CTV – Canada’s Drag Race

Producers of Etalk, Canada’s top-rated entertainment news programme, connected its fans to the broadcast of Canada’s Drag Race.

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The Project:

Watched by millions of viewers across the globe, producers of Etalk, Canada’s top-rated entertainment news programme, connected its fans to the exciting premiere broadcast of Canada’s Drag Race by streaming an exclusive Twitter experience titled “Can WeTalk About… Canada’s Drag Race”.

The Challenge:

The producers of eTalk, Canada’s top entertainment news-magazine show, wanted to create an experience where viewers could use social media to interact directly with the latest eliminated Drag Queen and presenters during the exclusive Twitter stream. As the show was taking place during lockdown in Toronto, remote production tools were required to feed content into control rooms, despite fewer staff members involved.

With the weekly show syndicated to many countries and broadcasters, including the BBC in the UK, show creators wanted to broaden audience engagement and reach, beyond standard programming. The production team from The Social, regular Dizplai users, recommended adding graphics to the show to create a broadcast-standard experience and reflect the primary content’s charisma, glitter and audience experience!

How we did it

For the broadcast experience, the production team fed the same system that CTV use for playout in other productions. While it was only destined for social media playout, the broadcast matched high TV values and increased audience participation as they watched. Viewers responded to calls to action from the show, using the hashtags #CanadasDragRace and #weTalkCDR, where the team used Dizplai’s social moderation engine and polling capabilities to search for, moderate and published the questions and poll results within the feed.

The Dizplai team reskinned existing graphics to match the look and feel of the broadcast, and devised a new full-screen poll option, with animated HTML background. These were accepted by the Etalk team in time for the first broadcast, and played out during every episode of “Can We Talk About…”. Dizplai helped CTV to leverage their existing platform configuration and studio setup, editing and enhancing graphics templates to support the show produced in an entirely different output format. The team worked with CTV’s production team to deliver on-brand graphics that were easily turned around in just a few days.

The Results

With Canada’s Drag Race being a Bell Media exclusive in Canada, seen on streaming platform, Crave TV, the eTalk team had the opportunity to immerse the audience through a live post-broadcast discussion. They brought in comments from the audience’s interaction on social media and ran weekly live polls to find out what their viewers thought about both the show and the contestants.

A fully remote production, with all visuals and graphics triggered from the comfort of the producers’ homes, the content was streamed on Twitter only, however it had the same production value as a regular live TV broadcast. The first show reached over 100,000 Canadians, and, thanks to the help of Dizplai, viewing rates increased to almost 300,000.

“Dizplai integrated seamlessly and easily into our production workflow, allowing us to integrate up-to-the-moment social media discussion in a dynamic and visually appealing way. I’m very much looking forward to implementing this versatile tool in other productions.” Chris Perez – Supervising Producer Bell Media.

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