Fall TV Season Update from Rogers Media

November 26, 2019
Shannon Schafer

As we enter the home stretch of the Fall TV Season, we thought it would be interesting to get an update from the Executive leadership of the respective Canadian Broadcast Partners.

We sat down with Brad Kubota, Vice President, Western Canada Media Sales & Client Solutions at Rogers Communications, to get his thoughts on how the Fall TV season is going for Rogers:

How is the Fall Season going for your network so far?
We’ve been super happy with demand for conventional tv this year, and we saw that demand carry right through the fall up to the end of the year.  Overall, our schedule is on projections, with a few strong performances and a few softer properties.

Program audience surprises?
Chicago Series Wednesday night has seen some very strong numbers, and has helped lift our entire prime time performance.

Program audience disappointments?
Bluff City Law has had a tough fall, especially having to up against The Good Doctor

Which new and returning shows are doing best?
Dancing with the Stars continues to be a great property for us. And Bless the Harts has already had a season 2 pick-up from Fox

What’s the biggest change in the TV industry that you’ve seen in the last 3 years?
TV has really gone though a renaissance over the last 2-3 years. Advertisers have realized that there’s no substitute for TV if you need to quickly build brands and get a broad message out. We’re telling all our clients to plan and execute tv as far in advance as you can, especially if you need selective market ratings.

What do you think the biggest change will be 3 years from now?
No question we’re headed towards some level of automation and addressability over the next 3-4 years.

How has PVR usage impacted you as a broadcaster?
Almost 90% of all tv is still watched live. And we’ve seen PVR HH penetration plateau at around 55% over the last few years. So PVR’s never really did materialize as the medium killer it was going to be.

What is your own personal favorite TV show on your own Network?
You can’t beat NHL hockey for me – whether it’s on Sportnet or HNIC.

Do you have a favorite TV show on another Network?
I’m a huge CBC The National viewer. I think it’s one of the most important programs on tv for Canadians.

How is the NHL and MLB sports programming performing for Rogers vs expectations?
We’re seeing Canucks/Oilers/Flames and Leafs solidly in top 10 rankers in their respective markets. Canucks have especially been the big audience surprise so far this season. Overall, we are over indexing to our projections.  MLB/The Jays are back to their core viewer levels from before, so there’s always solid value there. The level of fan engagement will always be related to the product on the field.

Thanks very much Brad, we appreciate your time.