TORONTO - Special events are a marketer’s dream; if they can get an accurate count of how many are watching. It’s even better if they can break down viewers into segments. The Election 2019 coverage of October 21 is one such example.
Bell Media (which owns or controls CTV, CTV News Channel, BNN and Bloomberg News) jumped quickly off the mark on October 22 to claim first prize as the media of choice for Canadians. It cited Numeris, a media monitoring agency, which noted that its networks attracted an average audience of 1.6 million viewers over a seven-hour period from 7 pm to 2 am.
CBC, the publicly funded network -to the tune of $1.7 billion annually attracted fewer: 1.1 million. Global, according to Numeris, registered a considerably smaller number at 470,000.
All three of them had weeks and months to prepare and advertise the coverage. They also had print media affiliates or allies to promote their product. For example, CTV’s relationship with the Globe and Mail and Thompson Reuters allowed them to access their readers for advance publicity. The Toronto Star and its affiliates collaborate closely with the CBC. And Global is part of the National Post, Sun chain of newspapers.
What this means is that of the 22 million Canadians who identified themselves as Anglophones in the last census only 3.2 million tuned in – just under 15% of the total potential. CBC reached 5% of that total. CTV obtained 7.3% and Global 2.2% of the market (number may not add up due to rounding).
Neither the 7.2 million Francophones, nor the 7.7 million Allophones are assumed to figure in the totals. Francophones had at least two of their own news outlets (RDI and TVA) while the Allophones have none. Maybe they tuned into the networks above, in which case the percentages of reachable [anglophone] audience is reduced by as much as 25%.
The Corriere Canadese, which operates completely independent of any federal or provincial subsidies, provided its own coverage of the election aimed only at an Italian- speaking audience.
It can only provide the service via online IPTV.
We offered the service over a 2.5-hour period, reaching 12,700 on Facebook (5,384 views), prompting in excess of 2,000 engagements; and a further 5,900 on our other social media platforms. Those who subscribe, buy or read our paper know that we advertised the service for two days only. Idem on our social media.
Typically, we reach approximately 150,000/per month on our digital platforms (4,000+ on FB daily). That number is roughly the equivalent of the number of Italian speakers identified by Census Canada and reported by StatsCan in 2017 as resident in Ontario alone. There are approximately 320,000 in all of Canada. One million five hundred thousand Canadians self-identified as ethnic Italians.
We can’t reach all of them …yet. Our coverage of Election night suggests a reawakening of pride in our own identity and our own perspectives on Canada: 10% of our monthly Facebook followers tuned in to our Corriere IPTV channel for that one night.; 8.5% Italian speakers in Ontario would seem to have followed our coverage of election night.
These are encouraging numbers given that Corriere receives no financial support from either of the two senior levels of government. Yet 92 of the 338 seats in the Commons of Canada represent constituencies that have 5,000 or more self-identified Italians.