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  1. #1
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    MUCH (Less) Music

    Effective today (March 1), MUCH has gone one step closer towards dropping music videos from its schedule entirely. This likely corresponds with the latest round of changes being made to the channel's license, which has been for a reduction in music videos taking up a portion of their programming schedule, especially now that genre protection for specialty channels no longer apply.

    Upon looking at their schedule, it essentially follows the same template and format already seen on other Bell Media specialty channels.

    All the slots normally filled with Playlist from 6:00am until 1:00pm are now being replaced with reruns of various CanCon shows already airing or previously aired on other specialty channels.

    Weekdays: Back-to-back episodes of Just for Laughs Gags and Comedy Now repeated at least two or three times
    Saturdays: Cash Cab (Four back-to-back episodes repeated twice)
    Sundays: R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour (Four back-to-back episodes repeated twice)

    Interestingly enough, the only block for music videos left on their schedule is Much Retro Lunch, airing weekdays at 1:00pm (for now anyway). This is pretty much all that I would watch on this channel, as they still have a number of videos in their library that are not already playing on Stingray's music video channels. And apparently, music released back in 2014 is now considered to be retro, as I caught a video by Ed Sheeran in the block.

    But I anticipate at some point in the future and I will not be surprised to see this block eventually disappear from the schedule once music videos are no longer required, therefore marking a significant end to what defined the channel under its original mandate.

    From 2:00pm to 6:00pm, it's a four-episode marathon of the MTV show Ridiculousness followed by back-to-back episodes of South Park and The Simpsons. On some days, South Park is substituted for episodes of Comedy Central originals like Drunk History and Tosh.O.
    The same block is repeated again from 6:00pm to 10:00pm.

    Aside from original episodes of acquired series (mostly from Comedy Central) that air weeknights at 10:00pm, the rest of the overnight schedule is filled with marathons of Tosh.O and more reruns of South Park.

    Weekends consist of movies, along with more reruns of The Simpsons, South Park, and American Dad.

    MUCH also has the second window rights to Gotham, one night after airing on FOX and CTV2.

    So there you have it - a look at what MUCH has become in 2019 - MUCH less music.

    And just to reflect how much many of the original music video channels have evolved: You may recall a few weeks ago, MusiquePlus is signing off at the end of the summer, rebranding and taking on a whole different genre aimed at attracting a female demographic. In recent years, channels like MuchMoreMusic/MuchMore/M3 evolved to become Gusto 2.0 (less of a food and lifestyle channel than the one it was before being bought by Bell), CMT dropped music-related programming altogether and MusiMax became MAX, airing more series and movies.

    As for the current crop of music video offerings, there's YouTube, VEVO and of course, Stingray and its offering of various products and services being carried across different platforms. It's still a real shame that Vintage TV never got anything going in the Canadian market, hindered by limited carriage on major BDUs and the massive debt that eventually led to the channel shutting down and going into administration. Their content was well suited for many people that grew up during the early years of MuchMusic, and for those who did not have cable at the time, received their daily video fix courtesy of Video Hits and on Friday latenights with Good Rockin' Tonite, both of which aired on CBC from about the mid-1980s until 1992 or 1993.

    Last edited by lostjon; 03-02-2019 at 10:20 AM.

  2. #2
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    MuchMusic died the day Bell took over the emblematic CHUM building on Queen Street, tore down the street-level MuchMusic studio and converted it into... CTV's The Social, which doesn't even peek at the window.

    Just like MusiquePlus, I hope MuchMusic's archives have been kept and sent to a proper company able to preserve history broadcast tapes. Nostalgia is best when kept intact.

    As for CMT, it's just Corus' lack of interest in the channel. It's analog Cat A licence is valuable, that's why it's still alive despite its zombie status.
    "It's not a rerun if you haven't watched it yet." (© 2010 by TVViewer)
    "Ne jamais s'obstiner avec un épais. Il va vous abaisser à son niveau et vous battre avec l'expérience."

