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  1. #1
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    CRTC agrees Rogers was unfair to Super Channel

    CRTC Sides with Super Channel

    The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has ruled that Rogers Cable has been undermining the growth of pay TV service Super Channel.

    The CRTC found Rogers has subjected Edmonton, AB-based Allarco Entertainment, operators of the service, to an undue disadvantage in regard to marketing of Super Channel contrary to section 9 of the Broadcasting Act.

    The CRTC did note that there is insufficient evidence to establish that Rogers has given an undue preference to Astral Broadcasting Group Inc., licensee of The Movie Network, HBO Canada and MoviePix, in regard to the marketing of Super Channel.

    Rogers has been directed by the CRTC to file, by 19 October 2009, written documentation setting out the steps it will take to ensure that, in future, its marketing of Super Channel does not result in the service being subjected to an undue disadvantage.

    A Super Channel release says the company is “pleased with the ruling.”

    In response to an e-mail requesting comment, Rogers Communications wrote, “We're disappointed with today's CRTC decision as we have been working with Super Channel to address their concerns.” Jan Innes, Vice-President, Communications added, “We don't want to comment further as we have a related matter before the courts.”

    The CRTC also ruled on the confidentiality of certain document submitted by both parties, and have ruled that some documentation must go on the public record.

    Super Channel says it pointed out to the CRTC that Rogers is the only BDU with dismal results in terms of reaching audiences. Rogers reports a Super Channel penetration rate of less than 1/3 of 1 per cent compared to rates ranging from 5 to a high of 11 per cent with Canada’s other large BDUs.

    “After almost two years we fail to understand why Rogers has not been more proactive in working with us to provide its customers with another choice in pay television. We have worked very hard to ensure we are offering Canadian’s first class programming – and to make that offer even more attractive – programming that is extremely complementary to existing pay television services,” said Malcolm Knox, President and COO, Super Channel | Allarco Entertainment 2008 Inc.

    Super Channel launched its national pay television service in November 2007 after receiving a “must carry” licence from the CRTC. Following poor penetration reports and an investigation taken on by Super Channel, the company said it appeared that Rogers was intentionally undermining Super Channel’s growth.

    Super Channel said it paid “fees of hundreds of thousands of marketing dollars” to Rogers, but it said Rogers focused its efforts on promoting other services.

    The CRTC noted that “Super Channel would have received significantly higher revenues than it did in fact receive and that this situation is likely to continue unless Rogers’ conduct with respect to the marketing of Super Channel changes.”

    A spokesperson for Super Channel agreed "absolutely" when asked if, as a result of the CRTC decision, it expected an uptick in subsciptions.

    Super Channel is currently available on Bell TV, Shaw Direct, Rogers PersonalTV, Shaw Cable, Cogeco Cable, Access Communications, Bell Aliant TV, Mountain Cablevision, Source Cable, SaskTel, MTS, Novus, EastLink, Delta Cable/Coast Cable, Telus and other regional providers.

  2. #2
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    I don't even see how Rogers could promote that channel? Most of their series are ether reruns or soap operas. Astral has managed to conner the market when it comes to hit shows i don't see if this can help at all.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    I don't even see how Rogers could promote that channel? Most of their series are ether reruns or soap operas. Astral has managed to conner the market when it comes to hit shows i don't see if this can help at all.
    In fact they do have alot of series such as burn notice/crash etc.They do have a fair amount of first run shows and yes they do show some reruns.

  4. #4
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    When Super Channel first launched they had hit cable series like The Closer, Burn Notice, ect.. so Rogers could have promoted that, plus they have a bunch of movies you can't see anywhere else.

    Even when they first launched they had the exclusive rights to soap opera Passions, a show that actually was pretty popular in Canada.

    Bell had Super Channel on it's first day, all other providers waited FOREVER, and when it finally did come they didn't promote it enough.

  5. #5
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    The problem is how do you get people to switch from a brand name? You have to remember as well most people will only subscribe to one movie package for for commercial free movies because of costs, so they won't make the jump if they can't get their favourite shows like Dexter on Super Channel if they know its going to be on TMN.

  6. #6
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    I still think Allarco was the wrong recipient of the license in the first place. These were the same folks who sued HBO back in the day because people were subscribing to it via c-band .. the end result was western Canadians had no access to HBO programming because HBO wouldn't deal with Superchannel.

