After a bit of fiasco with evites, and a crowd at the doors of Massey Hall that caused a bit of a crush, the Rogers gang under the direction of President, Keith Pelley and Scott Moore (former CTV-er and Vancouver Olympic Consortium chief), came off like graduates to the big leagues…strongly positioned to likely zoom by Shaw Media’s Global and take a good run at #1 Bell/CTV.
It was almost like there was so much great news they hardly knew where to begin. The show opened, remarkably delayed only about 15 minutes despite the backlog of people waiting to get registered, with Canada’s Got Talent finalists. Even though the show’s ratings performance hasn’t quite lived up to the level everyone was hoping for, the 3 acts that kicked things off where solid. Local hiphopper The MC made a rap about the business fun. A clip from CGT showed us The MC’s big dream was to perform at Nathan Phillips Square for CityTV Toronto’s New Year’s Eve. Later in the show, Dina Pugliese on stage with her morning half Kevin Frankish, granted the young rapper’s wish right there on stage with a decidedly underwhelming response from everyone, except presumably for The MC.
Then it was on to Sportsnet and their breakthrough 2012 year. Last fall’s launch of Sportsnet magazine has proved to be a wise choice – as the “Fuelled by Fans” slogan encourages consumption of all things Sportsnet across 5 platorms: TV, Radio, Tablet, Mobile and Print. And if that wasn’t enough of a good-news story, they beat TSN last month in the ratings for the first time in 8 years.
Scott Moore and Mitch Dent talked programming and distribution. A map of Canada showed clearly – coverage has grown substantially in 2012. The B.C. Interior, Saskatchewan, we heard about Montreal a few weeks ago, and then today they announced a deal with EastLink that will bring Rogers 250,000 subscribers in Atlantic Canada.
Truly a national contender now, not just in coverage, but in programming.
Rogers Television had the best record of returning shows with 8 out of the 12 purchased last season returning this year. Shaw has only 1 returning show. It could be a long night today as Shaw Media introduces what is conceivably a slew of new shows to populate their 2012/13 season. Networks regularly refer to consistency season-to-season as a plus for advertisers, but in reality, it is more about the stability of the numbers that history provides than consistency itself.
Rogers announced live streaming of at least 2 shows on line the same time they air on television, but other than that, not a lot was said about online – and nary a word about social media. Rogers Media’s own website offers no news of yesterday’s big day. Rogers Media PR folks didn’t promote a hashtag for the upfront – leaving it to a handful of users and specific show publicists to come up with their own: #RogersUpfront #CityTVFall #CityTVFallLaunch. One may have even come from their friendly competitors who took over the old Rogers home at 299 Queen Street East tweeting, “Good luck to our friends @City_tv on their #CitytvFall Upfront today!”
Like the proverbial plumber with the leaky taps, or the shoemaker’s kids’ holey shoes, the networks do a less-then-stellar job of promoting themselves. Rogers Television should have set and promoted the heck out of a broader-based hashtag than #CityTV. With Sportsnet, Omni’s, 3 specialty cable stations, Rogers TV Listings and the mega-successful Rogers Shopping Channel, Rogers isn’t just City-TV anymore.