Monday, 27 June 2016

The M3 Rant I Posted on Their Facebook Page (Because I Have an Ego).

You'd think that Bell would take notice from Corus' switcheroo with Teletoon Retro and Cartoon Network (Canada). MTV2 Canada's license is far more flexible than MTV Canada's license, since they aren't restricted to talk shows and CanCon (and they can actually air music videos).

By now, they should have closed down MTV, moved their programming to MTV2, relaunch MTV2 as the new MTV, and take the channel slots of the previous MTV. Since the new channel would be on the same cable tier as MUCH and M3, Bell would have been able to move Pretty Little Liars to MTV with no problems.

But Bell Media has no interest in putting any work into their networks. Instead, they slap whatever show they got on some random network and then screw around with it when it isn't making them money.

While I'm at it, since MTV Canada turned off comments, can anyone explain to me what's the point of owning a American-branded channel that doesn't air that channel's programming? Why is MTV2 Canada stuck with shitty teen dramas instead of the original shows airing on MTV2 proper in the U.S? What's gonna happen when MTV2's shows move to MTV in August? Will I be able to watch them on MTV Canada, or do I have to wait for someone to upload them some random video site?

Finally, out of all the networks to move Pretty Little Liars to, why Bravo? Clearly, Bravo is intended for more upscale, adult dramas. I get it, MuchMusic is better off NEVER airing another teen drama EVER again, and I (and music lovers everywhere) appreciate that. So, why not MTV Canada, the same network that got away with airing Degrassi? Surely, that wasn't because Degrassi was a Canadian series? That's too good an excuse. I could care less for both shows, but I have to call it when I see it.

Bell Media has been playing fast-and-loose for far too long.

MTV2's Last Summer

This summer will be bittersweet for MTV2, because Wild 'N Out, the flagship show that they revived, is moving back home to MTV, and its taking the sophomore series - Kingin' with Tyga and Joking Off - with it.

Let's face it, until Wild 'N Out came along, nobody gave a crap about MTV2. As MTV became the youth entertainment juggernaut it is now, MTV2 was supposed to be the network where all of their music programming went. Fast forward to 2012: MTV2 has become a skeleton network. The five hours of music videos shoved into the early morning graveyard slots are the only actual music-related programming on what is otherwise a sitcom rerun farm. Sure, Guy Code debuted in 2011, and quickly became MTV2's flagship original, but the only reason why it was the network's most-watched show was because it was on a network no one was watching.

When Wild 'N Out was revived in 2013, it breathed new life into MTV2. Suddenly, a slew of new and interesting original shows appeared. Sure, most of them never lasted a year, and some of them weren't even that good, but it was better than nothing. Scratch that, it was better than the Saved by the Bell reruns. Not since the days of Wonder Showzen and Crank Yankers has MTV2 aired shows that were fun to watch, and maybe even more fun to make. They were the Disney XD to MTV's Disney Channel - different demographic, way better shows.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. With Wild 'N Out back in the mix, and MTV in the midst of a reinvention, Viacom pulled the trigger. Not only was Wild 'N Out moving back to their old stomping grounds, the network were it all began, but it was taking MTV2's other successful shows with it. With MTV also dipping their toes back into music television, with the rerun of Unplugged among other new shows, the coming months look to once again redefine MTV as a youth entertainment brand.

But in doing so, MTV2 will once again become little more than the black sheep of music-based television. Sure, Uncommon Sense might be your idea of late-night TV, but can the same really be said about Binge Drinking? Can MTV2's new "remixed" originals - Wild 'N On Tour & Guy Code vs Girl Code - reach the hype that their parent shows did? If they don't, MTV2 will be written off as another reason to scale back your cable package or the ditch the cord altogether.

With MTV Jams now realigned with BET Networks, VH1 seemingly ditching their video blocks (I'm Canadian, I can only learn so much about American networks from my personal experiences, my research, and Zap2it listings), and new competition in "Nuvo Fuse" and Revolt, it would make sense for Viacom to re-purpose MTV2 as their alternative music network, as well as a hangout for young men. With all the shake-ups and revamps across Viacom's other networks, it seems like a possibility.

After all, guys need their MTV two.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Movie Network is the New MTV

The demise of Movie Central and apparent bankruptcy of Super Channel has all but confirmed what I always knew: Premium channels have become as irrelevant as old-fashioned music channels. That's not to say the likes of Revolt, Fuse, and even MuchMusic have become old news, or more worthless than premium channels. Once upon a time, we relied on Much and MTV for our music fix. But overtime, the internet would provide a more faster, convenient way to get the latest news and music videos. So, Vevo and Spotify became the new standards for finding new music, while the music networks found success in other entertainment ventures, often incorporating it with what little music programming they have.

