Canada Readies ‘Strike-Proof’ Schedules, Contingency Plans As WGA Strike Continues |

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As nan WGA onslaught continues, Canadian broadcasters are conducting business arsenic usual—at slightest successful beforehand of nan cameras.

Bell Media and Corus Entertainment launched upfront presentations for advertisers and media buyers successful Toronto past week, while Rogers Sports & Media opted for a virtual presentation. (Public broadcaster CBC skipped nan accepted industry-facing arena successful favour of a bid of meetings, but is readying a motorboat arena successful precocious fall.)

Over nan week, institution leaders laid retired 2023-24 broadcast schedules anchored by American acquisition programming. They boasted Canadian originals and specialty content. Rogers announced nan buzzy caller “Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent.” Bell Media upped its original room to much than 1,000 hours and revealed nan upcoming motorboat of advertisement tiers to its streaming service, Crave. And Corus confirmed 25 caller and returning original titles.

The events were notably little focused connected nan accepted autumn schedules than successful erstwhile years arsenic nan companies flew less talent successful to beforehand acquisitions. That didn’t extremity Canadian execs from snatching up contented from American studios astatine nan L.A. screenings past month, however, wherever location was still ample contented to sample.

“There wasn’t a large quality this twelvemonth successful position of availability,” Pat DiVittorio, Bell Media’s VP of programming, CTV and Speciality, tells Variety. “We saw immoderate really bully stuff; it conscionable whitethorn not onshore connected nan schedule astatine nan clip that it would usually onshore connected nan schedule.”

She adds that successful nan instances wherever American networks grounded to denote schedules, her teams guessed wherever shows whitethorn autumn successful nan lineup successful bid to use from a CTV simulcast.

“Some networks whitethorn person announced schedules that we’re not judge will travel to fruition,” she adds. “We’re utilizing our relationships to build intel and effort to decode what is going to happen. The situation is figuring retired what’s existent and what’s not.”

As nan writers strike continues, nan model for accepted autumn broadcast launches tightens. So arsenic Canadian execs struck deals pinch studios this year, contingency plans were apical of mind. Bell Media’s VP of contented improvement and programming, Justin Stockman, reveals they cognize what galore of those U.S. broadcasters’ plans are, moreover successful cases wherever they haven’t been publically announced.

The message? Canadians tin expect a autumn TV play afloat of original content.

“Everything we’re saying for autumn will really hap because it’s either unscripted, aliases nan show already exists because it was pre-shot, aliases it’s Canadian contented wherever we power what happens pinch it,” he says.

“We person a schedule and complete nan adjacent mates of months that schedule could conscionable get amended because we tin usage those contingency plans to our advantage,” DiVittorio adds. “What we chose to do is to move guardant pinch nan schedule that’s real, that will spell to air, that’s strike-proof.”

Hayden Mindell, Rogers Sports & Media’s elder VP of television, besides maintains that Citytv’s autumn schedule will dwell of caller programming each nighttime during nan primetime hours.

“It’s connected everybody’s mind, but we person a contingency plan,” he says. “You person to scheme to put together nan champion schedule you tin — that’s nan first focus. And past what disruptions hap is besides a consideration. I can’t speak to nan different networks, but if and erstwhile that occurs we’ll coming a schedule that will beryllium wholly original and successful simulcast.”

Over astatine Corus Entertainment, executive VP of broadcast networks Troy Reeb reveals unscripted contented is cardinal erstwhile it comes to filling successful immoderate gaps nan onslaught whitethorn origin successful nan fall. He notes nan institution has “stocked up” connected dramas and comedies for nan semipermanent season, and will simulcast wherever imaginable arsenic they hold for advancement successful nan dispute.

“We request to admit nan reality,” he says. “If we request to person unscripted for a play of time, past we will make judge those shows get their afloat runs and merge them into nevertheless nan scripted schedule comes to Global.”

He adds that this twelvemonth successful peculiar is an opportunity for homegrown bid to summation traction, arsenic world broadcasters look northbound to perchance bolster their ain schedules. “There is nan opportunity, surely for Canadian content, to break done successful a large way. Not conscionable successful Canada, but internationally.”