A few news items and site updates for mid-September 2021.
Happy Shark Week (or SharkFest, depending on your factual TV channel preferences). Welcome to the July 12, 2021 edition of This Week in WCIW, the weekly newsletter from Where Can I Watch – covering the latest news on where TV shows and movies will be available in Canada.
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Let's get to this week's news.
- A reader wrote in asking about American Horror Stories, the spin-off of American Horror Story featuring self-contained episodes, which in the U.S. will be premiering on the "FX on Hulu" hub this Thursday, July 15, but is not yet on the FX Canada schedule nor mentioned on its website.
Unfortunately, there has been no indication of FX Canada, which is owned by Rogers, picking up the show – its schedule currently shows repeats of Fargo on Thursday night – and it has not been mentioned in any Rogers press release, including its recent fall 2021 schedule announcement.
The next likeliest place to pick it up would be Disney+ / Star, which carries one FX series exclusively here (Cake), and will be distributing AHStories in other markets including the UK (Disney is now, of course, the parent company of FX, and of the production companies behind most of its programming). But AHStories was not mentioned in a recent Disney+ statement to some Canadian media outlets about Star programming coming in Canada during the 2021–22 season.
We can only assume that either Rogers has the rights but is delaying the Canadian rollout for some reason, or there is some issue still being worked through between Rogers and FX / Disney.
Update (July 13): That same reader has now forwarded us a reply from Rogers' viewer relations team indicating that American Horror Stories "is not slated" to be available on FX Canada, and that they expected it would likely be available on Disney+ / Star. We have still not seen any confirmation from Disney+ Canada to this effect.
- We noticed a promo during a hockey broadcast this past week indicating that Series 11 of The Great British
Bake OffBaking Show – which aired last fall on Channel 4 (UK) and Netflix U.S. – will finally air in Canada beginning on Sunday, August 15 on CBC. If they follow last year's practice, it's very possible that all episodes will be released on CBC Gem that same weekend.
- In other British TV news, we very recently noticed that QI (as in Quite Interesting), the British panel show currently hosted by Sandi Toksvig, which we don't believe has aired on Canadian linear TV in several years (if ever), is now airing on BBC First, Wednesday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET. It looks like the channel is currently working its way through Series P (2018-19).
For the moment, though, the episodes being aired are not completely first-run for Canada – all seasons from Series J to the most recent Series R are already available in full on BritBox (which we'll have a bit more on, under "Other notes").
- Miracle Workers: Oregon Trail, the third installment of the comedy anthology series starring Daniel Radcliffe, Steve Buscemi, and Geraldine Viswanathan, will air Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on CTV Comedy starting this week (July 13), day-and-date with its U.S. release on TBS.
- Bell has confirmed ESPN's previous announcement that Canadian rights to La Liga will move to TSN and RDS, as part of ESPN's acquisition of North American rights, starting with the 2021–22 season that begins in August. ESPN's deal runs through the 2028–29 season; unless there's some unexpected change in its relationship with part-owner ESPN, TSN's rights should be on the same timeframe.
- As mentioned in our "quick update" last week, there's news on two Paramount Pictures films: A Quiet Place Part Ⅱ will be available to stream in Canada on Prime Video starting this Tuesday, while the Mark Wahlberg film Infinite, already released direct-to-streaming on Paramount+ in the U.S., will also be available on Paramount+ Canada on Wednesday, August 11.
- In non-Canadian programming rights news: Universal Pictures has announced its U.S. pay-1 rights will be moving off of HBO beginning with 2022 releases. As expected, NBCUniversal's Peacock will be getting part of that package, with films premiering on streaming as soon as four months after theatrical release, then staying on Peacock for only four months before moving to Prime Video
and then possibly some other outlet(update [July 13]: it now seems like it's all ten months, but for live-action only, with animated films going to Netflix) before returning to Peacock for months 15-18 of the U.S. pay-1 window.
As with similar announcements we've noted recently like Sony / Netflix, the Canadian rights are negotiated separately, and it's not clear when they'd next come up for renewal. The Canadian pay-1 rights to Universal films currently belong to Bell Media / Crave – under a deal that, from all appearances, was renewed in late 2011, and possibly extended or modified in 2018 – with Netflix holding a shorter pay-2 window, but Prime among the services carrying classic Universal films in Canada.
- BritBox, the BBC / ITV joint-venture British entertainment streaming service, is currently offering a $49 first-year annual membership to new or returning subscribers until Tuesday (July 13) at 6:59 p.m. Eastern, subject to subscribing through the BritBox website (not in-app or via Prime Video or Apple TV Channels). That's a little over 45% off the regular annual price of $89.99.
Recent updates on WCIW
Over the past couple of weeks, we've added new posts about Infinite and Black Widow, and updated our posts about Tom & Jerry (coming to Crave later this month) and The Great British Baking Show (as discussed above). We've also made some overdue updates to our overall posts about HBO, HBO Max, Peacock, and Starz.
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