Global Reality: the first dose

The newest Canwest channel makes the top-five specialty list in its debut weekend; marathons will mark weekend programming to come.

Who knew Big Brother would invoke such nostalgia?

Canwest’s newest specialty channel – and the first to be branded with the Global name – debuted July 1, programming the Sunday of its opening weekend with a Big Brother marathon that helped vault the channel into the top-five specialty rankings, according to BBM Canada PPM data.

The marathon was the highest rated programming with adults 18 to 49 during the channel’s first weekend, attracting an AMA of 11.3 with peak tune-in between 9 and 10 p.m., during which the AMA was 25.6 (BBM Canada).

The channel ranked fifth amongst Canadian specialty channels over the course of its first weekend, behind a quintessential long-weekend top-five that included National Geographic, Action, DIY Network, and Teletoon Retro, respectively.

In a conversation with MiC at the Canwest upfront presentation in June, Barb Williams, EVP content at Canwest Broadcasting, said that marathons would be a major part of the Global Reality programming strategy, noting that the mediaco’s research indicated a thirst for early seasons of popular reality shows like Big Brother and Survivor. The long-lasting popularity of reality TV, she elaborated further in an interview with strategy magazine, is a key reason Canwest chose the genre to build an entire channel behind.

Up and coming marathons on Global Reality this summer include season four of Top Chef and season one of Top Chef Masters on July 24 and 25, respectively; an ‘All Star Weekend’ of Survivor All Stars and Big Brother All Stars July 31 and Aug. 2, respectively; The Apprentice: Martha Stewart Aug. 7 and 8; Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Aug. 14 and 15; and season one of the Real Housewives of Atlanta and season three of Hell’s Kitchen on Aug. 21 and 22, respectively.

Global Reality is currently only available to Rogers Digital VIP customers, which has approximately one million subscribers.