Analogues on the upswing

They used to be the ugly ducklings up the dial, but now the analogue specialties are officially hot.

They used to be the ugly ducklings up the dial, but now the analogue specialties are officially hot. Over the last few years, buyers say, they have come into their own, blossoming into networks with strong enough revenue to purchase some seriously competitive programming.

‘An analogue specialty can compete with an over-the-air conventional station if they have the same programming, and by getting these large audiences now, they’re going to be able to start bidding for the kind of programming that the networks are running,’ says Doug Newell, VP, buying operations at HYPN. ‘I think their audiences are going to grow.’

Last fall’s launch of some digital channel competition also seems to have little effect on analogue shares, good news as they continue to try and eat into conventional television’s audiences.

‘They grew a lot in the last couple of years and now they’re more or less stable,’ says Carol Ann Kairns, EVP, media director at Groupe BCP in Montreal. ‘They’re slowly eroding the conventional networks’ shares, although the pace seems to have slowed down just a little bit.’

This strength has powered the channels into a more important component of a buyer’s TV mix, although most buyers are reluctant to call them must-haves yet.

‘From a healthy industry standpoint, good for them,’ says Niall Mulholland, associate media director at Cossette Communication-Marketing in Toronto. ‘From an ‘I’ve-got-to-buy-them’ standpoint, well there’s a lot more negotiating going on.’

To help in such negotiations, here’s what’s new at the top 14 English and top 5 French analogue specialties (by average weekly audience), and what to expect from those channels in the fall.

The top 14

English analogues

* All audience and share figures courtesy of

Nielsen Media Research (Canada).

The Sports Network (TSN)

Average minute audience: 121,000 (3.8% share of English cable).*

Target demo: Adults 25-54.

Major advertisers: Molson, Labatt, Castrol, General Motors, Honda, Ford, Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, DaimlerChrysler, Rogers AT&T, Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Gillette, Microsoft.

What’s new:

* The NHL returns to TSN this fall with over 90 games broadcast throughout the season, including an unprecedented 60 regular season games and the first three rounds of Stanley Cup playoffs. This marks the first time three rounds will be broadcast on Canadian specialty television.

* The IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship will be broadcast in late December and early January, and the Men’s World Hockey Championship also airs end of April into early May.

* In January 2003, TSN’s new four-year deal with the PGA Tour goes into effect, which nabs broadcast rights for every Thursday and Friday round of all PGA Tour tournaments.

* In November, the first-ever Continental Cup will be part of the network’s curling coverage, which also includes the Nokia Brier, the Scott Tournament of Hearts and the World Junior Curling Championships.

* In tennis, live coverage of the French Open is part of the package, as well as Wimbledon in late June, the U.S. Open in late August, and the Australian Open in January.

* Other sporting highlights include more than 50 CFL regular season games; the 2002 FIFA World Cup in June; Formula One, CART and NASCAR racing coverage; MasterCard Skate Canada in October; plus Skate America and the Bofrost Cup on Ice in November.

YTV

Average minute audience: 69,000 (2.2% share of English cable).*

Target demo: Children 2-17, plus

parents.

Major advertisers: Mattel, Hasbro, Kraft, General Mills.

New shows:

* Cubix – series about a gadget whiz kid who repairs Cubix, a broken robot.

* Daria: Is it College Yet? – a made-for-TV movie based on the Daria series.

* The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius – follows the life of the title character. The full Nickelodeon series is new to YTV, following interstitals that ran on the channel late last year.

* I Love Mummy – live-action sitcom about a 12-year-old whiz kid and ‘Nuff,’ a mummy.

* Justice League – the stories of an all-star superhero team including Superman, Wonder Woman and the Green Lantern.

* Moville Mysteries – an animated twisted mysteries show featuring the voice of Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle).

* Samurai Jack – about a young warrior hero who returns home.

* Girl Stuff/Boy Stuff – an animated series following three boys and three girls through adolescence.

* What I Like About You – a live-action story about two mismatched sisters (see page TV43 for full description).

What else is new:

* The classic 1973 animated Superfriends series returns to the airwaves on YTV.

