Post Tagged with: "broadcast"

CRTC Message to Broadcasters: Regulatory Games Coming to an End

Last week, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission announced that it is terminating the Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF). The fund, which was established in 2008, funneled over $300 million to broadcasters to support the creation of local programming. The decision caught the industry by surprise with the CBC calling it “astonishing” and Bell Media saying it is a “major concern.”

Yet the end of the LPIF is only the latest in a series of moves that unravel recent regulatory efforts to provide broadcasters with increased financial support. My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the courts and the Commission have sent a clear signal that broadcasters should focus on marketplace success, not manipulating the regulatory system.

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July 24, 2012 8 comments Columns

CRTC’s Message to Broadcasters: Regulatory Games Coming To An End

Appeared in the Toronto Star on July 22, 2012 as CRTC’s Message to Broadcasters: Regulatory Games Coming to an End Last week, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission announced that it is terminating the Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF). The fund, which was established in 2008, funneled over $300 million […]

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July 24, 2012 1 comment Columns Archive

Should Canadians Have to Pay For TV Channels They Don’t Want?

Consumers have become accustomed to lots of choice for entertainment and information services. Music and movie services offer single downloads and a range of subscription models, while newspapers and magazines sell their content as individual issues or subscriptions on multiple platforms.

Yet Canadian cable and satellite providers remain a stubborn holdout. The broadcast community has long resisted a market-oriented approach that would allow consumers to exercise real choice in their cable and satellite packages, instead demanding a corporate welfare regulatory framework that guarantees big profits and mediocre programming. My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that could have changed had the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission pushed back against Bell Media in a major case involving the terms of broadcast distribution, but a ruling late last week indicated that it remains reluctant to do so.

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April 10, 2012 23 comments Columns

Should Canadians have to pay for TV channels they don’t want?

Appeared in the Toronto Star on April 8, 2012 as Should Canadians have to pay for TV channels they don’t want? Consumers have become accustomed to lots of choice for entertainment and information services. Music and movie services offer single downloads and a range of subscription models, while newspapers and […]

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April 10, 2012 1 comment Columns Archive

Crystal Ball Gazing at the Year Ahead in Tech Law and Policy

Technology law and policy is notoriously unpredictable but 2012 promises to be a busy year. My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) offers some guesses for the coming months:

January. The Supreme Court of Canada holds a hearing on whether Internet service providers can be treated as broadcasters under the Broadcasting Act. The case, which arises from a CRTC reference to the courts on the issue, represents the last possibility for an ISP levy similar to the one paid by broadcasters under the current rules.

February. Industry Minister Christian Paradis unveils proposed spectrum auction rules along with changes to Canadian restrictions on foreign ownership of telecom companies. After the earlier trial balloon of opening up the market to companies with less than 10 percent market share generated a tepid response, the government jumps in with both feet by announcing plans to remove foreign investment limits for telecom companies starting in 2013 in conjunction with the next spectrum auction.

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January 3, 2012 3 comments Columns