GameTV relaunches, adds to top brass

As well as adding more U.S. game shows such as Family Feud (pictured), GameTV is in the market for new Canadian programming.

Mark Rubinstein, president and CEO of GameTV, says the channel is re-launching with more of what he says its audience wants, namely game shows, reality programming and movies.

Before the relaunch that was officially unveiled Thursday, GameTV was primarily populated with classic game shows and movies running three nights a week. It’s a programming strategy that has been beefed up with new game shows and movies every night in primetime, says Ana Rodrigues the channel’s new head of programming.

“We also had some casino gaming shows like poker and backgammon,” she says. “In primetime we still have a couple classic game shows, but we are filling it out with new game shows and movies every night of the week.”

The category-B specialty channel available in nine million homes across Canada is targeted at adults aged 25 to 54 and launched in 2005. It aims to provide “competition, fun and entertainment programming,” so the re-launch has meant adding more game shows like Family Feud (pictured), movies like American Beauty and Tomb Raider and reality programming including Footballers’ Wives.

“The new programming includes some historically-known hits in terms of series like Family Feud which attracts a large audience and is seen to be brand friendly,” says Rubinstein. “Also it has been demonstrated time and time again that great movies deliver big audiences.”

When it comes to Canadian content, Rubinstein explains: “We have invested a substantial amount of our programming budget into Canadian productions, and we will continue to do so in the future. We are always looking for the best Canadian programming whether it is acquired or commissioned. There is a significant portion of our broadcast schedule that relates to Canadian programming.”

As part of the relaunch, the company hired not only Rodrigues but also Nanci Stern as its managing director of sales and Gary Sappleton in the new position of senior director of marketing.

Most recently, Rodrigues worked as business development manager, international TV sales at Stingray Digital Media Group while Stern worked as director of special events at the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. Sappleton comes to GameTV following two years as the brand manager of dramatic networks at Shaw Media.