Cross-country checkup

Toronto

Toronto

What’s changed?

With approval for the sale of Citytv to Rogers pending and details about the positioning of A-Channel yet to come from CTV, there are still some unknowns heading into fall. There’s also change afoot with the CanWest MediaWorks launch of E!, the rebranding of CH to a hybrid of conventional news and specialty-type programming.

In recent years, the CH stations have been the farm team for Global’s underperforming or unproven properties. The revamped net is quite a departure for conventional TV, so the types of shows, how they are integrated and the audience they’ll draw are unknown. Sheryl Kenzie, VP broadcast director, Initiative Media, says: ‘[E!] is going to need a lot of…thought and vision put into it to align the brand and communicate [it] to viewers. Currently there’s a disconnect in the minds of buyers between the brand and the programming in terms of the primetime schedule.’

As for other stations in the market, Elizabeth Brennan, media manager at Genesis Media, says CBC has started to step up to the plate by buying NHL and World Cup properties, as well as supporting hits such as Little Mosque on the Prairie – but it needs to find more of these gems. She adds that Sun TV still doesn’t have an identity and, until it does, it won’t make any inroads.

What’s next?

Brennan says while stations will try to keep business running as usual, the instability caused by ownership changes as well as the E! launch could provide some flexibility when it comes to rates and bargaining.

Best bets?

Brennan points to three genres with buzz to watch for this fall:

geek chic (e.g. Heroes and The Office); superhero/comic cult cool

(e.g. Heroes); and top celebrity shows.

Kenzie likes Cane, Back to You (both on Global), K-Ville (E!) and Dirty Sexy Money (CTV). She thinks Sun TV is showing promise for Toronto-only buys. ‘[It] has picked up some good comedies, like Aliens in America. Even its numbers have increased a bit…it’s a step in the right direction.’

Calgary

What’s changed?

The introduction of metered measurement last fall has put Calgary on the map with the rest of Canada’s major centres. Buying is an easier process for agencies but, as expected, audience numbers increased – and so did rates. Andrew McFallon, principal of Objective Media Counsel (OMC) of Calgary, says: ‘Meters seem to have made the market more efficient – not in terms of cost or delivery, but in how the inventories just seem better managed. For us it has really shortened our upfront buying.’

What’s next?

CTV, Global and CBC remain the top three in the hot Calgary market. Citytv hadn’t gained any ground, and in fact seems to be trending downward, says McFallon. Rogers’ ownership of Citytv, pending CRTC approval, may give the station the boost it needs.

What used to be a limited station roster (resulting in a come-early-

pay-more scenario) will change because of a couple of other recent

CRTC decisions.

CanWest MediaWorks has received the okay to expand Red Deer’s CHCA signal into Calgary and Edmonton, and the former CH station will be getting the E! makeover for fall. McFallon says the basic tier broadcasting position should result in more audience for Red Deer. Both Calgary and Edmonton will also be getting local ethnic stations from Rogers OMNI Television, although details and launch dates have not yet been released.

There is a lot of demand in Calgary, and McFallon says the addition of another couple of stations to the market will be warmly welcomed: ‘More originating signals are a good thing. Buyers want choice. For stuff like infomercials, which we place for clients like Hair Club, inventories have been tight,’ he says.

Best bets?

Chum’s New Energy 101.5 radio station had been doing some local cross-promos with Citytv in a partnership first for the Calgary market, which McFallon thinks is a real bonus for local advertisers. Similar opps could continue if the change in Citytv ownership gets CRTC approval: Rogers operates

eight Alberta radio stations – four of them

in Calgary.

Montreal

What’s changed?

Station standings in the market haven’t changed, but number two Société Radio-Canada (SRC) hopes to chip away at top-rated TVA’s share this fall by focusing on its daytime roster. In 2006, SRC launched 13 new shows. Most have done well and will be returning this season, but this isn’t stopping the net from once again launching more new shows than either TVA or TQS.

What’s next?

Line Contant, broadcast manager for Media Experts in Montreal, says no big rate increases are expected in the French market this fall, but it’s all about demand, so buyers pounce quickly because the French conventional stations sell out their top properties quite early.

Also, watch for the specialty networks to continue to steal share from the conventional nets. Contant says the specialties have been achieving gains by giving viewers appointment TV and quality shows, many produced in Quebec and aimed at specific targets. Specialty share of viewing for adults 18+ increased by 3.4 points between fall 2005 and fall 2006 – at the expense of conventional nets.

Best bets?

SRC: Contant says new daytime entries include Grosse Journée, a morning show similar to TVA’s Star Système, as well as Paquet Voleur, a variety show. Chef Ricardo returns as does game show Union Fait la Force, which is hosted by fan favourite Patrice L’Ecuyer. Also returning is a show similar to The View called La Fausse au Lionne – but with new hosts.

