A few news items and site updates for mid-September 2021.
Welcome to the August 16, 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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We missed a couple of fairly important items about the streaming landscape in Canada that quietly emerged in the days before our last newsletter. That said, some more details have become apparent over the past week, which will provide better context than we could have provided last Monday.
During their quarterly earnings calls in the first week of August, both AMC Networks and Discovery Inc. announced they'd be bringing their (current) flagship streaming services to Canada in the near future. (While we've confirmed these comments on the call transcripts, news of both were first reported, as best we can tell, by The Streamable and Playback/Realscreen, respectively.)
AMC+ in fact has already launched in Canada as of late last week, and just in time for the service's early premiere of The Walking Dead season 11, which started yesterday (Sunday). To be precise, it's now available as a channel on both Prime Video and Apple TV for $8.99 (plus tax) per month.
As with its U.S. counterpart, the Canadian version of AMC+ combines the programming from three of the other streaming services owned by AMC Networks – Shudder, Sundance Now, and IFC Films Unlimited – with access to the AMC channel itself and its programming.
There are even some programs from the IFC and BBC America channels, like Portlandia, and the latest iteration of Meerkat Manor, which were previously distributed piecemeal to other Canadian channels if they aired here at all (and never aired on either the former licensed version of IFC, or BBC Canada / BBC First). But even so, some programs like Killing Eve (previously sold by AMC to Bell) or The North Water (co-produced by Super Channel and CBC) are not currently available.
Many of the programs that are on AMC+ remain available elsewhere, including on CBC Gem. But that may just have been AMCN's short term solution while deciding whether to launch AMC+ in Canada; we wouldn't be surprised if these sorts of deals aren't renewed once they end.
As for Discovery+, little seems to be clear at this point other than the fact that the service is now expected to launch in Canada, in some form, later this year. While the programming will likely be fairly similar to the American service – as opposed to the European service which is heavier on sports coverage – it's unlikely that it will provide the full range of programming available in the U.S. due to Discovery Inc.'s existing agreements with Bell and Corus.
We did take note of Bell Media's comment to Playback/Realscreen that there will be "no immediate changes to Discovery Channel in Canada" (emphasis ours). This could be read as suggesting that Bell knows that there may be changes to its channels in the future, though it is not a definitive statement about whether such changes will occur.
- Promos seen on Crave this past weekend indicate that three Universal / Focus films will be arriving in September: Promising Young Woman premieres on the Crave 1 linear channel on Saturday, September 4, Half Brothers on September 10, and News of the World on September 11. (Streaming availability for each will likely begin on the Friday of the respective weekend for all three.)
- A couple of August premieres not mentioned previously: Blake's 7 (the 1978 BBC sci-fi series created by Terry Nation) became available on BritBox this past Friday; and Brian Cox's Adventures in Space and Time (four-part docuseries hosted by the British physicist) airs on BBC Earth Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET starting August 31.
- [Added post-email] As first reported by iPhoneInCanada.ca, it appears that Crave is finally adding 4K versions of some content, at least on Apple TV 4K. The 4K content available so far seems to be limited to recent Warner Bros. / HBO Max movies, Letterkenny and a couple of other originals, and various Gusto Media-produced (CTV Life-branded) series like Flour Power.
Recent updates on WCIW
- We've added a new post about The Walking Dead, and updated existing posts about Kevin Can F**k Himself and Gangs of London, to reflect their updated Canadian streaming availability with the launch of AMC+ here.
- We've also updated our post about Discovery+ based on the announcement of the forthcoming Canadian launch.
- Finally, we've made a final update to our post about the recent Tokyo Olympics to note that world-feed broadcasts of many events are now available to Canadians, apparently indefinitely, on the "Replay" section of the IOC's website.
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