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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Bell Media launches Project Latte streaming service

From a media release:

Bell Media to Launch New Streaming Service Devoted Exclusively to Exceptional TV

  • “Project Latte” to feature best-in-class programming from Hollywood and around the world
  • HBO’s seminal library including THE SOPRANOS, THE WIRE, and SEX AND THE CITY is first exclusive content confirmed for Canada’s premium streaming service
  • New subscription on-demand service to deliver more than 10,000 hours of quality TV content

Bell Media announced today it will soon launch a new video streaming service devoted exclusively to the best content on television. From the company with more than a decade of leadership delivering Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed television programming across the Pay, Specialty, and Network TV landscapes, the on-demand subscription service, currently code-named “Project Latte”, will feature thousands of hours of content representing TV’s top premium brands including, it was confirmed today, HBO. With content from all key Hollywood major and independent studios, “Project Latte” does not duplicate existing services, but instead features additive and exclusive programming.

Now available to every TV provider in Canada, “Project Latte” is designed to enhance the value of the subscription television ecosystem. “Project Latte” will therefore be made available to all TV subscribers in the country, pending agreements with participating TV providers, on their traditional set-top box, as well as via mobile apps, the web, and other platforms including game consoles and Smart TVs. Additional details will be announced in the weeks to come.

“We built Project Latte as a complementary service that will delight and amaze viewers with thousands of hours of premium entertainment available on-demand and on the device of their choice,” said Kevin Crull, President, Bell Media. “Project Latte addresses a significant gap in the Canadian TV system and allows TV providers to greatly enhance the value they provide to their clients. We are incredibly excited about the potential for this product and how it fits into our overall portfolio of Canada’s best television brands and programs.”

“If you like TV, you will love Project Latte’s program lineup,” said Mike Cosentino, Senior Vice-President, Programming, Bell Media. “Our singular focus on TV series, along with our established studio relationships in Hollywood and beyond, means we are uniquely positioned and hyper-focused on delivering the best TV programs to the most-devoted TV lovers. While our extensive HBO deal is a game-changer and instantly makes us a viewer favourite, HBO content comprises only 10% of our planned inventory at launch. Stay tuned as Project Latte’s complete lineup is revealed in the weeks to come.”

HBO is the first of many world-class content partners announced for “Project Latte”, which, further to Bell Media’s previously announced agreement, will be the Canadian home of the entire off-air library of HBO’s iconic programming catalogue. As confirmed today, “Project Latte” will feature the entire HBO scripted library, featuring some of the most-celebrated television programming of all time. In addition to THE SOPRANOS and SEX AND THE CITY, additional Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning HBO classic series to be available on “Project Latte” include SIX FEET UNDER, BAND OF BROTHERS, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, BIG LOVE, ENTOURAGE, OZ, IN TREATMENT, HUNG, ROME, and DEADWOOD, among others. “Project Latte” will also feature creator David Simon’s newly re-mastered version of THE WIRE, which will be presented in HD for the first time.

“Project Latte” will also showcase the complete HBO Films catalogue of nearly 100 titles that have been the recipients of countless Academy®, Golden Globe, Peabody, and Emmy Awards, as well as the Palme d’Or and other film festival accolades. Among the selections are ELEPHANT, AMERICAN SPLENDOUR, BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, GAME CHANGE, TEMPLE GRANDIN, CONSPIRACY, THE GATHERING STORM, THE NORMAL HEART, and GREY GARDENS.

As well, “Project Latte” is the home to more than 150 titles from the HBO Documentaries library, including Academy Award-nominated 4 LITTLE GIRLS, the Emmy and Peabody award-winning WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS, SIX BY SONDHEIM, and the recent festival favourite SEDUCED AND ABANDONED.

Finally, “Project Latte” will exclusively feature HBO’s lineup of close to 160 iconic stand-up comedy specials featuring some of the biggest names in comedy of all time, including George Carlin, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Maher, Dennis Miller, Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman, Margaret Cho, and more.

