Media Beat: January 22, 2018

By David Farrell

Canadian media coalition wants government to reconsider ‘Netflix Tax’ stance

A coalition comprised of 45 Canadian media organizations has requested a meeting with federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau to discuss taxing online media. In a media release issued on January 16th, 2018, the Coalition for Culture and Media (CCM) stated that it “considers it inconceivable that the Trudeau government… continues to ignore the amount of lost revenue by not taxing electronic trade.” – Sameer Chhabra, Mobile Syrup

Bell not bowing (yet) to Super Bowl simsub policy

Bell Media has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada looking to strike down CRTC’s Super Bowl simsub decision – and has asked for a stay of that policy for this year’s game, scheduled for Feb. 4. Bell claims the CRTC’s single program policy cost the network $11M in lost ad revenue in 2017. – Gregg O’Brien,


Cogeco is ready for HD radio but isn’t eager to jump on it

Cogeco hasn’t bought, sold or shut down a radio station in years, or even rebranded or reformatted. Its Rythme FM network has gained — and lost — some affiliates, but otherwise there has been little change in the past five years, following realignments that came from the Cogeco acquisition of Corus’s radio stations in Quebec. But HD transmitters are in place and ready to go, according to company president Richard Lachance. – Steve Faguy has the story.

Game Of Thrones Coming To Crave TV

Bell Media has announced an expansion of its HBO collection with the addition of Game Of Thrones coming to CraveTV. Seasons 1-3 of the epic fantasy begin streaming Friday, Feb. 16, with Season 4-5 to follow shortly after that and the remaining seasons to be added throughout 2018.

Additional new titles coming to Crave via HBO include Girls, The Leftovers, Silicon Valley, Vice Principals, Ballers, and The Young People.

Showtime content returning or added to the premium channel include Ray Donovan, Twin Peaks, Billions, and The Affair.

Expected CRTC announcements

Decisions related to the applications listed below, considered by the Commission at the 28 November 2017 hearing:


Decisions related to the applications listed below, considered by the Commission at the 7 September 2017 hearing:

Application by Quebecor Media Inc., on behalf of TVA Group Inc., regarding the condition of licence relating to the broadcast of advertising material for the French-language mainstream sports service TVA Sports

Shaw brings free wi-fi to Vancouver

The City of Vancouver, in partnership with Shaw Communications Inc., has expanded free public Wi-Fi throughout the city, making #VanWiFi one of the largest free public-Wi-Fi networks in North America.   

Gov’t largesse inflates cost of a tweet

A Twitter account created for Canada's health minister last summer is costing taxpayers more than $100K a year in salaries and overtime for the bureaucrats who run it. – Dean Beeby, CBC News

Spotify’s grand ambitions to steal audiences

Spotify will begin offering news and political coverage to lure listeners away from radio and podcasts from rival Apple Inc. Eight companies, including BuzzFeed and Refinery29, have agreed to produce programming for the new initiative, called Spotlight. One of the first shows will be a four- to seven-minute daily newscast featuring reporting from BuzzFeed journalists across the globe. Spotlight will only be available to customers in the US at first – Bloomberg News

Podcasting now brings in 25% of Slate’s revenue

Slate has been doing podcasts for a dozen years and now has 24 under its belt, which it said account for 25 percent of its business. This year, Slate is doubling its dedicated podcasting staff from five to 10 with plans to launch a few more shows, including a second season of “Slow Burn,” its hit show about the history of Watergate; and a new one with star author Michael Lewis called “Against the Rules.” In 2015, it used its podcasting know-how to create Panoply, a podcast network for media brands, authors and personalities. This year, it will separate its Slate-branded podcasts from the rest of Panoply so it can fully control ad sales of its premium shows. Video, in contrast, makes up less than 10 percent of Slate’s content. – Lucia Moses, DigiDay


How people are listening to audio in 2018

Last week, we saw two sets of brilliant research made available to radio people.

The first was from the UK - the audio measurement company RAJAR released their quarterly MIDAS research for Winter 2017. MIDAS stands for “Measurement of Internet Delivered Audio Services”, and this piece of additional research details how people are consuming audio, how, and where – James Cridland, RadioInfo


Saul “Red” Fisher, the chronicler and the conscience of Montreal hockey whose career touched seven decades, died on Friday at age 91. He covered the Montreal Canadiens when they won five Stanley Cups in a row in the 1950s, and during their dynasty years in the 1960s and 1970s. He was also at the 1972 Summit Series between NHL players and the Soviet national team. Fisher was known for his "no-nonsense approach" to his career, such as his refusal to talk to rookies and his tendency to walk away if a player answered his questions with clichés.

Norman Wong



Happy Anniversary, Archie: Alvvays' Debut Record Gets a 10th Birthday Re-Issue

The Canadian jangle pop group's first album will be available on a new cerulean blue vinyl with an unearthed bonus track, as well as the ten original songs — including breakout single 'Archie, Marry Me' — that launched their career in 2014.

A major Canadian indie rock album turns 10 today (July 22), and the band is celebrating with a special re-issue.

Alvvays' self-titled debut helped the group break through on an international scale, propelled by jangly guitars, aloof vocals and an expertly catchy single. "Archie, Marry Me," with its soaring chorus and pleading lyrics, became a wedding song for a generation of ambivalent millennials, earnest and sardonic at the same time.

keep readingShow less