Canadian TV upfronts roundup: RIP Space/Bravo, hello TSN Direct, Simpsons moves to City

Canada’s English-language private TV broadcasters announced their fall schedules this week. In case you couldn’t keep up with all the press releases, here’s what was sent out.

Bell Media

  • Bell is rebranding four of its specialty channels to put CTV in their names. Space, Bravo, Comedy, and Gusto will become CTV Sci-Fi, CTV Drama, CTV Comedy, and CTV Life, respectively, as they form part of some superportal of CTV video content, along with two new ad-supported video-on-demand services called CTV Movies and CTV Vault. Space and Bravo are among Bell’s most popular specialty channels. And while some channels like MTV, HBO and Discovery are given the same branding as their U.S. counterparts for simplicity, Space was its own brand, and Bravo has departed so much from the U.S. version of the channel that there’s not much point in keeping that brand anymore. Gusto was a food channel acquired more recently from an independent, and will now presumably expand to other types of lifestyle programming.
  • TSN and RDS are following Sportsnet in offering a $25-a-month over-the-top subscription service to make its channels available to people who don’t have or want a cable TV subscription. Called TSN Direct and RDS Direct, it looks like they can’t be combined at present (which kinda sucks, surely they could come up with some deal for people who buy both). Both launched on Friday. TSN Direct gives you the five TSN channels plus some special TSN GO feeds. RDS Direct offers RDS, RDS2 and RDS Info. Combined with Sportsnet NOW, you can get most sporting events for $50 a month. But how many Canadian cord-cutters are willing to pay that price?
  • Bell Media’s original Canadian programming plan for next season includes a new series: Jann, a comedy starring Jann Arden as a fictionalized version of herself.

CTV fall schedule. Legend below.

CTV2 fall schedule

Corus

Global fall schedule

Rogers

City fall schedule. The Simpsons were previously on Global.

  • Citytv’s fall schedule includes 11 new shows (including the rebooted Murphy Brown) and fills the 10pm hour with new programs only on Mondays and Wednesdays. (It strips reruns of Mom on other nights.) Notable here is that City has picked up The Simpsons from Global, after previously snapping the rest of the Fox Sunday night animation/comedy lineup.
  • Rogers is launching a new over-the-top app Citytv NOW, for which series will be available immediately as they air on City, as well as a new FX NOW app.
  • Sportsnet is bringing back Ice Surfing, its special Twitter broadcast that checks in on live NHL games and also includes a bunch of couch discussions that will probably interest people less.

Others

CHCH fall schedule

Orphans

U.S. network shows in the fall not finding a home on a Canadian network:

  • ABC: Child Support, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Saturday Night Football
  • CBS: (None)
  • Fox: Star, Empire (CHCH only), Last Man Standing (CHEK only)
  • NBC: Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Dateline

Legend for network schedules

  • Red is Canadian
  • Blue is Fox
  • Yellow is CBS
  • Orange is ABC
  • Green is NBC
  • Grey is reruns/syndication
  • New shows in bold
  • Shows that were on other networks before in italics
  • (b): Canadian network broadcast before U.S. network
  • (a): Canadian network broadcast after U.S. network
  • (db): Canadian network broadcast on a day before the U.S. network
  • (da): Canadian network broadcast on a day after the U.S. network

9 thoughts on “Canadian TV upfronts roundup: RIP Space/Bravo, hello TSN Direct, Simpsons moves to City

  1. Jon

    Great analysis as always.

    Some observations:
    Dancing with the Stars is incorrectly listed among the orphaned shows for ABC.

    The Resident should be in italics instead of bold.

    Asterisks are missing for How to Get Away with Murder and Midnight, Texas.

    It is unknown at this time if The Flash (CW) has a Canadian broadcaster. Presumably, it will join DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow on Space, but there are no sources to confirm this.
    Otherwise, most CW shows without a broadcaster or specialty service in Canada are streaming on Netflix.

    FOX drama Star streams on Netflix in Canada the day after broadcast.

    How were you able to confirm that CHEK is airing Fox’s Last Man Standing? Unless it’s reruns of the ABC sitcom, serving as timeslot fillers like CHCH is doing with Dr. Ken and Community. I’m sure they will be airing Fresh Off the Boat in simulcast like CHCH. CHEK has also been showing reruns of Fox sitcom New Girl.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Global is abandoning both Chicago Med and Chicago Fire ?

      It appears so. Survivor is Global’s highest-rated primetime program, so there’s no real reason to keep another Wednesday 8pm show. And for whatever reason it’s keeping SEAL Team at 9pm over Chicago Fire.

      Reply
  2. Steve

    If the TSN Go and Sportsnet Now packages were $10-$15 a month each, they probably would make a dent in the cord cutter market, but $25 is crazy. If I’m going to pay $50 a month just for sports, why not just add cable? I SEE THEIR LOGIC, but it is flawed! Until they figure out to stop Reddit and the people who are getting more and more creative at pirating their cotent, they will NEVER get $25 out of me! N-E-V-E-R!

    Reply
  3. Marc

    Funny there’s no mention of Brooklyn-99. City carried it but since NBC picked the show up, I guess a new simsub arrangement will have to be made? If indeed there will be one. Not that I’m a fan of simsubbing; I was just wondering.

    Reply
  4. Steve

    TSN Direct is terrible. No DVR controls and no on-demand content despite the press release stating there would be. Will be asking for a refund.

    Reply

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