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September 15, 2020 10:38 am  #1


"CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

I get the idea that CBS All Access isn't exactly a huge seller in Canada, although it's one of the few U.S.-based streamers that's available here. (Peacock, HBO Now and Hulu, for example, aren't.) After all, some of the service's biggest shows - The Good Fight, the Star Treks, etc  - have all been sold to Canadian services and are blacked out here. So why bother subscribing? 

Now the company has announced it will be changing its name and adding programming. The new moniker will be "Paramount +" (not to be confused with "Disney +" which also uses the "plus" word) and the change will be effective in 2021. So what's new? You can find out what's being added here

What's perhaps even more interesting than the article are the comments that follow it, some left by Canadian subscribers who are wondering what it means for them. So far there are no apparent answers, but if history is any judge, they won't be able to see a lot of what they most want to watch - at least on this service. And that's why, IMHO, it will never be worth the money north of the border.

 

September 15, 2020 11:45 am  #2


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

It's just adding to the very many excuses to use a VPN. 

 

September 15, 2020 12:22 pm  #3


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

This  likely means that CBS All Access isn't doing very well in the US either.  Why a name change?  And why pick Paramount?  Seems like a very poor choice since there is already a Paramount Network on cable which as many have noticed, isn't a very popular channel.  Oh look another evening of Bar Rescue!!

I agree with one of the Canadian comments who mentioned why would you pay for it at all?  Isn't all of the supposed "good stuff" on other channels anyway which most cable subscribers already get?  And I am sure the hot new shows from Paramount+  will end up elsewhere here as well, maybe a few on a regular network OTA.

 

September 15, 2020 12:35 pm  #4


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

Is CTV still holding the rights to *anything* Criminal minds in Canada?  
If so, that may be where Canadians will be able to watch the REAL Criminal minds episodes without having to subscribe to anything. 

 

September 15, 2020 1:18 pm  #5


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

This continues to drive me crazy. I'm not 100% sure, but I think Disney+ is the only OTT (over the top) service that's the same in both countries. Netflix Canada is different from its U.S. counterpart, enough that it was forced to take action to block Canadians using a VPN to try and access the American version. The others, as mentioned, are either not available here at all or are missing some of their best shows, having sold off the rights to local providers.     

I don't subscribe to any streaming service as yet, and this is one of the reasons why. To me, it's similar to my objections to simsub. And while I fully understand why it happens, I can't stand the fact that because we live on the wrong side of the border, we can't watch the full service. Although they're very happy to take our money and give us less for it.

I'm not interested in Netflix-Lite or part of the best of HBO. I want the whole thing or none of it and they should hold onto the North American rights for everything, instead of Crave-nly (see what I did there?) selling all the good stuff to Bell.    

There's an old expression that says "you get what you pay for." But not, apparently, if you live in Canada and want to see the full gamut of everything on a U.S. streaming service. 

     Thread Starter
 

September 15, 2020 4:56 pm  #6


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

Do any countries see the whole gamut of everything on US streaming services?  Netflix has different versions all over the world.  Why do they bother then  if everyone really just wants US Netflix? In the UK do most buy Netflix UK or just want the US version?  For now they can still use a VPN I believe, but will it last there as well? 

The licensing agreements that you mentioned happen all over the place, not just Canada.  So why should Canada get all the US streaming services just because we live next door?  Other countries don't.

Or why should we not have simsub, which solved problems for both US and Canadian broadcasters.   We never hear about the stations in Buffalo or Detroit or other border towns complaining about simsub.  If it wasn't there Canadian broadcasters would be running programs before the US network air dates.  And if you are paying for the Canadian rights for a show, that's what you get.
 
If simsub didn't exist you are not buying the Canadian rights any longer, but sharing the rights and viewers with border stations, and because of cable these stations are available long distances out of their service areas.  And the owners of the show get less money for the rights.  That's why US producers and networks never complain about simsub.