* The Zone, YTV’s after-school programming block, features a new lineup of shows, including Powerpuff Girls, Hey Arnold!, Pokémon and Digimon (subject to change).

* The Dark Corner block (Saturdays 9-11 p.m.) now airs on Fridays as well.

* Action-oriented animation block, Vortex (Saturdays 7 a.m.-noon), will feature a new lineup (TBA).

Teletoon (English)

Average minute audience: 64,000 (2.0% share of English cable).*

Target demo: Children 2-11, adults 18-34 years old.

Major advertisers: Mattel, Hasbro, Irwin, Kraft, Kellogg, Buena Vista, 20th Century Fox, McDonald’s, Burger King.

What’s new:

* Fourteen new series make their debut this fall on Teletoon including: Baby Blues, Grim & Evil, Phantom Investigators, Time Squad, Totally Spies and What’s New Scooby Doo.

* Six of the new shows are from Canadian producers: High U.S.A., Daft Planet, Fred The Caveman, Kaput & Zosky, Olliver’s Adventures and Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings.

Sportsnet National

Average minute audience: 56,000 (1.8% share of English cable).*

Target demo: Men 18-49.

Major advertisers: Kellogg, Procter & Gamble, Sears Canada, General Mills, McDonald’s.

What’s new:

* This season’s lineup includes 120 Toronto Blue Jays games, 46 Toronto Raptors regional NBA games (plus additional NBA national games), 50 Seattle Mariners games and various NASCAR races.

* Toronto Maple Leaf and regional ‘home team’ NHL games will be broadcast in each of Sportsnet’s four regions (East, Ontario, West and Pacific).

Space

Average minute audience: 52,000 (1.6% share of English cable).*

Target demo: Adults 25-54, male skewed, early adopters.

Major advertisers: Honda, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Pfizer Canada, Clorox.

New shows:

* Smallville – follows the life of young Clark Kent, aired on Global last season.

* Beyond Reality – starring Shari Belafonte, about two university parapsychologists investigating out-of-body telekinetic experiences and other phenomena.

* The Twilight Zone – a modern version of the classic (new U.S. series, see page TV43 for a full description).

* Haunted – Frank Taylor is revived from the dead after being shot, and finds he has a lingering connection with the afterworld (new U.S. series, see page TV43 for a full description).

* Birds of Prey – Batman spin-off featuring a trio of female heroes (new U.S. series, see page TV43 for a full description).

* Forever Knight – Canadian series about an 800-year-old vampire living in present day Toronto and working as a homicide detective (originally aired for three seasons on CTV back in 1992).

* Hypaspace – a Space original production, launches in the fall as an entertainment news segment looking at the world of science fiction and fantasy.

Discovery

Average minute audience: 50,000 (1.6% share of English cable).*

Target demo: Family-oriented adults 25-54, have kids at home, are more likely to be university/college educated and an owner/manager/professional.

Major advertisers: DaimlerChrysler Canada, General Motors, 3M, Toyota, AOL, Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Whitehall Robins, Visa, Nissan.

What’s new:

* A still-to-be-determined refreshed look for Discovery will unveil this fall.

* Several of this fall’s theme weeks will be designed to promote Discovery’s three new digital channels: Travel, Animal Planet and Discovery Civilization.

* September 3-9 is ‘Civilization: World’s Greatest Mysteries Week’ – shows will explore mysteries from around the world, such as what happened during the eruption that destroyed Pompeii.

* September 4-9 is ‘Animal Planet Week’ – shows include O’Shea’s Big Adventure, The Jeff Corwin Experience and of course, The Crocodile Hunter.

* September 4-9 is also ‘TV That Travels Week’ – features shows such as Top 10 Places to Get Bitten by a Shark, Ngorongoro, Africa’s Cradle of Fire and Taj Mahal.

* Theme weeks continue throughout the new season, including the return of ‘Shark Week’ (September 16-21), which includes shows like Air Jaws, Shark Attack Files III and Sharks of the Golden Triangle. Others themes include ‘Snake Week’ (Sept. 30-Oct. 5); ‘Extreme Weather Week’ (October 21-26); ‘Animal Survivor Week’ (November 4-9); ‘Creepy Crawlie Week’ (Oct. 28-Nov. 2); and ‘Triumph of Life Week’ (November 25-30).

