Media Beat: November 15, 2019

What Was Said

Media Beat: November 15, 2019

By David Farrell

What Was Said

Forging strong connections with audiences is at the core of broadcasting. How you establish, maintain and make the most of these connections will only continue to evolve as technologies shift.

Interestingly, according to data from the CRTC’s 2019 Communications Monitoring Report, which will be released in a few weeks, Canadian adults continue to spend significantly more time connecting with traditional broadcasters. On average, they spend 14.6 hours each week listening to radio stations, compared to 8.1 hours listening to online services. The gap is even wider with television content: 26.2 hours are spent each week watching traditional TV and 3.2 hours watching content online.


If we dig a bit deeper, however, we see that teens are relying less on traditional platforms for their content – as you well know. Canadians aged 12-17 years old spend 4.4 hours each week listening to the radio and 13.9 hours watching TV.

As we look to the future, the CRTC believes that Canada’s legislative and regulatory environment must evolve to keep pace with the changing landscape. This was the central message of our Harnessing Change report released last year.

In that report the CRTC recommends, in particular, that future policy approaches:

  • Be nimble, innovative and capable of adapting to changes in technology and consumers.

  • Recognize that all those who benefit from the Canadian broadcasting system should participate in an appropriate and equitable manner.

  • Focus on the production, promotion and discoverability of high-quality Canadian content, including news and information.

On the legislative front, we look forward to reading the final report and recommendations of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel. That report is expected to be released in early 2020.

With a view to modernizing broadcast regulations, the Commission is preparing for a proceeding that many of you are eagerly awaiting: a comprehensive review of our commercial radio policy. Stay tuned for more information on that coming soon. — Ontario CRTC Commissioner Monique Lafontaine, speaking at the OAB convention last week (full text here)


With Don Cherry’s Fox News appearance, a national reckoning descends into embarrassing farce

By the end, Cherry’s routine had so flustered Carlson that he signed off with this incongruous sentence pairing: “Google Don Cherry. He’s a famous man.”

So now we know: 72 hours or so – that’s how long it takes a national reckoning to descend into farce.

Three days is also enough time to sort the winners from the losers in this thing. There are no winners.

Rogers Sportsnet loses. They’re now stuck with a $5-billion hockey package they can’t afford and no one to provide the face of it. — Cathal Kelly, Globe and Mail

BCE petitions Trudeau government to overrule CRTC on wholesale network rate

BCE Inc.’s Bell Canada has asked the federal cabinet to prevent the country’s telecommunications regulator from slashing the wholesale rates that large carriers charge smaller rivals for access to their broadband networks.

Among other things, Bell is asking the federal government to restore wholesale rates for high-speed access that had been in place prior to a decision issued in August by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

The company also wants the government to overrule the CRTC’s decision to make the lower wholesale rates retroactive to 2016, potentially forcing Bell and other carriers to repay hundreds of millions of dollars to Canada’s independent internet providers. — David Paddon, The Canadian Press


Rick Moffat, Eramelinda Boquer among latest Bell Media cuts

Wednesday was another bad day at Bell Media, as the company made another round of cuts across the country for vague reasons that probably amount to wanting to cut expenses to increase profits.

The company refused to provide “specific numbers” or names but confirmed there were “departures” at “some Bell Media stations.”

“Our industry is changing fast, with growing international competition and new viewing and listening options impacting audiences and advertising across the Canadian media sector. We’re feeling the effects of rapid industry change in many parts of our business, including local radio. To ensure we remain competitive, we’re managing the impact on our bottom line while also investing in content and platforms,” the statement reads. — Steve Faguy, Fagstein blog


SiriusXM adds video platform

SiriusXM first expanded into video content in 2018 with Howard Stern Video, a very successful ongoing showcase of Stern's best-in-class celebrity interviews, adventures with his ever-growing stable of edgy and unusual staff and characters, in-studio performances from legendary and up-and-coming musicians, and selections from the multi-decade Howard Stern library.

More recently, simultaneous with its expansion of streaming access to all subscribers, SiriusXM began to preview selections from its broader video archives of shows and channels.

SiriusXM video now features dozens of new clips daily from across SiriusXM's lineup of exclusive music, talk, and sports channels, featuring in-studio performances, interviews and only-at-SiriusXM moments. — Press release           

The Disney Plus launch ratchets up talk of streaming competition. But the same creators work for all of them

As the streaming wars intensify — Disney’s steaming service debuted Tuesday, and AppleTV Plus launched Nov. 1 — companies are fighting to lock up consumers’ entertainment dollars. But another scramble is underway to land creative talent. The skirmish is so fierce, and the talent so scarce, it sometimes means that rabid streaming competitors are messily in business with the same creators. It’s a trend contrary to long-standing Hollywood tradition. — Stephen Zeitchik, The Washington Post

Led by AT&T, Top 12 Pay-TV providers lost 1.74M customers in Q3

These 12 pay-TV companies now serve only 84.8 million subscribers, compared to 92.2 million just two years ago, according to Leichtman Research Group. — Daniel Frankel, Multichannel News

Cord cutters now averaging 520GB of monthly data usage

Homes that have ditched video increased internet usage by 7% in Q3, according to Broadband solutions provider OpenVault. — Daniel Frankel, Multichannel News

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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