Post Tagged with: "Broadcasting"

Is There a Fix for Broken TV?

The Ottawa Citizen reports on the Canadian broadcast industry and the recent CRTC hearings.

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March 16, 2009 Comments are Disabled News

James Moore on the Digital TV Transition

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore addressed a communications conference yesterday in Ottawa, emphasizing that he thrives on digital technologies and expressing concern about the digital television transition in Canada.

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December 3, 2008 7 comments News

Broadcasting Policy for a World of Abundance

My regular technology law column (Toronto Star version, Ottawa Citizen version, homepage version) focuses on the recent firestorm sparked by the broadcasting reform report commissioned by the CRTC and written by Laurence Dunbar and Christian Leblanc.  The Canadian Association of Broadcasters characterized the report's recommendations as an assault on the foundation of Canadian broadcasting. In this instance, the broadcasters are correct. The report is indeed an assault on the regulatory foundation of Canadian broadcasting – one that is long overdue.

Canadian broadcast regulation was designed for a world of scarcity where broadcast spectrum and consumer choice was limited.  This led to a highly regulated environment that used various policy levers to shelter Canadian broadcasters from external competition, limited new entrants, and imposed a long list of content requirements and advertising restrictions.  As a result, a dizzying array of regulations kept the entry of new broadcast competitors to a minimum, enshrined genre protection so that Canadians were treated to domestic versions of popular channels such as HBO and ESPN, and firmly supported simultaneous substitution, a policy that allows Canadian broadcasters to simulcast U.S. programming but substitute their own advertising.

Yet today's broadcasting environment is no longer one of scarcity, but rather one of near limitless abundance as satellite, digital channels, and the Internet now provide instant access to an unprecedented array of original content.  

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September 25, 2007 1 comment Columns

Canadian Broadcasting Policy For a World of Abundance

Appeared in the Toronto Star on September 24, 2007 as Broadcasters Must Adapt to New Media Reality Soon after taking over as chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Konrad von Finckenstein commissioned Laurence Dunbar and Christian Leblanc, two leading broadcasting lawyers, to conduct a comprehensive review of Canada's […]

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September 24, 2007 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Rethinking the Public in Public Broadcasting

My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) assesses potential reform of the CBC.  Canadian stories are being told in record numbers, yet they are not found on the CBC.  The blossoming of citizen journalism, blogging, digital photo-sharing, and user-generated content is reshaping the way the public is informed and entertained. Millions of Canadians are no longer merely consumers of the news and entertainment. Instead, they are active participants – one expert recently labeled them as "the people formerly known as the audience" – who create, report, comment, and analyze their own content that vies for the attention of a global audience.

The CBC’s future may therefore lie in further blurring the difference between conventional broadcast and the Internet by establishing an integrated approach that brings more broadcast content to the Internet and more Internet content to broadcast. The CBC has developed an impressive online presence, yet the majority of the content is based on the traditional broadcast model that places a premium on control.  The next-generation CBC would do well to partner with the public by loosening restrictions and encouraging the dissemination of Canadian content from a broader range of sources.

Indeed, public broadcasters in other countries have already begun to reinvent themselves in this way.

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July 10, 2006 6 comments Columns