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CRTC releases 2014 financial results for Canadian cable and satellite companies

From a media release:

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission today released statistical and financial information on Canadian terrestrial and satellite broadcast distribution companies for the year that ended August 31, 2014.

Overall, these companies’ revenues increased 1.5% from $8.8 billion in 2013 to $8.9 billion in 2014, despite the number of subscribers remaining relatively flat over the period, with a moderate decrease from 11.5 million to 11.4 million.

The revenues of cable and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service providers increased by a combined 3% from $6.3 billion in 2013 to $6.5 billion in 2014, while the number of subscribers held steady at 8.8 million. Growth was fuelled by Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), which added 29% more subscribers over the period and saw revenues increase by 39%, while the subscriptions and revenues of cable service providers decreased by 5.2% and 3.2%, respectively. For their part, satellite television providers saw revenues decrease by 2.4% to $2.4 billion, while the number of subscribers dropped by 4.9% to just under 2.6 million.

Spending by broadcasting distribution companies on content made by Canadians reached $474.9 million in 2014. Of this amount, $219.3 million was directed to the Canada Media Fund, $64.1 million to independent funds and $151.6 million to cable-based community channels and other sources of local content. The companies employed a total of 29,028 people in 2014.

New report format on performance of programming services
For the first time, the CRTC’s report on cable and satellite companies does not include information on Internet access, telephone services and other non-programming items.

Over the years, networks have evolved and are now used to offer a variety of advanced communication services, in addition to television programming. Moreover, companies are accessing the networks of the large companies to offer their own services to Canadians. As such, the CRTC’s report on cable and satellite companies cannot provide a complete picture of the Internet and telephony landscape. The CRTC will publish in-depth information on Internet and telephone services in the forthcoming edition of the Communications Monitoring Report.

The CRTC produces a series of reports annually to compile financial information on the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors. The CRTC has already released its report on Canadian local television stations for 2014. It will soon release reports on specialty, pay, per-per-view and video-on-demand services, and on AM and FM radio services.

These reports allow interested parties to keep up to date on the situation in the Canadian communications industry and help them participate in the CRTC’s public consultations.

TV Code for television service providers

As part of its Let’s Talk TV decisions, the CRTC has developed a draft code of conduct for television service providers to address the clarity and content of agreements. The CRTC is currently hosting an online discussion forum on the TV Code to ensure that it contains all the essential elements to empower Canadian television subscribers.

Canadians are invited to take part in the discussion and to share their views on such topics as offers and promotions, the clarity of written agreements, changing programming options and service calls. The discussion forum will remain open until May 25, 2015.

Quick facts: Cable and IPTV companies

  • In 2014, cable and IPTV companies reported revenues of $6.5 billion from their programming services. This total represents an increase of 3% from $6.3 billion in 2013.
  • Operating expenses for these companies increased by 7.6% from $5.1 billion to $5.5 billion.
  • The number of Canadian households that subscribed to a cable or IPTV company increased by 0.2% from 8.81 million to 8.83 million.
  • IPTV continues to register significant growth, with subscribers increasing 29% and revenues up 39% in 2014.
  • Cable companies saw declines in both subscriptions and revenues of 5.2% and 3.2% respectively.
  • In 2014, the total number of terrestrial television distribution company employees rose by 1.3% from 26,852 to 27,188 people. Total employee earnings rose by 5.6% from $2.2 billion to $2.3 billion.
  • In 2014, cable and IPTV companies spent $2.5 billion on affiliation payments for pay and specialty services. This total represents a 7.8% increase compared to the $2.3 billion spent in 2013.

Quick facts: Satellite companies

  • Satellite companies’ revenues decreased by 2.4% from $2.5 billion in 2013 to $2.4 billion in 2014.
  • Operating expenses for these companies were essentially unchanged at $1.6 billion.
  • The number of Canadian households that subscribed to a satellite company’s television service decreased by 4.9% from 2.7 million to 2.6 million.
  • Satellite companies employed 1,840 people in 2014, down from 1,973 in 2013. These companies spent $162 million on salaries in 2014, down from $183 million the previous year.
  • Satellite companies saw affiliation payments increase by 1.9% from $794 million in 2013 to $809 million in 2014.

