News from early October 2022, including "Yellowstone" moving to Paramount+ in Canada, and answers to questions about the Roku Channel and more.
Hello! It's Monday, February 7, 2022, which means it's time for another 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.
Read on for news about where shows like the Law & Order revival, Minx, and Korean drama Snowdrop will be available in Canada, plus some industry updates.
- Global has picked up NBC midseason limited series The Thing About Pam starring Renée Zellweger and Josh Duhamel, premiering Tuesday, March 8. It has also reconfirmed the pickup of CBS comedy How We Roll (previously announced as Smallwood), airing Thursdays starting March 31.
In other Corus programming news, Showcase's website indicates that Peacock limited series Joe vs. Carole (a dramatization of the events documented in Netflix's Tiger King among other places, starring Kate McKinnon) will air in March. The series premieres in the U.S. on March 3. Meanwhile, listings indicate that Showcase will air True Story with Ed & Randall (as in Helms and Park, respectively), also from Peacock, Sundays at around 10:00 p.m. ET starting February 20.
- Citytv has confirmed that it will simulcast new NBC drama The Endgame Mondays starting February 21, as well as Law & Order (the twentieth-first season of the newly-revived original series), which will air Thursday nights alongside the show's extant spinoffs (SVU and Organized Crime), starting on February 24.
- AMC has announced that Ragdoll, a six-part serial killer thriller from the producers of Killing Eve that debuted on AMC+ (including in Canada) in the fall, will air on the AMC TV channel Mondays at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT starting February 28. The broadcast is positioned as a companion to its airing of encores of the final season of Killing Eve, although in Canada we expect that series will continue to air solely on CTV Drama on Sundays starting on the 27th. (To be clear, we expect no similar issues with Ragdoll itself.)
- Bell Media has reposted an HBO Max press release announcing that Minx, a Lionsgate-distributed comedy series starring Ophelia Lovibond and Jake Johnson, will premiere on March 17, strongly implying it will be available on Crave in Canada.
Crave has also added the And Just Like That... making-of documentary that was released on HBO Max alongside the finale of the Sex and the City continuation.
- Adding to the trend of Korean TV series on global streaming services, Disney+ will add the Korean drama series Snowdrop to its service in the U.S., Canada and Europe, this Wednesday, February 9. The series has already been made available on the service in Asia-Pacific markets, and Disney says it's been quite popular in those markets to date. While technically part of Disney+'s Star offering – it's produced by Korea's JTBC, and not associated with any other Disney brand – it is also being added directly to Disney+ in the United States, instead of going to Hulu.
- Amazon has confirmed that the price increase announced last week for U.S. customers of Amazon Prime – the subscription package that includes Prime Video – does not affect Canada at this time; the Canadian price remains $7.99 per month or $79.00 per year. The Canadian version of the service was significantly less expensive than the American version even before this change, and lacks certain features like fresh grocery delivery (not offered by Amazon at all in Canada), discounts at Whole Foods Market, and the ability to share benefits with other accounts in the same household.
- BCE's year-end results indicated that Crave ended 2021 with over 2.9 million subscribers – a 6% increase over year-end 2020, but not meaningfully different from the mid-year results. In isolation, that might suggest that the autumn additions of content like And Just Like That..., the Harry Potter catalogue, and Showtime's Dexter: New Blood did not move the needle much.
However, Crave's direct-to-consumer (DTC) subscriptions increased by 28% in 2021. Previously-released CRTC data indicates that cable provider subscribers accounted for 1.8 million subscriptions to the Crave pay TV service in late 2020, meaning Crave would have had around 1.0 million DTC (and/or base-tier-only) subscribers, of 2.8 million total, in late 2020. Doing the math, it's very likely that this DTC growth was at least partly offset by cancelled subscriptions from cable providers (i.e., cordcutters). But DTC subscriptions are ultimately better for Bell's bottom line – at least compared to subscriptions through third-party providers like Rogers – since Bell keeps a bigger share of the revenue even though customers end up paying about the same price.
For comparison, the U.S. subscriber base for HBO and/or HBO Max – the closest comparable service in the U.S., though Crave did not participate in the day-and-date Warner Bros. releases like Dune – grew by over 8% from December 31, 2020 to the same date in 2021. It did drop a bit in the latter part of the year; cordcutting may have played into that as well, but HBO U.S. also had a Prime Video Channels distribution deal that ended completely in September, something Crave has never had.
- The federal Liberal government has introduced into Parliament what it's now calling the Online Streaming Act (Bill C-11), a revamped version of what was previously known only as Bill C-10 (that version of the bill died on the order paper with last fall's election) which is aimed at bringing foreign streaming services under some degree of Canadian regulation. The heritage minister insists that the reworked bill addresses concerns about C-10 applying to individual creators' use of social media, though those who were critical of the previous bill have similar critiques of this version.
Recent updates on WCIW
- We've updated our What's New in February guide to reflect listings for CBC Gem (released after we sent out the guide last Monday), as well as some of the other items mentioned above.
- We've also added a post about the new Hulu series Pam & Tommy to explain how it ended up on Disney+ in Canada.
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