Living next to the US is hardly a level playing field for Canadian broadcasters, so the point of letting the market decide sounds good but is not reality.  If English Canada was a market of 90 to 100 million yes then there is a case, but not with 30 million people.  Economics always determines success, even more than the market.  And in our case, the numbers aren't there.

Besides historically for decades and decades, we have had access to more US programming and outlets than any other country in the world.  The rest of the world is just now starting to catch up. 

 

Last edited by paterson1 (September 15, 2020 4:59 pm)

 

September 15, 2020 6:59 pm  #7


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

paterson1 wrote:

Why should Canada get all the US streaming services just because we live next door?  Other countries don't....Besides historically for decades and decades, we have had access to more US programming and outlets than any other country in the world.  The rest of the world is just now starting to catch up. 

No, no other countries have access to as much U.S. programming. But we're different in that we're on the border and have been exposed to it since the beginning of broadcasting. It's like the seeing the forbidden fruit and not being able to take a full bite. 

That said, I fully understand the concept of simsub and why it's there. And to be fair, it's mostly done what it was supposed to do. But that doesn't mean I have to like it. Wouldn't you just for once like to subscribe to something and get the actual product everyone else is getting - instead of some watered down "Canadian" version? I'm tired of being second class by dint of a border. 

paterson1 wrote:

We never hear about the stations in Buffalo or Detroit or other border towns complaining about simsub.

Ah, but they used to - before the Canadian government changed the laws affecting advertising on U.S. border stations. They were furious when the government imposed a tax on Canadian sponsors that plied their wares on a Buffalo channel. I'm pretty sure some here recall when WUTV's spot breaks were almost entirely for Canadian services. That stopped when the law changed and the Buffalo stations were understandably incensed.  

paterson1 wrote:

If it wasn't there Canadian broadcasters would be running programs before the US network air dates.  And if you are paying for the Canadian rights for a show, that's what you get.

I'm not sure how old you are, but those of us who grew up watching TV in the 60s and early 70s will certainly recall the pre-cable days when almost every show was pre-released in Canada first. 
  
I remember watching the Red Skelton show at 7:30 PM on CBC, about a half hour or so before it aired on CBS (WBEN here.) Doesn't sound like much, except that it also ended half an hour early, which means you could then watch another show elsewhere that you might have otherwise missed because the Skelton show wasn't over. 

It was kind of like an early VCR/DVR scenario, where you could watch a lot more shows live than you can now. And it was great. Now for the most part, everything is at the same time on the same day, simply for advertising substitution. 

I came to hate watching the Canuck stations, though, because the government here allowed more commercial time per hour than the U.S. did. And that meant Canadian networks would absolutely butcher shows to squeeze in more spots, completely ruining the climax of a show by cutting it off at the exact emotional moment. It's the reason that, to this day, I will watch a simulcast show on the U.S. channel, even if there's no longer any real reason to. But those habits die hard. 

paterson1 wrote:

Living next to the US is hardly a level playing field for Canadian broadcasters, so the point of letting the market decide sounds good but is not reality.  If English Canada was a market of 90 to 100 million yes then there is a case, but not with 30 million people.  Economics always determines success, even more than the market.  And in our case, the numbers aren't there.

As a person who made his living (if you can call it living!) in broadcasting, it helped me a lot. But as a viewer, it drove me crazy and still does. Especially during a live event when they blow the rejoin over and over and over for that extra promo. So I'll admit to being a bit of a hypocrite on this issue. It's like Buckley's Mixture - it tastes awful, but it works. Doesn't mean I have to like taking it. 

Protectionism overall is never a good thing I find. And yes, it would never be allowed to happen, but as a former C-Band dish owner, I still love the concept of open skies. Let everyone compete equally. And may the best network win. No matter which side of the border they're on.

(From July 1971)
https://i.ibb.co/LrjvQV7/Simsub-Article-TV-Guide-Magazine-July-31-Aug-6-1971.jpg

     Thread Starter
 

September 15, 2020 7:12 pm  #8


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

RadioActive wrote:

[
I'm not sure how old you are, but those of us who grew up watching TV in the 60s and early 70s will certainly recall the pre-cable days when almost every show was pre-released in Canada first. 
  
