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Welcome to the July 16, 2022, 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.
This week, we have updates on Jurassic World Dominion on premium rental, FX's The Bear and The Patient (that's two separate shows, to be clear), and news on where the Commonwealth Games will be available in Canada this year. But first, some developments in Telus Presents programming.
Telus gets its own TV+
You may recall from past editions of this newsletter that Canada's largest telecom provider without a media division has been slowly building out its answer, of sorts, to the exclusive or bundled offerings of the likes of Bell and Rogers.
In late 2020, it launched Telus Presents, a lineup of programs like I Hate Suzie and Perpetual Grace Ltd. available on-demand to subscribers to its Optik TV service in the west. Telus has never technically marketed these programs as exclusives, but many have been very difficult for Canadians outside Telus' wireline footprint to watch.
Earlier this year, Telus launched its Stream+ bundle for mobility subscribers, offering Netflix, Discovery+, and Apple TV+ for a reduced bundled price. At that time, we asked if the company had considered adding Telus Presents to that offering, but Telus simply said they might consider it as an option for the future.
Now, it seems Telus has decided to actually do exactly that, launching an online portal called Telus TV+ which offers, at least for now, a small number of programs from the Telus Presents lineup, including dramas The Responder (starring Martin Freeman, also on BritBox in Canada) and Picnic at Hanging Rock (a 2018 miniseries that also aired on Bravo / CTV Drama), and a handful of Mary Berry baking specials. There are also several Telus-funded documentaries and docuseries, most if not all of which are also available for free on YouTube.
The portal is now listed as a feature of Stream+, but here at WCIW headquarters, where we have a Telus Mobility subscription but not Stream+, we tried signing in over the weekend to the Telus TV+ site using MyTelus credentials and had no difficulty accessing the site and watching video. We've kept checking to see if we'd triggered some sort of additional subscription by signing in and accepting the terms, but nothing like that has appeared in our account, and we were never presented with a standalone price of TTV+ during that sign-in process.
That said, there is a separate paid option: non-Telus users can sign in with just a Google account, following which they're presented with the option to sign up for Telus TV+ for $2 per month. We believe this option is something Telus has to offer, to keep the service in compliance with CRTC rules that prevent tying online content to specific service providers. At this point, we don't see enough content that would get many people to stay subscribed for very long, even at $2, but Telus could have charged a lot more and still been onside, as shown by the recent decision over Quebecor's Vrai service.
To be clear, Telus TV+ still does not offer some Telus Presents programs like the aforementioned I Hate Suzie or Australian series The Newsreader, so perhaps Telus' rights to those shows are contractually restricted to Optik TV. But perhaps other new programs added to Telus Presents going forward will make it onto TTV+ too... maybe?
- Two updates on new (or recent) made-for-Hulu FX programming coming to Disney+ in Canada: The Bear will finally be available in Canada starting August 3. And The Patient (with Steve Carell and Domnhall Gleeson) will be available starting August 30, the same date as the scheduled release date on Hulu, assuming there wasn't another mixup like with the announcement for The Bear.
- Barely a month after its release in theatres on June 10, Universal's Jurassic World Dominion is now available to rent on premium video-on-demand through digital retailers including the Apple TV / iTunes Store and the Prime Video Store, for $24.99 (plus applicable sales taxes). It probably won't land on streaming in Canada (presumably on Crave) for another several months.
- Crave is already airing promos for some of the movies premiering in August: 20th Century's Nightmare Alley and Death on the Nile (both already on Disney+) will be available the weekends of August 5 and 26 respectively; Universal's Belfast will be available the weekend of August 12; Canada-France co-production The Wolf and the Lion the weekend of August 19, and Lionsgate's American Underdog (already on Starz Canada) the weekend of August 26.
In keeping with the 45-day window for other Warner Bros. theatrical movies this year, there's also a strong possibility of the recent Baz Luhrmann film Elvis being available on Crave as soon as August 8.
- Meanwhile, in what is at least another interesting data point in terms of Warner Bros. Discovery's program rights sales in Canada going forward, Netflix has quietly picked up the off-network Canadian streaming rights to WB-produced sitcom Young Sheldon, and potentially other programming, as first brought to our attention this morning on Twitter by the publisher of What's on Netflix. That series, of course, airs in first-run on CTV in Canada, and is a spin-off of The Big Bang Theory which continues to stream in Canada on Crave, so it's a bit of a surprise Bell Media didn't add those past-season streaming rights.
- Four years ago, DAZN surprised many by grabbing Canadian broadcast rights to the quadrennial Commonwealth Games, an event that had been consistently carried by the CBC for many editions, though eventually sublicensing some linear broadcast rights to the public broadcaster.
But this year, with DAZN refocusing on Europe and seemingly ramping down its Canadian rights, it doesn't surprise us that CBC got the rights back for the 2022 edition of the event, which takes place from July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham, England.
The broadcaster is promising six daily streaming feeds of competition on CBC Gem and the CBC Sports app. But CBC Television, the over-the-air linear network, will only carry ten hours of weekend coverage – which appears to be a drop from last time, when the sublicence arrangement also included live coverage of the opening and closing ceremonies on CBC TV.
CBC is also covering the ongoing World Athletics Championships – but in that case too, viewers are being directed to online platforms for much of the live coverage. Over the weekend, NBC actually had more live primetime coverage than CBC's broadcast network (at least for those served by Eastern Time NBC affiliates), with CBC airing a Canadian movie on Saturday night (followed by athletics highlights in late night) while NBC aired live coverage of the men's 100 metres.
- We missed this when it was initially announced, but CTV Drama is co-producing the upcoming Hallmark Channel series Ride, a new rodeo-themed, Colorado-set but Calgary-filmed family drama expected to debut in 2023. It's a slight surprise considering Hallmark's overall partnership with Corus / W Network, but considering channels like Super Channel are still co-production partners on other Hallmark shows like When Calls the Heart, it's not a huge shock.
- The nominations for the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards came out this past week. Among Canadian broadcasters, Bell Media is claiming 209 nominations for programs it carries, led mainly by HBO and HBO Max series. Based on our own rough calculations, Corus is well back with around 49, led by SNL and Abbott Elementary, while Rogers has 30 (mostly from FX shows).
The CBC has only one, but it's arguably more meaningful that any of the other nominations that could be claimed by Canadian broadcasters, as it's for The Porter, which was commissioned primarily by CBC (with BET+ co-producing).
Going by first-run content, most other streaming services operating in Canada have similar numbers to what they can claim in the U.S., except that between Hulu, FX on Hulu, and Disney+ original programs, content on Disney+ Canada has about 91 nominations.
Here's a reader question we received recently by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Twitter (@wherewatchtv). We welcome questions of general interest, and publish a few of them (and our answers) from time to time; messages may be edited for brevity and clarity.
Doug: Is there anywhere to watch the series Bridge and Tunnel in Canada? I've always enjoyed the work of Ed Burns.
Response: Unfortunately, we haven't come across anything yet about Canadian availability of that series, which airs on Epix in the U.S. and is produced and distributed by MGM. Perhaps it'll be released eventually in Canada on Paramount+ (like fellow recent Epix/MGM series Billy the Kid), or on Prime Video (given that Amazon now owns both MGM and Epix) – but, again, we can't suggest much in terms of timeframe.
Recent updates on WCIW
In addition to update to our posts on The Bear (as discussed above) and Spider-Man: No Way Home (now streaming on Prime Video in Canada), we've added posts about Abbott Elementary (nominated for multiple Emmy awards this past week), as well as this past weekend's (British) Open, which had a somewhat confusing Canadian rights situation this year.
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