Guess the JUNOs for a Vespa

CTV is giving audiences for this year's JUNO Awards a reason to rack up points by guessing winners online in real time with the broadcast.

As CTV’s live 2007 JUNOs coverage airs this Sunday – with singer Nelly Furtado hosting – the net’s inviting viewers to play along online for a shot at one of two Vespa scooters. Registering at the microsite and guessing who’s gonna win what award, as the show plays out on the tube, will enable contestants to rack up points. The interactive contest is sponsored by Frito Lay, TD Canada Trust and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Canada.

Last year’s JUNOs attracted about 1.225 million viewers to CTV, an increase over 2005′s audience of about 1.217 million (Nielsen, 2+). Numbers for the 2004 broadcast were higher, at about 1.343 million viewers.

CTV’s on-air programming strategy for the big night was changed at the last moment yesterday, making headlines across the country. Previously, the awards were scheduled to accommodate a two-hour episode of The Amazing Race coming from CBS in the US, which attracts about two million viewers weekly for CTV. The proposed scheduling drew complaints from the Canadian music community, through CARAS (the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences), that the awards were being treated second-best, after advertisers and US programming.

The live event in Saskatoon will now air 7-9 pm ET (8-10 pm in Atlantic Canada, 7-9 pm in Alberta, and 9-11 pm in BC, Saskatchewan and Manitoba). The awards show will follow a live 30-minute eTalk red carpet special at 6:30 pm ET. The broadband strategy includes an extended one-hour red carpet arrivals special, airing exclusively on and, starting at 7 pm ET on Sunday. eTalk and MTV Live hosts will team up for the live coverage.

This week, the net has been airing the nightly pre-show coverage Road to the JUNOs during eTalk, along with morning doses of JUNO buzz through Canada AM – much like the net’s on-air strategy for building Oscars buzz. The eTalk crew has also recruited celebrity blogger Perez Hilton (self-professed ‘Queen of all Media’ from L.A.) for Sunday’s live-at-the-scene coverage. Hilton will blog his coverage from the eTalk Pontiac Lounge backstage.

Canada AM will follow up on the JUNOs with a live broadcast the morning after, Monday, April 2. MTV has been airing JUNOs-related programming since March 26, and it’s using original Canadian series such as Cribs and Diary to take viewers behind the scenes with past JUNOs winners and nominees.

TSN will jump on the JUNO bandwagon with a hockey game special on Saturday, March 31 at noon ET. The fourth annual charity hockey game will pit the NHL Greats against The Rockers, complete with helmet-cams. The game raises bucks for the CARAS music education program, MusiCan, while leveraging the appeal of big sports and music names such as NHL Greats players Wendel Clark, Paul Coffey, Bob Probert and Rockers players Brent Butt, Jim Cuddy, Sam Roberts and Zack Werner.

The special will be hosted by Off the Record‘s Michael Landsberg. Highlights from it will air on TSN’s SportsCentre and the net’s NHL coverage that night. MTV will cover the fourth annual charity game in a one-hour special on Thursday, April 5 in the 6 pm ET time slot. CTV will air the same special the following Saturday, April 7 at 3 pm ET.

JUNOs sponsors include FACTOR, the Canada Music Fund, the Government of Saskatchewan, the City of Saskatoon, SaskTel and Radio Starmaker Fund. Broadcast sponsors are Acuvue, Bombardier, Doritos, Pontiac and TD Canada Trust.