TQS has a request for the CRTC: Allow it to demand money from cable and satellite companies in exchange for carrying their signal, just like cable channels do.
At first, the argument seems compelling. TQS has more original programming … (ok, “programming”), higher expenses and can’t offset those with more advertising time than the specialty channels.
But TQS also has a broadcasting license. They’ve chosen a business model that says they distribute their signal freely and make money by charging advertisers based on the number of viewers they get. The more viewers, the more advertising revenue. It’s in their interest to be on cable and satellite, and they’re already given advantages like a low spot on the dial and a guaranteed spot in basic packages.
TQS wants more money they can funnel into their crappy programming (what the heck are they spending it on now? Hair treatments for Jean-Luc Mongrain?). That’s not an excuse to demand the government change laws that are already advantageous to over-the-air broadcasters.
Meanwhile, in happier TQS/CRTC-related news, a recent decision (PDF) means that a TQS Montreal retransmitter in Rimouski has transferred ownership to TQS affiliate CFTF-TV in Rivière-du-Loup, and part of the deal will add some local programming and a small news department in Rimouski. (And the CRTC has warned that they’ll need to increase that local programming when they apply for license renewal.)