Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The Chopping Block: Shaw Media & Corus Entertainment
Pigs were flying when Corus Entertainment announced that they would be purchasing Shaw Media. I I never thought this would be the year the Shaw family business would become whole, but Let's Talk TV has struck again. If there was ever a time to once again review the Shaw Media specialty channels to see which ones are worth a damn, it's now. After all, some of Corus' networks overlap with Shaw's and maybe this will be the year when both Corus and Shaw tackles their problem with recycled shit.

I've combed though Shaw Media's assets to find, in my opinion, the bad eggs, and here they are...

The only retro programming to be found on this network are the very same classics seen on Prime (the precursor to TVtropolis) years ago. By now, you'd expect a better variety. DTOUR was (re)launched so that Dejaview can become the sole retro cable network in Shaw's portfolio. So why is it that we still get tired out reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond and other syndicated fare instead of more older, iconic shows like SCTV? How come the only Canadian shows on this network are just repeats of Shaw-produced shows?

I'd rather watch TV Land. Better yet, I rather watch Teletoon Retro.

FYI Canada
This network was announced around the same time as the American version. As you'd expect, outside of original shows from FYI, this channel is just another dumping ground for recycled crap. Its fine if it's just one show airing on another network, but if almost all of your programming is airing on different networks, there's no point in subscribing.

Besides, don't we already have enough lifestyle networks in this country? I'm fine with lifestyle shows, but another damn network? As long as were riding off the backs of American networks, why couldn't we get something cool like Bounce TV or El Rey? ANYTHING but more dime-a-dozen crap.

IFC Canada
Wayback when, I said Shaw Media should have changed this channel's name to "Showcase 2", since it's basically what Showcase was before Canwest went bankrupt. However, in retrospective, this channel actually has no reason to exist anymore. If by "independent films" you mean the same twenty Canadian flicks I see every morning on Movietime and Showcase, then we're already covered. Hell, there are a dozen streaming sites and Roku channels that mostly show these kinds of films anyway.

It would be worth it just to see premium series House of Lies and Californication, but now that Crave TV, the go-to streaming network for HBO and Showtime series, is FINALLY available as a standalone service, there's no logic to waiting around for these shows to air on IFC. Oh, and speaking of Bell Media, guess who now has an output agreement for IFC's originals? So, technically, this network has as much to do with its namesake as MTV2 does! It really should have changed it's name to Showcase 2.


Surprisingly, I don't really have that many complaints about Corus' channels. CMT is one of the few American-branded channels that actually produces its own shit, and they look pretty good too (save for Mom's a Medium, of course). OWN Canada is more of a companion to W Network, in that it airs more lifestyle shows, leaving W to its own devices. Then there's Sundance Channel, which is so different from its siblings, save for a few recycled shows, it might as well be owned by a different company.

Its no wonder Corus Entertainment was chosen to be the new parent company of Global, they've improved a lot. However, there's still one bad seed that I have to call out.

Dear god, this network is horrible. Cosmo was once a network for shows for both teenage girls and their moms. However, the arrival of the Oprah Winfrey Network and ABC Spark, plus the overall homogenization of the television landscape to favor women, tween girls, and children, turned this network into the new Myspace. Now its just a dumping ground for W, OWN, and CMT fare.

It's sole exclusive show is Sex and the City which, again, can found on Crave TV. It's not even worth mentioning what other networks in this country air CSI: Miami reruns. So, even their acquired slate is recycled, and when the one reason why Canadians still watch TV is gone, you're screwed.

For these four networks, their days of sucking up YOUR money are numbered. We've already had so many casualties (R.I.P bpm:tv), now's the time for the real scum on the dial to pay the price.

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