Some scary news for Country Music in Canada this morning….
UPDATE: – 2:25 pm EST Feb 8th…
So before things get blown out of proportion here, lets get things clear… CMT Canada isn’t going ANYWHERE. Yes they will have a slight change in programming but CMT is more in the business of COUNTRY Music today then they ever have been. And will continue to support our Canadian Country artists in the best way possible it may just take on a slightly different look. (My original source of material that was sent to me may have been a bit misleading but after talking to a couple industry folks I am not 100% sure what I originally read was correct!) And I know that CMT will continue to work with and support EVERYTHING Country! So we can all take a deep breath now and go back to watching our boy Paul McGuire rockin’ the interviews and hosting the Chevy Top 20.
It looks as though Corus Media (Owner of CMT Canada and many other TV Stations in Canada) has been given the OK from CRTC to cut the marketing and promotion of country music as of August 1st, 2016.
In Broadcast Decision 2016-39, the regulator also cleared the way for Country Music Television to amend its name and detach itself from its prior obligation to program Canadian country music videos.
CMT Canada launched back when I was just finishing up high school (’94) I can remember turning on the TV and watching HOURS of Country Music videos while in College. Times have changed and I guess the ONLINE portals such as SOUND CHECK have started to really put a dent into the CMT Market and likely put a damper on advertising dollars as well.
The idea behind CMT Canada was to program 90% country music videos much like Muchmusic or MTV back in the 90’s. But in 2006 that percent was reduced to 50% under the change though CMT Canada had to invest back into the production of ORIGINAL Canadian content. However since 2006 those numbers have changed again. With the station airing blocks of Country Music Videos rather than the standard 50%. They have aired shows such as America’s Funniest Home Videos and current shows like Ice Racer Showdown and Christley Knows Best. Its shows like the Chevy Top 20 hosted by the always entertaining Paul McGuire that will hurt the Canadian artists such as Johnny Reid, Tim Hicks, Jess Moskaluke and Brett Kissel to name a few. The Canadian artists were staples on the Chevy Top 20 and have to admit I tuned in regularly.
Corus Media says it has no plans immediately to change the channels name, but plans to focus the programming on more mainstream programs (Movies & Reality TV) along with some one off music programming specials (One Night Stand, The Spot & Live from the Edison Room are examples) . The shows will include programming owned through Corus Media’s newly launched Corus Live division.
CMT is already prominently promoting Corus Live’s first foray into the festival world with CMT Music Fest, taking place outside the GTA at Kitchener, ON’s Bingeman’s Park July 8-9th with Eric Church, Zac Brown Band and The Road Hammers along with a slew of other great Canadian Country acts.
What does this do for Country Music in Canada on a NATIONAL Level? That I am not really to sure yet. It is all still sinking in. If you’re looking for more of the LEGAL info you can read it here.
All we know here at Sound Check is that we will continue to be the leader in the ONLINE Portal for Country Music in Canada. With a dedicated staff and wanting to keep that LIVE MUSIC feel we will continue to produce our own Interviews & Mason Jar Sessions to help promote Country Music (both Canadian & American) across this great country of ours.
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76