I wanted to acknowledge Denis 'Girlie Man' McGrath's and Jimmy 'The Broken Record' Henshaw's most excellent posts yesterday on the state of local TV in Canada, and felt I needed add one more thing to my post on the topic.
It seems my position pissed some commenters off...I even received some nasty emails asking what I had against CTV and local TV in general. Firstly, I have nothing against local television...in fact, if any networks should receive more support for local programming I feel it should be the educational ones; like SCN here in Saskatchewan, or Knowledge Network in B.C., or TVO in Ontario. At least they are actually producing locally and for their communities. And I would've mentioned Access in Alberta, but since it was bought out by...CTV...in 2006, it has a supposed educational component but is more or less an A Channel now. Check out its primetime lineup tomorrow of Law&Order: Criminal Intent, Without A Trace, Reaper, Castle, Jay Leno, and Jimmy Fallon if you don't believe me.
But speaking of CTV, I actually owe a lot to the network from when I was starting out. Two of the first three dramas I directed were licensed and financed by CTV as part of a regional drama initiative fund...not to mention a lot of crew people I know cut their teeth on a locally produced CTV half hour children's program entitled Puttnam's Prairie Emporium. And Global, called STV at the time and part of the CanWest Broadcast System, licensed a locally made documentary/educational series I produced and directed entitled Life Lessons.
So I'm a big supporter of local TV, but that's what I mean by local TV. Unfortunately, the above examples are nearly twenty years old. I don't know how long its been since there's been anything produced locally by either network station that wasn't the news or just a newsmagazine-style show. A quick survey of some colleagues this evening put it at at least fifteen years, if not longer.
So as for CTV's Save Local TV campaign and the private conventional broadcasters claim to support local programming if they collect any sort of carriage fee, I still say...
Play em off...keyboard cat.