The fallout of the Bell-Quebecor war has another victim: Yoopa, which Bell pulled from its television service in retaliation for Quebecor’s Videotron pulling Bell channels Vrak and Z, is being shut down in January, replaced by a video version of Quebecor’s QUB Radio online radio service as of Jan. 11.
According to its annual filing with the CRTC, Yoopa had $2.6 million in revenue, all but $30,000 of which came from subscriptions, in 2021-22, and spent about $2 million on programming, a bit less than half of which was Canadian. It had 340,000 subscribers and a staff of three.
The loss leaves a hole for television targeting young children, though public broadcasters Radio-Canada and Télé-Québec devote much of their morning programming to programs for kids.
Meanwhile, Quebecor seems to be doubling down on its QUB Radio digital talk radio project, and will now be putting even more resources into it, even though it already has a 24/7 news channel in LCN. Quebecor doesn’t release ratings or financials for this online-only service so we have no idea if it’s successful. But it’s cheap, at least compared to the news programming we see on LCN.
Whether QUB Radio or its still-to-be-named TV version lasts is an open question. Honestly I’m a bit surprised it survived the latest round of media cuts at Quebecor.
In theory, QUB TV could apply to be a national news service, requiring other providers to carry it, but that would require having news bureaus and regular news updates, and the CRTC might have some questions if it tries to just piggyback on LCN’s resources to achieve that status.
Videotron will obviously embrace QUB Radio on TV. Bell is probably not interested. Whether others who carry Yoopa, like Cogeco, make the switch is an open question.