Broadcaster Plan Involves More Than Just Fee-For-Carriage

Michael Geist, Weblog, Nov 23, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

In recent weeks Canadians have been subjected to a pervasive and frequently offensive campaign by broadcasters to "save local television" - this from conglomerate CTV GlobeMedia, owned by such entities as the Thomson family and Bell Canada. It is urging Canadian regulators to force cable operators to pay fees for 'local television' broadcasts. But these broadcasts, far from being local, consist in large part of broadcasts of American television programming (and it is the cost of this, plus the cost of borrowing required to fund the acquisitions that made it a conglomerate in the first place, that causes 'local' television to lose money). But as Michael Geist reports, the stations are asking for much more: they want to block American channels, drop over-the-air signals to Canadian communities, and delay digital television. What such a company would do with the internet, if it were able, is worrying.
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