Ad rates boosted for Canadian 'Millionaire'

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TORONTO - Television network CTV has boosted ad rates roughly 25% for the Canadian version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," set to air in two 1-hour episodes in mid-September.

Asking price for a 30-second spot is $31,000 for the Sept. 13 and Sept. 14 shows, which the network has now begun to promote after a nationally televised news conference to tell Canadians how they can qualify as contestants.

CTV has just released details to media buyers about the Canadian edition of the show, which will tape in the same studio as the U.S. program.

"I certainly think it's one of those special events that will draw a big audience," predicts Peter Swain, chairman-CEO of media buyer The Media Company in Toronto. "I'm sure we'll be participating once we haggle down the price," he says.

This is the first time a Canadian network has adapted a U.S. game show and Mr. Swain suggests CTV is keen to demonstrate it can successfully bring a major property north.

CTV airs the U.S. version of "Millionaire" in Canada, where it draws 2.2 million viewers per regular show and 3.5 million viewers for the special episodes with celebrity contestants.

"This is a chest-thumping exercise for CTV," Mr. Swain says of the Canadian show, which will be hosted by newscaster Pamela Wallin. "It's very important for CTV to have a legacy of this show and others. It helps bump up the network here in Canada."

Copyright August 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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