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Link: More choice, smaller bills in store for TV viewers

From James Bradshaw of The Globe and Mail:

More choice, smaller bills in store for TV viewers
So-called cord cutting, and how to contain it, will be top of mind for many TV executives in 2016, as viewers will be given new choices. The federal broadcast regulator has promised rule changes to let customers choose which channels they pay for, and will require companies to shrink the size of basic cable and satellite bundles.

At the same time, and perhaps more importantly, new streaming technologies and online competitors built in the mould of Netflix Inc. are expanding, giving viewers a wider range of relatively low-cost alternatives, in turn causing some to rethink the value of their monthly TV bill. Continue reading.

Link: TVO’s ‘The Agenda’ born again

From Martin Knelman of the Toronto Star:

TVO’s ‘The Agenda’ born again
Research confirmed that young audiences like what TVO does and know who Paikin is but rarely watch the broadcast. So starting now, instead of being a seamless one-hour program, The Agenda becomes a magazine, typically with three 15-to-20 minute items. That way, people who rely on their mobile devices to discover what’s new and interesting can have a brief encounter with one segment. Plus there will be clips on Facebook and Twitter, which link back to the full version on TVO’s website. Continue reading. 

The 14th Annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto Nominees

From a media release:

ACTRA Toronto is delighted to announce the nominees for the 14th Annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto. The ACTRA Awards in Toronto will take place at The Carlu on Saturday, February 20, 2016.

Nominees for Outstanding Performance – Voice:

  • Christian Distefano (Artie) Creative Galaxy, “Christmas Memories” (9 Story Media Group)
  • Andrew Jackson (Buford) Numb Chucks, “Flock of Steven Seagulls” (9 Story Media Group)
  • Julie Lemieux (Granny Butternut) Numb Chucks, “Tough Love” (9 Story Media Group)
  • Bryn McAuley (Quills) Numb Chucks, “Quills and Present Danger” (9 Story Media Group)
  • Adrian Truss (Armand the Sasquatch) Camp Lakebottom, “The Abominable Dr. Squatch” (9 Story Media Group)

Nominees for Outstanding Performance – Female:

  • Torri Higginson (Natalie LawsonThis Life, “Gut Punch” (Sphere Media Plus)
  • Christine Horne (Jennifer) Hyena Road (Rhombus Media)
  • Tatiana Maslany (various) Orphan Black, “History Yet to Be Written” (Temple Street Productions)
  • Catherine O’Hara (Moira RoseSchitt’s Creek, “Wine and Roses” (Not A Real Company)
  • Shailyn Pierre-Dixon (Young AminataBook of Negroes, Episode 1 (Conquering Lion Pictures)

Nominees for Outstanding Performance – Male: 

  • Nigel Bennett (Giles) Murdoch Mysteries, “What Lies Buried” (Shaftesbury Films)
  • Kevin Hanchard (Detective Art BellOrphan Black, “Formalized,
  • Complex and Costly” (Temple Street Productions)
  • Dylan Harman (Eugene) The Rainbow Kid (Other People’s Films)
  • Christopher Plummer (Zev GuttmanRemember (Serendipity Point Films)
  • Rossif Sutherland (Ryan) Hyena Road (Rhombus Media)

Sarah Gadon will pick up the 2016 ACTRA Toronto Award of Excellence. The Award of Excellence recognizes an exceptional body of work and a commitment to advocacy on behalf of all performers. The show will be hosted by comic Martha Chaves.

ACTRA Toronto is the largest organization within ACTRA, representing over 15,000 of Canada’s 22,000 professional performers working in recorded media in Canada.  As an advocate for Canadian culture since 1943, ACTRA is a member-driven union that continues to secure rights and respect for the work of professional performers.

Harper legacy spells trouble for Canadian TV

From a media release:

A first-of-its-kind independent economic forecast shows regulatory changes espoused by the Harper government and adopted in last year’s CRTC Let’s Talk TV announcements will likely lead to the loss of more than 15,000 Canadian jobs and take $1.4 billion from the Canadian economy annually by 2020.

Co-authored by the economic and media consulting firm Nordicity and Peter H. Miller, the 100-page study – Canadian Television 2020: Technological and Regulatory Impacts – also forecasts the CRTC decisions will likely result in a $400 million annual drop in spending on Canadian programs by 2020 and accelerate the impact of technological change while weakening Canadian broadcasters.

The study’s authors have advanced proposals to reduce the negative economic impact of the CRTC’s decisions by as much as 75%: “This would not, in our view, require ‘turning back the clock’ on all the Let’s Talk TV decisions. It would merely require relatively minor ‘tweaking’ that recognizes Canadians as broadcasting policy has always recognized them – not merely as consumers, but as creators and citizens too.”

The study found the CRTC’s decisions regarding unbundling, over-the-top (OTT) TV and the predominance of Canadian programs are the primary drivers of this erosion.  Not yet implemented, these changes are scheduled to take effect starting in March.

Canadian Television 2020: Technological and Regulatory Impacts was commissioned by ACTRA, the Canadian Media Guild, Directors Guild of Canada, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting and Unifor.

The full report can be read here.

First Look at VICELAND Features World Premieres of Cyberwar and Best of VICE Canada on City

From a media release:

Rogers and VICE present a first look at the programming available on upcoming Canadian specialty channel VICELAND, with the world premiere of original, documentary series Cyberwar on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on City.

A 16-part, half-hour documentary series, Cyberwar centres around the conflicts being waged on the world’s newest battlefield – the Internet – and the federal agencies, activists, (para-)militaries and corporations fighting them. Hosted by VICE News’s Ben Makuch, each episode focuses on one case study, investigation, or hypothetical scenario of geopolitical significance, explored through conversations with experts shot in unexpected locations, curated historical archives, and sophisticated animation and effects.

In addition, viewers can catch the Best of VICE Canada every Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning January 3 on City. Never before aired on television, Best of VICE Canada will premiere VICE’s Canadian-made, digital-first documentaries, including in-depth investigative pieces The New Era of Canadian Sex WorkCanada’s Waterless Communities: Nekastanga, and Cloning the Woolly Mammoth.

The newest addition to the Rogers Media specialty portfolio, VICELAND will launch in Winter 2016, featuring hundreds of hours of new, exclusive programming, including Gaycation with Ellen Page (Freeheld) and friend and co-host Ian Daniel, and Black Market with Michael K. Williams (The Wire). Also a proud home to Canadian content, VICELAND will feature many series produced out of the VICE Canada studio, including Terror with VICE Media Co-Founder Suroosh Alvi.