Ismé Bennie, director of programming and acquisitions for Bravo! and Space, Canada
CHUM Television’s Bennie says there are both big and little things distributors can do to make her life easier as a buyer. Giving her advance notice on new programming is a big plus, just as long as this new info doesn’t come with an unsolicited screener. ‘It’s always best to send me the information and then ask me if I want a screener.’ Although she says it’s a small matter, if she does ask for a tape, label it properly. Adding the length of the program, the year it was made and whether the tape is NTSC or PAL can make a difference.
One of the issues she continues to face with newer distributors is a misunderstanding of the Canadian marketplace. She says dealing with localized distributors helps shave time off the deal, but for those companies without a representative in the Great White North, a little research can go a long way. ‘There’s border spillover, the fact that Canadian cable channels are unique but small, and withholding taxes… things would be a lot smoother if distributors learned this before,’ she says.
When pressed, Bennie gives a final beef about distributors who attempt to change the deal once it has been struck. ‘Issues always come up and that’s fine, but don’t be niggling over the deal once we’ve agreed to major parts.’