Media News Digest: Spy agency is secretive, newspaper moving day, and loads of free preview channels

News about news

At the CRTC

  • The commission has reiterated a preliminary view that Internet providers can’t block websites without its approval (and such approval would not be given lightly) regardless of a new Quebec law that would make that mandatory for a Loto-Québec-provided list of illegal gambling websites. There’s a court case pending over this, so that view could be overturned by a higher authority.
  • During hearings over the renewal of its licences recently, the CRTC asked Corus (which runs The Disney Channel, Teletoon, YTV and other youth channels in Canada) how long its contract with Disney lasts. Corus wrote in a letter that Disney won’t give it permission to tell the commission (even confidentially) that information. I imagine the commission won’t like that.
  • Yet another transmitter being converted from AM to FM, in Channel-Port-aux-Basques, N.L.


  • Verne Lundquist called his last college football game for CBS after 17 years there, and more than 40 in broadcasting.
  • CTV Montreal now has a new segment on the 11:30pm newscast called The Last Word, in which the anchor reads viewer tweets and Facebook comments about some issue of the day. (It’s not actually the last word, it comes just after sports and before the last commercial break before the wrap-up.)
  • Videotron finally added some long-awaited HD channels, including CTV News Channel and The Comedy Network. But they’re only available in areas that have modernized networks and on next-generation receivers capable of decoding MPEG-4.
  • A bunch of TV channels are on free preview over the holidays on most major providers. The below are available on Videotron, Bell, Cogeco and Shaw until Jan. 16 unless otherwise indicated.
    • Animal Planet (to Jan. 10)
    • Bloomberg TV Canada (to Feb. 28 on Videotron)
    • Canal D
    • Canal Vie
    • CASA
    • CHRGD (to Jan. 31 on Videotron)
    • Cooking Channel (formerly W Movies, to Jan. 31)
    • Euronews (Videotron)
    • Évasion
    • Fight Network (to Jan. 2 on Bell, Shaw and Cogeco)
    • Food Network (to Jan. 4)
    • HIFI (to Jan. 1 on Bell and Shaw)
    • History (to Jan. 4)
    • Hollywood Suite (to Jan. 7 on Bell and Shaw)
    • Gusto (to Jan. 10)
    • ICI Artv
    • ICI Explora
    • Investigation (fr)
    • Love Nature (to Jan. 1)
    • MAX (formerly Musimax)
    • Mezzo Live HD (to Dec. 31 on Bell)
    • MusiquePlus
    • Planète+ (Videotron)
    • RDS
    • RDS2
    • RDS Info
    • Rewind (Videotron)
    • Seasons (to Jan. 27 on Bell, Jan. 3 on Cogeco)
    • Silver Screen Classics (Videotron)
    • Smithsonian Channel (to Jan. 1 on Bell and Shaw)
    • TSN (to Jan. 7 on Shaw)
    • Vrak
    • Z
    • Zeste
  • The MLS Cup final attracted 1.5 million viewers to TSN/RDS on Saturday, setting yet another new record for viewership to an MLS game. Since Toronto was in the final and Montreal wasn’t, less than 100,000 of that viewership was on RDS.
  • Global launched its Durham region local news operation. Global News was there.
  • The Bell Media drama Cardinal has a debut date: Jan. 24 on Crave TV, Jan. 25 on CTV and Jan. 26 on Super Écran. CTV thinks it’s significant that this show is taking over the Designated Survivor timeslot for the winter.




News about people

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4 thoughts on “Media News Digest: Spy agency is secretive, newspaper moving day, and loads of free preview channels

  1. jimduff

    Re. Canada’s spy agency can’t confirm whether it’s spying on journalists.
    Assume the Communications Security Establishment and larger police forces routinely monitor the wireless conversations of working journalists on sensitive beats at the behest of their political masters. Some years back, I was having lunch with Torstar Quebec bureau chief Robert MacKenzie in a bistro not far from the NatAss. My trusty flip phone rang and I went to answer it. “Don’t take the call,” he hissed, grabbing my wrist. “They’re listening to everything you say!” At the time I put it down to Bob’s dislike for intrusive technology at the dinner table. Now that we know the SQ and SPVM routinely seek eavesdropping warrants from compliant judges, we should be under no illusions it has stopped. Assume Big Sister is listening. Big Brother? He’s installing cameras.

  2. Marc

    Steve, re. more departures at The Gazette – do you think it’s an unfair assumption that 2017 could be the final year for the print edition? Will it go the way of La Presse?

  3. dilbert

    The ratings for the football (aka Soccer) match should come as no surprise. It’s a very popular game, with pretty solid support all considered. Canada has always suffered because the games from the top European leagues play out at ungodly hours of the morning, making it a non-mainstream pursuit. Otherwise, it would be likely that Football would be much more of a popular viewer sport in Canada.


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