Playback Magazine Honours Bell Media’s Discovery and MASTERCHEF CANADA as “Best of the Year”

— December 3, 2014

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TORONTO (December 3, 2014) – For the second year in a row, Bell Media has been honoured by Playback magazine with “Channel of the Year” and “Show of the Year,” as revealed in their Winter 2014 issue. Discovery was named Channel of the Year, recognized for its investment in a robust stable of original Canadian content and audience strength – including the male demos as highlighted by Playback – while CTV’s hit original series MASTERCHEF CANADA, produced by Proper Television, was named Show of the Year (Non-Scripted), in advance of its Season 2 return in Winter 2015. Playback also named Discovery’s production partner on COLD WATER COWBOYS, Paperny Entertainment, as Producer of the Year.

“We are immensely honoured to be acknowledged once again by Playback magazine,” said Kevin Crull, President, Bell Media. “We are very proud of the impressive gains Discovery has made this season, as well as the success of our original series MASTERCHEF CANADA from production partner Proper Television. Congratulations to everyone involved in this much-deserved recognition.”

Reclaiming its position as the #1 entertainment specialty channel in Canada among Adults 25-54 this season, Discovery was selected as Playback’s “Channel of the Year,” and cited for a range of landmark successes and achievements, particularly in its unique approach to Canadian programming as a significant source of ratings strength. Playback recognized the channel’s wide breadth of Canadian productions that underpin its programming strategy, including COLDWATER COWBOYS, produced in association with Playback’s “Producer of the Year”, Paperny Entertainment; CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, the channel’s highest performer for attracting a broad co-viewing audience; as well as GOLD RUSH, HIGHWAY THRU HELL, and DEADLIEST CATCH, all of which consistently draw strong co-viewing audiences.

As the network approaches its 20th anniversary on January 1, Discovery was also noted for its continued success reaching the sought-after M25-54 demographic and its impact on the increased rate of advertising integrations, citing Nissan’s alignment with SHARK WEEK, and Toyota’s product integration into HIGHWAY THRU HELL.

Named by Playback as Show of the Year (Non-Scripted), CTV’s hit original series MASTERCHEF CANADA had an average of 1.8 million viewers in its inaugural season. MASTERCHEF CANADA became the most-watched Canadian series in the country for the 2013/14 broadcast season, and is the first and only homegrown series in more than a decade to land in the Top 10 list for A25-54 and A18-49 during its winter broadcast. The CTV Brand Partnerships team worked closely with Kraft Canada, the premiere sponsor of the series, on innovative brand extensions and various in-show integrations. Kraft Canada won a bronze Media Innovation Award for Best Use Of Content, Content Integration for the partnership.

The series was so well received, CTV is debuting MASTERCHEF CANADA: A HOLIDAY SPECIAL, a first for the format internationally, on Monday, Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV. MASTERCHEF CANADA is produced by Proper Television in association with CTV, and the MASTERCHEF format is represented internationally by Shine International, the sales and distribution arm of Shine Group, and is based on a format originally created by Franc Roddam.


About Bell Media Independent Production

Bell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit CTV series include ratings success stories SAVING HOPE, THE LISTENER, MOTIVE, and THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, the record-breaking, Canadian-produced complementary version of the hit international series. New to CTV in 2014 are hit international format MASTERCHEF CANADA and multi-cam office comedy SPUN OUT, one of the most-watched new comedies of the season. Among the scripted series on Bell Media pay and specialty channels are the three-time Emmy®-nominated hit DEGRASSI, the internationally acclaimed ORPHAN BLACK, the most-watched original series in Space history BITTEN, Bravo’s most-watched new drama 19-2, TRANSPORTER – THE SERIES, dramedy SENSITIVE SKIN, and the upcoming KILLJOYS. Bell Media specialty channels are also home to hit factual series HIGHWAY THRU HELL and CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, among others.

About Bell Media

With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada's #1 television network; 35 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada's most-watched specialty channels in English and French; and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada's largest radio broadcaster, with 106 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across Canada. Bell Media owns Astral Out-of-Home, one of Canada's most dynamic and innovative out-of-home advertising companies with a network of more than 9,500 advertising faces in Québec, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its innovative GO video streaming services, including CTV GO, TMN GO, and TSN GO; holds an equity stake in digital startup Hubub; is partners in Cirque du Soleil Media, a joint venture with Cirque du Soleil; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit bellmedia.ca.

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Source: Numeris (BBM Canada)

For Discovery: Sept. 1, 2014 – Nov. 16, 2014.

For MASTERCHEF CANADA: Sept. 23, 2013 – May 25, 2014, final data, vs. equivalent weeks in previous years. CTV electronic audience databases and Top 20 records incorporate data beginning in 1994 and 2004, respectively. Audiences prior to August 31, 2009 based on BBM Nielsen Media Research Mark II meters.

For more information, please contact:

Christy Sullivan, CTV Networks, 416.384.3624 or christy.sullivan@bellmedia.ca

Renee Dupuis, CTV News, Bell Media Radio, and Discovery & Factual Networks, 416.384.3154 or renee.dupuis@bellmedia.ca