TV News/Media Releases | Canadian Television News Roundup (August 7-8, 2014)

CRTC approves a restructuring of Channel Zero’s operations, as well as a licence amendment to Rewind (formerly Movieola), and three-year licence renewals to Rewind, Silver Screen Classics, and CHCH. The main issues were CRTC-unauthorized changes in Channel Zero’s overall ownership, and the non-compliance of Channel Zero-owned channels towards Canadian content and program log submission.

Under the new ownership structure, 1490525 Ontario Inc. and 2190015 Ontario Inc. are wholly owned by 2308740 Ontario Inc. Moviola: Short Film Channel Inc. is 85% owned by 2308740, with the rest owned by minority shareholders. 2308740 is controlled by C.J. Millar (39.3%), Romen Podzyhun (39.3%), and Chris Fuoco (21.4%). Harold Balde and Anthony D’Andrea, part-owners of Moviola Short Film, are effectively written out of Channel Zero’s ownership structure. The value of Balde and D’Andrea’s effective transfer of ownership to Millar, Podzyhun, and Fuoco is $1,210,607, of which $121,060 is payable in tangible benefits over a three-year period.

The Movieola channel rebranded to Rewind in December 2012, without first amending its CRTC licence – specifically, it was a short film station, acting like it was now MovieTime. Under the new licence, Rewind can devote up to ten percent of its schedule to independent short films. The other ninety percent of its programming must be at least ten years old (i.e., if Rewind wants to air a film made in 2005, it has to wait until 2015), and is considered “action and adventure programming”.

As for AOV Adult Movie Channel, AOV Maleflixxx, and AOV XXX Action Clips, they are channels with less than 200,000 subscribers, and can be made exempt from CRTC’s licensing process due to a 2012 exemption order. The porn channels must still follow guidelines regarding Canadian content, closed captioning, and advertising. Presumably, the porn channels are still subject to 2308740 Ontario Inc.’s ownership structure; the porn channels’ licences expire August 31, 2014.

Of note, this is the first renewal for Channel Zero’s specialty licences since 2000. The licences were set to expire in 2007, and were kept active until 2014 through a number of administrative renewals. (August 8, 2014)

Although there isn’t currently a press release, at least part of Christian-based religious/family broadcaster Crossroads Television System (CTS) is currently sold to advertisers as yesTV. CTS’/yesTV’s current strategy is to pick up shows dropped by other program services and channelsAmerican Idol (from CTV), Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! (from CHCH), America’s Funniest Home Videos and The Biggest Loser (from OMNI), and Judge Judy (from City). Other acquisitions include The X Factor UK, and Judge Judy spinoff Hot Bench.

There’s no indication of whether CTS rebrands wholesale to yesTV in fall 2014, or if this is a sub-brand for the secular shows in CTS’ lineup. A Google search for CTS’ Family Feud turns up this 2014 survey, asking questions about the nature of CTS’ programming. Presumably, yesTV is CTS’ attempt to be more competitive in the over-the-air markets it services (Hamilton/Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton). (August 8, 2014)

Pressure Cooker, a W Network series based on an original concept from Jamie Oliver’s Fresh One Productions, begins production August 15, 2014. Pressure Cooker is a cooking competition, based around how well contestants cook during time constraints, and with a limited number of food items. Walmart is the show’s lead broadcast/grocery sponsor, with ESKA Water as official water supplier.

Pressure Cooker debuts on W Network October 2014. The show’s producer is Bristow Global Media, in association with W Network. (August 7, 2014)

Highway Thru Hell, the Discovery series focusing on the daily operations of Jamie Davis Motor Truck’s heavy-vehicle rescue and recovery service, premieres its third season Tuesday, September 2, at 10:00 PM ET/PT. The third season of Highway Thru Hell sees Jamie Davis Motor Truck attempt to expand its business, servicing Highway 63 and 881 between Lac La Biche and Fort McMurray, Alberta (i.e., highways which service the Alberta oil sands industry). In addition, the company attempts to maintain its Hope, British Columbia-based Coquihalla operation, in the face of renewed competition and the worst snowfall/avalanche conditions in decades. (August 7, 2014)

A CTV News Northern Ontario piece on the filming of TVOntario drama Hard Rock Medical’s second season. Sean Grech reports. (August 8, 2014)

The Rogers Documentary and Cable Network Fund confirms equity investments to seventeen Canadian projects, totalling $5,264,406. (August 8, 2014)

Tackle My Reno debuts on HGTV Canada August 26, 2014 at 10:00 PM ET/PT, with back-to-back episodes. The show features ex-CFL player/current contractor Sebastian Clovis, as he helps homeowners struggling with do-it-yourself projects. (August 7, 2014)

C. Archer
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