Friday, August 29, 2008

Winnipeg TV Stations Part 2

JoyTV starts operations this week. In its former incarnation as Omni 11, it made a commitment to just 2.5 hours per week of first run locally produced content. You read that right: 2.5 hours a week.

From Rogers news release in 2006:

Once OMNI TV Manitoba launches to over 900,000 viewers, audiences will be treated each week to 2.5 hours of first run locally created single faith productions. The schedule will also include faith based programming such as Israel Today, Muslim Chronicles, Sat Sri Akal, Islam Today and the Mahabharata series. All time favorites such as Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Home Improvement, King of Queens and Touched by an Angel make up the primetime weeknight line-up. OMNI TV Manitoba combined with OMNI TV BC has promised just under $1million for the independent production of religious and faith based documentaries.

At the time of its sale in 2008, Omni still hadn't contributed much to local programming. There were a few faith-based programs but most of the Canadian programming, what little there was, came from elsewhere. Most worrying was no attempt at a local news program of any sort. The OMNI stations in both Vancouver and Toronto did a far better job in that regard.

The rebranding of Omni to Joytv in September of 2008 doesn't look to change the local commitment to production. An examination of the programming shows most of the faith-based productions originate elsewhere. I'd be hard pressed to say whether the station is going to do any better than 2.5 hours a week of local production.

To pad out its day, Joytv will be running syndicated programs such as Happy Days and The Waltons. Unlike Omni, they will have some first run programs such as 60 Minutes and 48 Hour Mystery which they are simulcasting.

From 1 AM to 6:00 AM, Joytv is airing paid infomercials.

Winnipeg deserves more from what is supposed to be a local station. More local programming should be done in Winnipeg, especially news programming.

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