  3. #3
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    Spot on InMontreal, MuchMusic died a long time ago, its been a shadow of its former self for years now.

    Most specialty channels are crap nowadays, guess its to be expected now that the big conglomerates (Bell, Shaw, Rogers) own pretty much everything. They have dumbed things down (removing unique programming) and converting most specialties into channels aimed at the masses which pretty much negates the specialty aspect of the channel. Its sad and pathetic IMO, especially in this day and age where thanks to the internet you can find any sort of niche content that you desire. With the old TV model slowing dying, one would think that broadcasters would want to re-invigorate these channels with a specific focus and strong programming that would attract subscribers (or keep existing ones) but instead they have gone in the opposite direction by converting channels into either dumping grounds (airing the same programming across many different channels they own) or making them into general interest services that don't really focus on a specific niche anymore.

    It's still a real shame that Vintage TV never got anything going in the Canadian market, hindered by limited carriage on major BDUs and the massive debt that eventually led to the channel shutting down and going into administration. Their content was well suited for many people that grew up during the early years of MuchMusic, and for those who did not have cable at the time, received their daily video fix courtesy of Video Hits and on Friday latenights with Good Rockin' Tonite, both of which aired on CBC from about the mid-1980s until 1992 or 1993.
    Stingray is the place for music content, they are all over the music genre from music video channels to audio services and now they have even expanded into radio through their recent purchase of NewCap radio. Vintage TV looked like an interesting channel, I was hoping Bell would add it so that I could get a chance to sample the channel but alas it was not meant to be I guess?! Interesting thought- I wonder if Stingray would be interested in acquiring the rights to some programs from the MuchMusic library to air on their different channels?! It would be a real nostalgia trip to be able to see shows such as Electric Circus, Soul in the City, Xtendamix, Combat des Clips and of course the awesome Test Pattern with the Great Dan Gallagher (cheesy, low budget game show but I loved it! ).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDN Viewer View Post
    Spot on InMontreal, MuchMusic died a long time ago, its been a shadow of its former self for years now.
    As InMontreal mentioned, once the Much environment was converted into the set now used by CTV, starting around 2013, it very well lost what made the channel unique all these years. And that's pretty much when I stopped watching the channel, except on few occasions when they played music videos.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDN Viewer View Post
    Most specialty channels are crap nowadays, guess its to be expected now that the big conglomerates (Bell, Shaw, Rogers) own pretty much everything. They have dumbed things down (removing unique programming) and converting most specialties into channels aimed at the masses which pretty much negates the specialty aspect of the channel. Its sad and pathetic IMO, especially in this day and age where thanks to the internet you can find any sort of niche content that you desire. With the old TV model slowing dying, one would think that broadcasters would want to re-invigorate these channels with a specific focus and strong programming that would attract subscribers (or keep existing ones) but instead they have gone in the opposite direction by converting channels into either dumping grounds (airing the same programming across many different channels they own) or making them into general interest services that don't really focus on a specific niche anymore.
    Couldn't agree with you more. Few specialty channels are only still worth watching nowadays provided that they have original and acquired programming associated with the original terms of their license. Otherwise, they're just getting by with anything on their schedule to fulfill the Canadian content requirements.

    For now anyways, the major sports channels are still watchable given their live nature. However, they might also be heading down the same path once the rights expire for a lot of the content they carry, and unless they are facing strong competition with digital streaming services including DAZN and Amazon Prime. For instance, TSN and Sportsnet appear to have lost the rights to English Premier League soccer starting next season. In cases like this, they have resorted to running the same shows in a loop starting from overnight all the way until noon. While TSN can further capitalize on its partnership with ESPN by picking up more of their original studio productions (other than Sportscenter, of course) to fill some holes in their schedule, I also appreciate them being vigilant in what they acquire since more of the sports-related content has become more politically slanted especially with everything that's happening south of the border.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDN Viewer View Post
    Stingray is the place for music content, they are all over the music genre from music video channels to audio services and now they have even expanded into radio through their recent purchase of NewCap radio. Vintage TV looked like an interesting channel, I was hoping Bell would add it so that I could get a chance to sample the channel but alas it was not meant to be I guess?!

