Archive for May 24th, 2011

Canadian Broadcasters and BDUs: Can They Compete With “Free”?

Earlier this month, Bell and Quebecor, two giants in the Canadian broadcasting and telecom landscape, became embroiled in a dispute over Sun News Network, the recently launched all-news network. At first glance, the dispute appeared to be little more than a typical commercial fight over how much Bell should pay to Quebecor to carry the Sun News Network on its satellite television package. When the parties were unable to reach agreement, Bell removed Sun News Network, leaving a placeholder message indicating “the channel has been taken down at the request of the owners of Sun News Network.”

While the dispute is now before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission – Quebecor claims Bell is violating the legal requirement against “undue preferences”- more interesting is Bell’s claim about the value of Sun News Network signal.

According to Mirko Bibic, senior vice-president of regulatory affairs at Bell Canada, the market value of Sun News Network is zero because Quebecor makes the signal available free over-the-air in Toronto and is currently streaming it free on the Internet. Given the free access, Bell maintains that the signal no longer has a market value.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes Bibic’s comment may be posturing for negotiation purposes, but it highlights the larger problem for Canadian broadcasters and broadcast distributors such as cable and satellite providers.

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May 24, 2011 33 comments Columns

Canadian Broadcasters and BDUs: Can They Compete With “Free”?

Appeared in the Toronto Star on May 21, 2011 as Can Canadian Broadcasters Compete With Free? Earlier this month, Bell and Quebecor, two giants in the Canadian broadcasting and telecom landscape, became embroiled in a dispute over Sun News Network, the recently launched all-news network. At first glance, the dispute […]

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May 24, 2011 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Open Access Journal Growth in Canada: 2/3 of Learned Journals With Some OA

The Canadian Association of Learned Journals has released its annual report on scholarly journal publishing in Canada. The report finds a growing percentage have adopted open access models – 25 percent are fully open access and an additional 39 percent have a “moving wall” for open access (articles become openly […]

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May 24, 2011 1 comment Must Reads

What Happened to the CIHR’s Trial Transparency Policy?

In a series of important posts (1, 2, 3, 4), the Social Justice Librarian blog points to changes at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research on a trial transparency policy.

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May 24, 2011 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Clement Commits to Open Data

New Treasury Board President Tony Clement has said he’s committed to advancing the government’s open data efforts. Clement noted that initaitive is consistent with what he was trying to do as Industry Minister on the digital economy strategy.

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May 24, 2011 Comments are Disabled Must Reads