Thursday, February 05, 2009

THE STATE OF TV IN CANADA

I just thought I would update people on the TV situation here in frozen Canada.

Well, the news is in the papers: Canwest is looking to sell its E! stations.

Great. What is going to happen to CHCH Hamilton now? Not to mention these other "secondary-network" stations in Red Deer, Victoria, Kelowna, and Montreal?! Who'll buy them, in this lousy economy?!

Also, been reading about the usual sob stories of these TV producers who are worried about the CRTC looking at TV station license renewals. Seems the CRTC might re-look at some of the license conditions, like the Canadian content requirements, given the awful economy. So now the people who make Canadian TV dramas are all upset and worried that money for their shows will dry up.

Meanwhile, the people who actually watch TV in this country are ridiculing the people who make Canadian TV dramas; they claim these Canadian producers shouldn't be getting propped up with any money at all. Heck, no one watches their shows, the argument goes. So they don't deserve any money!

Personally, this is one more example of how politicized Canadian TV has become. If Canadian TV shows get the hook in this country because of poor ratings or a bad economy, people automatically go nuts and get all political, and call for the government to get involved with more CRTC regulations and more arts funding to keep these losing shows afloat and on the air -- so that Canadian jobs are protected.

Of course, there wouldn't be a need for more CRTC regulations and more arts funding if the Canadian networks, particularly private TV, would invest in Canadian productions. But they don't, because they know full well that Canadians won't watch most Canadian TV except for Hockey Night in Canada, Corner Gas and maybe a few other shows. So the CRTC has to force them to invest through license conditions and these content requirements. And let's not even talk about the CBC, because no one can talk about the moves that network makes without politics entering into the picture.

To show you how ridiculous the situation is here in Canada, check out this article over at Dead Things on Sticks, which talks about how Being Erica is being moved to Wednesdays by the CBC, forcing The Fifth Estate to move to Fridays. So all the interest groups are all up at arms about this and proclaiming this is the death of news at the CBC. What nonsense. This is just a shift of a time slot, people. This sort of thing happens to plenty of TV shows. Besides, the move might actually help Being Erica stay on the air, because it was getting killed in its Monday time slot.

Anyway, that's Canadian TV for you -- it's all about political handouts and special interests being accommodated. I just wish these folks would forget about handouts and start producing shows that people will actually watch! Then these might actually pay for themselves and won't need any government assistance!! Heck, it shouldn't be that hard -- it's not as if the product the Americans are turning out is such great shakes.

That's it!!

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