an optional foreign-language channel, without a must-carry channel in the same language.

Zodiak Media Group sells Rogers on a possible Canadian version of Secret Millionaire. Citytv airs the American, ABC version later in 2012.

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