CBC reveals plans for new OTT service

The pubcaster has also announced 15 new and returning digital series that will screen online and on the upcoming platform.

In addition to rolling out a drama-heavy slate of new fall and winter programming, the CBC/Radio-Canada also teased the launch of an English-language OTT service this week.

Jean Mongeau, GM and CRO, CBC & Radio-Canada Media Solutions, said the service is operating under the working title CBCX, and will be rolled into market in the next year.

He said the service will be a combination of free and paid for consumers, though pricing details are not yet available. Content on the platform will include back catalogue catch-up viewing as well as a stream of the CBC’s live linear TV signal.

The service will also feature the ability to place dynamically inserted ads, something Mongeau said will be a “substantial element” to the platform.

Learnings for the upcoming English OTT service have been taken from Radio-Canada’s Tou.TV Extra, which launched three years ago and also includes a mix of free and paid options (though it does not have the live linear stream the English OTT option promises). That service had 130,000 total subscribers as of last month, confirmed Mongeau.

“Tou.tv has been a successful venture for Radio-Canada, and we want to be able to capitalize on the success of that platform,” said Mongeau. “But we also recognize that the English marketplace is different, and one area where there’s a distinct opportunity is for subscribers to have access to the live broadcast signals through an internet connection. We feel that will be of value to consumers who aren’t accessing OTA, but are consuming a lot of their content online.”

In addition to linear content, the pubcaster on Wednesday revealed a slate of 15 new and returning digital series – seven new originals, five arts/factual projects and three returning shows – that will appear online and on the upcoming OTT service.

In terms of returning digital series, there was a season-two greenlight for My 90-Year-Old Roommate (10 x 7 mins), produced by LoCo Motion Pictures and Slow Clap, and a fourth season renewal for LaRue Entertainment’s The Amazing Gayl Pile (10 x 15 minutes), which won the prize for Best Original Series produced for Digital Media – Fiction at the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards in March. New episodes of both series will launch in winter 2018, while the CBC’s other returning original, satirical current affairs program This is That (6 x 5 minutes), produced by Kelly&Kelly, returns for its third season this summer.

New comedies joining CBC’s digital roster include Torbay Ponies’ Living With E‘s (6 x 2-3 minutes), Aircraft Pictures’ Terrific Women (10 x 5-7 minutes), Floyder Films and Duqesne Island Productions’ The Neddeaus of Duqesne Island and Fab Development’s short-form comedy Kids That Are Kind of Amazing at Stuff…With Gerry Dee (10 x 3-5 minutes), all of which premiere this summer. My Kitchen Can be Anything (15 x 3-5 mins), created by Pat Thornton (Sunnyside) and Eric Toth (Still Standing), launches May 26.

As well, LoCo Motion-produced series How to Buy a Baby (10 x 7 minutes), is set to launch this fall. The IPF-backed series began filming in Toronto last month, though at the time CBC had not announced its attachment to the project. Also set for fall is season two of Insight Productions’ But I’m Chris Jericho (6 x 10 minutes), in which the WWE performer plays a fictionalized version of himself.

Among the arts and factual titles on the docket for CBC digital is First Generation Films’ The Artists: From Pong to Pop and the Dawn of the Video Game Era (10 x 8 minutes), which is set to launch in fall. Elsewhere, Project 10′s Tom Green’s Snow Jam (8 x 5-10 minutes), Four Corners Productions’ Ten X Ten: Ten Portraits of Queers in the Arts (10 x 3 minutes), short-film anthology Stay Calm and Decolonize (10 x 3 minutes) and Art Works (10 x 7 minutes), produced by Madeleine Co. in partnership with OCAD University.

With files from Jordan Pinto