Now history is repeating itself. Netflix and Hulu have been slowly eating away at the precious subscriber-base HBO and Showtime have spent years building. Game of Thrones is HBO's number one show, but's also the most pirated show in the world. Showtime's series don't get that much, but there's no denying that cord-cutting is a thing. It's not the end of cable television, but they'll need to evolve to better compete with the increased competition. Hence HBO Now, which essentially turns HBO into a premium streaming service, and Showtime's bundle with Hulu. Now, in addition to the standard cable model, the two channels have found a way to connect directly to cord-cutters.

You'd think Canadian networks would follow in their footsteps in this pick-and-pay era. If you do, then you must have been living under a rock for the last six or so years. 

When competing against The Movie Network and Super Channel, Netfilx has it in the bag, because most of our premium networks were run by old men in suits who refuse to try anything new. By now, CraveTV should have offered next-day streams of the acquired programming that we came to see. Instead, Bell Media still expects you to shell out tens of dollars to The Movie Network, on top of your already expensive cable bundle, and stream their shows through a restricted on-demand channel or through a shitty TV Anywhere app. The ease, the accessibility, the easy money and notoriety CraveTV could have gotten by now: they don't have it because Bell Media is too stubborn to face the future.

All of the above is what's plaguing Super Channel, and why they've filed for bankruptcy, but it doesn't end there. From the beginning, Super Channel was competing against premium network shows with basic-cable product. I'm not slinging mud at Rizzoli and Isles, Spooksville, and especially Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I'm just saying they expected you to pay tens of dollars for shows that air on more affordable networks in the U.S. I wouldn't be surprised if more people watched the off-season encores on Showcase television than the new episodes airing on Super Channel.

The Starz and movie deals, as well as Canadian original programming of their own, were exactly what Super Channel needed, but they were also the last thing they needed. Everything has become too expensive for them because Super Channel itself was too expensive for new costumers. The ultimate irony for me is that Super Channel wasn't just put into check by The Movie Network. There's one other pay TV channel we often overlook: Family Channel.

In case you don't know, or simply forgot, Family is a premium service, but it's bundled with basic cable channels like YTV and Teletoon and treated as such. However, just like Super Channel, Family Channel also airs basic cable product: from Canadian shows to acquired Disney fare. Since its a channel for kids, they don't have to worry about cord-cutters too much, even though teenagers are a fickle audience to please. As long as they keep churning out hits like The Next Step and Degrassi (which should have ended after MTV and TeenNick cancelled The Next Generation, but I digress), they won't be left in the dark. When all is said and done, the only reason why Family is acknowledged as a higher-tier channel compared to YTV and Teletoon is because their own premium licence means they don't have to air commercials. 

In the era of pick-and-pay, Family Channel is no different than Super Channel or The Movie Network; if the people want it, they will subscribe to it. That's why both services need to find a way to evolve and be more accessible. In danger of going off the air, Super Channel is doing just that; by first evaluating what works and what doesn't. Meanwhile, Canadians are more than ready to pay directly to HBO and Showtime, because The Movie Network and CraveTV just aren't a good enough substitute. I don't believe Game of Thrones will be the end of The Movie Network, I believe it will be the end of cable as we know it.

And while all of this is going on, Netflix is still chilling in the background. For all the flack Netflix Canada gets for lacking the beefier offerings the Americans get, there are still more people subscribed to it than any premium channel. Contrary to what the pirates would have you believe, we're fine with whatever shows we're allowed to legally stream on Netfilx. Of course, we'd be even happier if geo-blocking was never a thing, since anti-consumer polices are the major cause of piracy to begin with! 


Saturday, 11 June 2016

Re: Ashby: In the CRTC's game of thrones, cable companies must lose

Full Article:
I'm not gonna let MTV upstage me with the power plays they've been making. It's time I got back to my roots too.

With Bell Media granted exclusive access to HBO programming, you'd think that they would have the flexibility to meet the needs of its consumers. For example, they could allow consumers who aren't subscribed to (or don't want subscribe to) The Movie Network to watch Game of Thrones on CraveTV. In addition to streaming past seasons, they would be able to watch new episodes, along with the rest of HBO's catalog. Being that Game of Thrones is one of the most pirated shows in the world, and CraveTV is cheaper than HBO Now, it would be a win-win for the company and all Canadians. After all, the only way to stop piracy is to meet the needs of the consumer.

However, that would imply that Bell Media actually gave a shit about the costumer, or had respect for the numerous channels and television shows they owned. Let me refresh your memory.

