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CFC welcomes ABC Signature Studios as associate sponsor of Bell Media Prime Time TV Program

From a media release:

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Bell Media are pleased to welcome ABC Signature Studios as the new associate sponsor of the highly touted Bell Media Prime Time TV program. ABC Signature spearheads development and production in premium and basic cable,emerging platforms and off-cycle, direct-to-series programming. Their presence as both a sponsor and U.S. studio partner will directly benefit the Program and its participants, ensuring vital support for the Canadian production industry.

The Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, presented in association with ABC Signature delivers a real world story room experience, an intense professional and project development process for six to eight TV writers a year. Participants spend three months working on an original series intended for the marketplace under the mentorship of an experienced creator/showrunner delivering a rigorous story room experience while building strong collaborative team skills and creative partnerships. During the remaining two months, participants develop their own original series concept through a series of workshops and story sessions while also being exposed to key industry players through business and marketplace meetings.

The 2016/17 Program is set to begin in September 2016.

CBC original movie Unclaimed airs Saturday, July 23

From a media release:

Drawn from Stevie Cameron’s national bestseller, On The Farm, comes UNCLAIMED. The two-hour original movie is a fictional recreation of the events surrounding and leading up to the arrest of Robert ‘Willie’ Pickton, told from the perspective of the women of Vancouver’s notorious Downtown East Side.

The story follows Nikki Taylor (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers), a quick-witted and spirited single mother who works the streets and becomes aware that an alarming number of sex workers in the area continue to go missing. Nikki alerts local police officer Sinead McLeod (Sara Canning), who begins working to raise flags with her superiors about the matter. While the two work to bring attention to the issue, they must fight against societal and systematic indifference which causes the case to be ignored.

McLeod quickly finds herself caught between the politics of her department and the desire to follow her instincts when the women continue rapidly to disappear. Following a public outcry, tensions increase and law enforcement finally makes its move and pairs McLeod with Sergeant Keeley (Patrick Gallagher), who is still haunted by an unsolved Jane Doe case. Fighting an uphill battle, Officers McLeod and Keeley find their strongest allies in Nikki and social worker Elaine (Sarah Strange), and together they begin their desperate hunt for a serial killer and to bring justice for the victims and their families.

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers as “Nikki Taylor,” Sara Canning as “Constable Sinead McLeod,” Patrick Gallagher as “Sergeant Jeff Keeley,” Sarah Strange as “Elaine Brooks,” Olivia Steele Falconer as “Tara Richards.”

Rupert Harvey, Executive Producer; Rachel Talalay, Director; Dennis Foon, Writer

HGTV Canada greenlights two new original series

From a media release:

The blueprints are complete and the foundation has been poured for two new, original HGTV Canada series featuring returning and new talented hosts ready to showcase trendsetting projects. Home to Win builder Sebastian Clovis partners with the budget-savvy DIY designer Sabrina Smelko in Save My Reno. This energetic and imaginative pair helps cash-strapped homeowners transform their struggling spaces into spectacular reveals, with savings to spare. The action continues outdoors with Backyard Builds, a new series starring contractor Brian McCourt and designer Sarah Keenleyside as they produce one-of-a-kind designs in ordinary backyard spaces. Whether it’s a custom-made container guest suite sleeping four or a man cave complete with games area and home theatre, this visionary duo creates endless possibilities with a blank backyard. Casting is currently underway for both series at hgtv.ca/castingcall with productions slated to begin in August across the GTA.

In the upbeat new series Save My Reno (14×30), cash-conscious homeowners finally catch a break when Sebastian Clovis, the savvy contractor with contagious energy, and Sabrina Smelko, the resourceful DIY designer, toss out overpriced reno quotes and make dreams come true with a slashed budget and spectacular renovation. Sebastian and Sabrina save by putting homeowners to work and hunting for salvaged goods. Fresh off an appearance as a guest judge on an episode of W Network’s Game of Homes, Sabrina is a wiz at finding restored pieces at great prices while creating amazing designs and crafted items. Sebastian is the master at smart spends for breakout builds and custom surprises. Together, they give homeowners the reno they want on a budget they can afford. Produced by Great Pacific Television and developed in association with Corus Entertainment, Save My Reno is currently slated to premiere in Spring 2017.

