Watching This Week #112
Listings for May 29 to June 4, 2023; Corus channels appear set to leave Eastlink.
Confused about what's happening with the long-running soap opera in Canada? We'll try to explain.
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Days of Our Lives is one of the longest-running American daytime serials or "soap operas". Showing the lives and loves of several families in the fictional town of Salem, Illinois, the program aired weekdays on the NBC network in the United States beginning on November 8, 1965.
For much of the time since, Canadians have also been able to watch the series, either through NBC stations carried on Canadian cable systems, or through local broadcast stations – most recently on the Global network in most parts of Canada, and on partner station NTV in Newfoundland and Labrador. NBC's default airtime for the show was weekdays at 1:00 p.m. ET – which was also used by Global in Ontario – but broadcast times tended to vary by region.
However, this will be changing in both Canada and the United States beginning on Monday, September 12, 2022. As a result, DOOL will no longer be available on NBC or Global stations from that point forward.
On August 3, 2022, NBCUniversal – the division of U.S. cable company Comcast that owns the NBC network – announced that, for viewers in the United States, Days of Our Lives would move exclusively to its Peacock streaming service – which is not available in Canada in an authorized way – beginning on September 12.
A few weeks later, Global's parent company, Corus Entertainment, announced that it would be moving the series off of Canadian broadcast television as well. Instead, staring September 12, Days of Our Lives will air exclusively on W Network in Canada, weekdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times. Episodes will also be available to stream on-demand on the Global TV app (for cable subscribers) and StackTV, as we explain just below.
This timeslot equates to 2:00 p.m. Atlantic and Mountain times (including Saskatchewan during the summer months), 2:30 p.m. Newfoundland time, and either 12:00 noon or 3:00 p.m. for viewers in the Central time zone depending on whether your TV provider offers the East or West feed of W Network. While 1:00 p.m. is the timeslot that DOOL aired in on Global in Ontario, Quebec, and B.C., the new airtime in other markets may vary slightly from the previous local broadcast time on Global, and certainly it will for NTV (where it aired at 1:30 p.m. NT).
In addition to this linear broadcast, recent episodes of Days from at least the past several weeks will continue to be available through the Global TV website and app, with new episodes being added shortly after broadcast. However, going forward, this access through the Global app will be limited to authenticated TV service subscribers of W Network, per Corus' announcement – previously, even non-subscribers could access the most recent week of episodes.
For cord-cutters, the same selection of episodes will also remain available on StackTV, Corus' paid streaming package which is most easily available as an add-on channel to Amazon's Prime Video service for about $12.99 (plus applicable taxes) per month, but is also available through other platforms like Rogers Ignite Streaming and FuboTV Premium.
Many Canadian Days watchers will likely already be familiar with W Network and StackTV, as that's where recent spinoffs like Beyond Salem and A Very Salem Christmas have already been available in Canada. But for those Canadians that can only access broadcast TV channels, or otherwise choose not to pay for a TV service, this will certainly impact the series' availability going forward.
Corus' announcement includes a statement from a company executive indicating that after NBCUniversal announced it would move the show to Peacock in the U.S., the Canadian broadcaster "had to reevaluate where the series aired on our networks and felt W Network [...] was the right home for this beloved series".
Reading between the lines, it does not sound like NBCUniversal's decision forced Corus to move DOOL off of Global TV, but it did change the parameters for Corus such that the company decided it no longer made sense for the company to air the series on its broadcast network.
To the best of our knowledge, Corus acquires the Canadian broadcast rights for Days of Our Lives directly from the program's producers, Corday Productions and Sony Pictures Television. Our understanding is that Sony – not NBC – distributes the series internationally, so it's very unlikely that NBCUniversal's decision on where to air the show domestically within the U.S. would directly force changes on how the show airs internationally.
In fact, Days of Our Lives was specifically mentioned in Global's fall 2022 schedule announcement which, although issued in June before the Peacock announcement, clearly indicates that Global expected to (and, presumably, had already secured the necessary contracts to allow it to) carry the daytime drama into the next TV season.
However, the NBC network dropping Days of Our Lives means that one of the key reasons for Global airing the series – simultaneous substitution (or "simsub") of NBC, at least in much of the country, allowing Global to simulcast its commercials during the Days timeslot over the channels reserved for NBC on Canadian cable and satellite providers – will no longer apply.
Before NBCUniversal's change, if Corus had decided on its own to move DOOL to W Network, or exclusively to streaming, it would have lost the ability to simsub NBC, as that privilege is reserved solely for over-the-air Canadian networks that air programs at the same times as their U.S. counterparts (whereas W Network is available only on cable). Many Canadians would have then watched Days directly through NBC, resulting in lower ratings on W, reducing the advertising revenue that Corus could have gotten for its broadcasts.
