Radio-Canada site echoes Hulu

The new online service from Radio Canada will offer French programming for free on an ad-supported, website.

Will Quebecers eventually turn off their TVs and switch on their laptops to watch the latest episode of Les Boys or reruns of the province’s first teleroman, La Famille Plouffe?

Radio-Canada thinks so. Billing it a ‘new way to watch TV,’ the network has launched – a video site that streams in high definition several of its programs, as well as those of French broadcasters from here and around the globe, including Télé-Québec, TV5 Monde, ARTV, RTS in Switzerland and Belgium’s RTBF.

‘Everything is free,’ explains SRC director of internet and digital services Geneviève Rossier. ‘We are aware that people aren’t necessarily sitting down for their weekly or daily ‘rendez-vous’ with a program, so we want to make our content accessible.’

‘And the time was right. We believe that if we didn’t try to launch a francophone site in our territory someone else would have,’ Rossier adds.

The private networks TVA and V are not partners in Its name is a play on the French ‘tout’ for ‘all.’

Over 2,000 hours of programming are available – with banner and video ads before and during shows, although Rossier admits the website doesn’t have the revenue-generating potential of the magic box. ‘As the saying goes, ‘On TV we talk about advertising dollars, on the internet it’s pennies.”

Programs currently on the SRC schedule will be available online after they are broadcast, but other shows such as Marc Labrèche’s humorous 3600 seconds d’extase have several seasons available for viewing.

The launch puts SRC miles ahead of CBC, which broadcasts limited programming through ‘For us, this is a whole new platform, and the content we will offer is far greater,’ says Rossier.

SRC partly modelled on the BBC’s video player and, which streams video from NBC, Fox and ABC.

Some of this province’s most successful TV-makers are on board the ship including: Aetios, Casablanca, Cirrus, Jimmy Lee, La Presse Télé, Pixcom and Sphère Média Plus.

From Playback Daily