#42 MuchMusic Isn't Dead, But We Should Probably Kill It
CANADALAND
#42 MuchMusic Isn’t Dead, But We Should Probably Kill It
MuchMusic and dozens of other specialty channels collect millions of dollars a year from subscribers who didn't ask for them and don't watch them. Meanwhile, channels are laying off their staffs and producing less meaningful content than ever. Is it time to cut the cord on the protected cable business?

Episode Rundown

0:42 The eulogies of MuchMusic (link) (link) (link)

01:50 Greg O’Brien, Editor & publisher of Cartt.ca (link)

03:12 Moses Znaimer (link)

03:28 Peter Nygard (link)

04:58 “…under their CRTC licence, they have to air 12 hours of music videos everyday. They accepted that when they took ownership of the licence. When they bought it from CityTV” – O’Brien. They call it “Beaver hours” (link)

05:21 “They have to play these music videos. It’s in the logs and they have to prove it to the commission that they play this much hours of music videos.” O’Brien

5:46 (CRTC staffers enforce this) but they only act if someone complains… If someone complains that a channel is violating its licence. You know, if Sportsnet starts showing womens programing or if W network starts showing hockey” – O’Brien referring to how a channel could get in trouble if they broke their licence agreement.

Make your complaints here. (link)

06:38 “It was a cash cow for a long time. Same thing for History, nobody else is allowed to launch, in Canada, a history channel because Shaw owns that genre protected licence” – O’Brien

07:32 (other channels can play videos) “…as long as you don’t call it a music video station or don’t play too many.” – O’Brien.

08:15 “If Shaw has a claim on history,  I can’t come into the market with a competing History Channel. Does that mean they have to have history programming? Because when I watch the History Channel, I’m not seeing a ton of educational history stuff.” Jesse

Cracked has the best take of the decline of the History Channel (link)

09:22 “Ice Road Truckers is an historical show because we have historically had ice roads.”

10:01 “In return for launching that channel, because our market is so small, the CRTC would say that it’s your channel, you will be the only one that has that channel. And you’ll be able to go to market free of competition.” O’Brein

10:22 “If we had allowed Comedy Central just to come into Canada, we wouldn’t have a comedy network in Canada.” Some say that would be a good thing.

12:00 “Book Television is the example we use to illustrate the problems in the industry” O’Brein.  Follow-up story (link)

12:32 “Book Television has half an employee assigned to it.” (link)

13:21 “It makes about $4.5 million a year on subscriptions because their in these big bundles.” O’Brein talking about Book Television (link)

14:27 This hearing (link)

19:08 “Don’t get so carried away. ‘The government could force us to unbundle it, but you’re not going to save a dime.’ If we’re not going to save a dime, why would they be fighting it so doggedly for years? Obviously they’re afraid of something.” -Jesse

20:01 “Rogers will speak at length about the experiment they did in London (Ontario) where they broke up the packages as best they could…and let people buy one at a time, and hardly anybody took them up on the offer.” O’Brein (link)

25:11 “Given the choice, Canadians choose American programming and, like you say, if we just let the American stations come in here (over the Internet)…Canadians will choose that.” Jesse

26:08 “Disney last week signed a deal with Netflix. Netflix will be the exclusive Canadian partner for all of the animated and live action movies for Disney starting in 2015.” O’Brien (link)

26:54 “The Canadian market is really unique when you look around the world. We are right beside the world’s biggest cultural producer, and we’re the same language.” O’Brien

27:25 Nope, “protectionary” isn’t a word (link)

34:34 “There are two things intended by this CanCon production scheme. One is, it created an industry, and it certainly succeeded in doing that. It totally created a Canadian production industry. And the other thing it’s supposed to do is create Canadian culture that’s supposed to be of value to Canadians. I think we can conclude after a pretty good amount of time that it has failed miserably at creating that culture.” Jesse

35:00 The Littlest Hobo is a rad hobo dog solving small-town problems. It was the dark gritty reboot to Lassie we’ve all wanted (link)

35:05 “It is well past the time where the industry can continue to live on renting American programming. If we’re going to a pick and pay world, you’re going to have to give people a reason to pick and pay for you.” O’Brien

35:20 The Beachcombers circa 1975 (link)

40:01 Showmi hype (link)

July 27, 2014
More from this series
Travel Writer and Journalist, Marcello Di Cintio talks to Jesse about his one year journey around Canada, in search of the secret stories etched in the minds of Canadian taxi drivers.
July 19, 2021
Pornhub is a massive Canadian website that few talked about until the New York Times called it out for profiting from the exploitation of children and rape victims. Now government is rushing to regulate all online pornography. But the NY Times piece has its origins in an anti-porn crusade from an anti-gay, racist evangelic church. Sandra Wesley, executive director of the sex worker advocacy group Stella, says that bad laws will harm sex workers, and that the "moral panic" over porn could even kill them. 
July 12, 2021
News stories are frequently updated, clarified or corrected online, after they've been published. But when there's no disclosure that a story has been changed, something's usually up. 
July 5, 2021
As reports of Chinese government influence in Canadian media gain traction, South China Morning Post reporter Ian Young reveals an incredible tale from the past.
June 28, 2021
Queen's University quickly rejected the findings of an anonymous report accusing six people associated with the school of misrepresenting their Indigenous identities. That prompt dismissal has raised questions about the non-status Ardoch Algonquin group, and the controversial academic from the U.S. who co-founded it.
June 21, 2021
"Coercive control" is how cults like NXIVM entrap followers and how abusive partners dominate their victims.
June 14, 2021
Frank Magazine publisher Andrew Douglas and reporter Paul Palango discuss their bombshell story, and what the RCMP may still be hiding about Gabriel Wortman.
June 7, 2021
There have been dozens of arrests at Fairy Creek... but not much footage to show for it.
May 31, 2021
all podcasts arrow All Podcasts
CANADALAND