All posts by Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and owner of TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.

Link: TV writer Zarqa Nawaz creates stories that challenge stereotypes about Muslim women

From Debra Yeo of the Toronto Star:

Link: TV writer Zarqa Nawaz creates stories that challenge stereotypes about Muslim women
Between 2012, when the sitcom “Little Mosque on the Prairie” went off the air, and today, as Zarqa Nawaz’s latest TV series is about to debut, our small screens haven’t exactly been awash in Muslim women. Continue reading.

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Links: Shoresy, Season 1

From Kelly Boutsalis of the Toronto Star:

Link: ‘Shoresy’ puts Indigenous characters at centre ice
“Shoresy,” the much-anticipated “Letterkenny” spinoff, is first and foremost a love letter to scrappy minor league hockey teams and it is also rich with Indigenous representation. Continue reading.

From Sean Fitz-Gerald of The Athletic:

Link: What ‘Letterkenny’ and its new spinoff ‘Shoresy’ have to say about hockey: ‘It’s observational’
Over a six-episode arc, the new show spotlights a minor supporting character from the original, a foul-mouthed, stick-swinging, trash-talking hockey player known as Shoresy. His cameo appearances in the first series were generally limited to searing verbal attacks on teammates and opponents who entered his orbit. Continue reading.

From Mia Jensen of The Sudbury Star:

Link: ‘Letterkenny spinoff ‘Shoresy’ makes Sudbury one of its characters
But Sudburians who have never seen or even heard of “Letterkenny” or its new sibling will likely recognize something else — the logo of their most popular local hockey team, the Sudbury Wolves, at centre ice beneath the players’ skates. Continue reading.

From Lyndsay Aelick of CTV Northern Ontario:

Link: Letterkenny spinoff Shoresy embraces everything about Sudbury
From Sudbury Arena to the Colson, from the Laughing Buddha to Peppi Panini, a new TV series debuting this week has a lot of Sudbury. Shoresy was not only filmed in the Nickel City, the series embraces all things about Sudbury. Continue reading.

From Sean Loughran of the Daily Hive:

Link: There’s a hockey show in town: Tasya Teles talks Letterkenny spinoff Shoresy
“I was really nervous for a bit because it’s such a different tone to what I’m used to. Jared [Keeso] and Jacob [Tierney] are so good at what they do, and they have such a well-oiled machine. With all their experience from Letterkenny, they made it really easy for us. I saw a few episodes, and they are awesome. It’s great to be in comedy.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Tasya Teles’ Nat is ready to go head to head with Shoresy
“I was already definitely a big fan. I had been watching Letterkenny since the beginning. When I heard about Shoresy I went back and rewatched everything and revisited it. I rediscovered the brilliance of the comedy and it amped me up even more than I already was.” Continue reading.

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fuboTV lands EPL broadcast rights in Canada for the next three seasons

On-demand sports streaming platform fuboTV has obtained exclusive broadcast rights of the English Premier League (EPL) in Canada for the next three years. DAZN’s current deal expires at the end of the 2021/22 EPL season, with Canadians having to switch subscription plans to get access to all 380 EPL games next season. The EPL is one of the most covered competitions in world sport. As such, it’s also one of the most popular events for sports bettors, specifically those who receive sign-up offers from reputable sportsbooks, attributed as a reward for using their services for the first time. The final day of the 2021/22 EPL season is one of multiple events that bettors will watch and wager on this month, alongside the likes of the French Open tennis and golf’s US PGA Championship.

In Canada, the EPL is certainly one of the most popular soccer leagues among viewers, encouraging fuboTV to land its highest-profile media rights acquisition yet. The financial terms of the deal have not been publicly disclosed. The EPL’s media rights in the US would be an interesting comparison. NBC landed the current broadcasting rights of the EPL for the next six seasons at the cost of over $2.7 billion, according to The Associated Press.

fuboTV’s soccer coverage for 2022/23
In August 2021, fuboTV’s Canadian subscribers benefitted from an exciting media rights deal when it landed the English-speaking rights to the Italian Serie A in Canada, as well as the nation’s premier cup competition, the Coppa Italia. It has also tested the water with other major European leagues, notably the French Ligue 1, due to its partnership with OneSoccer. FuboTV is also the number-one port of call for soccer fans to catch a glimpse of Canada’s very own Premier League, which was only recently established in 2019.

