CTV unleashes broadband strategy to keep Degrassi relevant with cyber audiences

Degrassi is growing up - not just as a series, but as a brand. At 25, the Degrassi name continues to draw in viewers, and CTV is hoping to keep the numbers strong with a multiplatform approach.

CTV is pushing the broadband elements of Degrassi: The Next Generation in a bid to keep the series’ ratings high for its sixth season, kicking off this month. Last season, the Degrassi brand marked its 25th anniversary, 100th episode, and the first time it hit more than one million viewers. Overall, season five saw an 11% increase in viewership, with double digit increases in the key A18-34, A18-49 and A25-54 demos (average 2+ audience of 733,000 for each episode).

The sixth season premieres on-air Nov. 28 with back-to-back episodes (8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. ET), but CTV is continuing a recent trend with a decision to put the first episode online one week in advance. In a move designed to reignite audience buzz, the CTV Broadband Network (at CTV.ca) will begin streaming the season premiere Tuesday, Nov. 21 (noon ET). The coming 19 episodes will be supported with various exclusives on broadband, including 19 scripted webisodes (dubbed ‘Degrassi Minis’), 19 behind-the-scenes documentaries (‘Degrassi: On the Set’), two animated shorts (‘Degrassi Mangasodes’), and 40 on-demand bonus elements to be rolled out during the season. CTV also expects the success of season six to get an extra boost from the recent launch of Degrassi: Extra Credit, a line of graphic novels expanding on plotlines in the series.