From The Globe – This offers some clarity and hope – Note a decision by the CRTC on the revised News Channel packaging policy is expected to be rendered by year end.
Canada news channels should be available to everyone in the country regardless of their television provider, Canada’s broadcast regulator suggested as it launched a review that could change channel lineups across the country. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission announced the review after rejecting a bid by Sun News Network to be placed on every basic cable packages in the country.
The news channel argued that it was being treated unfairly by the country’s television providers, some of whom have refused to carry its signal. The commission rejected Sun News’s bid, but said it agreed that the channel has faced challenges in its first two years of operations that point to a larger problem in the country’s television market.
“The Commission considers that there is merit to the arguments raised by Sun News regarding the barriers to entry when launching a national news service and that these barriers constitute a significant obstacle to the exchange of ideas,” the CRTC wrote in its denial.
The CRTC would also like to see all of the channel’s grouped together close on the dial, which would prevent cable and satellite companies that own competing services from burying competitors high up the dial where nobody will ever find them.
It is also concerned that foreign news channels seem to get better treatment than domestic. “Due to incumbency, non-Canadian services are distributed for the most part in packages that enjoy high penetration and therefore significant access to potential viewership by Canadians,” it wrote.
“These services have also secured more lucrative wholesale fees when compared to their Canadian counterparts. On average, non-Canadian news services receive a wholesale fee of $0.73 per subscriber per month, whereas English- and French-language Canadian news services receive on average a wholesale fee of $0.36 per subscriber per month.”
The commission is asking for public comments until September 9, and hopes to issue a ruling by the end of the year.
“The Commission considers that there is merit to the arguments raised by Sun News regarding the barriers to entry when launching a national news service and that these barriers constitute a significant obstacle to the exchange of ideas,” said the CRTC.
So, it’s asking for public comment over the next month on a proposed framework that includes forcing distributors to offer all Canadian national news services and put them in close proximity in their channel lineup, as well as offering national news services in a package and on a standalone basis.
CRTC denies Sun News Mandatory Carriage
- All Points Bulletin
- Canadian Punjabi Network
- Described Video Guide
- Dolobox TV
- Maximum Television Canada
- Starlight: The Canadian Movie Channel
- Sun News Network
- La télévision des ressources naturelles
- Vision TV
Death To The CRTC!