About “Project Latte”
Created for TV lovers and devoted exclusively to television, “Project Latte” is Canada’s premium subscription on-demand service, providing the most robust lineup of hit television content in the country. From TV’s most-acclaimed dramas and beloved comedies to documentaries, music, and factual programming, “Project Latte” will feature more than 10,000 hours of non-kids TV programming, with more than 350 unique TV titles. Designed to complement traditional television, the video service gives viewers the ability to watch thousands of hours of hit past and present TV series. Available to all TV providers, “Project Latte” will be delivered via set-top box, apps, online, and other platforms. “Project Latte” is from Bell Media, Canada’s premier multi-media company.

Rogers and Vice team for Canadian studio and content

rogers

From a media release:

After 20 years of traversing the globe to create the gold standard in print, photojournalism and video, VICE Media will return home to Canada to team up with Rogers and establish a state-of-the-art multimedia production studio. The new Toronto studio, which will operate under VICE’s creative direction, will be dedicated to producing the very best Canadian content for mobiles, tablets, computers and TV screens and will be exported around the world.

The VICE Canada Studio will address the dramatic shift in Canada’s media landscape, as young people increasingly consume news and entertainment from their mobile and digital devices (nearly 70 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds receive news and entertainment from their mobiles, tablets or a computer, versus only 30 per cent of 40-year-olds and over).

Shane Smith, Founder, VICE Media, said: “It was 20 years ago, deep down in the port of Old Montreal that we set out to try and make a magazine that didn’t suck. This year we return to the homeland, all our hard lessons learned, to build from scratch a completely horizontally and vertically integrated ultra-modern media entity. Essentially we are building a content creation hub that will generate premium video for a cutting edge media company that will program – simultaneously – the holy trinity of convergence; mobile, online, and TV.”

VICE Canada properties will form part of a $100 million joint venture between Rogers and VICE Media that includes:

  • The VICE Canada Studio, a multimedia, state-of-the-art production facility based in Toronto, will:
    • Produce Canadian-focused content including news, drama, documentaries and programming covering food, sports, fashion, tech, and more, for all screens;
    • Partner and collaborate with Canada’s best young directors, producers, journalists, editors and filmmakers, giving them the tools and guidance to create the next wave of great content coming out of Canada;
    • Include an incubator featuring programming and workshops intended to develop and foster students and burgeoning journalists across Canada.
  • The VICE TV Network, a dedicated Canadian TV channel distributed throughout Canada;
  • Mobile content, including exclusives and adapted content;
  • VICE’s network of Canadian digital properties, featuring more Canadian content.

The VICE Canada Studio will make a range of content including:

  • Daily mobile blasts of exciting Canadian-made news and information including exclusives for Rogers and Fido customers;
  • VICE TV Formats, a brand new slate of television formats developed, produced and made with new Canadian talent to air on the VICE TV Network;
  • VICE Plus, mobile adaptations of VICE’s new and best-known franchises, including the environmental show TOXIC; and F*CK THAT’S DELICIOUS starring the rapper and former chef Action Bronson, as well as pilots for new VICE shows.

VICE Studio, VICE Mobile, and VICE PLUS will launch in Canada in 2015.

TiVo lands on Cogeco

cogeco

From a media release:

The next evolution in TV entertainment has landed. TiVo, the leader in advanced television services, is now available in Canada from Cogeco Cable Canada. In Ontario markets where it operates, Cogeco Cable Canada will now offer Cogeco TiVo Service, the ultimate personalized home entertainment experience.

TiVo’s advanced, fully integrated search function mines through live TV, recorded, on-demand and Over-the-top (OTT) content, including Netflix, to show users what programs are available to watch. It is the only operator platform to offer full Netflix integration. Users with a Netflix subscription access Netflix content through the TiVo platform with one simple unified search, without requiring any additional external devices. TiVo also helps users discover new content by providing personalized recommendations. The platform automatically records content that it predicts might be of interest to the user.

Cogeco TiVo Service also extends out of home, with a Cogeco TV app, available on supported iOS devices, customers can search, browse and schedule recordings from anywhere. Additionally, users can download DVR recordings to their iOS mobile devices running the Cogeco TV app to watch from anywhere, without the need for a WiFi access. An app for Android is expected to follow in April 2015.

The Cogeco TiVo Service will be available starting November 3, 2014 for Ontario residents in Cogeco Cable Canada markets. The service will be available in Quebec Cogeco Cable Canada markets in spring 2015 after the platform interface, language and recommendations algorithm is customized for a Quebec audience.