Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canadian news networks get a break from CRTC

Get guaranteed spots on basic cable, satellite

  • Print

OTTAWA -- Cable and satellite companies will be required to give their consumers the option of subscribing to Sun News Network and every other Canadian news channel, starting next spring.

Thursday's announcement by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission sets a mid-March deadline for cable and satellite companies to offer all Canadian news services either in bundles or la carte.

"Canadian news services are an important part of our democracy," CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in a statement.

"With the rules we are announcing today, Canadians, as citizens, will have access to the news services that are of interest to them and will therefore have an opportunity to be exposed to a variety of opinions on matters of public concern."

The CRTC previously rejected Sun News Network's bid for a guaranteed spot on basic cable and satellite services -- known as mandatory carriage.

Such a designation would have forced cable and satellite companies to carry the network on all basic digital and analog services. However, in rejecting the Sun News bid, the CRTC acknowledged there are significant obstacles facing newly launched news services trying to compete against established networks such as CBC News Network and CTV News Channel.

The CRTC also said at the time it would review the framework for national news services in the same category as Sun News, including CBC News Network and CTV News Channel.

Some had suggested a "must-offer" designation -- which would only require cable and satellite companies to make it available to their customers to subscribe if they chose to do so -- might be a suitable compromise for Sun News Network.

But network executive Kory Teneycke, the former director of communications to Prime Minister Stephen Harper who helped launch Sun News, said earlier this year a "must-offer" designation would not suffice to save the channel, which lost $17 million last year.

"Let us be very clear: a 'must-offer' licence would not have a meaningful impact on the current trajectory of Sun News and would inevitably lead to the closure of the station," Teneycke told the CRTC in May.

"Let me repeat: a 'must-offer' licence would be a death sentence."

It is not clear if the network still holds that view. A Quebecor spokesperson was not available for comment.

In a statement Thursday, Sun News said it welcomed the CRTC's decision.

"This was never just about Sun News, it was always about putting Canadian TV first," Teneycke said. "It is no longer OK to treat foreign news channels better than Canadian ones."

The network says it will start negotiating new cable and satellite agreements "that are in alignment with the new policy framework to ensure Sun News is treated in a substantially similar fashion to other all news channels."

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 20, 2013 B16

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

RMTC preview of Good People

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese fly in the morning light over Selkirk Ave Wednesday morning- Day 22– June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / Jan 10  2011 ‚Äì WEB STDUP ‚Äì Frosty morning at -15 degrees C , in pic frost covers the the Nellie McClung statue  on the MB Legislature grounds at 7am

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google