Everything about Industry News, eh?

Link: Officials pushed Joly to approve funding for Canada 150 TV series on CBC

From Chris Hannay of The Globe and Mail:

Link: Officials pushed Joly to approve funding for Canada 150 TV series on CBC
Canadian bureaucrats urged Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly to change her mind about an earlier rejection and approve funding for a Canada 150 television show by touting how “important” the project was to the CBC, which receives more than $1-billion a year from taxpayers.

We Are Canada was ultimately approved for $500,000 from the federal Canada 150 Fund, after Ms. Joly turned down an earlier request from the department to give it $1-million. Continue reading. 

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History announces production on original docu-series Bud Dynasty

From a media release:

Green is the new gold. HISTORY, the #1 Specialty Entertainment Network*, announced today the start of production on the new Canadian original docu-series, Bud Dynasty (7×30). With filming underway today at the 4/20 event in Vancouver celebrating cannabis culture, the series follows intrepid entrepreneurs as they navigate Canada’s thriving and controversial marijuana industry at a time when the dubious plant is emerging from the shadows of prohibition and into the grow lights of legalization. Bud Dynasty is produced by Screen Siren Pictures Inc. and Henry Less (HL) Ontario Inc. in association with HISTORY. Broadcast details will be announced at a later date.

With the recent news of the federal government’s bill to legalize marijuana by July 2018, Canada may be the first industrialized nation to end pot prohibition. Canadians are experiencing a historic shift in the perspective on the product, and the potential impact of legalization is being deliberated across the country. In B.C. specifically, the marijuana industry is worth an estimated $2-7 billion annually, and produces 40% of all Canadian cannabis, making it some of the most valuable cash in the province.

Bud Dynasty chronicles this burgeoning green rush by following Canada’s most charismatic and uncompromising marijuana trailblazers who risk it all and bravely face serious obstacles in this uncharted territory. Pot pioneer Bob Kay is a burly biker and father of four who dreams of franchising on a massive scale, but also recognizes the volatility of the business. As Bob seeks out investment opportunities, he turns to Joe Le, a young entrepreneur and dispensary owner from Vancouver. Joe is making his mark on the cannabis industry and is intrigued by the possibilities of partnering with Bob and capitalizing on his grow license – which happens to be one of the largest in Canada.

However, the competition is fierce as franchise operators, large-scale growers, licensed producers, publicly traded companies, and other dispensaries each battle for a slice of the market and control over supply, distribution, and retail sales – all while facing local officials threatening to shut down all retail sales until regulations are in place. Bud Dynasty provides an all-access look into the frontier of the legalized pot business, its big players, the obstacles they face, and the epic journey of building a groundbreaking industry from the leaf up.

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CTV unveils The Launch, a new six-part original music series and international TV format

From a media release:

Showcasing a mix of vibrant voices and mic drop moments during the creation of the next chart-topping song, CTV announced today from Canadian Music Week the new, six-part music television series, THE LAUNCH, premiering in 2018. The new international television format is the first TV project culminating from the previously announced partnership between Bell Media and world-renowned record executive Scott Borchetta (AMERICAN IDOL), founder, president, and CEO of the Big Machine Label Group, whose roster features international superstars like Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, Florida Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts, and Thomas Rhett, among others. Reinventing the music competition genre, THE LAUNCH delivers an authentic behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a series of hit songs. Casting for the series is now open (see below), with production set to begin in Toronto this summer.

CTV also announced it has brought on board Eureka Productions’ acclaimed showrunner Paul Franklin, the creative mastermind behind the MASTERCHEF format, along with Canadian format pros Insight Productions (THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, BATTLE OF THE BLADES), one of Canada’s preeminent production companies. With an award-winning background in music television production, Insight CEO John Brunton and Insight’s Lindsay Cox (THE TRAGICALLY HIP: A NATIONAL CELEBRATION) are executive producers, along with Franklin and Borchetta.

Created for markets around the world, THE LAUNCH features a new and unique format: a group of unsigned musicians are mentored in the creation of a new original song by a panel of internationally renowned hit makers – including Borchetta.

Casting for the internationally renowned music mentors is underway. Additional program format information and special guests will be announced in the coming months.

CTV also confirmed today that casting for THE LAUNCH is now open. Aspiring megastars can prep their auditions for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in music. The deadline for submission is May 10 at 11:59 PM ET. For all casting details and updates, including instructions on how to apply, fans can visit CTV.ca/TheLaunch, the CTV Facebook Page, and follow @TheLaunchTV on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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The CRTC’s Differential Pricing Decision – for us content people

Over here on the content side of things most of us are not familiar with phrases such as ‘zero rating’ and ‘differential pricing practices’ so might tune out of a CRTC decision titled “Framework for Assessing the Differential Pricing Practices of Internet Service Providers” but we shouldn’t.  Net neutrality is an increasingly important concept for content creators and consumers.

Let’s go through a few definitions first.

Net neutrality is the principle that all data on the Internet should be treated the same.  It costs the same to the user, it is regulated (or not) the same and it is delivered the same (i.e. no throttling of certain kinds of data).  So the video or the game that you create is not treated any differently from email or music or apps etc.

Differential pricing is the practice of offering the same content or services to consumers at different prices.  Examples are:

Zero rating:  the practice of not charging consumers for certain kinds of data.  That could be sports or all video or gaming.  That data would then not be counted towards the consumers data cap and would make that service more competitive.

Sponsored data:  an application provider arranges with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to discount the data associated with its app.

The CRTC’s decision is to disallow these differential pricing practices (and any others that arise, based on a framework that has been developed to assess the practices) in order to maintain net neutrality.

In practical terms this means that immediately Vidéotron’s Unlimited Music Service, which excluded the data used by that music streaming service from certain mobile plans, was offside.  What it means for content creators is that ISPs cannot distinguish themselves on the basis of what content they have to offer – no exclusive access or zero-rated access to Netflix, or CraveTV or gaming.  They can compete on price and speed and size of the data caps but not content.  Look at this quote from the decision:

“The Commission considers that any short-term benefits of differential pricing practices would be greatly outweighed by the negative long-term impacts on consumer choice if ISPs were to act as gatekeepers of content through their use of such practices.”

Gatekeepers.  Does that sound familiar?  This is why the decision should be of interest to content creators, particularly those who are moving away from broadcasters as gatekeepers to offer their content directly to consumers.  The Differential Pricing Practices decision means that you will not be moving from broadcaster to ISP as gatekeeper.  For digital content creators it means that the ISP cannot insert itself between you and your audience.

 

 

 

 

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