All satellite TV subscribers across the country should have access to their local CBC or Radio-Canada signal. Unfortunately, that’s not the case today. It’s a problem that CBC/Radio-Canada is asking the CRTC to resolve once and for all in the context of a major policy review now underway.
Satellite television subscribers account for one-third of viewers across Canada. Yet despite the deep penetration of satellite TV, current CRTC policy does not oblige satellite service providers to guarantee Canadians access to their local stations.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of Canadians are being deprived of access to their local CBC or Radio-Canada signal. Bell TV carries only nine of 14 CBC stations and eight of 13 Radio-Canada stations, while Shaw Direct carries only 10 of 14 CBC stations and six of 13 of Radio-Canada stations.
“For years now, CBC/Radio-Canada has been working to establish strong regional roots and provide Canadians with programming that reflects their local communities and helps protect regional cultural identities under threat in the current media environment. The rules as they stand today are undermining our efforts,” said Steven Guiton, Vice President and Chief Regulatory Officer.
CBC stations in Edmonton, Regina, Charlottetown, Fredericton, Windsor, St-John's, as well as Radio-Canada's stations in Quebec City, Saguenay, Rimouski, Trois-Rivières, Sherbrooke, Regina and Toronto are not being carried by one or both satellite television providers. Subscribers in these markets are forced instead to watch local news and programming from a different market such as Toronto or Montreal. And this despite the significant investments being made by CBC/Radio-Canada to strengthen its regional presence in these communities.
The CRTC is seeking input from the public until September 8, 2010. CBC/Radio-Canada will be joining Canadians in asking the CRTC to make a change for the better. Now is the time to get things right.
For more information and to learn how to add your voice to the issue, please visit this page.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, plus seven languages for international audiences.