Prime

Average minute audience: 40,000 (1.3% of English cable).*

Target demo: Females 25-54.

Major advertisers: Wendy’s, DaimlerChrysler Canada, McDonald’s, General Motors, Nestle Canada, Kimberly-Clark.

What’s new:

* Classic game show The Price is Right is being added to Prime’s group of shows in August (the series already airs on CH in some regions).

Showcase

Average minute audience: 39,000 (1.2% of English cable).*

Target demo: Adults 18-49, 25-54.

Major advertisers: Mars, American Express, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Procter & Gamble.

What’s new:

* This year’s Showcase Revue promises an eclectic mix of movies from the Academy Award-winning English Patient to Scream 3.

* New series include Take Me (a dark drama about relationships in a Newcastle belt village); Foreign Objects (earlier work from Canadian Ken Finkleman following a documentary filmmaker with commercial tastes forced to address more complex ideas); and The Dice (a six-part Showcase Original Series following a murder investigation in a Canadian university town).

CBC Newsworld

Average minute audience: 34,000 (1.1% of English cable).*

Target demo: Adults 25-54, well-educated, affluent, includes owners/managers/professionals.

Major advertisers: Canadian Home Income Plan, McCain Foods (Canada), Procter & Gamble, General Motors, IBM, Honda.

New shows:

* World Affairs – A weekly international affairs discussion program hosted by Brian Stewart.

* Media Watch – a weekly program focusing on the Canadian media.

* The Docket – weekly looking at topical Canadian legal issues.

* Beautiful, Filthy Money and the Search for the Soul – a ‘spirituality game show’ balancing money and the quest for spirituality.

* State of Canadian Urban Centres – a special series examining Canadian urban issues.

What else is new:

* Expanded news coverage via deeper partnerships with CBC Radio, Radio-Canada and international broadcasters.

* Newsworld Live Saturday expands with a slot from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

* a weekly two-hour Saturday Documentary Festival features documentaries seen on Newsworld throughout the week.

* Sept. 11 brings a day-long special devoted to the 2001 New York events, including morning shows hosted from New York, Newsworld Today reconnecting with survivors from the attacks, and Canadians remembering where they were when they heard the news.

History Television

Average minute audience: 34,000 (1.1% of English cable).*

Target demo: Adults 35-64, skewing male.

Major advertisers: Canadian Erectile Difficulties Resource Centre, Procter & Gamble, AOL, General Motors.

New shows:

* Klondike: Quest for Gold – follows five participants living as 1897 prospectors travelling to the Klondike for gold (à la Pioneer Quest).

* Mob Stories – organized crime in Canada.

* Chiefs – a six-part documentary series telling the tales of leaders and warriors of the First Nations.

* History’s Courtroom – documents 20th century legal cases that have radically affected Canadian laws and lifestyles.

* Blood of the Vikings – re-examines historically-accepted ideas about Vikings.

* China Beach – an Emmy Award-winning drama series focusing on the medical staff serving just outside the frontlines of the Vietnam War (originally aired on ABC in 1988).

* Eatons: A Canadian Saga – feature documentary about Canada’s famous retail family.

What else is new:

* History heads underwater for ‘Submarine Week.’ Includes Academy Award-winning movie Das Boot and new episodes of the series Nuclear Sharks.

The Comedy Network

Average minute audience: 30,000 (0.9% of English cable).*

Target demo: Adults 18-49, 61% male skew.

Major advertisers: McDonald’s, Sony Pictures, Corby, McCain Foods (Canada), Fuji Photo Film Canada, Coca-Cola.

What’s new:

* Fewer original productions, but each will be of higher quality.

* New original shows include Puppets Who Kill, a series about a halfway house of wayward puppets; Patti, a six-part series featuring a female misfit; The Seen, an interactive, animated comedy starring Canadian actor Don McKellar; Rockpoint P.D., about a bumbling local police department; The Bobroom, a new sketch series; and The Holmes Show, with Gemini-nominated Jessica Holmes starring in a ‘Carol Burnett-style’ comedy show (also airing on CTV, see page TV43 for a full description).

