Bell is bringing a community television channel to Montreal.
Jobs were posted late last month for positions related to Bell Community TV in Montreal. They include a volunteer coordinator, a producer, a camera operator and an editor. Each is for a one-year contract, and no starting date is specified.
I asked Bell about the new channel. Unfortunately they can’t say much. Things like launch date, budget, programming, etc. are considered competitive information and are not public.
What we do know is that the programming will be in French to start with, and it will be part of the on-demand service provided by Bell Fibe TV. Bell received authorization from the CRTC in 2011 to operate an on-demand community television service on its terrestrial distribution service (i.e. Fibe).
Bell’s service is similar to Videotron’s
Vox MaTV, or the Rogers TV and Cogeco TV services provided by their respective distributors. The difference is that Bell’s Montreal community channel will be an on-demand offering instead of a 24/7 linear channel like Vox.
Broadcast distributors are required to spend 5% of their gross revenues on Canadian programming, including up to 2% on community television. Most choose to setup their own community channels, at least in larger markets.