Tourism P.E.I. turns down U.S. network's pitches

Teresa Wright
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This may put to rest speculation the CBS show The Amazing Race may be coming to P.E.I., tourism officials say

The Amazing Race

P.E.I. tourism officials met with four major U.S. television networks in New York earlier this year, but turned down pitches from CBS due to their high costs.

Tourism Deputy Minister David MacKenzie and Tourism P.E.I. Marketing Director Brenda Gallant traveled to New York City in February to meet with NBC and the Golf Channel and negotiate media ad buys during optimal air times.

While in town, they also met with ABC and CBS.

In an interview with The Guardian, Gallant said CBS pitched three proposals for television shows to travel to P.E.I., similar to Live with Regis and Kelly when it filmed episodes of their show in P.E.I.

Gallant would not say what TV shows specifically were pitched by CBS, but would only say they were too expensive compared to the returns they could provide.

"If the amount is too high for the value that we see, we just don't proceed with it, but we do want to keep the doors open because we are very fortunate to have these major networks who are willing to work with us," Gallant said.

This may put to rest speculation the CBS show The Amazing Race may be coming to P.E.I.

Gallant said Tourism P.E.I. is trying to encourage networks to use more integrated footage of P.E.I into their productions as a more cost-effective way to promote and feature the Island on U.S. television.

The department was able to strike a deal with NBC to do just that with a television show called First Look, which appears on the NBC-owned LXTV. This luxury travel channel airs only in New York. As part of an advertising purchase deal between NBC and P.E.I., the network flew a small number of crew and the show's host to film last year's Fall Flavours in P.E.I. Because Tourism P.E.I. was buying ad time on the network, the department only had to foot the cost of meals and accommodations for the film crew, Gallant said.

"We want to ensure whatever we're doing fits within the realm of what we've developed together with the industry as being the direction we want to go in," Brenda Gallant

"They basically didn't film the entire show here, but they took some clips which they then integrated into their show," she said.

"We're looking for more of that kind of broadcast integration... where we're looking at (networks) taking a show and integrating Prince Edward Island footage into their show. That's what we were looking for from CBS and NBC."

The department did, however, spend $30,000 to bring Come Dine With Me Canada to film five episodes in P.E.I. this year. But Tourism Minister Robert Henderson called a good investment due to the 1.5 million viewers and its focus on food - one of the priorities identified in Tourism P.E.I. marketing strategy.

Gallant said this strategy was also considered when turning down the CBS proposals.

"We want to ensure whatever we're doing fits within the realm of what we've developed together with the industry as being the direction we want to go in," Gallant said.

"It's never just financial, there are many other factors. It has to be a strategic fit, it has to be the right market, it has to be the right timing. There are many different criteria that we look at before we say yes to move forward with anything."


Organizations: CBS, NBC, Golf Channel LXTV

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, U.S., New York City Canada

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Recent comments

  • Faithful Puss
    August 22, 2012 - 14:33

    Some of the comments are unfair. I think Ms Gallant should be the Deputy Minister. She is probably the best recruit of this government. She has the patience to work with glorius idiots. I think we should be proud of her and very respectful of her work.

    • Brenda Gallant
      August 23, 2012 - 22:22

      Thanks Mom!

  • Cathy MacAusland
    August 22, 2012 - 12:09

    Way to go Tourism PEI! Logic and level headed thinking in promoting our 'product'! I salute you Tourism Minister Robert Henderson and your well placed staff! keep up the great work! What an idea,"putting islanders first and still successfully promote the Tourism Industry including but not just, the food products industry, culture and Mother Nature on beautiful PEI!" Well done!

  • Donald Condon
    August 22, 2012 - 10:31

    maybe gov Tourist operaters should look at cutting the high prices for everything so Tourist well want to come to PEI gas prices gro everything on PEI is priced to high and then there is the cost of the bridge toget of PEI if prices were lower Tourist well spent more PEI well make more money then they do now and those people well want to come back PEI is a nice place to visit but high prices is driving every one away the rich get rich a is killing Tourism for normal people who would spend there money if costs togo there were cheaper think about it

      August 23, 2012 - 22:25


  • Trevor Leclerc
    August 22, 2012 - 09:46

    Send a touring company of Anne of Green Gables across the U.S. in major cities, with an affordable ticket price (for the U.S. market).