W Network

Average minute audience: 28,000 (0.9% of English cable).*

Target demo: Women 25-49.

Major advertisers: Para Paints, L’Oréal, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Tim Hortons, Nestle, General Motors, Reckitt Benckiser, Alliance Pictures, Maple Leaf Foods.

New shows:

* Divine Design – another home makeover show (Canadian production for W Network).

* The Right Fit – new health and fitness magazine program (Canadian production for W Network).

* Completely Hammered – new fix-it show from the producers of Debbie Travis’ Painted House (Canadian production for W Network).

* Sizzle – features chef Michael P. Clive catering high stakes events in women’s homes (Canadian production for W Network).

* A Guy and A Girl – a new comedy series about living with the opposite sex (Canadian production for W Network).

* Gardening Gamble – shows how to recreate beautiful gardens (Canadian production for W Network).

* Playing the Field – an award-winning British series from U.K.-based Target distribution about the members of an amateur women’s soccer team.

* Mercy Peak – a drama series about a big city doctor who moves to the country for a slower pace (first season picked up from Target Distribution, second and third seasons will be produced for W in association with Nelvana).

* Just Cause – a drama about a female parolee determined to clear her name (co-produced for W in Canada and Pax in the U.S.).

* I Saw You – A ‘dramedy’ series about a couple who meet through a local newspaper column (picked up from U.K.-based Granada).

* Upcoming specials include: Kurt Browning’s Gotta Skate II (produced for W in Canada and NBC in the U.S.); Eve Ensler’s play Vagina Monologues (from Fox Incendo); and HBO’S Monica in Black and White, a documentary-style show about the infamous Monica Lewinsky (from Fox Incendo).

What else is new:

* W recently launched a trade initiative to emphasize W’s new fun and bold approach. Targeting some 300 clients and agencies with the help of Toronto-based Zig, the network delivered a bag of bananas, each adorned by a sticker that read ‘The Sunday Night Sex Show – just one of the great shows that 2.74 million Canadian women watch every week on W.’ Zig and W also went in and ‘made over’ media agency bathrooms (men’s and women’s). Post-makeover, the bathrooms had bath mats, framed prints, nice toilet paper, floral arrangements, and a wicker basket holding hand lotion, towels, reading material and a W booklet.

HGTV Canada

Average minute audience: 27,000 (0.9% of English cable).*

Target demo: Adults 35-54, skewing female.

Major advertisers: Nissan, Unilever Canada, Clorox, Simmons, Scotts

What’s new:

* Flea Market Finds with the Kovels features antique experts Ralph and Terry Kovel giving tips on shopping at rummage sales and flea markets (produced for HGTV U.S.).

* Blooming in spring 2003 is Debbie Travis’ Facelift, a 13-episode series combining reality TV and design that sees Travis renovating and redecorating the spaces of unsuspecting homeowners.

* Four new specials will also make an appearance on the network: World’s Most Extreme Homes is a globe-trotting tour of crazy homes; Living with Colour aims to inspire and assist viewers with decorating; Living on the Edge visits three homeowners living on ‘edges’ such as cliffs and tree houses; and Liquid Design II shows the unique ways some of the pros use water in their design concepts.

MuchMusic

Average minute audience: 27,000 (0.9% of English cable).*

Target demo: 12-34.

Major advertisers: Pepsi, AOL, Sony Pictures, Procter & Gamble, Nike, L’Oréal.

What’s new:

* Since MuchMusic doesn’t necessarily use the fall launch season to shake things up, most of Much’s fall lineup includes existing shows, such as a newly revamped MuchOnDemand (a live interactive show featuring musicians), Intimate & Interactive (where artists perform live at MuchMusic) and Live@Much (a celebrity showcase show).

* The newest show in the Much stable is The Punk Show, which debuts early next month. VJ George Stroumboulopoulos will host.

The top five

French analogues

Canal D

Average minute audience: 25,000 (2.5% of French cable).*

Target demo: Adults 25-54 (55% male skew).

