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MTV Canada plays too many videos, says rival
January 21, 2002 2:40 PM   Subscribe

MTV Canada plays too many videos, says rival When is the last time you heard that MTV plays too many videos, if ever?OK, crappy videos, but still...
posted by BarneyFifesBullet (17 comments total)

 
I'm not in Canada, But I know a lot of you are and I was curious about the music-on-TV situation there.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 2:42 PM on January 21, 2002


When I had the luxury of satalite tv at my parents home back when I was a kid, I often watched MuchMusic, the canadian alternative to MTV because it was just like MTV when it started, almost purely video after video. I would venture to guess that MTV Canada still has to compete with a RealWorld/TRL/RoadRules-free MuchMusic, and would lose viewers if they added more pointless non-music programming.

...but I haven't seen canadian tv in over a decade, please friends to the north, tell me MuchMusic is still very much alive? It was one of my favorite things to watch.
posted by mathowie at 2:54 PM on January 21, 2002


I was in Canada over the weekend, and MuchMusic is very much alive (pardon the pun)
posted by insomnyuk at 3:00 PM on January 21, 2002


It's funny. MuchMusic was started as a spinoff of CityTV in Toronto, and was hugely successful. Later, the two channels and a handfull of other channels and programming came under the umbrella of Chum. Through the years those stations and programming have been innovative and have frequently challenged what the CRTC will allow, demanding a hands-off approach to programming. Suddenly, they're all about bringing the competition to heel instead of doing what they used to do best - meet competition with quality programming.
posted by holycola at 3:02 PM on January 21, 2002


The first time I tuned into MuchMusic after it started to be carried by MediaOne/AT&T Broadband here in Virginia, they had Pavement playing live in their parking lot on Queen St. West. I don't think they have to worry about competition from MTV. They have defined themselves as decidedly un-LCD, and if anything, this would enable them to better target a market that is vastly underserved by Viacom. I'm no longer under 21 and I want my MuchMusic.
posted by machaus at 3:24 PM on January 21, 2002


Suddenly, they're all about bringing the competition to heel instead of doing what they used to do best - meet competition with quality programming.

Don't you think that allowing competition to blatently violate the terms of their licensing would be just a bit on the stupid side? I mean, using the Microsoft© theory of business it would go like this:

How to establish MTV Canada
  1. Get into Candian market by any means neccesary, even if it includes signing a licensing agreement we have no intention of following.
  2. Duplicate the efforts of the competetor even if it means violating said agreement(s).
  3. Allow global operations to support your efforts at a loss until you destroy the revenue stream for your competition and, ergo, your competetor.
  4. Alter your strategy to maximize your income potential, even if it means abandoning the format which the viewers watched you for in the first place.
  5. The lack of existing competition (it having destroyed in step 3) and the nearly insurmountable cost of entering the market will guarantee dominance in the forseeable future.
posted by RevGreg at 3:35 PM on January 21, 2002


MuchMusic USA is still on DirecTV. I seem to remember reading somewhere that they're mandated to show some sort of 60%/40% skew - where the 60% are Canadian performers and the 40% is the rest of the world..? Maybe that's BS, but whenever I drift over to MMUSA, the videos and artists are almost always unrecognizable to me, so I assume they're Canadian. Not to offend, I just don't recognize 'em.
posted by kokogiak at 3:39 PM on January 21, 2002


...of course, I personally still blame MuchMusic for the very existence of Gowan. But I suppose that's just my personal trauma (I mean god, does anyone else shudder uncontrollably when they accidentally remember that "Awake the Giant" song?)
posted by aramaic at 3:45 PM on January 21, 2002


That 60% is correct. I went digging on the Internet for some history on that law, and I came up with this. It provides some history on broadcasting in Canada and the quota you mentioned above.

"In general, 'CanCon' quotas are 60 percent for Canadian television stations..."

Which explains why MuchMusic plays all that Barenaked Ladies.
posted by perplexed at 3:50 PM on January 21, 2002


That doesn't mean that 60% of the videos have to be Canadian. The VJ's chattering on and on is CanCon, officially.

Unfortunately, the quality of videos shown on MM has declined. The still do the cool-band-in-the-parking-lot thing, but most of the time it's Destiny's Child or U2. Hardly innovative stuff these days.

Years ago, MM got fined by the CRTC for playing Ren & Stimpy, when they were supposed to be broadcasting "music programming" so I can see how they'd be a little peeved.
posted by sauril at 4:14 PM on January 21, 2002


MuchMusic is nowhere near as open to alternative acts as it used to be, so if MuchMusic is alternative compared to what goes into music channels in the US.....{shudder}

Too much pandering to the tweens, these days. MM plays S Club 7 and 2gether and those are shows everyone should hate. The Wedge can be good sometime, but it's only on for an hour a week.

I saw a bit of MTV Canada during the preview time, and decided the $1.99 a month fee to watch it is way overpriced.

Shout-out to the programmer that put By Divine Right into rotation, though!
posted by Salmonberry at 5:02 PM on January 21, 2002


The Wedge can be good sometime, but it's only on for an hour a week.

Yes, but that hour is damn fine. (International) Noise Conspiracy, Pulp, Jesus and Mary Chain, Buzzcocks, Avalanches, and the Dears are just a few of the videos I've seen over the last few weeks.
posted by mzanatta at 6:07 PM on January 21, 2002


I gotta agree with everything you said there, Salmonberry. (except the By Divine Right, maybe...). I really like the New Music sometimes too.

I miss Sook Yin, though.
posted by sauril at 7:00 PM on January 21, 2002


I think that getting George Stroumbalopolis (or something like that) was the best thing to happen to Much in the last 5 years. However, that's not so great a compliment to George considering that not much else has happened in the same span.

It was good in the late 80s to mid-90s, as far as I can remember it... or maybe I'm just getting old and I'm blinded by nostalgia.

And yeah, the New Music is good... but that's, technically, much more of a CityTV show than an actual Much show. Eh, Much / City - same thing.
posted by mkn at 9:31 PM on January 21, 2002


Canadian television hasn't been the same since Chuck and Ryerson's All Night Show went off the air.
posted by pracowity at 11:01 PM on January 21, 2002


RevGreg, note that I also said have frequently challenged what the CRTC will allow. I should have been more specific. Getting CityTV and MM established involved a number of risque licensing violations (mostly surrounding showing naughty bits and language). Now that they are established, someone else has decided to see how far they can go with not honouring their license terms to get themselves established, deciding that it would be better to grab viewers and pay the fines rather than toe the CRTC line. They're playing the same game, albeit from a different angle.
posted by holycola at 8:09 AM on January 22, 2002


I think it says lots about Canadian society that MuchMusic's parent company is named after bait and yet is reasonably successful.
posted by Harry Hopkins' Hat at 9:26 AM on January 22, 2002


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