The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics may have been a relative ratings letdown in the United States compared to past Games, but north of the border, consumer interest remained high.
Spurred by the Canadian women’s soccer team’s penalty-kick gold medal win over Sweden, the 32nd Olympiad proved a ratings winner on broadcast, radio and streaming, according to official carrier CBC, Canada’s largest national public broadcaster.
A peak TV audience of 4.4 million watched live the women’s soccer team’s historic win, with an additional 725,000 live video views on digital platforms, making this Canada’s most-watched moment of Tokyo 2020. Canadians streamed 37 million video views on CBC digital platforms during Tokyo 2020, up 62% from the 2018 PyeongChang Games.
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Overall, 28 million television viewers — 74% of all Canadians — tuned in for coverage, with CBC ranking as the most-watched network in Canada for 17 consecutive days, delivering a 21.4% audience share. Canada finished 11th in the medals count with 24, including seven gold.
“Whether watching online, through apps, social media or on television, millions of viewers across the country tuned in and engaged with CBC’s coverage each day, demonstrating the continued relevance of the Olympic Games,” Chris Wilson, executive director of sports and Olympics for CBC, said in a statement.
Ad-supported streaming VOD service FilmRise June 22 announced the acquisition of domestic distribution rights to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s longest-running hour-long drama series, “Heartland.” Adapted from Lauren Brooke’s best-selling novels, “Heartland” is a multi-generational family drama series set in Alberta, Canada that began airing in 2007 on the CBC and just wrapped its 14th season March 2021.
The deal includes rights to 214 episodes across 13 seasons as well as the TV movie, A Heartland Christmas, which garnered 1.4 million viewers when it originally aired. The series has won a number of Rosie awards from the Alberta Film & Television Awards, and has been nominated for a number of Canadian Screen Awards.
“We are fortunate to add this wonderful series to our expanding content of wholesome family programming,” Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, said in a statement.
The series is adapted from Lauren Brooke’s best-selling novels, and follows life on the Heartland ranch as sisters Amy and Lou, together with their grandfather Jack, deal with the challenges of running a ranch that has been in the family for generations.
“Genesis is excited to make this hit series from Canada available on new platforms,” said Wayne Lepoff, CEO of Genesis International TV & Film. “We feel viewers will welcome ‘Heartland”s ongoing themes of family strength and family values as well as its messages of showing compassion towards others.”
“Heartland” will be streaming on a number of digital platforms, including The Roku Channel, IMDb TV, Peacock, Pluto TV, Tubi, and the FilmRise streaming network, among others.
Shout! Factory Jan. 11 named industry veteran Brent Haynes to spearhead television development at Shout! Studios, the indie distributor’s upstart original content unit.
Haynes, who once was SVP, series development, comedy & animation at MTV, will work with Shout founders Richard and Garson Foos, Bob Emmer and David McIntosh, SVP, content licensing and strategy.
Most recently, Haynes was executive producer at Picture Arcade, co-creating comedy “Crash Gallery” for Canadian Broadcasting Company.
“[Haynes] holds an extensive background and success in production development for scripted series and original specials with an emphasis in comedy,” Garson Foos said in a statement. “Given the success we’re having producing new ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ episodes and several projects in development, we look forward to Brent playing a major role in this growth area for the studio.”