Time for CRTC to Stand Up for CANADA

The big boys of Canada’s media are making another bid to just rake in the dough and do almost nothing to earn it.

CTV globemedia have reportedly asked the CRTC once more to give it a new source of revenue: forcing Canadians to pay for their channels through fees imposed on cable broadcasters.

And this comes just as CTV has cancelled its three hour morning show produced in Victoria, London and Barrie as well as its 6 p.m and 11 p.m. news shows in Ottawa .. and cut another 118 newsroom jobs across the country.

And not to be outdone in the push for unfettered television profits, CanWest has also asked the CRTC to “loosen existing requirements for Canadian content on its local networks” …   including as little as 10 hours of local programming per week in major markets of more than a million people and five hours in markets of less than a million.

In other words … kill off almost all local news, if that’s what they want to do.

And CanWest has also recently announced local cutbacks, put stations up for sale (but not actrually sold any).


The moves come just weeks before the CRTC holds its licence renewal hearings.  And I submit what CTV and CanWest have done is equivalent to cutting off a hostage’s ear or finger and sending it to the CRTC as a message, warning that unless they get what they want, the hostage takers will exact even more … maybe kill off their captives.

In this case the captives are their Canadian television channels.

They would never do it.   It’s all a farce aimed at scaring the CRTC into acquiescence.

True… both CanWest and CTVglobemedia are facing terrible financial difficulties … but, although I am no financial guru, everything I’ve seen indicates their biggest problems do NOT stem from their television operations.

I believe their problems come from their greed, their over-expansion in other areas (newspapers, corporate acquisitions, hi-tech folly, foreign ventures, etc. etc.).  In fact,  year in and year out, their television stations are probably among their strongest income earners.  Get rid of the rest, not the best!

Cutting out the heart of Canadian channels … news programming … will not serve the country.

Canadian television stations would become just re-broadcasters of American programs … much of it mind-numbing emptiness …. that would make Canadians just as dumb as most Americans, already mesmerized by television mush.

No! No! No!

If CTV and CanWest can’t make a go out of the already-too-easy Canadian content rules or existing news programming setups … sell them off to people and companies who can.

The CRTC should not give in to the latest blackmail attempts or extortion theatrics we are currently witnessing.     

If you care about protecting YOUR local television programming or news (already nothing to brag about these days!)  from getting even worse, I urge you to write the CRTC:

                              Canadian Radio-Television, Telecommunications Commission

                                Ottawa, Ont.  K1A ON2

Tell them Harv sent you! 🙂   Or better yet,  mail them a printed copy of this blog, along with your own comments.

 Harv Oberfeld  

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5 Responses to Time for CRTC to Stand Up for CANADA

  1. DMJ says:

    I have already canceled all but basic cable service and if cable rates go up again, I will cancel it entirely.

    Friends have American satellite dishes and I will consider the same and to hell with Canadian content and the CRTC.

  2. RS says:

    Tell them Harv sent you! 🙂 Or better yet, mail them a printed copy of this blog, along with your own comments.


    Every Tom, Dick ‘n’ Larry is looking for a bailout! This is about as outrageous as Larry Flynt asking Barack to bailout Hustler magazine!

  3. LP says:

    If the CRTC decides to cave in and subsidise the networks financial mistakes and greed I WILL cancel my cable.

  4. Patrick Bell (NOT the MLA) says:

    Yeah, I concur with the other sentiments here….To Hell with the bailouts a cash grabs already

    I’ve already dummied down my cable to the basics and I am on the verge of canceling altogether. I barely watch it…I like my puter more…

  5. Peg says:

    Harv, I just got polled by a marketing guy who is conducting a survey for CTV about how much we would be willing to pay for local television. The question was would I be willing to pay 50 cents? 40 cents? V. interested to see the results of this poll.

    (Response: Thanks ..that’s exactly where they are heading ..unless we all write the CRTC c/o Ottawa, K1A0N2 and urge them not to approve the viewer shakedown. ho)

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