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CRTC Denies Sun News Mandatory Spot on Basic Cable TV

The Canadian Radio-television and Communications Commission (CRTC) has ruled against Sun News Network’s application for mandatory distribution on basic cable TV packages.

 

Susana Mas writes for CBC News, that “The Quebecor-owned network did not successfully demonstrate to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission that it met the criteria for a mandatory distribution order.”

 

Mandatory carriage means that cable companies would have to include the channel with basic service, instead of providing it as an added-cost option to subscribers.

 

The CRTC did, however, express concern that Canadian news providers aren’t being given priority in cable packages. CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in a release that “under the existing rules, Canadian news services are not being given a pride of place in our broadcasting system.”

 

The CRTC has proposed a new regulatory framework to address “the systemic issue regarding the distribution of Canadian national news services under equitable and commercially reasonable conditions.” Changes include the following:

 

  • Distributors must-offer all Canadian national news services (not necessarily on basic service)

  • Distributors must place Canadian news services in close proximity in their channel lineup

  • National news services must be available in a package and on a stand-alone basis

  • National news services should be offered in the most appropriate packages according to their content.

CRTC has invited Canadians to comment on the changes online by September 9.

 

Sun News released a statement saying that they were “disappointed” by the CRTC’s ruling, but encouraged [that the CRTC] have found merit in the main arguments laid out by Sun News on price, channel placement and distribution.”

 

Despite earlier comments to CBC by Sun News Network vice-president Kory Teneycke indicating that anything other than mandatory carriage “would inevitably lead to the closure of the station,” the network is not shutting down.

 

The statement from Sun News said that the network is “glad that our application has acted as a catalyst for this broader review of the framework for national news services,” and added that they “intend to participate fully in those proceedings, and will continue to operate pending an outcome.”

 

The CRTC also denied 11 other mandatory carriage applications, and approved three new television services including a service operated by the Legislative Assemblies of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

 

Image: Sun News Network

Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?
Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?

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