CRTC Releases Online Video Report

The CRTC released its fact-finding report on over-the-top video yesterday.  I’ll have more to say on the report in my column next week, but in the meantime the money quote is:

the evidence does not demonstrate that the presence of OTT providers in Canada and greater consumption of OTT content is having a negative impact on the ability of the system to achieve the policy objectives of the Broadcasting Act or that there are structural impediments to a competitive response by licensed undertakings to the activities of OTT providers.

In other words, no harm, nothing to stop Canadian providers from entering the marketplace, and no need for regulation (for now).


  1. A bad decision, those who want video on demands services should be forced to consume canadian content! I suggest interrupting their movies with episodes of Corner Gas ever 45 minutes.

  2. David Ellis says:

    The Commission’s “finding,” such as it is, may be encouraging. What’s definitely troubling, however, is the reaction of all the usual suspects who started this OTT gig in the first place. Our Big Media and creative lobbies want a watching brief on OTT because they’re still determined to stamp out the unfair, unpatriotic competition represented by Netflix and its ilk. The money phrase above is “for now.”

  3. Can anyone explain this for me. In the Radiocommunication Act, broadcasting has this definition:

    “broadcasting” means any radiocommunication in which the transmissions are intended for direct reception by the general public;

    So let’s see. If it’s AM/FM radio or OTA TV, I can go to Best Buy and get a readily available radio or TV and I can start receiving at my will without any contractual obligation with anyone.

    If I want cable, satellite TV or radio, or Netflix, these transmissions are encrypted. I cannot just connect/tune a radio or TV and start receiving. I need an additional piece of hardware/software, most of the time available only from the service provider, and I need to enter a contractual obligation, including payment, in order to have this additional hardware/software “activated” (with the decryption keys or whatever) and the provider can “deactivate” it any time. This doesn’t look to me like “direct reception by the general public”. I’d rather classify it as a private transmission to business partners/customers.

    So, are these broadcasts? If not, should they observe CanCon?