Saturday, 16 January 2016

The Chopping Block: Bell Media

There's something that needs to be said about companies (and people) with WAY too much money on their hands. Bell Media is one of those companies that think throwing money at a problem will solve it. Like your stereotypical video game publisher, Bell is one of those companies that spend way too much money trying to make more money. It's because of companies like Bell that the healthy competition between TV outlets has become a turf war for American brands.

Point fingers at the CRTC if you want, since they're supposed to prevent companies like Bell Media from getting so much power and control at the expense of television viewers. But to me, Bell Media will always be the cancer killing cable. It's about high time they got their comeuppance. However, because they own some of the most sought after, household names in television, I doubt I'll be satisfied with just a few networks closed down. The on-air job cuts, from MuchMusic to TSN, is just a minor nuance to them. As long as they're making on money, it's irrelevant.

This list is not so much advice for Bell Media as it is just me setting the record straight. If they don't give a shit about how crappy their networks are, who will?

BookTelevision & FashionTelevisionChannel
Needs no explanation. They're both outdated and get no promotion; especially the former. In the case of Fashion, there are so many female-targeted networks in this country. Trying to compete with them by focusing on fashion, the one topic that every women's lifestyle channel will have at least one program about, is a fool's errand. Instead of cutting jobs, Bell Media should have cut these tumors.

Comedy Gold
After Bell moved almost all of Comedy Central's programming to MuchMusic, The Comedy Network has become bare-bones. Once the network known for iconic Canadian comedies and comedians, it's only draws nowadays are imported fare like The Daily Show, reruns of The Big Bang Theroy, and now some TV Land fare like Impastor.

It's worth noting that Comedy Gold was launched as a domestic version of TV Land, back when the likes of Me-TV were considered second-tier networks. Unlike Dejaview, Comedy Gold has been given some care by Bell Media, to the point where I would rather watch this channel then The Comedy Network. With BiteTV out of the way, and CanCon requirements soon to be lowered, now is the perfect time for Comedy Gold to fold into it's parent network.

MTV2 Canada
I've said all that needs to be said about this network. It doesn't even air MTV2 programming anymore. Now it's just reruns of any second-hand crap that isn't airing on Much or M3, or can't be aired on MTV Canada due that channel's licence to air talk shows. Once the CRTC gets rid of genre-protection, MTV will be free to air whatever the hell they want, perhaps more teen dramas and comedies. Unless Bell Media plans on turning this channel into a vault for MTV shows, MTV2 is absolutely worthless.

At least M3 has a purpose: to hog all the cable rights to shows that you wish would air on much better networks. But with an American-branded network, you'd expect an authentic experience. Where's Guy Code and Wild n' Out? Why am I seeing a bunch of shitty teen dramas? WHERE'S THE MUSIC?

MTV2 Canada sucks, plain and simple. I'll take the American version any day.

Here's the sad part. All the Shaw Media networks I've listed have some modest viewership and notability, but no one, and I mean No One is watching these channels. Whether these networks close down or relaunch altogether, it will be yet another minor setback for the Bell Media machine.

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