My first business venture : The Canadian Public

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Francois Caron, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    EDIT: The decision is in! See post #22.

    It's time for me to try something new in my life. And I've come up with a doozy!

    Last week, I've applied for a Category 2 digital television license with the CRTC, Canada's equivalent of the FCC in the USA. What I'm proposing is something that probably has never been seen on English Canadian television. Here's a brief summary of the new channel as written in the license application.


    Originally, I thought this idea was totally crazy which is probably why I wanted to fill out a license application for it. [​IMG] But the more I discuss this idea with others, the more they like it. So it may not be as crazy as I thought.

    Any opinions? Thoughts? Recommendations for treatment? [​IMG]

    The channel's official Web site is http://www.thecanadianpublic.com .
     
  2. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    Sort of like a Americas Funniest Home Videos channel, or Cannes Film Festival channel put together into one. Sounds like fun. If it takes off, and the quality is high, you might get film proffesionals wanting to contact some of these folk [​IMG].

    One thing I wonder, though. I always joke with my Canadian friend about stuff....like why certain letters are added to our words...(flavor, vrs flavour for instance [​IMG] ), or why you use that different measuring system [​IMG].

    But one thing I never did understand is the 'Canadian content' law. Why must so much broadcasting time be devoted to it?

    Either way, good luck with it! Sounds like it could be a huge hit
     
  3. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    Sounds like Google's channel, "Current." I watch that all the timel, good stuff.
     
  4. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Just to be fair...its likely more accurate to say you guys are dropping letters from our (aka England's English) then us adding letters to 'your' words [​IMG]

    Good luck with the channel Francois!
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    That's a heck of a second career idea! I hope you are successful.

    Do you have prior experience in broadcasting? What got you thinking about creating your own TV station?
     
  6. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I do like the idea, although I wish someone would also include mining the NFB archives for material as well, since there is a lot of good content that is just rotting away there.
     
  7. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    They'll be invited to participate in this endeavour. After all, they do have first-run movies in their collection. And it would be interesting to broadcast a lot of their old war propaganda films (that's why the NFB was created).

    Once the documents are available on the CRTC Web site, I'll supply links in the first post of this thread. I don't want to release the documents before I know for sure the CRTC is seriously considering the proposal.

    Thanks for all your support!
     
  8. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    I don't really care if I have no prior experience in broadcasting. In fact, it may be an advantage. I don't intend to "play by the rules". I'd much rather rewrite them from scratch. In fact, one of my ideas is to use BitTorrent to redistribute the shows on the Internet at no charge and with no DRM or copy protection crap.
    >>>

    I'm all for you right there. If you can make it work, and spread it to the rest of canda, hopefully the idiots in the US will see it and take the example to heart.
     
  9. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    As an English-speaking United States national, I'm all for this. Honestly, most Americans seem to have an attitude that Canada is something of a cultural wasteland, and all Anglophone Canadians seem to be able to do is to point out, endlessly, that Neil Young and Bachman-Turner Overdrive are from Canada. There has to be something in a country that size besides Anne of Green Gables and "The Red Greene Show".

    I have similar complaints about Great Britain some days. The Hollywood entertainment isn't very good grade at all, in my view, and what's coming from the rest of the English-speaking world doesn't seem to help at all.
     
  10. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    Ummm, not to be a wet blanket, but how are you planning to create a profitable income stream? How many sponsors do you have already lined up? What sort of time commitment have they given you? How will you find audience? What sort of advertizing budget do you have? What innovative ways have you considered to create public interest in your content? How large is your broadcast area, what demographics are in it, which ones do you plan to target and what is yout plan to reach them?
     
  11. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Lining up specific sponsors is not part of the business plan. Technically, the station won't even have a proper sales department. The on-line auction site will render this obsolete. All potential advertisers will be required to bid for their preferred advertising spots. And I won't have any restrictions on who bids for which spots unless the parental rating of the proposed commercial conflicts with the parental rating of the scheduled TV show.

    The broadcast area is technically worldwide, but it's officially across Canada. This is a free-to-air service available to anyone who can receive the signal. The service will also be distributed free of charge to any cable and satellite service willing to redistribute the service to their clients for free.

    The target demographic is non-specific. I'd rather concentrate on offering fresh new programming to all Canadians, and not just for the demographic that has the highest disposable income. In the last few years, by targeting only the most profitable demographic out there, Canada and the USA have produced an incredible mass of horrendous movies, TV shows and music geared for the average 15 year old moron. However, even the 15 year olds are saying enough is enough and are tuning out.

    I've already done some preliminary research on the station's estimated operating costs versus the projected advertising revenue. Assuming I sell every advertising spot during a 12 hour broadcast day at a minimum of $10 per 30 second spot, the station has a profit potential of $300K in its first year of operation.

    As for creating public interest and building a future audience, I'm doing it right now by starting this thread. I plan to post similar threads on Canadian based forums to build up more interest in the project. Advertising on any other media platform will be close to impossible. I can't advertise on other networks since they're technically the competition. I also can't advertise in the major newspapers because today they're owned by the same corporations that own the competing television networks.

