Don’t put a tax on free TV

The CRTC is, for some strange reason, reopening a debate it already dismissed a year ago about whether or not broadcast stations should be able to get fees from cable and satellite carriers like specialty channels do currently.

The argument is over whether over-the-air broadcasters really need the extra money. The CRTC says it wasn’t convinced (but may be now?), while the broadcasters say they’re struggling.

This is the wrong argument to have.

Instead, these broadcasters should be explaining to the CRTC why I should be paying, through mandatory fees to my cable company, for television channels I get freely over the air. It’s like your landlord tacking on a “sunlight surcharge” because the light passes through your apartment’s window.

As for their argument that they’re not making enough money: Tough. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the television business. It’s not the government’s fault your product is junk and nobody wants to watch it.

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