  • Darrin Deveau
    August 22, 2012 - 09:17

    We actually have a new tourism draw... Stinky dying rivers!! Come smell the nauseating aroma and go for a swim in it...It may cause you harm but it would be an experience. Perhaps we should fix what is wrong in our own backyards...if we did then we wont be driving some of these tourists away. We have some image problems to fix people..and the tourism industry is paying the price...and I am a tourism operator and disgusted by what I see.

  • Debra Williams
    August 22, 2012 - 08:19

    Tourism operators are being sucked dry with fees, requirements, and all the things that cause our profit margin (if we have any) to shrink away to nothing, especially this year. Tourist will only come to the Island if they see it on TV and know about it. With the amount of money that we, the operators, are required to pay to "Market" this great Island, we see very little results. Come on, guys, take the plunge and get us noticed.

  • julie konnick
    August 22, 2012 - 07:33

    you would think that before these people trotted off to waste more money, they would have shared some concrete evaluation result with the taxpayers . I for one have never seen anything that convinced me that the Regis Kelly thing was ever anything but a silly adventure with no reaulting increase in visitors. I have occastion to travel to the Us a lot as well as interacting with people from the US in Europe. Guess what, I have made it my business to ask if they haver ever heard of PEI and how. Few have heard of PEI, I hate to tell you, but not one of the hundreds I have come across have ever heard of PEI having hosted the R & K show. - The fact is that the US have just about every imaginable vacation experience within their own borders, and in a depressed economy travelling is curtailed by need of other more vital expenses. I applaud the fact that PEI did not BUY, - but unfortunately I read between the lines that the taxpayers are not safe yet, --- e.g. no disclosure of other ideas. Please save our money and let 'nature' take it's course, with HST and the other fee increases forced upon us, we can't foot the bill for much more. Are we not doing this whole 2014 debacle to promote tourisme, - that is the main purpose as far as I can see, - fool the peasants into believing it for them --- hahah

  • Great deal maker MacKenzie
    August 22, 2012 - 07:24

    The deal makers within the Ghiz team are scrambling full time to turn in the next big deal. Mackenzie after flying around in Homburg's jet renamed the Confed Centre, the quote from Gallant is clear as mud. These morons cannot make deals but are spending a fortune role playing, please Duff send in the army already. thanks eh

  • corrupt
    August 22, 2012 - 07:05

    This is too bad. Not enough kickbacks in it I guess. . .

  • Tara
    August 22, 2012 - 06:22

    Good for you P.E.I dont cave into the U.S. I live here and take it from someone who knows all the want to do is commercialize and control you. The U.S. would selllthere souls for the right amount of money !!

    • Native Islander
      August 23, 2012 - 22:32

      And Canadians wouldn't? How naive of you! And you say you live in the States. How dare you be so arrogant!

    • Tara
      August 28, 2012 - 15:18

      Its not arrogance its facts our country has become so self absorbed you take it from me the U.S. is going nowhere but down we will alL be controlled by the goverment you dont be naive until you have dealt with the goverment and politics here you have NO idea????

  • dm
    August 22, 2012 - 03:49

    The things dumb people do when they get their hands on someone else money, they paid millions to get stupid regis n what ever her name is, then millions on the money pit royals who should be coming here on their own expense, now their trying to spend millions on some other dumb tv show so it makes them look good, I feel that's all it dose, and for the big money they spend up front!!, the province is already broke like where are they pulling the money from I wonder to do this insaneness anyway?

  • Mark Dalzell
    August 21, 2012 - 23:05

    PEI has survived, since the invention of the ferry, on tourism, and to turn away opportunities to let the world see what it has to offer, is a shame. That goes to show, the government has spent to much Islander money on marketing lingo. Four words "Anne of Green Gables" if it was in NY, it would have broken all the records for attendance. And you are worried about bringing in the "Amazing Race". Tell that to the hotel owners, the restaurants, the pubs and bars and tell me the Island wouldn't benefit. Let these companies spend money, the integrity of the Island is much stronger than the Marketing Guru's know. In the long run, an influx of dollars helps the entire Island. Good luck PEI, and get the government out of the way so that new ideas can prosper and Canada's paradise can shine as the Cradle of Comfederation.