Shaw terrestrial PPV to go nationalThe CRTC has approved Shaw Communications Inc.’s request that its terrestrial pay-per-view service – currently offered only in western Canada – be allowed to go national.In exchange, Shaw must agree to minimum levels of French-language programming, minimum Canadian content requirements, a minimum ratio of French-to-English-language channels, and a transfer of 60% of the gross revenue it gets from French-language films back to the providers. The commission also granted Shaw’s request to reduce its contributions to independent production funds to 5% of gross annual revenue. Shaw’s initial license gave it both direct-to-home and terrestrial pay-per-view rights for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. In November 2004, Shaw asked that the DTH service be allowed to expand to eastern markets, and filed a similar request for the terrestrial service shortly thereafter. Shaw Pay-Per-View operates the Viewer’s Choice service in western Canada, while Montreal’s Astral Media supplies it in the eastern provinces, alongside its national Canal Indigo French-language service. More on the story in an upcoming issue of Canadian Communications Reports. NATPE yields new shows for Canadian distributionThe recent annual conference held by the Los Angeles-based National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) proved fertile ground for Canadian distributors looking for new shows. CHUM Ltd. announced it will air celebrity chef Rachel Ray’s new talk show starting in September 2006. "Rachel can relate to her audience in a way few people can," said CHUM Television VP of programming Ellen Baine in a media release announcing the deal. "The new show will be a great addition to CHUM’s daytime schedule." Meanwhile, CTV Inc. revealed it will renew its relationship with London UK’s Fremantle Media, signing multi-year deals for both American Idol and Canadian Idol. CTV will broadcast the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth seasons of American Idol in Canada, while the network also secured the format rights for Canadian Idol seasons four, five, six and seven. CTV’s Susanne Boyce said in a release: "For CTV, Canadian and American Idol are much more than complementary. In fact, the existence of one magnifies the other." More coverage of the NATPE 2006 conference and exhibition in upcoming issues of Canadian Communications Reports and Canadian NEW MEDIA. CHUM’s love stories set to airIn 2003, CHUM Ltd. offered up to $100,000 in funding and licensing consideration for the best scripts dealing with the subject of love. Now, the broadcaster is ready to air the final results of the eight winning entries under the moniker Stories of Love. Dealing with romance and intimacy from a variety of viewpoints, the series explores love in the myriad ways it is manifest in Canadian society with contributions from Vancouver’s Holiday Pictures Ltd., Jenfilms Inc. of Toronto, and Regina’s Bellimage Inc. among others. Stories of Love runs every Wednesday night from February 8 to March 29 on Bravo. CSR reports nine days of revenueCanadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (CSR), the Canadian partner of Washington DC-based XM Satellite Radio, released its first financial results since receiving a license to offer the XM service in Canada. Although it was only open for business for nine days during the first quarter of its 2006 fiscal year – which ended November 30, 2005 – CSR brought in revenue of $46,010. However, due to the massive marketing and fulfillment costs of rolling out its satellite radio services, the firm booked a net loss of $14.61 million in the quarter. CSR CEO John Bitove expressed optimism that future earnings statements would be markedly different. "We are very happy with the launch and roll-out of the XM Canada service and are pleased that our subscription sales are running ahead of management expectations," he said in a media release, adding that capital raised during CSR’s initial public offering are fuelling construction of new studios and Toronto and Montreal, as well as expansion of CSR’s terrestrial repeater network. CHUM’s Star shines over Middle East and North AfricaCHUM Ltd.’s international acquisition and distribution unit has signed an agreement with Middle Eastern satellite broadcaster Orbit Communications that will see CHUM’s Star channel air over Orbit’s network. Star’s mix of music, celebrity and fashion news will be piped over to Orbit’s London broadcast centre via fibre optic cable, where it will then be uplinked to the firm’s satellite service. North African and Middle Eastern countries that will soon start receiving Star include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates territory of Dubai, Morocco, Egypt and Algeria. Decode to shop Naturally Sadie at MIPTVToronto’s Decode Entertainment will be showcasing new episodes of Naturally Sadie, its live-action kids’ series, at the MIPTV international television conference this spring. The show’s second, which airs on the Family Channel here in Canada, has already found distribution partners outside of Canada in Disney ABC Cable Networks Group in the US and Nickelodeon in the UK. International partners for previous seasons have included Disney Channel Latin America, France 2, and Nickelodeon franchises in Australia, Spain, the Netherlands and Israel, among others. MIPTV runs from April 3-7 in Cannes, France.