Following the announcement of fuboTV’s EPL rights acquisition, its head of content strategy and acquisition, Ben Grad, labelled the move “fair value” for what the platform believes is “great property” for its loyal subscriber base. The platform’s co-founder and chief executive, David Gandler, also said this latest partnership gives Canadian soccer fans “another reason to cut the cord.”

FuboTV’s aggregated platform of broadcasters also includes BeIN Sports and Benfica TV, as well as OneSoccer, ensuring its subscribers will be able to catch every kick from the EPL, as well as the Canadian Premier League, the French Ligue 1 and all of Benfica’s Portuguese Primeira Liga games in 2022/23.

The platform has been on a steady upward curve since its owners’ decision to go public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021. Outside of Canada, it landed media rights to broadcast all South American 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers to its US-based subscribers.

Looking deeper into its financial credentials, fuboTV anticipates having over 1.1 million active subscribers by the end of its latest financial year. Meanwhile, its revenue forecasts for the same period have also been revised upwards to a projection between $617m and $627m.

Photo by Adrian Curiel on Unsplash.

What’s next for DAZN?
DAZN’s Canada subsidiary still retains exclusive media rights for many of the biggest sporting events in North America and beyond. It still covers every play of the NFL, as well as Europe’s biggest soccer club competition, the UEFA Champions League. Norm Lem, senior vice president of revenue at DAZN Canada, says the platform is “continuously exploring opportunities” to add greater value to its sports streaming portal.

DAZN has had bigger fish to fry in recent months too, as it’s secured a new multi-year broadcast arrangement with Red Bull TV. The distribution deal gives DAZN freedom to stream the Red Bull TV channel to its subscribers, bringing Red Bull’s unique brand of sport and daredevil entertainment content to streamers worldwide. Red Bull’s extreme sports events like the Cliff Diving World Series and the Drift Masters European Championship will now be aired to DAZN subscribers.

This is a big deal for DAZN and a major pick-me-up for the brand overall after missing out on the chance to acquire British broadcaster BT Sport.

Featured image by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.

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Race Against the Tide returns for a second season with host Maestro Fresh Wes

From a media release:

CBC today announced the return of original competition series RACE AGAINST THE TIDE (10×30) for a second season, produced by marblemedia and premiering Sunday, July 10 at 8:30 p.m. (9 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem. New Brunswick-based, award-winning Hip Hop artist Maestro Fresh Wes hosts the new season, featuring a new group of sand sculptors who will compete head-to-head at the Bay of Fundy to create extraordinary sand art before the world’s highest tide comes in while attempting to avoid elimination.

Each week, the artists have six hours to create their sand sculptures before the tide washes them away. In the end, the two judges – five-time World Champion Karen Fralich (Burlington, ON) and Master Sculptor Rusty Croft (Carmel Valley, CA) – will decide which duo will walk away with the grand prize of $10,000.

RACE AGAINST THE TIDE season two host Wes Williams, otherwise known as “Maestro Fresh Wes,” was born in Toronto and is considered to be the godfather of Canadian Hip Hop. Maestro Fresh Wes recently became the first Hip Hop artist inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame for his 1989 signature song “Let Your Backbone Slide,” and is also the first Black Canadian artist to have a recording reach platinum status in Canada. He now resides in Saint John, New Brunswick.

This season’s 10 highly-skilled sand sculpting duos are:

Agnese Rudzīte-Kirillova and Sanita Ravina (Latvia) – Agnese is an accomplished mixed media artist who learned about sand sculpting over a decade ago and has been doing it professionally ever since. Sanita discovered sand sculpting when she was a young girl, but has only been doing it full-time for the past four years.