Six-Part Original Documentary Series Reelside Explores Canadian Filmmakers and Mentors Premieres June 4

From a media release:

The Movie Network goes behind the scenes of the creative process with REELSIDE, a new six-part, half-hour original documentary series that celebrates the stories of prominent Canadians both in front of and behind the camera. Debuting Thursday, June 4 at 9 p.m. ET on The Movie Network, each episode follows filmmakers on a unique journey, such as Sarah Gadon who partners with Caitlin Cronenberg on a photography project, Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen who share experiences about being Canadian boys in Hollywood, and Matthew Hannam who sets off with mentors Don McKellar and Bruce McDonald on a classically Canadian road trip.

Following the premiere episode of REELSIDE, featuring Sarah Gadon and Caitlin Cronenberg, is a special presentation of the Canadian feature film, Enemy, starring Gadon and Jake Gyllenhaal.

REELSIDE is a production from Fifth Ground Entertainment in association with The Movie Network and Movie Central. Executive Producers are Richard Crouse, Raj Panikkar, and Christopher Szarka. Producers are Szarka and Panikkar. Directors are Sarah Gadon, Philip Riccio, Taylor Clarke, Matthew Hannam, Matthew Lochner, and Raj Panikkar.


Ep 101 – Caitlin Cronenberg with Sarah Gadon
Premieres Thursday, June 4 at 9 p.m. ET

Commissioned by an Italian fashion magazine for a photography project, celebrated photographer Caitlin Cronenberg and actor Sarah Gadon (Maps to the Stars) travel to Bruce Peninsula National Park. This episode explores how the pair connected amidst the Hollywood and Fashion machine, and issues of image-making, film, and fashion. Sarah Gadon’s directorial debut.

Ep 102 – Philip Riccio with George A. Romero
Premieres Thursday, June 11 at 9 p.m. ET

Actor Philip Riccio (REPUBLIC OF DOYLE) goes behind the camera to explore filmmaking in the pre-digital era with his mentor, horror film icon George A. Romero (Night of the Living DeadCreepshow). Together, they remake one of Romero’s lost films. Romero guides Phil through 16mm filmmaking, reminiscing about his long career along the way.

Ep 103 –Evan Goldberg with Seth Rogen and Matthew Bass
Premieres Thursday, June 18 at 9 p.m. ET

This episode catches Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen in LA on the set of big budget comedy Neighbors and at the premiere of their more personal project, This is the End. On the crux of the next big step forward in their careers, they share their journey from Canadian boys to making it big in Hollywood. Meanwhile, the pair guide rising talent Matt Bass through an endless string of rejections.

Ep 104 – Science Fiction
Premieres Thursday, June 25 at 9 p.m. ET

Vincenzo Natali (Cube) takes audiences through a demonstration of world building, from conceptualizing a project from scratch to a fully realized creation. Graeme Manson (ORPHAN BLACK), Michael Hogan (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA), Astronaut and Space-X Engineer Garrett Reisman, and film critic Jesse Wente all weigh in on the genre and the critical point at which science meets fiction.

Ep 105 – Don McKellar and Bruce McDonald
Premieres Thursday, July 2 at 9 p.m. ET

Accomplished editor Matthew Hannam (SENSITIVE SKIN) sets off to Northern Ontario with his mentors, Don McKellar (SENSITIVE SKIN) and Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo), to create a documentary about their careers. Along the way, the two legends explore the iconic power of the Canadian road movie.

Ep 106 – Superheroes
Premieres Thursday, July 9 at 9 p.m. ET

Emerging filmmaker Matthew Lochner is on a journey to create his own superhero concept, complete with a trailer. Along the way, Matthew enlists the help of Stephen Amell (ARROW), David Hayter (X-Men), and Lloyd Kaufman (The Troma Empire) to understand what it means to be a superhero, what’s behind the genre, and what it means to fans while uncovering glimpses of what drives them in their careers.