New shows include Du Coeur au ventre, a cooking show with Daniel Pinard who will chat with local food producers; Les Boys, based on the movie that spawned four sequels, and Tous pour un, a quiz show based on a specific theme such as Lady Diana. Also new: Heure de vérité, a game show where contestants have a week to prepare for a task in order to win a big prize.

TQS: The highlight of its fall season is the fourth instalment of the hit show Loft Story, scheduled to air Monday to Saturday 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with a highlight show Sundays 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Well-known host Chantal Lacroix is slated to helm an original new show called 90 minutes de bonheur. Comedy 450, Chemin du Golf, which became a top five show last year, returns for a fifth season.

TVA: Popular reality show Occupation Double returns this fall, and two new series have been announced. Les soeurs Elliot (to run over 10 episodes) is a drama about sisters whose father has been accused, but found innocent, of killing their mother. Destinées is about a plastic surgery/spa/health clinic and is signed for a three-year run.

Le Banquier, a Deal or No Deal-style show, was last year’s most-watched program. It will be back this fall but just once a week instead of twice.

Vancouver

What’s changed?

Global still leads the market, followed by CTV and CBC, and – aside from the occasional hockey game – Global and CTV continue to split the top 20 chart.

However, the local 6 p.m. news hour, which is a big part of Global’s domination of the market, is about to change. Jane Nesbitt, media group head at Genesis Media Vancouver, says among adults 25 to 54, Global’s share is currently 34%, and closer to 40% with adults 18+. CTV, the closest challenger, is only at 7%. But long-time Global anchor Tony Parsons – an institution in the market – is preparing for retirement and will soon move to helming the news just two days each week. Parsons’ replacement is key to Global maintaining its lead.

What’s next?

The Vancouver market will experience the same changes as the rest of the country, with new ownership of Citytv and A-Channel stations as well as the rebranding of CH to E! But Jim Gordon, media director at Genesis, is hoping that CTV will use its new property to get some of its programming overstock off the shelf and on air in simulcast with the U.S. He is also concerned that CanWest’s revamp of CH to E! could lead to elimination of some of its simulcasting opportunities.

Best bets?

Gordon says the type of programming and pricing regional stations have to offer has opened up TV to a lot of smaller retailers and non-traditional advertisers who can include production of commercials as part of their deals.

Nesbitt says OMNI and KVOS (which is based in Bellingham, Wash., but finds a large piece of its viewership in Vancouver) have been quite creative in putting together opportunities a little different than traditional TV buys, such as sponsorship and other packages and features. Because the stations are not getting as much business through the agencies, they’re doing a good job of going after local advertising, and even experience periods of tight inventory, she says.

Station Rankings

Toronto

Rank Stations Share %
1 CTV Ontario 9.7
2 Global Ontario (CIII) 5.7
3 Citytv Ontario (CITY) 3.5
4 CBC Ontario 3.5
5 CH Ontario (CHCH) 2.9
6 CP24 1.9
7 A-Channel Ontario 1.6
8 Omni 1 Ontario (CFMT) 1.3
9 SUN TV Ontario (CKXT) 1.0
10 Omni 2 Ontario (CJMT) 0.7
     
Area Toronto DMA  
Dates Aug. 28/06 – Apr. 29/07  
Demo Individuals 2+  
Daypart: Mo-Su 6a-6a  
Source: BBM-NMR Meter Data  

Vancouver

Rank Stations Share %
1 Global BC (CHAN) 12.3
2 CTV Vancouver (CIVT) 7.1
3 CBC Vancouver (CBUT) 5.1
4 CH Vancouver (CHEK) 3.3
5 A-Channel Victoria/Van (CIVI) 2.8
6 Citytv Vancouver (CKVU) 2.4
7 KVOS Vancouver 1.2
8 Channel M Vancouver (CHNM) 1.1
9 Omni 10 Vancouver (CHNU) 0.5
     
Area Vancouver DMA  
Dates Aug. 28/06 – Apr. 29/07  
Demo Individuals 2+  
Daypart: Mo-Su 6a-6a  
Source: BBM-NMR Meter Data  

Calgary

Rank Stations Share %
1 CTV Calgary (CFCN) 12.2
2 Global Calgary 7.5
3 CBC Calgary (CBRT) 5.1
4 Citytv Calgary (CKAL) 2.9
5 ACCESS 1.0
     
Area Calgary DMA  
Dates Aug. 28/06 – Apr. 29/07  
Demo Individuals 2+  
Daypart: Mo-Su 6a-6a  
Source: BBM-NMR Meter Data  

Montreal

Rank Stations Share%
1 TVA (CFTM+) 25.0
2 Radio-Canada (CBFT) 12.8
3 TQS (CFJP) 12.0
4 Télé-Québec 3.2
     
Area Montreal Franco EM  
Dates Aug. 28/06 – Apr. 29/07  
Demo Individuals 2+  
Daypart: Mo-Su 6a-6a  
Source: BBM Canada Meter Data