    Hm. Is what I'm doing now a violation of the forum rules? Technically I'm advertising a future product or service, and I'm not paying HTF anything for the time. Excuse me while I report myself to the administrators. [​IMG]

    UPDATE. I've received a reply from the CRTC this week. My applications is incomplete, but they did read the summary brief and they really liked what I was proposing. My main contact gave me plenty of information on what I need to do at this stage to properly complete the application and increase the chances of having it approved.

    Once the application is officially published in the Canada Gazette and the CRTC Web site, there will be a call for comments from the general public. Later, I will be asked to reply to any questions brought up by the commission and the general public. The commission will then come to a final decision on the license application, either approving or rejecting it.

    If anyone is wondering how much all of this is costing me, the total bill up to now is sixty bucks. Twenty bucks to print copies of the application, and forty bucks for the domain names. Applying for a CRTC license costs you absolutely nothing.

    I'm definitely making progress!
     
  12. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    Francois;

    I would suggest you contact a local advertizing agency, or television station and cable providor and ask for a broadcast television rate sheet and a cable television rate sheet. Seldom does a station sell 100% of their ad-time on a per-slot basis. That is why they developed ROS schedules. In this way their less appealing time slots get attached to the more appealing slots and nets out better than if they gave away their less appealing slots for a song.

    Once you start putting up real money outlays for the station I'd suggest you immediately seek out advertizer indications of interest. If you could get support for one or two primary advertizers you could buy yourself considerable comfort - not to mention a tie-in promotion which would benefit you as well as the advertizer.

    Imagine - "Canadian Weeks' brought to you by "Walter's Hardware Chain" then make a theme of the commercials - Find Walter. Walter could be a college student employee or whatever. He hands out 10% off coupons with an individual code. At the end of the campaign you broadcast one coupon's code and the winner receives a $1000 shopping spree, table saw, trip to Cuba, or whatever.
    You get signage in the store, Walter gets cheap ads and measurable results. You get to identify your market.

    Not bad for shooting from the hip, no? Whatever advertizer you find you can customize the promotion. Just be a bit creative.

    If you want any chance of selling ads you have to define your viewers. Advertizers are paying for access to viewers - not shows. You'll find they are are quite difficult to part from their budget dollars - but nearly impossible without knowing the audience. You'll have to almost give away your ads in the beginning.
     
  13. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    I don't know, I think there's room to explore the possibilities of business models which, for some reason of historical accident, haven't been used. Let the advertisers themselves decide what they think the market is for the programmes! Sell all the spots on a per-slot basis! What's the worst that could happen? Low-ball prices for the "undesirable" slots, because nobody's going to pass up a chance at cheap TV time — it won't go unsold.
     
  14. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    If you want any chance of selling ads you have to define your viewers. Advertizers are paying for access to viewers - not shows. You'll find thare are quite difficult to part from their budget - but nearly impossible without knowing the audience. You'll have to almost give away your ads in the beginning.>>>>

    I still marvel that adds have worked for as long as they have, without people growing super tired of them. Although, I will say the folks at Cartoon Network need to do a better job of selling their airspace. Very few people 20-40 watch that network, and even rarer people 60-80. I saw a 'I've Fallen, and I can't get up' add, and I laughed as I turned the channel. No one is going to be interested in seeing that on that network.. Get a serialized cereal commercial in there or something..
     
  15. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    I want to limit the amount of advertising on the station and cut out the excessive cross-advertising and product placement we've been seeing recently on Canadian and American networks. I won't even put a station bug on the screen. I want the shows to remain uncluttered, free to express themselves on their own time without being interrupted by as much as an obnoxious pop-up ad. At most, I'll allow location identification such as for the talk show idea I have in mind, but that's it!

    At $10 per spot, advertisers can take a chance, and the station can be profitable. And there are no restrictions on who can advertise as long as the product is legitimate and legal. You want to sell your old couch on our station? Go right ahead! I'll even set up a classified ads section! Hell, I'll even give you a rebate if the ad is actually funny!

    Enough with the outdated advertising methods! It's time to try new things dammit! [​IMG]
     
  16. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    Enough with the outdated advertising methods! It's time to try new things dammit! [​IMG]>>>

    Put this man in charge of the nations TV! viva La Canada! [​IMG]. Just don't get the executive attitude when you are sullied by years of experience [​IMG].
     
  17. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Cinematographer

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    As a lifelong supporter of the Canadian Arts, I would definately watch this channel.

    cheers!

    Josh
     
  18. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    The full application has been officially published! You'll find it at http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/He...6/n2006-11.htm . Canadians have until November 23rd 2006 to submit comments on the proposed channel. Most of the application is routine paperwork except for the file "docs-649052-2006-0898-7 - Add Info - Doc02 Appendix 1A Supplementary Brief.DOC". That's the complete description of the proposed service in my own words.
     
  19. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    If this takes off I might want to work for you. Someone definitely needs to try something like this in the US. If I had the money to do it, I'd start my own independent TV station and show movies, syndicated shows and local programming, kind of like in the movie "UHF". Too many stations are owned by the big corporations now and don't care about the communities they're supposed to serve.

    If you really sell commercial spots for $20, I'll buy a few just for the hell of it!!
     
  20. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    That TEN bucks per spot! Not twenty! Don't go SUV on me! [​IMG]

    Thanks for your support!
     

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