New shows:

* Chasseur de crocodiles (Crocodile Hunter) – Australia’s Steve Irwin faces down the world’s most dangerous animals and shares his findings with viewers.

* Chasseurs des mers (Sea Hunters) – examines the mysteries and treasures on the ocean floors.

* Chiens au travail (Dogs with Jobs) – unique canines who have jobs such as helping the police and protecting other animals.

* Contre-courant – a series of documentaries on controversial and topical issues.

* Filière canadienne – adapted from Jean-Pierre Charbonneau’s bestseller about drug trafficking in Canada.

* Les grandes cascades d’Hollywood (Hollywood’s Greatest Stunts) – puts viewers in the stuntman’s shoes to explain some of the greatest stunts from action films.

* Micro monstres (Human Wildlife) – examines mites, ticks, fungi, bacteria and other viruses that live on our bodies.

* Compte à rebours (Minute by Minute) – retraces and reproduces striking contemporary events such as the 1993 WTC bombing and the arrival of Hurricane Andrew.

* Performance – looks at the cutting-edge techniques that test athletes and sports equipment to the limits.

Le Canal Nouvelles (LCN )

Average minute audience: 17,000 (1.7% of French cable).*

Target demo: Skews female

(39% male, 61% female).

What’s new:

* All-news station LCN will unveil a new look this fall.

* A new half-hour program debuts in August, called LCN de 23h. It airs weeknights at 11 p.m. and is hosted by Sophie Thibeault.

Canal Vie

Average minute audience: 17,000 (1.7% of French cable).

Target demo: modern, active women.

New shows:

* C’est ma vie – a health and fitness show.

* Coup de pouce télé – how to cook with simple recipes and ingredients that don’t bust the budget.

* Metamorphose – makeovers for willing subjects trying to look their best for their date or first day on the job.

* Vie de famille – a candid look at the lives of three families, with commentary from psychologists who help parents learn more about their role.

* Oui, je le vex – a weekly show focusing on couples about to take the trip down to the altar.

* Cuisinez avec Jean Soulard – follows Soulard, a world-class chef, in his culinary voyages.

Historia

Average minute audience: 7,000 (0.7% of French cable).*

Target demo: Adults 25-54, male skew, post-secondary educated.

New shows:

* Origines – 20 original documentaries about the history of settling New France and the day-to-day lives of those who first came here.

* Des histoires d’alcool – a series of 10 documentaries looking at the relationship between Quebecers and alcohol over the last 400 years (hosted by humourist Pierre Légaré).

* Trouvailles et trésors – inspired by the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, this weekly magazine show explores Quebec’s heritage with visits to various regions.

* Les présidents américains – a series of original portraits of American presidents.

* La face cachée de l’histoire – reveals misunderstood and unsuspected facets of history in 16 new documentaries.

* Tournants de l’histoire – a series of Canadian documentaries about events that shook the world, including genocide in Rwanda and Kristallnacht.

* Histoire des Etats-Unis – includes original footage and documentaries examining the development of the U.S.

* Histoire de l’automobile – a series retracing the development of great sports cars and the social role of the car through the century.

* Histoires secrètes de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale – a series focusing on misunderstood WWII episodes and heroes.

* Also new to Historia is JAG, the U.S. network drama series.

Evasion

Average minute audience: 4,000 (0.4% of French cable).*

Target demo: Adults 18-49, skewing post-secondary educated.

Major advertisers: Collège April Fortier, Gillette Canada, Tourisme Québec, Gold Bond, Johnson & Johnson, Promotions Atlantiques.

New shows:

* Escales de rêve – Jean-Michael Defaux and Sophie Gregoire recount journeys where they learned about the customs of various populations around the world (26 episode series).

* Gris – focuses on trendy, fashionable cities and the alternative lifestyles, artists and nightlife found there.

* Alaska VR – hosts Frédéric Gieling and Isabela Croteau travel with a group of caravanners to Alaska.

* Les Iles Francaises – travels through islands like Martinique and Guadeloupe.

* Europasse – features two young travellers heading around Europe by train.