With the 2018/19 broadcast season now at a close, Bell Media’s Entertainment Specialty channels have achieved record growth with several of its core services setting new audience records.
Most notably, The Comedy Network becomes Canada’s most-watched entertainment specialty service finishing with a record 61% growth in the advertiser-coveted A18-49 audience, and surging to land the #1 spot atop Canada’s Entertainment channel rankings. The record growth was powered by an incredible 81% year-over-year increase among Females 18-49, according to final data from Numeris. The news follows the retooling of The Comedy Network’s primetime and daytime lineups last year, which saw the introduction of several new big-buzz iconic comedy franchises delivered in a new binge-inducing scheduling strategy, all supercharged by new tent pole series like the record-breaking original CORNER GAS ANIMATED.
The record year for Comedy wasn’t the only bright spot for Bell Media’s entertainment portfolio which, in aggregate, grew its audience by a leading 21% year-over-year (A18-49) in 2018/19, eclipsing the universal audience growth in the sector (Total Viewers, A18-49). Lead by THE HANDMAID’S TALE, KILLING EVE, and more, Bravo grew its core A18-49 audience by 26%, again led by a surge in female viewing (up 41% W18-49), making it the most-watched year on record for Bravo. Similarly, Gusto also boasts its best year on record, reporting a staggering 49% increase for A18-49. Other services with growth include Discovery (up 23%), Space (up 2%), MUCH (up 7%), E! (up 12%), and MTV (up 19%).
Today’s news comes one day ahead of the launch of four newly branded services, each leveraging Canada’s powerful #1 CTV brand. The Comedy Network, Space, Bravo, and Gusto become CTV Comedy Channel, CTV Sci-Fi Channel, CTV Drama Channel, and CTV Life Channel, respectively.
Below are highlights for the channels:
The Comedy Network (CTV Comedy Channel)
For the first time ever, Comedy has become the #1 entertainment specialty channel among its key adult demos, boasting its most-watched broadcast year on record for total viewers, A18-49 and 25-54. Thanks in part to the year-over-year growth of its topical programs FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE, THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH, and THE JIM JEFFERIES SHOW, the channel is #1 in absolute audience growth among all key adult demos.
Bravo (CTV Drama Channel)
Bravo had its most-watched broadcast year ever for A18-19 and is up 26% over the last year. Also demonstrating momentum, it is #2 in absolute audience growth among A18-49. Continuing to rank among the Top 10 specialty channels for total viewers, A18-49 and A25-54, Bravo holds court in the Top 5 for its core W25-54 and W18-49 demos.
Space (CTV Sci-Fi Channel)
Experiencing growth across its key demos, Space posted at 9% increase in the key A25-54 demo and remains a Top 3 channel. Its marquee program STAR TREK: DISCOVERY remains a Top 3 entertainment specialty series.
Gusto (CTV Life Channel)
Breaking records with a whopping 45% audience increase for A25-54, Gusto also boasts its most-watched broadcast year ever for total viewers, thanks to premium programming like JAMIE COOKS ITALY and ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY. Gusto rose six spots to land in the Top 20, making it the fastest-growing entertainment channel among A25-54. Original series DOG TALES RESCUE grew its audience in all key adult demos, and is a Top 5 premiere series on Gusto in primetime.
Click here for the newly unveiled Fall Programming lineup for the four CTV specialties which includes the premiere dates for new late night series GOOD TALK WITH ANTHONY JESELNIK (Friday, Sept. 13 at 11 pm. ET/PT, CTV Comedy Channel), Season 2 of the horror anthology series CASTLE ROCK (Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. ET, CTV Sci-Fi Channel), the 10-part Patrick Dempsey drama THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HARRY QUEBERT AFFAIR (Sunday, Sept 15 at 7 p.m. ET, CTV Drama Channel), and the highly anticipated launch of Jamie Oliver’s new series, JAMIE’S ULTIMATE VEG (Friday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. ET, CTV Life Channel).