I remember watching the Red Skelton show at 7:30 PM on CBC, about a half hour or so before it aired on CBS (WBEN here.) Doesn't sound like much, except that it also ended half an hour early, which means you could then watch another show elsewhere that you might have otherwise missed because the Skelton show wasn't over. 

It was kind of like an early VCR/DVR scenario, where you could watch a lot more shows live than you can now. And it was great. Now for the most part, everything is at the same time on the same day, simply for advertising substitution. 

I came to hate watching the Canuck stations, though, because the government here allowed more commercial time per hour than the U.S. did. And that meant Canadian networks would absolutely butcher shows to squeeze in more spots, completely ruining the climax of a show by cutting it off at the exact emotional moment. It's the reason that, to this day, I will watch a simulcast show on the U.S. channel, even if there's no longer any real reason to. But those habits die hard. 

I grew up in that era as well and your recollections are accurate.
 

Last edited by Media Observer (September 15, 2020 7:13 pm)

 

September 15, 2020 7:25 pm  #9


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

I've always found it interesting (and kind of distracting) when the cable companies flip back to the American station in the middle of a simsub when there's a special news report on the American channel, eg., a major fire in Cheektowaga, or something like that, even if it only lasts for a few minutes. But I guess, legally speaking, they have to do that, because the Canadian station is technically not showing the same program.


PJ


All the original greatest hits are right here!  http://www.classichitsonline.com
 

September 15, 2020 8:50 pm  #10


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

Other countries have as much access to US programming.  They are getting closer but not really. We still have access to more US programming for free than other countries.  Cable services overseas don't have local network television stations on basic cable like we do.  Virtually every household in Canada has had access to to the big four networks plus PBS for decades on basic cable, this is still not the case in most other countries.  Plus our main commercial networks carry more US programming than equivalent networks in other English speaking countries and always have.

Border stations used to complain about the simsub.  They did originally and naturally because of the lost revenue.  It was actually the simsub that killed the advertising on US channels much more than the tax.  Canadian advertisers wanted the prime time shows and not so much Irv Weinstein's newscasts or Meet the Miller's on WBEN.  But I still maintain US producers and networks don't dislike simsub because yes in fact the Canadian networks are paying more for exclusive Canadian rights.  As soon as you have the US local signals on cable that go everywhere in the country, without simsub, you don't have exclusive rights anymore, and less revenue for producers and US networks.

Yes I am old enough to remember seeing the CTV or CBC version of a US show with more commercials and it was annoying.  Not so sure they were stupid enough to ruin the climax of a show but yes I agree it was annoying 50 years ago.  Since it hasn't been an issue for many decades I got over it. 

Protectionism isn't the most appealing thing but it is necessary and every country does it, including the US. If we want or care to have any Canadian national broadcasting services survive we never will be able to offer all of the same US streaming services and programming in this country.  Again it is not a level playing field and to pretend that it is, or that the Canadian services are inferior because they are not 100% the same as what is on the US version is missing the point   It is economics and the size of the market plain and simple.

 

September 15, 2020 8:56 pm  #11


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

Paul Jeffries wrote:

I've always found it interesting (and kind of distracting) when the cable companies flip back to the American station in the middle of a simsub when there's a special news report on the American channel, eg., a major fire in Cheektowaga, or something like that, even if it only lasts for a few minutes. But I guess, legally speaking, they have to do that, because the Canadian station is technically not showing the same program.
PJ

95% identical is the CRTC law.
The best example would be that you don't see a sim sub vanish to air a local American news update, but you will see it vanish if news content takes up more than 5% of the air time in any given hour.

 

September 15, 2020 9:28 pm  #12


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

paterson1 wrote:

Other countries have as much access to US programming.  They are getting closer but not really. We still have access to more US programming for free than other countries.

Just one correction. If you re-read my post, I said "no other countries have as much access to U.S. programming." I'm thinking you may have missed that second "no." So we actually agree on this. 

