Monday, 28 October 2013

Why I don't like American-Branded channels in Canada

I don't hate amercian-branded channels, they provide more programming that we otherwise can't get here in Canada. As long as it's launched on it's own channel space or at least replacing a lesser-known channel; Drive-In Classics becoming Sundance Channel or Showcase Diva re-branding as Lifetime. By the way, does anyone remember "Star!"? No? I didn't think so.
I don't hate amercian-branded channels, but I don't like them either.

It's for the same reasons as I hate Canadian knockoff shows. If I want to see Storage Wars, I'll watch Storage Wars. I don't have time for some watered down clone that's Storage Wars in name only. You ever see one of those iPod clones, the ones that look like iPods but are really just cheap MP4 players designed to trick parents? That's the kind of show Wipeout Canada is. That fact that they're called "MP4 Players" even though they don't even play MP4 files just illustrates how shameless these things are. Yes, I know it's supposed to be a play on "MP3 Players", but was there anything wrong with calling them "Video MP3 Players?" I guess not, since Slice's "Lost and Sold" or YTV's "Splatalot" would be some of the better received "Video MP3 Players" around.

Take a look at IFC Canada. In it's current format, it would have been more of an equivalent to AMC and FX: uncut movies by day, great TV series at night. Instead, it's just a generic movie channel with series that have already aired in Canada. Meanwhile IFC in the US has expanded it's lineup to include cult shows and indy shows. IFC Canada doesn't even air any IFC original series; much of it has instead aired on other networks..., like Much.

Then you have OWN Canada. Originally known as the Canadian Learning Channel, when bought out by Corus, they changed their name to Viva and shifted formats to become an "educational" lifestyle network for women. From the get go, Corus was biting off more than they can chew when they attempted to rebrand Viva as a canadian version of the Oprah Winfrey Network and further reduce the amount of actual educational programming. Meanwhile the actual OWN broadcast shows from documentaries about failing schools to entertainment programming, like The Haves and Have Nots which, of course, won't be airing anytime soon in Canada...because it's a black show.

You can bet someone at G4 Canada will look at OWN Canada with envy since Corus is allowed to put on their facade but Rogers Media can't. Unlike OWN Canada & IFC Canada - and much like the Canadian Bravo & OLN - what used to be known as "Tech TV Canada" maintained it's format till the very end; tech shows, gaming shows, anime, and male-skewing shows. But where Bravo and OLN became their own independent brands from their americian counterparts, G4 had to drop their entertainment programming go back to being a tech lifestyle service. That's fine, but it's certainly not what G4 in the US is or was supposed to be.

The issue here is, rather than building their own brand, these network would rather take the name of a popular americian network that does something similar and slap it on their network instead. Say what you want about Twist TV (*cough*realityshowdumpingground*cough*), but at least they aren't putting on a facade; they know what they are and what they do and they do things their way.

There's nothing wrong with just being original.

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