    The first thing they should have done with the relaunch was to partner up with Showtime and scoop all their originals from TMN/MC which would have given them a fighting chance, especially with SHO series taking the lead since most of the HBO hits had ended their runs. It wouldn't have been easy or likely cheap but it would have given them more to offer.

    Right now they really don't offer much, I know some do enjoy their niche programming currently being offered but not enough subscribers seem to agree. The only movie studio they have exclusives with is Fox, beyond that their series offerings are mostly basic cable fare from other countries, oh and they did manage to secure SHObox.

    Some examples of what they're airing ...

    Bonkers was a short lived UK Series .. It was transmitted on ITV during 2007. (OTA network)

    Burn Notice comes from USA Network - US basic cable

    Canal Road comes from Nine Network Australia - OTA network

    The Capture of the Green River Killer - Lifetime Television - US basic cable .. and they list it as a "series" while it is actually only a 2 part TV movie.

    Case Crackers - no longer in production and hard to find any details on it .. looks like it was on US Biography channel though .. shouldn't we turn to Bio Canada for this stuff?

    The Closer - TNT - basic US cable

    Crash - an actual premium series from Starz - second season is on order

    Dead Like Me - from SHO, canceled years ago and rerun a bunch already. Full series is available on Hulu btw :)

    Descendants of Darkness - Japanese Anime - was on SciFi but they yanked it after a month :)

    Doves of War - 6 hour mini-series from New Zealand

    Exes and Ohs - aired on LOGO in the US .. and .. SHOWCASE in Canada!

    Free Radio - from VH1

    I won't bother with the rest since it is all similar, very little actual premium level series but lots of basic cable, FTA and OTA aired stuff. Sure some of it can be interesting but is it enough to bring in subscribers at $16+ per month? Doesn't seem that way.

    BTW, I will note something about Shaw, on their customer portal where you can make changes to your lineup under "Add digital Services" there is no option to add Superchannel .. there is for MC and a bunch of other stuff like Hustler, Playboy, RAI, etc. but no Superchannel .. interesting :)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripster View Post
    The first thing they should have done with the relaunch was to partner up with Showtime and scoop all their originals from TMN/MC which would have given them a fighting chance, especially with SHO series taking the lead since most of the HBO hits had ended their runs. It wouldn't have been easy or likely cheap but it would have given them more to offer.

    The problem is TMN/MC has already scooped up the best programming from Showtime and already has a agreement with them. So how can Superchannel compete when TMN/MC already has every corner coved?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    The problem is TMN/MC has already scooped up the best programming from Showtime and already has a agreement with them. So how can Superchannel compete when TMN/MC already has every corner coved?
    And that is their catch-22 .. the quality stuff has already been scooped up by the incumbent.

    I also think the pricing is hurting them, $16+/month for what they offer is too much right now. If they were $8-$12/month they might be able to gain more subscribers considering what they have to offer right now.

    They could also fill in more niche programming .. how about following Starz a bit more, offer a Westerns schedule one day a week, delve more into back catalog stuff like Encore offers, etc. There are things they could try.

    Frankly I think Allarco really won't make it though, their suite will probably go up for sale and likely be bought up by Corus and/or Astral and added to the TMN/MC suite. Heck it might have been planned that way since the beginning which is why I think some fresh blood should have been given a chance.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2006
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    Here's SuperChannel answer as to if and when there is discussion about adding the service to Videotron's line-up...I think we can forget about it.

    Hello,

    Thank you for your inquiry. We have been talking to Videotron since Super
    Channel went on air in 2007 in order to have our service added to
    Videotron's line-up, but without success unfortunately. Although we do
    hope that Super Channel will be available to Videotron subscribers, there
    are currently no concrete plans.

    Our apologies that we can't give a more firm answer at this point, we'll
    keep you up to date should the situation change.

    Best Regards,
    Super Channel

  10. #10
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    Jul 2006
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    If anyone wants Super Channel on Vidéotron, speak with your wallets, that's the only way they will listen.

    Threaten to switch to Bell or SD, or ever better way, actually switch, then you're guaranteed to receive it.

 

 

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