TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - More than half of Canadian TV viewers polled said they would watch less TV if a prolonged writers strike in Hollywood leads to chronic reruns, an advertising buyer reported Tuesday.
Toronto-based M2 Universal asked 1,000 Canadians between December 8-10 whether the disruption would affect their TV viewing habits. Results showed that 53% said the strike would “negatively impact” their TV viewing habits. About 40% of respondents said they would watch the same amount of TV.
The poll results are critical to Canadian broadcasters because they are poised to issue make-goods, i.e. free advertising time, if ratings fall below guaranteed levels.
If, as anticipated, the American networks increasingly run more and more repeats beginning in January and February, Canadian over-the-air broadcasters like CTV, Global Television and E! Canada, whose lineups are tied inextricably to U.S. primetime schedules, will do the same.
Preparing for a prolonged writers strike, Canadian advertisers have drawn up contingency plans that include redeploying ad dollars into either popular U.S. reality series such as “Survivor” and “American Idol,” homegrown Canadian shows or alternative digital platforms.