    Ever since Bell Fibe added the channels last summer, they've become without question, not only a guilty pleasure but a welcome distraction from the less interesting specialty fare that's being thrown out there. I tune in to Stingray Retro just about every single day. Sure, after tuning in over a long period of time, it starts to get repetitive after a while, but they've done a solid job in keeping the playlists fresh by adding "new" videos to their library on a routine basis. In the last month, I've noticed them add more classic favorites from the likes of Elton John and The Cranberries.
    Each of the channels have something interesting to offer. And the best part is very limited commercials aside from promotions for Stingray's products and services.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDN Viewer View Post
    Interesting thought- I wonder if Stingray would be interested in acquiring the rights to some programs from the MuchMusic library to air on their different channels?! It would be a real nostalgia trip to be able to see shows such as Electric Circus, Soul in the City, Xtendamix, Combat des Clips and of course the awesome Test Pattern with the Great Dan Gallagher (cheesy, low budget game show but I loved it! ).

    That would actually be interesting, but I have a feeling that Bell Media probably has no intention of giving away these rights for now. Perhaps much of that content could have been included with the sale of those music video channels to Stingray. I think Stingray has shown how capable they are in managing and operating their products and services, and it has helped that they are going beyond the Canadian market. They also have no intention of carrying these shows on the video channels, preferring to run nothing but videos 24/7 but I guess we'll just have to wait and see down the road. They could probably go on another channel or service to be launched in the future should Bell change its mind.

    In the first years after its launch, MuchMoreMusic in the early 2000s picked up some old shows from the MuchMusic library around the same time that they added retro music video blocks in their schedule, including Test Pattern and footage from early years of TheNewMusic when it aired on Citytv (before MuchMusic launched in 1984).

    For now, if you're ever interested in checking out some footage of programs from the Much vintage library, there's always YouTube. Much also has its own YouTube channel and there's the Much Vault on their website: https://www.much.com/shows/much-vault/

    Just like InMontreal mentioned earlier in this thread, MuchMusic's archives should be fully preserved with all the recorded footage in their original form.

  5. #5
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    As pointed out in the MusiquePlus thread, the name lived on by nostalgia, it's time for Remstar/Bell to move on with the brand, but there's still something to be done with them. In some european countries, you can find some music video channels for free over-the-air (with an antenna), they are usually linked to a radio network and live streaming on the internet without geoblocking. Both Bell and Remstar complained about their over-the-air transmitters costing a little fortune to operate, but necessary due to CRTC licencing. Then you look at what you can get with an antenna from Buffalo or Burlington/Plattsburgh : Retro digital subchannels (one was just added yesterday on WCAX). We have none here in Canada. Yet, both Bell and Shaw operated their respective TV classics specialty channels, TV Land/Comedy Gold and DejaView (not to forget Canwest's PrimeTV became TVtropolis, then Dtour), which all turned to repetitive crap due to lack of interest.

    See where I'm going with this? The demo who grew up with MuchMusic/MusiquePlus are now in their 40s, 30s, are still consuming linear television compared to millenials who grew up with a tablet in their hands.
    OK, but when we think about Much's channel programming, it was mostly VideoFlow during the day, and I don't think viewers will tune-in and sit throught a potential "new" MuchMusic channel with a flow of mixed-genred music videos. Music-video shows focused on a music genre are preferable, add in classic Much shows, and afternoon interviews from the vault, and you have a nostalgia channel aimed at the demo. In the 80's and 90's, some hosts were sent on a plane to, New York, London, you name it, for special interviews or some music event coverage. I even remember Woodstock 94, a MusiquePlus host was reporting live from there...