I'm not arguing that simsub doesn't work. But as a viewer I absolutely hate it because it robs me of personal choice. Who is the government to force me to watch one channel over another, even if they're showing the same thing? It sticks in my craw (and there are way too many other things in there to make room for it!)

Imagine if Canadian networks, like CTV and Global, didn't rely on U.S. shows and produced almost all their own (like in French speaking Quebec or in England or Australia) to fill a broadcast week. Think how many more people would be employed in this industry and what kind of hit shows they might create. The next SCTV? Who knows. "Transplant" seems to be a hit here. Name me 10 others that do as well.  

The truth is they don't have the money (or likely the interest) to do it because they know they can make a lot more money with American imports. And, sad to say, with certain exceptions, Canadians don't tend to watch a lot of the shows made here because the U.S. programs have bigger production budgets and bigger stars - and we know we have access to them.

So it could be argued that simsub, in a strange way, actually hurts the Canadian industry by allowing it to coast on foreign imports instead of forcing them to produce more of our own. If we did that, maybe more here would watch our self-made stuff, which could be then sold elsewhere. We certainly have the talent. (I know this because most of them are busy in Toronto and B.C. working on the American shows!)  A skewed way to see it, I agree, but there it is. 

For now, the fall skeds of the Canadian networks are filled with more U.S. shows, just as they are every year. As Bruce Hornsby once so wisely noted, "That's just the way it is."

Some things will never change. 

     Thread Starter
 

September 15, 2020 10:10 pm  #13


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

Simsub and the other regs are there for a reason.  It's not just because the government feels like it or is anti american.  It is to try protect an industry here and thousands of jobs.  And every country does  the same thing.  Canada is not unique in protecting home grown industries or even culture.  So I have an issue when it is presented that the big bad CRTC or government is ramming something down our throats and if we would just let the market decide...etc...etc..Again it is economics and the size of our marketplace.

Hey it would be great if CTV and Global were 95% cancon and people liked the shows, but in the real world likely is not going to happen.  US imports generate a lot of money for them but they also spend a lot buying them as well.  And right now I doubt that CTV or Global are even profitable, and likely haven't been for a a while.  So in  they will also be taking a hard look at what the imports cost and the profits generated. The price they are willing to pay for imports will come down if ratings continue to be poor.  I am sure the bidding between CTV, Global and City is not as heated as 4 or 5 years ago. 

I think you are going to see a big shift in OTA television in the US since the ratings for  conventional networks have been so terrible over the past few years. Their business models are broken and advertising revenues have been tanking.  So I think big changes are going to happen and of course COVID is just speeding things up.  Same for Canada, big changes for the networks and programming and we may end up with less choice at some point than what we have now in Canada and elsewhere.

 

September 15, 2020 10:28 pm  #14


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

Just a quick note to say the US version of Netflix isn't all it's cracked up to be.  About a year ago I did a head to head comparison of  shows on Netflix in Canada and the US and I was surprised to find how many things that were available on Canadian Netflix that would require a subscription to another streaming service if you were in the US.  I guess it makes sense that if you have fewer services, there will be more content on each one.
Here's an article that looks at the differences.
https://www.finder.com/ca/netflix-canada-vs-world-content

Last edited by Prod Guy (September 15, 2020 10:37 pm)

 

September 15, 2020 10:34 pm  #15


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

RadioActive wrote:

This continues to drive me crazy. I'm not 100% sure, but I think Disney+ is the only OTT (over the top) service that's the same in both countries. Netflix Canada is different from its U.S. counterpart, enough that it was forced to take action to block Canadians using a VPN to try and access the American version. The others, as mentioned, are either not available here at all or are missing some of their best shows, having sold off the rights to local providers.     

I don't subscribe to any streaming service as yet, and this is one of the reasons why. To me, it's similar to my objections to simsub. And while I fully understand why it happens, I can't stand the fact that because we live on the wrong side of the border, we can't watch the full service. Although they're very happy to take our money and give us less for it.

I'm not interested in Netflix-Lite or part of the best of HBO. I want the whole thing or none of it and they should hold onto the North American rights for everything, instead of Crave-nly (see what I did there?) selling all the good stuff to Bell.    