Bouké Atema and Jeroen Advocaat (Germany and The Netherlands) – Originally from Kenya, Bouké has been sand sculpting since 2002 and is well-versed in several different art forms. He is known for sculptures depicting nature, while his partner, Jeroen, prefers structural design. Jeroen, a professional sculptor of over 18 years, studied architecture and 3D design.

Carlos Pereyra and Francisco Valdez (Mexico) – Carlos and Francisco have a combined total of 23 years experience in sand sculpting. The friends met before a competition in Mexico, when Carlos’ original partner backed out at the last minute. He had heard about Francisco and his talent, but didn’t personally know him. Francisco filled in for that competition, and the rest is history.

Craig Mutch and Daeyoung Ji (Vancouver, BC and South Korea) – Craig and Daeyoung want to bring their East-meets-West sculpture style to the world’s toughest beach battle. Craig has been a professional sculptor for 35 years working in ice, sand and snow, whereas Daeyoung has been sculpting for seven years and was catapulted to international success after completing an apprenticeship in Australia.

Fred Dobbs and Guy-Olivier Deveau (Sidney, BC and Quebec, QC) – Fred, who has been sculpting for over 35 years and is considered a Canadian carving legend, is recognized around the world as a professional sand sculptor. Guy-Olivier, who has been sculpting for more than 15 years, is one of Canada’s premier sand sculptors and is known for his dark Gothic creations.

Jo (Stefanie) Hollick and Manuel Campos (Vancouver, BC and Columbia) – Jo began sand sculpting on the beaches of White Rock, BC over two decades ago. With many career achievements under her belt, her biggest personal feat was placing fifth in the Parksville Beach Festival. Manuel has been a professional sand sculptor for over 12 years and has been awarded many different awards at various competitions.

JT (Joseph) Estrela and Amanda Gafford (USA) – Originally a math teacher, JT switched careers and now owns and operates his own company called San Diego Sand Castles. He has been professionally sculpting for seven years while his partner, Amanda, is a registered nurse by day, and an artist by night.

Peter Vogelaar and Alex Avelino (Winlaw, BC and Nelson, BC) – Peter and Alex are a mentor/mentee team from Canada who have sculpted together all over the world in both sand and snow. Peter, a professional artist, has been sculpting for almost two decades while Alex, a graphic designer, has been sculpting for nearly eight years.

Walter McDonald and Christy Atkinson (USA) – Walter and Christy are a father/daughter duo from the United States. Walter is the world’s oldest, still working sand sculptor, who discovered sand sculpting in the early 80s. Christy has been sand sculpting since 2003 and was taught everything she knows by her father.

Wilfred Stijger and Edith van de Wetering (The Netherlands) – This husband and wife duo are professional sand sculptors who have over 25 years of experience and have competed in hundreds of festivals around the globe. Their mind-blown surrealist sculptures are recognized across the world.

In the inaugural season of the show, PEI’s Abe Waterman and Seattle’s Sue McGrew took the top spot. Catch up on episodes on CBC Gem.

RACE AGAINST THE TIDE is executive produced by Matt Hornburg and Mark Bishop of marblemedia; series producer and writer is Carly Spencer and Donna Luke of marblemedia serves as co-executive producer. Co-produced with Hemmings House. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual and Sports; Jennifer Dettman is Executive Director, Unscripted Content; Alexandra Lane is Senior Director of Production; and Ann-Marie Redmond is Executive in Charge of Production. RACE AGAINST THE TIDE is presented with support from Tourism New Brunswick.

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TV, Eh? Podcast Episode 245: WGC Screenwriting Award winners announced, AMI’s Disability Screen Office opens and Kenneth Welsh passes away

This week, Greg and Amy go through debuts and returns on the Canadian TV calendar.

Then, we cover the latest Canadian TV news, including this year’s WGC Screenwriting Award winners, AMI’s Disability Screen Office opening, Michael Geyeyes joining the team behind Acting Good, the latest project between W Network and Nikki Ray Media and the death of Kenneth Welsh.

This episode is brought to you by Henry Westons Vintage Medium Dry Cider and Chateau Saint-Florin Bordeaux 2018.

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