Four Peaks Media Group Launches in Canada

From a media release:

Four Peaks Media Group announced today their official Canadian launch. Formed in Los Angeles in January 2015, the company is co-owned by Canadians Ben Nemtin, Dave Lingwood, and brothers Duncan and Jonnie Penn, who created, starred, and co-executive produced The Buried Life (MTV). Four Peaks brings their experience from in front of the camera, to behind it, concentrating on impact storytelling and The Buried Life’s tradition of changing lives.

Four Peaks’ slate includes projects and partners in scripted, unscripted, and branded content projects. Three confirmed for broadcast in 2015/2016 are: Greatest Party Story Ever (co-produced with Den of Thieves for MTV US, premiering January 2016) focused on the funniest, craziest, most unbelievable stories from everyday people, brought to life in part through animation; Letterkenny (co-produced with New Metric Media for CraveTV) based on the web series Letterkenny Problems; and one-hour special Rocky Mountain Reno hosted by Trista and Ryan Sutter (co-produced with Tricon Films for HGTV US; premiering May 31).

Additionally, Super Channel has given The Buried Life film development funding for first-look rights to air the feature-length documentary in English Canada, they are developing tech series The Woz (working title) with Steve Wozniak and Kari Byron, as well as a scripted project with Executive Producer Vin Diesel. Four Peaks’ has also collaborated on campaigns with The Weinstein Company for the launch of feature film The Giver and followed that with #EpicBucketList, a global campaign for Contiki, the #1 youth travel company in the world.

OMNI Television Refreshes Programming Slate

From a media release:

OMNI Television announced today a refreshed programming slate, delivering viewers all-new, authentic, and interactive current affairs content that is truly reflective of their communities.

These new half-hour current affairs programs, which replace the newscasts in B.C. and Ontario, will air weekdays in multiple languages and will engage audiences on a more local and topical level while providing a forum for community discussion. The programs premiere May 11.

The new current affairs series will be hosted by veteran OMNI Television on-air personalities and will focus on local issues from the unique perspective of their respective communities. The series will also feature special guests in-studio to tackle the hot topics, such as provincial and municipal news, healthcare, business and the environment. OMNI Television viewers are invited to join the conversation by sharing their opinions, thoughts, and ideas with the hosts via social media.

In addition, OMNI Television viewers in Edmonton and Calgary will receive award-winning OMNI Television documentaries while viewers in Ontario will be able to watch popular novellas in Italian.

OMNI Television continues to broadcast in more than 40 languages as part of its refreshed programming slate, and is the leading multilingual broadcaster in North America.

Broadcast details in each market are as follows:

OMNI Television Ontario 

The below series will replace previously scheduled programming in the indicated timeslot. All times ET. 

South Asian Today will air on OMNI.2, weekdays (Monday to Friday) from 8 to 8:30 p.m. The series will be hosted by Yudhvir Jaswal.

OMNI: Cantonese will air on OMNI.2, weekdays (Monday to Friday) from 9 to 9:30 p.m. The series will be hosted by Kenneth Li and Candy Chan.

OMNI: Mandarin will air on OMNI.2, weekdays (Monday to Friday) from 9:30 to10 p.m. The series will be hosted by Wei Lee and Jie Yang.

OMNI Television B.C.

The below series will replace previously scheduled programming in the indicated timeslot. All times PT. 

OMNI: Punjabi will air weekdays (Monday to Friday) from 8 to 8:30 p.m. The series will be hosted by Jasdip Wahla, Dilbar Kang, and Tarannum Thind.

OMNI: Cantonese will air weekdays (Monday to Friday) from 9 to 9:30 p.m. The series will be hosted by Karen So‎ and Otto Tang.

OMNI: Mandarin will air weekdays (Monday to Friday) from 9:30 to 10 p.m. The series will be hosted by Bowen Zhang and Tina Song.

Link: Rogers to cut jobs, end all OMNI newscasts

From Simon Houpt of The Globe and Mail:

Rogers to cut jobs, end all OMNI newscasts
Rogers Media Inc. is cutting approximately 100 positions from its conventional TV operations, and eliminating all newscasts on its multicultural OMNI stations, as it grapples with spiralling losses at its City and OMNI broadcasters.

Staff across the country are receiving pink slips Thursday, with the brunt of the cuts coming at the troubled OMNI operations and stations in the West. Continue reading.