There's an old expression that says "you get what you pay for." But not, apparently, if you live in Canada and want to see the full gamut of everything on a U.S. streaming service. 

you can still get USA Netflix using a VPN. 

 

September 16, 2020 1:39 am  #16


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

paterson1 wrote:

 And right now I doubt that CTV or Global are even profitable, and likely haven't been for a a while.

One might argue that while Global (specific) is not all that much profitable, some of the programming content is.  They're going ahead with more Big Brother Canada. 
It's one unique program where, when done right, it's also quietly an infomercial for Leon's (or sister store Brick) 

Product placement is the best way to make money in today's times. Look at all that wonderful furniture in the house!  Doesn't it make you want to go out and buy some of that furniture for yourself? 

"Slop" needs to go back to PB & J (as it was years ago) but instead of calling it PB & J, call it Smuckers & Jiff.  
(even if it's just for one episode as a treat to those on slop, lol) 

HEY? Now that MEC is going into new hands, if that store is going to stick around as a sporting goods/clothing store, maybe THEY can sponsor CTV's Amazing race Canada...just a thought...if the money is even there! 
I doubt Canadian tire would be interested in sponsoring with any SportChek or Mark's clothing...product placement would indeed be very smart though...it's how I see the future of television in a world where people record the show and just fast forward through the ads.


 

 

September 16, 2020 6:11 am  #17


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with simsub if you received the entire show. As RA pointed out Canadian broadcasting laws allow more commercial time than in the U.S. In prime time I believe it is 12 minutes vs 8. Ever wonder why in Canada you never see "Stay tuned for scenes from next week's episode" Gotta get that extra ad in. Then we have the idiots at Rogers who don't switch back on time. This happens mostly during NFL games.The main game ends early and CBS/FOX switches to the backup game still being played. Here in Canada, we are stuck with the talking heads at Sportsnet. FINALLY, someone notices and the switch is made.                                                               Regarding the days of two chances to watch your favourite show, I remember it well. Gunsmoke Wed on CHCH or Sat on WBEN. The U.S. networks didn't own the shows back then. The Warner Brothers and Paramounts did. So when CBC, CTV AND CHCH came with their shopping list every fall, they requested and received pre-release rights as a condition of sale. The studios didn't care. Just another sale to them.

 

September 16, 2020 8:23 am  #18


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

The commercial minutes allowed per hour in Canada and the US are the same. Back in the  60's and 70's we had more but that isn't the case now.  Most Canadian stations put in another promo where the "scenes from next week" would run, or they have used up that time with "this show may contain language and violence that some viewers may find offensive...viewer discretion advised.." which can run out of every commercial break. US networks don't do this as much as Canadian networks. I have seen the scenes from next week's episode on Canadian TV before but rarely.

 

September 16, 2020 8:30 am  #19


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

I agree with paterson1 - this extra spot time used to be a thing in Canada, but at some point, it changed. But it was an extreme annoyance to me back in the day, and I can only imagine how people who were on cable and aware of it felt. They weren't given the option to watch the full broadcast on the American station, another thing that drove me crazy about simsub.  

I always felt that if I were going to invest an hour of my time to watch a TV show, I want to see the whole thing, and not what some editor decides I can live without in the story because he or she needs to cut it for time. 

So as noted, no longer a real issue, but it still annoys me to this day that they did it. (I hold grudges way too long!)

     Thread Starter
 

September 16, 2020 9:47 am  #20


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

I think that was part of the deal with simsub.  When it came in the Canadian networks then had the same commercial time as US networks, or did soon after.  They were getting all of the audience now, for any show broadcast in Canada and rates would have increased and they decreased commercial minutes.

 

Yesterday 12:34 am  #21


Re: "CBS All Access" Changing Its Name - & Some Of Its Programming

News and sports channels and discretionary services are limited to 12 minutes per hour.
Other than that there's no limit.

Last edited by Prod Guy (Yesterday 12:34 am)