CRTC ups ad minutes, levels playing field for Télé-Québec

Although technically the Montreal-based station is conventional, Quebec media buyers consider Télé-Québec a specialty channel in terms of programming and reach. So they weren't too excited when TQ got the green light to add four ad minutes per hour. Still, says one strategist, opps have increased for marketers interested in aligning with high-end niche programming.

Just before ’06 ended, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approved Télé-Québec’s application to increase its advertising minutes per hour from 8 to 12, and to remove the current cap of 800 minutes per week. But Montreal-based Melody Daly, director of media buying for Marketel, says the news didn’t exactly excite her or her professional colleagues.

‘Télé-Québec is considered a conventional station. But by the nature of their programming and share, we consider them specialty and we buy them that way. So our point of view is that the increased (ad) minutes simply puts the station on a level playing field (with its competitors).’

TQ’s programming mix, says Daly, is ‘sort of like TVOntario’s – a lot of documentaries, travel shows, internationally themed movies about things like what’s going on with AIDS in Africa, or with climate change. It’s very niche, but it’s also very high-end, so we tend to buy on Télé-Québec when we have clients who want exposure in very specific programs.’