When indoor space isn’t enough, Backyard Builds (8×30) showcases the endless opportunities outdoor areas can provide without breaking the bank. The series stars contractor and designer Brian McCourt and design expert Sarah Keenleyside who work with homeowners to maximize their backyard potential to create tailored, one-of-a-kind structures. Whether it’s a yoga studio, recording facility, whimsicle jungle gym, tiki bar, bowling alley or an al fresco dining area with a kitchen, this contractor and designer duo can extend any living space on a budget. Sarah is a bright, outgoing designer with a knack for creative projects. Brian completed his first home flip by 19 and can now take a project from demo through to construction and design. Together, they can design and construct any structure that a homeowner can imagine. Produced by Frantic Films and developed in association with Corus Entertainment, Backyard Builds is currently scheduled to premiere in Spring 2017.

Subscriptions to cable, IPTV and satellite declined but revenues remained steady

From a media release:

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission today released statistical and financial information on Canadian cable, Internet Protocol television (IPTV) and satellite companies for the year ending on August 31, 2015.

In 2015, Canadian cable, IPTV and satellite companies reported a slight decline in revenues of $11.8 million (0.1%) to $8.9 billion, while expenses increased by 1.3% to $7.2 billion.  As a result, the operating margin decreased to its lowest level in five years, but remained healthy at 19%. These companies employed 27,244 in 2015, down 6.3% from 2014.

The overall number of subscribers decreased from 11.4 million in 2014 to 11.2 million in 2015, continuing a two-year trend.  However, the average total revenue per subscriber increased from $65.25 in 2014 to $66.08 per month in 2015. IPTV companies continued to grow reporting double-digit increases in subscribers for 2015.

Spending by television service providers on the creation and production of Canadian-made content decreased by $38.1 million in 2015 to $436.9 million.  Of this amount, $219.6 million was directed to the Canada Media Fund, $64.7 million to independent funds and $152.6 million to community channels and other sources of local content.

Quick facts

  • In 2015, cable and IPTV companies reported revenues of $6.6 billion from programming services. This total represents an increase of 1.7 % from $6.5 billion in 2014.
  • Satellite companies’ revenues decreased by 5.2% from $2.4 billion in 2014 to $2.3 billion in 2015.
  • The number of Canadian households that subscribed to a cable or IPTV company increased from 0.3% to 8.9 million.
  • The number of Canadian households that subscribed to a satellite company’s television service decreased by 7.2% from 2.6 million to 2.4 million.
  • The operating margin for cable and IPTV companies increased from 15.8% in 2014 to 16.1% in 2015.  The operating margin for the satellite companies decreased from 32% in 2014 to 27.7% in 2015.
  • Operating expenses for the cable, IPTV and satellite companies increased by 1.3% from $7.1 billion to $7.2 billion.
  • In 2015, cable and IPTV companies spent over $2.6 billion on affiliation payments for the pay and specialty services they carry. This total represents a 5.7% increase compared to the $2.5 billion spent in 2014.
  • Satellite companies’ affiliation payments decreased by 2.9% from $809 million in 2014 to $786 million in 2015.
  • The CRTC produces a series of reports annually that provide information on the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors.
  • The CRTC recently published the financial results for specialty, pay, pay-per-view and video-on-demand servicesconventional television stations and AM and FM radio stations.
  • The CRTC’s annual reports help interested parties to stay informed about the state of the Canadian communication industry and participate in the CRTC’s public consultations.

The CRTC’s report on cable, IPTV and satellite companies does not include information on Internet access, telephone services and other non-programming items. The CRTC will publish information on these services in the upcoming edition of the Communications Monitoring Report, in fall 2016.  

Link: Canadian producers stymied by Brexit waiting game

From Eli Glasner of CBC:

Link: Canadian producers stymied by Brexit waiting game
Like navigating through a thick London fog, Canadian TV and film producers trying to understand the changing terrain of Europe see only uncertainty.

The results of the EU referendum, where a slim majority of Britons voted to leave, caught many Canadian producers off guard. John Weber is the CEO and president of Take 5, the company responsible for a string of European co-productions including the The Tudors, Camelot and Vikings, currently shooting its fifth season. Continue reading.