Tag Archives: Évasion

TVA to buy Évasion and Zeste, eliminating another independent TV broadcaster

The number of independent commercial television broadcasters in French Canada can be counted on one hand, and soon that number will decline even further as Bell and Quebecor gobble up whatever they don’t already own.

As Bell’s proposed purchase of Corus’s Historia and Séries+ awaits CRTC approval, TVA announced Tuesday it has agreed to purchase Serdy Media’s specialty channels Évasion and Zeste for $24 million.

The transaction requires CRTC approval, and we’ll learn more when that application is posted. Generally the purchase of TV assets requires a tangible benefits package of 10% of the value of the transaction, which means at least $2.4 million going to production funds or other independent initiatives that benefit the broadcasting system.

Évasion is profitable, with almost $10 million in subscription revenue, $2.6 million in ad revenue and $10 million in expenses in the year ending Aug. 31, 2016. But in 2015 and 2016 it lost bout 5% of subscribers a year. Zeste does not have full financial information published by the CRTC, but had $6.6 million in revenue and $3.8 million in Canadian programming expenses in 2016, which suggests a similar level of profitability.

This is yet another step in the consolidation of French-language television in Canada in two hands: Bell and Quebecor. Each is bulking up to compete with the other, convincing the CRTC that their purchases are necessary because the other has gotten bigger. If the Corus and Serdy sales go through, it would leave only V, children’s channels, non-profit services, some local stations and a handful of others (MétéoMédia and Frissons TV) not controlled by the two giants.

Here’s what Canada’s French-language television landscape looks like:

Quebecor (Groupe TVA):

  • TVA
  • addikTV
  • Casa
  • LCN
  • Moi & Cie
  • Prise 2
  • TVA Sports
  • Yoopa

Bell Media (*former Astral channels):

  • Canal D*
  • Canal Vie*
  • Cinépop*
  • Investigation
  • RDS
  • RDS Info
  • Super Écran*
  • Vrak*
  • Z*

Corus:

  • Historia (pending sale to Bell)
  • Séries+ (pending sale to Bell)
  • Chaîne Disney
  • Télétoon

Groupe Serdy:

  • Évasion (pending sale to TVA)
  • Zeste (pending sale to TVA)

V Média:

  • V
  • MusiquePlus
  • MAX

Independent for-profits:

  • DHX Media: Télémagino
  • Frissons TV
  • Pelmorex: MétéoMédia
  • RNC Media (regional affiliates)
  • Télé Inter-Rives (regional affiliates)
  • TéléMag (Quebec City)

Radio-Canada:

  • ICI Radio-Canada télé
  • ICI ARTV
  • ICI Explora
  • ICI RDI

Other public and non-profit broadcasters:

  • AMI Télé
  • Canal Savoir
  • CPAC
  • Télé-Québec
  • TFO
  • TV5/Unis
  • Community channels

Tamy takes on America

Tamy Emma Pepin in #TamyUSA

Tamy Emma Pepin in #TamyUSA

A year and a half after taking a social-media-fuelled trip through the U.K., Tamy Emma Pepin is back with another similar travel show for Évasion: #TamyUSA, which starts this week with a show from Seattle.

#TamyUSA follows Pepin through a road trip along the U.S. west coast, exploring the sights of its cities by meeting with people in them who are active on Instagram.

Unlike Tamy @ Royaume-Uni, in which Pepin would go to bed not knowing what she was doing the next day, this time her activities are much more planned. It’s much less chaotic and stressful this way, Pepin tells me.

There are also changes behind the scenes. It’s a different production company, for one. Toxa has been replaced by the tiny Parce Que Films, which has more experience in music videos than television series.

And the series is being put together in a hurry. Pepin returned from the U.S. trip only last month, and with only 40 days between the end of filming and the airing of the first episode, she has spent long nights in the editing room since then.

But the feel of the show is the same as before. From the low-contrast colouring to the creative music selection (thanks to Third Side Music), and particularly the stunning visuals from director of photography Émilie Ricard-Harvey, it’s very familiar to those who followed the U.K. adventure.

And, of course, Tamy is Tamy, a very charismatic host who can be bubbly without being fake, fun-loving without being irresponsible. It’s fun to explore the world with her because her genuine enthusiasm for discovery shines through the camera.

Plus, since Tamy is travelling through another English-speaking country, the show is effectively bilingual, with most interviews happening in English and subtitled in French.

The series isn’t available online, and no one finds that more frustrating than Pepin, who said she’s trying to change that. But Évasion, owned by independent Groupe Serdy, needs shows like this to drive subscriptions to the channel, particularly with rule changes that are pushing people toward pick-and-pay cable packages.

According to the latest data from the CRTC, Évasion gets 78% of its revenue from subscriptions, and a profit margin below 10% with its subscriber base stable at about 2 million subscribers.

Nevertheless, #TamyUSA has a very active website, and after each show premieres on Monday night there’s a free webcast chatting with local Instagrammers in her living room. That’s much less visually interesting than the show, though.

#TamyUSA airs Mondays at 8pm, and rebroadcasts Tuesday 10am, Wednesday 1pm, Friday 3am, Saturday 9am and 8pm and Sunday 4pm on Évasion.

Further reading

 

 

Tamy Emma Pepin’s bilingual trip through the UK

Tamy Emma Pepin certainly seems to have had a pretty successful career in the media. A contributor to TQS, the Journal de Montréal, and TVA as a freelancer. An editor for Huffington Post Québec. A social media ambassador for Tourism Montreal.

More recently, she was a contributor to Cap sur l’été on Radio-Canada, and she was one of the hosts of local lifestyle series Only in Montreal. That series, sadly, has not been renewed, but she quickly moved on to her next project: a travel series produced by Toxa (the company behind Urbania) and airing on Évasion.

The 13-episode one-hour series, Tamy @ Royaume-Uni, was shot last fall, and debuts Thursday at 8pm. So I had a chat with Pepin and another with producer Raphaëlle Huysmans about the show for a story that appears in Thursday’s Gazette.

It’s a French channel, and voiceovers and explanations to the camera happen in French, but because this is Britain, most of the stuff that happens is in English (which is thankfully subtitled rather than dubbed). Rather than sounding like an instructional video or sales pitch, the series takes a more documentary-style approach, following Pepin around as she plays tourist.

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