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"not available in Canada, you say?...pity..."


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[smug self-satisfaction garland with clusters to the one who can identify where the subject line comes from...not an exact quote, but a paraphrase]


Now, to my question:


I am wondering why the following films are not available to Canadian audiences in July:


Fear Strikes Out [July 3]

The Story of G.I. Joe [July 15]

Baby Doll [July 16]

Sinner's Holiday [July 17]


This question is asked only out of curiosity, and with a side of frustration, and not out of anger.


I am relatively new to TCM and am curious as to the various reasons why films are [un]available to different viewing audiences.


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I know how frustrating it can be, but the answer is really very simple. These are not films that TCM owns outright. They lease these from other studios and may only be able to get the U.S. rights and not the Canadian rights. For example."Fear Strikes Out" is from Paramount, which may have already leased the rights to the CBC or some independent stations in Canada so TCM can't get them. There may even be some films in the TCM library that can't be shown too. Before they decided to start a Canadian operation, TCM, may have leased some of their films to others and those contracts haven't expired yet. I imagine, once they become available again TCM will hold on to them.

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I agree with markfp2's explanation, but in a lot of cases I really can't believe that any Canadian network would have obtained the broadcasting rights. Especially for some of the old silents that are not being shown on the Canadian TCM channel. I say that because I don't think I've seen any silents on Canadian channels in recent years, not out West anyway.


One example would be Sparrows (1926). It showed on the TCM US yesterday, but not TCM Canada. Does that mean a Canadian broadcaster has the rights and plans to show it? I seriously doubt that.


One possiblility might be that various films are bundled into packages. A Canadian broadcaster might obtain the rights to a package of dozens of films, but only plans to show some of them.


Another possibility, for films that TCM does not own, could be that the owner wants to charge extra if TCM shows them in Canada as well as the US.

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Well, things can very complicated programming in different countries. I'm sure TCM has the same problems in all the other countries they're in too. As with the example you gave, "Sparrows", it's very possible that the company they got it from didn't have the Canadian rights to give to TCM. I think it's safe to say that if TCM had the rights, they would have shown it in Canada. I can't imagine they'd go to the trouble of substituting another film just to annoy their new Canadian viewers.

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