    The "Bell" problem. We don't trust Bell to be able to rebuild Much into something great. Sure, Stingray is an obvious choice, they already bought Loud, Vibe, Retro and Juicebox. But it's Bell, I'm pretty certain if a company wanted to buy the MuchMusic licence, Bell would have ask for an insanely high price for it and the archives, considering their 7.5 million remaining subscribers in 2017 - the channel makes millions in profits regurgitating Comedy Network shows, endless TBBT reruns and cheap fillers as the lone expenses. And Bell is happy with this.

    Potential is there, it's just not exploited.
    "It's not a rerun if you haven't watched it yet." (© 2010 by TVViewer)
    "Ne jamais s'obstiner avec un épais. Il va vous abaisser à son niveau et vous battre avec l'expérience."

  6. #6
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    See where I'm going with this? The demo who grew up with MuchMusic/MusiquePlus are now in their 40s, 30s, are still consuming linear television compared to millenials who grew up with a tablet in their hands.
    Exactly, the people watching TV these days (for the most part) are from those generations that grew up with it yet broadcasters continue to target the younger generation. I presume that this has to do with advertisers who covet a younger demo but it doesn't make sense seeing as how most TV viewers are older not younger?! The youth are enthralled with technology- cell phones, tablets, internet streaming, they don't watch much if any television.

  7. #7
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    Much less music: Popular music videos shrink on Much's daily TV schedule

    https://nationalpost.com/pmn/enterta...ly-tv-schedule
    https://twitter.com/dfriend/status/1103423995720990720


    A spokesperson from Bell mentioned that Much will broadcast a single hour of retro music videos from the '80s, '90s and aughts during the "teen-popular" lunchtime window.


    So they are still marketing to teens, even though they are less likely to be watching television these days, as it has already been mentioned numerous times in this thread.

    Cutting it down to a single hour is essentially the last move before eliminating music videos from this channel altogether, once the conditions of their license allow them to do so. Until then, the audience will only continue to shrink further.

    Last edited by lostjon; 03-06-2019 at 07:36 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    ... in their 40s, 30s, are still consuming linear television compared to millenials who grew up with a tablet in their hands...
    But unless they are very technophobic and never use The Internet, smartphones or other mobile devices, even older people eventually reach a point where they realize they are being gouged, and paying for a traditional TV service is a pointless expense because they know can see just about everything they want without it, on their TV or any screen they want to use.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donovan's Monkey View Post
    and paying for a traditional TV service is a pointless expense because they know can see just about everything they want without it, on their TV or any screen they want to use.
    That's why I suggested in the previous paragraphe to move music-themed channels for free over-the-air.
    Back when I had cable in early 2000s, I had to pick 15 or 20 channels à la carte, MusiquePlus no longer offered themed show I used to watch, so by september 2001 when diginets launched (and 2004 for Videotron to offer the rest), M+ was the first to go. My dissatisfaction with my wallet. At the same time, cable providers started charging more for basic, ever-increasing packages, ridiculous network fees, then high-definition network surplus fees, and 4$ mnore if you had a 2nd terminal in the house... therefor, my à la carte selection went down from 20 to 15 to 10... M+ was no longer a priority channel.

    You can ditch FM radio in favor of online streaming radio, it can be an app, it can be a small webradio commercial-free or few commercials for everyone or with a login, or it can be FM radio from another country, in any genre you want, it can be a Youtube playlist, you name it... Bell and Rogers hasn't shutdown FM radio stations yet due to too many audio options, they just hammer "Drake" songs throughtout the day to fill their cancon quotas. That's Nickelback for you, rock station listeners.

    The music videos business was more affected since the internet. Is it still possible to run a music-related channel with few music video based shows? It's do-able.
    Airing VideoFlow at 6am and complain they had an audience less than 1000, that's typical Bell.
    "It's not a rerun if you haven't watched it yet." (© 2010 by TVViewer)
    "Ne jamais s'obstiner avec un épais. Il va vous abaisser à son niveau et vous battre avec l'expérience."

 

 

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