Implications of the SAG and WGA Strikes on Canadian Media Planning & Buying

July, 2023

What’s Happening

The main issue at hand is the desire by writers to be compensated appropriately for how content is written, produced, distributed, and monetized in today’s world where streaming is so prominent. Additionally, protections are being sought around the use of Artificial Intelligence.

The last writer’s strike took place from Nov ’07 →Feb ’08, in the middle of the TV season, significantly disrupting the post-holiday premieres of new shows and the return of new episodes in January. Networks quickly moved to fill the void via heavy doses of reality tv. But in 2023, we are in a vastly different landscape. Unscripted TV genres like reality and game shows are mainstream and networks have fewer scripted series than ever before. Programs also operate on a less rigid schedule of originals and repeats.

The “pain” of the strike will likely not be felt in linear or streaming for some time, but the likelihood of a very prolonged work stoppage is high, potentially exceeding the last strike in 07/08.

To read the full report, click ‘Download PDF’

How marketers can protect campaigns:

  • Networks will fill gaps in their schedules with reality programming and game shows as well as
    Canadian originals in place of US scripted content. In the short term, we anticipate originally estimated audiences to be recouped by these replacement programs.
  • The fall season also brings an array of live sports programming with NFL, MLB Playoffs and NBA/NHL season starts. For broadcasters with sports assets, this will allow for ample makegoods and/or spend re-expression into sports programming.
  • Within streaming, marketers should look to AVOD services whose existing model is a library of content, as an alternative to SVOD streamers that might lose some viewership due to lack of original programming.

To read the full report, click ‘Download PDF’ below.

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