UPDATE – Wednesday, December 14, 2005 Wagering Network application approvedThe CRTC has approved an application by Michael Garrow, operator of hand-to-hand combat channel The Fight Network, to launch a new TV offering aimed at gamblers. The Wagering Network will refer to sports from a gaming perspective, but will not air any sporting events itself; instead, it will feature a limited amount (no more than 10% of its programming total) of highlight footage, as well as aggregate scores from the professional and amateur worlds of sport, which will be displayed in a ticker format. CTV Inc., which owns The Sports Network (TSN), filed an intervention in which it asked the commission to include provisions in The Wagering Network’s licence to limit the format and scope of any sports broadcasting. The CRTC is satisfied that the 10% cap on sports footage would mean The Wagering Network wouldn’t be competitive with TSN. Garrow’s existing offering has a large online multimedia presence, and Canadians can likely expect more of the same on the Web when The Wagering Network launches. Chalk Media feels transition painVancouver interactive video production house Chalk Media Corp. recently announced earnings for its third quarter of 2005. While top-line revenue for the nine months making up the firm’s year- to- date set a new record, it represented a rather modest 5% improvement over the same period last year. The revenue picture for the three months in the third quarter was even grimmer, with revenues cut by more than two-thirds compared to Q3 2004. In a media release, the firm attributed the weaker performance to work falling behind due to "customer delays or scheduling changes." Those explanations apparently weren’t good enough for CEO Stewart Walchli, who issued a follow-up announcement the day after the earnings release. In his statements, Walchli clarified that Chalk Media was "in the process of transitioning itself to focus on e-learning" and moving away from projects such as Spy Academy, a convergence Web project it runs in partnership with the YTV and Discovery Kids specialty TV channels. Part of the transition entailed start-up costs, especially those relating to the development of its new Chalkboard e-learning software and the opening of a business office in the US, the second release added.  Cesart flies the flag in FranceCesart, Bell Canada’s for-hire web design and interactive marketing unit, will be representing Canada at next year’s Webdesign International Festival in Limoges, France. The firm won the honour after making it through a Canadian pre-selection round in November, which was organized by the Université du Québec’s satellite campus in Rouyn-Noranda QC and required that entrants design a web interface on a set theme within 24 hours. The 2005 theme, which was kept secret until the last minute, was "Our Planet…50 Years From Now," and Cesart responded to the challenge by creating a "Museum of Errors" that highlighted the environmental fallout from many common consumer products. The firm will compete against entrants from Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Great Britain, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Romania, Spain and the US when the festival gets underway February 2 next year. ITC product wins CES "Best of"A Richmond BC firm, International Technologies Corp. (ITC), won a coveted "Best of Innovation" prize at the 2006 International CES Innovations Design and Engineering for one of the hardware products it distributes, the MPIO FY 700 MP3 player. The award, which is affiliated with the annual CES consumer electronics trade show, was in the portable digital category. Part of what makes the device a winner is its use of Multi-Level Cell NAND memory technology, which is cheaper and holds more storage than conventional non-disk memory formats, as well as a battery-saving organic LED display. The MPIO FY 700 will be available for sale in North America early in the new year. Wasabi takes home BoomerangMontreal interactive marketing and advertising agency Design Numérique Wasabi won its second Boomerang award recently for its work with independent record label Disques Audiogram. This year’s award was sponsored by Macromedia, and a representative from the San Francisco-based graphics software firm – now owned by San Jose CA’s Adobe Systems Inc. – lauded Wasabi’s use of Flash audio and video throughout the Disques Audiogram site. The Boomerangs are presented by Infopresse, a Quebec-based magazine publishing group. How2Share launches video siteCapitalizing on the latest wave of video-capable MP3 players and handheld gaming devices, BC firm How2Share Technologies Inc. has launched FlixPo, a video adjunct to its existing PixPo picture-sharing network. FlixPo will feature free digital video content for both Apple’s iPod platform and Sony’s Playstation Personal (PSP) portable gaming console, covering the gamut from movie trailers and funny and risqué advertising to independent videos and extreme sports clips. Victoria-based How2Share cited figures from Forrester Research showing that users who buy online content are demanding more portability and cross-device usage for that content. Look for more on video clip download services in an upcoming issue of Canadian NEW MEDIA. Analekta inks digital distribution dealMontreal classical music label Analekta signed an agreement with The Orchard, a digital music distributor based in New York. Under the terms of the deal, The Orchard will distribute Analekta’s catalogue – which also features an array of baroque, jazz and seasonal music – to online digital music retailers such as Apple’s iTunes, which for the next three months will have exclusive rights to the catalogue, after which it will be available to such services as Napster, eMusic, Rhapsody and Sony’s Connect service. The record label plans to have its entire back catalog online and available for download through The Orchard’s partners by spring 2006. Multimedia to mend troubled ‘hood?Toronto mayor David Miller announced a pilot project in conjunction with Seneca College aimed at helping youth in the city’s Jane-Finch neighborhood find alternatives to violence and crime. The Jane-Finch Introduction to Multimedia initiative, part of Miller’s Community Safety Plan, offers unemployed residents between the ages of 16 and 25 a 10-week training program in electronic media publishing, video production and other job skills, culminating in a two-week work placement. Classes will be held at Seneca College’s Yorkgate campus bordering the Jane-Finch neighborhood, one of Canada’s most disadvantaged urban communities. Onestop stages NYC demonstrationDigital signage firm Onestop Media Group was invited to New York to showcase its solution for the Toronto Transit Community (TTC) recently. The offer was extended by Pamela Wallin, one-time media celebrity turned Canadian consul-general, and was part of an event called The Cities Project that brought together transit experts, urban planners and other civic-minded professionals from Toronto, Montreal and New York. The Onestop network provides transit passengers with real-time news, safety messages, public service announcements and other information. Just before the event, Toronto-based Onestop also won the Canadian Marketing Association’s top award for enabling technologies on the strength of its partnership with the TTC.