CBC Newsworld and Réseau de l'information de Radio-Canada must remain available to all on digital basic service

March 28, 2007, Ottawa

 Representatives of CBC/Radio-Canada today presented their case to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in favour of CBC Newsworld and Réseau de l'information de Radio-Canada's (RDI) continued carriage on basic service, after the transition from analogue to fully digital distribution has been completed.

"CBC Newsworld and RDI provide 24-hour news and information with a depth of perspective that is unmatched by any other Canadian television service, conventional or specialty," said Executive Vice-President, CBC Television, Richard Stursberg. "Approval of their applications will ensure that the digital basic service meets the needs of all Canadians in both official languages – including those who don't have the means to acquire optional packages."

Over the coming years, cable television will be moving from analogue to fully digital distribution, bringing with it the need for certain changes to the regulatory environment. In anticipation of these changes, the CRTC is considering different options for basic cable and satellite television service in the future. CBC/Radio-Canada filed applications with the Commission to ensure that CBC Newsworld and RDI, which are already part of the basic analogue package, continue to be carried on digital basic and, therefore, remain available to the greatest number of Canadians.

CBC/Radio-Canada representatives stressed how important it is to keep CBC Newsworld and RDI within the basic digital service for all subscribers. "These services play an essential role in providing a Canadian perspective on international events, in giving Canadians a window on the lives of Canadians from all regions of the country, in serving the needs of Francophones outside of Québec, in promoting Canada's cultural and social values, and in contributing to a national dialogue amongst Canadians on political events that is so important to the democratic process," said Executive Vice-President, French Services, Sylvain Lafrance.

The approval of CBC/Radio-Canada's application should not affect cable and satellite subscribers' bills, as the current basic service already includes CBC Newsworld and RDI.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. With 29 services offered on Radio, Television, the Internet, satellite radio, digital audio, as well as through its record and music distribution service and wireless WAP and SMS messaging services, CBC/Radio-Canada is available how, where, and when Canadians want it.

Through this array of activities, CBC/Radio-Canada brings diverse regional and cultural perspectives into the daily lives of Canadians in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, in nine languages on its international Radio service, Radio Canada International, and in eight languages on its Web-based Radio service RCI viva, a service for recent and aspiring immigrants to Canada.

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