This week's CRTC mandatory distribution hearing has placed the
spotlight on a fascinating disconnect between the Commission and the
Canadian broadcast community. Despite months of telegraphing its intent
to promote consumer choice over broadcaster revenues, the first two days
of the hearing have featured repeated presentations from groups who
have not gotten the message. CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais could not have
been clearer in a speech last October:
In our decision, we noted that consumers increasingly expect to be
in control of what they watch. It makes sense that consumers and the
distributors who serve them should have more flexibility in packaging
choices. While we acknowledged the value of predictable revenues to the
programming services, we decided that the days of guaranteed wholesale
rates are over. Programming services cannot expect to remain completely
insulated from the growing demand for greater choice by Canadians.
He followed that up in March by telling the production community that it "will need to compete, just like any other sector."
Despite the messaging, many of the groups seeking mandatory distribution evidently don't get it. TagsShareThursday April 25, 2013