Now, with NBC moving the program to Peacock, those kinds of simsubs will no longer be possible in any event. While we want to emphasize that we do not have any inside information about Corus' decision-making process, we can imagine that NBC's decision might have increased the financial incentives for Global to air a different show in that timeslot – perhaps one that costs less money to air, and/or helps fulfill its Canadian content requirements – while keeping Days of Our Lives available to those paying to receive W Network.
As an aside, we note that Corus also has a separate contract with NBCU for the Canadian rights to Peacock original programs. However, that only covers programming produced by NBC's in-house production company Universal Television, and not programs distributed by third-party studios like Sony. So it doesn't really come into play for a series like Days of Our Lives.
Global's schedule was updated on September 9 to indicate that the network would initially air repeats of HGTV series Property Brothers: Buying + Selling in the 1:00 p.m. ET/PT timeslot beginning September 12. NTV's schedule for the 1:30 p.m. NT timeslot was updated in the same way shortly thereafter.
By September 26, both schedules had been updated to indicate that Karamo, a new NBCUniversal-produced talk show hosted by Karamo Brown in the vein of the now-concluded Maury Povich Show, would air in the former Days timeslot on Global and NTV going forward.
We did not expect Global or NTV to air Days' U.S. replacement NBC News Daily as that program will likely focus on news of limited relevance to Canadian viewers.
It is true that, up until Corus' announcement on September 2, we here at Where Can I Watch were feeling confident about Global and NTV continuing to air Days of Our Lives in Canada for at least the coming 2022–23 TV season. In retrospect, that confidence was misplaced, particularly as Corus could have – but didn't – make a clarifying public statement very quickly if it was going to keep DOOL on Global.
But we also tried to reinforce in previous versions of this post that our statements were based on the information available to us at the time, including publicly-posted TV schedules that indicated that those channels would continue to air DOOL on September 12 and onwards, and some educated assumptions based on past experiences tracking other programs that have gone through similar moves like The Mindy Project (see below).
Unfortunately, Corus did not respond to our request for comment either before or after we posted the initial version of this article, up until its September 2 announcement. It's difficult to provide a complete picture, unless and until one of the key parties involved is willing to comment publicly about the situation.
Not necessarily. Consider the case of The Mindy Project, a sitcom starring Mindy Kaling which aired on Fox (and on Citytv in Canada) for its first three seasons.
After the show was cancelled by Fox, the Hulu streaming service picked up the show, making a deal with producers Universal Television that ultimately lasted three more seasons. But in Canada, where Hulu did not operate (and still does not do so directly), Citytv continued to hold Canadian rights to the series under their own original deal with Universal Television, and eventually aired the remaining seasons on Canadian broadcast network TV.
In this and most other cases that we've been aware of, the Canadian broadcaster that airs a show in one season has first right of refusal on airing the next season of that show, regardless of any changes to its originating American platform.
That said, there have been exceptions, such as Evil, which aired on Global in its first season, but (eventually) moved in Canada to the Paramount+ streaming service, part of the same parent company as the series' producers CBS Studios, for its second season and beyond.
But the result in each specific case likely depends on the terms of the programing contract in question, which (unfortunately for our purposes) is generally treated as confidential information by both buyer and seller.
In addition to the main daily series, there have been two spinoffs that are exclusive to Peacock in the United States. To date, Corus has also held the broadcast rights to these programs in Canada (though it presumably got these rights in connection with holding rights to the parent series, separately from its deal for Peacock originals).
Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem – a limited series which follows several current and former characters on the main series on adventures outside the main setting of Salem – premiered on Peacock the week of September 6, 2021. These episodes became available in Canada on StackTV and the Global TV app (for W Network cable subscribers) the same day, and aired on W Network on October 11. "Volume 2" of Beyond Salem premiered in the U.S. the week of July 11, 2022, and debuted in Canada on Sunday, September 4 on both W Network and StackTV.
Days of Our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas, a Christmas movie based on the series, premiered on Peacock – and on StackTV in Canada – on December 16, 2021, and aired the following month on W Network. It, too, is now also available on the Global TV app for those who receive W Network as part of their cable/satellite/fibre TV service.
The viewer relations email addresses listed on Corus' corporate website at the time of this posting are email@example.com for Global, and firstname.lastname@example.org for W Network. Alternatively, there is a contact form on the Global website here.
NTV, the Newfoundland and Labrador station that is locally owned by the Stirling family and gets much of its entertainment programming through an arrangement with Corus, likely cannot do much in this scenario – the station cannot air a program that Corus that owns the rights to but chooses not to make available to NTV – but if you wish to contact them, you can do so through this web page. The same is true of Global Thunder Bay, which is owned by the Dougall family. All other Global stations are owned and operated directly by Corus.
As a reminder, the website you're on right now, Where Can I Watch, is an independent website not affiliated with any broadcaster, or any TV show production or distribution company. We unfortunately cannot assist with any specific issues you may have, beyond directing you to the contact information above.
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