Media News Digest: Job cuts at Quebecor, job cuts at Radio-Canada, job cuts at Les Affaires

Because apparently things happened in the media universe this week that didn’t involve Patrick Lagacé…

News about news

At the CRTC

  • Groupe V Média, which owns V, MusiquePlus and Max (formerly Musimax) has filed a complaint against Bell Canada over the latter’s decision to repackage those two specialty channels. Bell has three packages, Good, Better and Best (Bon, Mieux and Meilleur in Quebec) and is moving them from the Good/Bon ($35/month) to Best/Meilleur ($98/month) in addition to having them available à la carte as the CRTC requires. V looked at the numbers and concluded that this would cost them a lot of subscribers. The exact numbers are redacted, but apparently the vast majority of Bell subscribers who have one of these three packages (many others are on grandfathered packages) have the lowest level. And not like slightly more than half, more like about 95%. This could cost them hundreds of thousands of subscribers. The CRTC has ordered Bell to keep MP and Max in their lowest-tier package until this is resolved. (You can download the complaint letter here. The CRTC has expedited the process and the deadline to comment is tonight at 8pm ET.)
  • The commission is holding off on imposing accuracy rules for closed captioning after broadcasters formed a working group that will propose an alternative method. They have two years to do so.
  • The CRTC has set new standard conditions of licence for TV services. Among the changes, pay TV channels like The Movie Network, Super Channel and Family can now broadcast ads, there is no limit on the broadcast of music videos (since MuchMusic, MusiquePlus et al no longer have genre protection), and pay-per-view and video-on-demand services no longer have to give 100% of revenues from distribution of Canadian feature films to their creators. Other changes could come as a result of a hearing later this month looking at licence renewals for the major broadcasters and a review of local and community programming.
  • The commission has released a working document in advance of the hearing on big companies’ TV licence renewals, which outlines some key issues to be discussed. Besides the usual discussions of Canadian programming expenditure requirements, issues include:
  • Bell has won the right to appeal the CRTC decision on Super Bowl simultaneous substitution, but the court has turned down a request to suspend the decision until the outcome of the case. This means that Super Bowl LI will likely be available with American ads on Fox.

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One thought on “Media News Digest: Job cuts at Quebecor, job cuts at Radio-Canada, job cuts at Les Affaires

  1. Dorothy Lipovenko

    For what it’s’ worth: I watched last year’s movie “Spotlight” for the first time. It was like a love letter to journalism.
    What will happen when newsrooms can no longer cut editorial staff?
    Will local papers become ‘inserts’ into the national parent?

    Reply

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