CDTV committee pushing high-definition productionCanadian Digital Television (CDTV) has formed a committee to push producers and broadcasters to produce more content in high-definition (HD). Members of the organization’s HD content production committee will make their first public push at the Canadian Satellite Users Association (CSUA) conference in Toronto February 1 and 2. As well, for the first time, the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA) at its conference in Ottawa will include a session on high-definition programming. The session The HD Revolution: Is there enough Canadian content to satisfy the masses? is scheduled for February 4. CDTV’s committee, co-chaired by Stonehenge Media Group Inc. president Glyn Evans, was formed in November 2004, and consists of representatives from Telefilm Canada, the Canadian Television Fund, CHUM Ltd., Astral Media, CBC, and manufacturer Sony Corp."What we are trying to do is use the strength of an industry-side association to pull all the players into a partnership, to raise awareness, and help create more HD product," CDTV president Michael McEwen tells Canadian Communications Reports. "We’ve got the producers engaged. I am trying to challenge them a bit, and talk about HD in business terms. It is really important to start producing in HD – both for shelf life and for future markets," he says. "I mean Europe is now going HD. It will take a couple of years to get the services up, but in Europe you had better be producing at that level…Producers have to understand that HD is good business for them." 3.8 million viewers tune into World Junior gold medal gameTSN’s coverage of the Canada versus Russia gold medal World Junior ice hockey game attracted a national average minute audience of 3.2 million viewers. Audience levels peaked at 3.8 million viewers during the final 30 minutes of Canada’s 6-1 victory, the sports network announced. It is the second most-watched program in TSN’s 20-year history. The most-watched program on TSN continues to be the 2003 World Juniors game broadcast from Halifax, which attracted 3.5 million viewers. CHUM, Global apply for licence amendment for ad incentivesCanWest Global Communications Corp. and CHUM Ltd. have followed in the footsteps of Alliance Atlantis Communications and applied for a licence amendment that would allow them to increase their advertising minutes in exchange for broadcasting more Canadian TV drama (CCR Update, Jan. 5/05). CHUM is applying for the change for its conventional TV stations, and specialty channels Space, Bravo!, MuchMusic, MuchMoreMusic, Star!, BookTelevision and FashionTelevision. CHUM has also applied for a licence amendment that would allow its at risk equity investments in drama productions to qualify as eligible Canadian programming expenditures. Global is applying for licence amendments for its conventional TV stations, and its specialty services Prime TV, Mystery, Lonestar, Deja View and Cool TV. "…Much of the category 7 programming permitted on Prime TV must have been copyrighted at least ten years prior to the broadcast year in which it is aired by the service – and theatrical feature films broadcast on television must have been copyrighted 25 years prior. However, there may be extreme instances where older programming may still qualify as original, Canadian drama programming (i.e. it may have been copyrighted years before, but never aired); and Prime TV may broadcast 7(e) programming (animated television programs and films) without restriction," notes Global in its application. Comments on the proposed licence amendments are due by January 31. Corner Gas gets schedule changeThe Canadian comedy series Corner Gas is moving to Mondays at 8 p.m. on CTV Inc., beginning January 17. The series will continue to air Saturdays at 8 p.m. on CTV’s The Comedy Network. Corner Gas has had an average of 1.5 million viewers (AMA, 2+), making it the number one comedy series on Canadian television and the most-watched homegrown series of any kind, according to CTV. Lives of the Saints opens strong CTV Inc.’s original mini-series Lives of the Saints earned an average audience of 1.46 million viewers on Sunday, January 2, followed on Monday by another 1.42 million viewers. The figures are from Nielsen Media Research. The two-part, four-hour mini-series will be released on DVD on February 8 by Warner Home Video and Capri Releasing. Fox Sports World gets CRTC approval to focus on soccerThe CRTC has approved a licence amendment for Fox Sports World Canada Partnership to change the licence of the national Category 2 specialty programming channel so that it can be devoted primarily to cricket, rugby and soccer (Broadcasting Decision 2005-4). The licensee can devote no more than 25% of all programming broadcast during the broadcast year to sports other than cricket, rugby and soccer. No coverage could be given to North American men’s ice hockey, basketball, baseball and North American football. The licence amendment application was filed by Global Television Network and Fox Sports World Canada Holdco Inc. In the United States, Fox Cable Networks Group announced that it was rebranding Fox Sports World channel as Fox Soccer Channel. It is set to debut on February 7. RDS, RIS sign on for BBM Canada’s portable people metersLe Réseau des Sports (RDS) and RIS Info-Sports have joined BBM Canada as portable people meters (PPM) members. RDS has been a BBM diary broadcast client since 1990. "We want to offer our customers the best customer service possible and see the need to follow the trend in the industry for using PPM technology," said Lino Bramucci, senior VP and general manager of Netstar Sales, in a media release. Both French-language channels are owned by Bell Globemedia. Shaw, Star Choice add Fox News, Bloomberg TelevisionShaw Communications Inc. announced last month that it had added Fox News and Bloomberg Television to its Shaw Digital Cable service and its Star Choice direct-to-home satellite TV distribution service. "The addition of Fox News and Bloomberg Television strengthens our programming line-up and gives our customers access to two internationally-recognized and widely-respected new and information services," said Shaw president Peter Bissonnette in a media release. Canadian Heritage wants GalaVu acquisition reviewedCanadian Heritage has ordered the acquisition of Canadian digital video-on-demand (VOD) provider GalaVu by Entertainment Media & Telecoms Corporation Canada reviewed pursuant to section 15 of the Investment Canada Act. Rogers adds NFL Network to sports line-upRogers Cable announced January 11 that it was the first distributor in Canada to offer NFL Network to its customers. The NFL Network will be available to digital subscribers on channel 192. It is on free preview until January 31 for digital TV subscribers while Sports Pak customers will receive the football channel on free preview until April 1. The channel will cost $2.49 a month.