They turned MuchMoreMusic into a skeleton network. They left MTV2, BookTelevision and FashionTelevisionChannel to hang, dry, and eventually die when consumers are finally able to pick-and-pay for channels that are actually worth a damn. They switch around acquired programming like a kid with LEGO blocks and later lock them up behind cable subscriptions and paywalls. If you're new to this blog and wonder why I'm always slinging mud at this company, I just gave you your answer.

When it comes to television, Bell Media is the Electronic Arts of Canadian broadcasting; they are the worst of the worst.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Let Me Clear My Throat...

One of the reasons why I do rants on this blog, rather than in videos, is that it allows me to speak my mind without worrying too much about offending anyone, especially someone who (wishful thinking) likes my videos. It's the perfect place for me to vent about the true evils and annoyances of this world!

For example, did you know that teenage girls have the worst tastes in entertainment? 

Their music is shit, their dramas are shit, and their sitcoms are the very definition of anti-humor. Oh sure, you might have enjoyed that crap when you were young, but that's because they were factory made to be only enjoyed by teenage idiots. It will not age well, not even if you remember it for nostalgia. When you've finally grown a pair or had your first time of the month, you'll wonder what the hell you ever saw in that shit. That's not the ramblings of an old geezer or jaded student, that's the goddamn truth.

What about sci-fi geeks are their need to cry over spilled milk? Yesterday, it was George Lucas "mutilating" his own franchises, despite the fact that Star Wars fanboys were supposedly into nonsensical bullshit, or that Indiana Jones movies aren't supposed to be realistic. The day after that, it was Sci-Fi Channel changing its name Syfy, to avoid sounding both generic and misleading, like The History Channel. 

Today, its the "actionized" trailer for he new Star Trek movie, and the controversy surrounding Scarlett Johansson playing the Major in the upcoming live-action Ghost in the Shell movie. Never mind the fact that, thanks to a little something called Dragon Ball Evolution, no one will touch that movie with a 500TB hard drive.  To them, it's the end of the world. To the rest of society, it's basement-dwelling geeks complaining about things they don't like. I know that's politically incorrect, and an insult that's been used to death, but stereotypes exist for a reason.

...And that's just what was going though my mind when I typed this up. I know it's unhealthy to think like this, but it's also just as unhealthy to keep things bottled up inside. However, it's also very hazardous to hear the opinions of others, as you might have just learned the hard way if you were offended by this post. What can I tell ya? Some things need to be said, and a blog is the best place to say it.

...Just throwing this out there, as exited as I am for the next game, I honestly think Kingdom Hearts is just making shit up now.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

ELEAGUE's Biggest Challenge So Far...

Canadians can't watch TBS, which means all they'll have is the observer feed on Twitch. That's fine, Turner's new competitive gaming league is still a work in progress. Plus, thanks to its lackluster exposure on EPSN, e-sports as a whole have a LONG way to go before they secure a place on television. Honestly, a video game tournament on a mainstream sports network. What were they thinking? If anything, they should have aired that event on G4. After all, they could have used more programming like that, as opposed to half of the stuff they were airing at the time.

No, I don't blame TBS for this, because this is just another reminder of how abysmal in variety Canadian networks are that we don't have a proper broadcaster for ELEAGUE or anything game-related.

The first choice anyone would make is G4 Canada. They could use some decent programming after they parted ways with The Electric Playground, because now they're back to airing the same unrelated crap they were churning out before the CRTC laid down the law. Considering the American version was popular enough to be resurrected as the brand for Syfy Games news coverage, it's safe to say the Canadian version is just a waste of money at this point.

So why not bring ELEAGUE to another Rogers Media television property: Sportsnet 360? If SN360 can air poker tournaments and whatever drivel the WWE churns out, there's no excuse not to air something like a competitive gaming event in their downtime. The Score Television Network was known to air events like these, and they continue to cover e-sports with their e-sports app.

When it all comes down to it, e-sports doesn't have a home on television for the same reasons why adult anime can only be seen on Toonami or why music networks spend half their time airing crappy reality shows. In this modern era, niche entertainment just doesn't work. It doesn't bring in ratings and mainstreamers don't get it. Instead, its left up to the Twitch's, Crunchyroll's and Vevo's of the internet to deliver what the people want, when the people want it.

ELEAGUE hopes to change that, at least for e-sports, and we'll just have to hope for the best.

Quick Update June 2016

I'm in a really bad place right now. I have nothing to live for except living itself. Without going IRL on you, the Reycralibur Finale has not been a top priority for me as of late. Like I said, I have nothing to live for, least of all YouTube peons who don't even watch machinima. I still have plenty of Smash Bros. shorts to make, and there will always be something to rant about on this blog, so I'm not out of the game just yet.