The construction holiday may be over, but the summer audiovisual schedules haven’t said their last word yet. In the age of video-on-demand platforms, duty I wondered what the great place of cinema on the summer television waves was.
A few hours after the disappearance of actress Olivia Newton-John was announced on Monday, Télé-Québec channel hesitated on its programming to present it. fatthe musical revealed in 1978, next Saturday in prime time.
This movie is one of those beacons – the classics of the sevene Art, Domestic and International – which is broadcast by the public television channel all summer long, five evenings a week, which provides it with rates above its annual average. In 2021, it saw its market share drop from an average of 3.6% during peak times to 4.8% during the summer season.
We all need to tell good stories
“Cinema brings consistency in terms of audience to Télé-Québec,” said Ian Oliveri, content manager for the broadcaster’s consumer content division. And to add: “With our linear programming and our cultural and educational mandate, cinema is always relevant. Thanks to our very important organizational work, we aim to combine quality for the general public.”
“We all need to tell good stories,” believes Mr. Oliveri, who sees this summer film event as an opportunity to introduce Quebecers to good films of all kinds. “At Télé-Québec, we offer a variety of feature films from very different eras. In the same week, audiences will have access to the old Sergio Leone, but also to science fiction, comedy, drama or even a modern Quebec thriller. Days are dedicated Sunday is also generally for films from here, where it’s really earned its bad reputation. “Summer, like the holiday season, is the time of year when we release our biggest titles, the movies with the greatest potential in terms of audiences,” he says.
On Radio Canada too, Canadian and Quebec films are guaranteed to get better ratings. “On our summer schedule, the Cinema Fund is given out on the weekends, often on Friday evenings,” explains Danny Melol, General Manager of Radio Canada Television. And the time period is doing well: The public broadcaster went from an average of 220,000 viewers on Friday evenings in 2021 to 260,000 this year. “In addition to this significant improvement, we know that listening is particularly lively. And that leads us to believe that there is real interest from the public in this meeting.”
On Radio Canada as on Télé-Québec, optimism for the future of cinema is on the airwaves.
This summer, Télé-Québec offers its viewers, among other things, Quebec films such as Great seductionBy Jean Francois Beaulieu, Sarov: A man and his sinby Charles Benami, and firesWritten by Denis Villeneuve. Luke Derry, co-producer of this latest film, is delighted: According to the founder and president of micro_scope, this television show is an essential complement to cinemas and on-demand broadcasts, making it possible to reach the largest number of viewers. onlookers.
Danny Melloul shares this view. “People are used to picking up content when they want to, but when we create an appointment, the viewers are there. I also think that freedom of access is a critical component,” said Radio Canada General Manager.
Luke Deere remembers that toofires It attracted nearly a million people when it first aired on TV in 2014. “When you consider that the movie was a huge hit when it was released in cinemas, the box office in Quebec is a relief,” the producer says. “what or whatfires Broadcasting television even today allows people to watch it a second time, and then a third time, which is not favored by the large number of content on the platforms. »
Not to mention that traditional television still has an audience, he notes. “We don’t necessarily realize it, but there are also a lot of people who are not yet involved on Netflix, Crave and the company. According to a survey conducted by the Academy of Digital Transformation (ATN) at Université Laval in January 2022, 57% of Quebecers said they had subscribed to Netflix, and 16% in Club illico, 9% in ICI Tou.tv Extra and 8% in Strongly Wanted.
“Quebec adults between the ages of 18 and 54 are […] They are more likely to subscribe to at least one paid service to watch movies or series online, while subscribing to a cable or fiber-optic TV service is more popular among adults aged 55 and over,” notes Bruno Guglielmenetti, a spokesperson for NETendances Surveys. in ATN. Data that appears to support audience success at summer movie nights in Télé-Québec: During the spring and summer of 2021 and 2022, nearly 60% of viewers in this time period were over the age of 55.
Excellent performances of great cinema classics on television also give programmers the opportunity to present films with a special signature. “ watchdogBy Sophie Dupuis I killed my motherby Xavier Dolan and MechanicalBy René Beaulieu, for example, their place in Télé-Québec ”, says Ian Oliveri. We want to give the audience a taste of cinema by taking a risk: summer makes it possible. »
With this in mind, TV Quebec made a bold public Adele’s life Directed by the French director Abdellatif Kechichewonderful womanwhere Chilean director Sebastian Lelio chronicles the life of a trans woman – a source of pride for Mr. Oliveri.
Finally, from a more realistic point of view, we cannot ignore the place of income from broadcast television licenses in the Quebec film production equation. “This guarantees a certain income to distributors, who can then share it with producers and investors if the receipts are sufficient,” Luke Deere explains. A mechanism that then makes it possible to develop new projects that will also have their place on summer television.