Media News Digest: CBC Montreal open house, EBOX complains about Bell Media, Mercer Report starts final season

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At the CRTC

  • The Globe’s Christine Dobby sits down with new CRTC chair Ian Scott.
  • Michael Geist points out an order in council issued last week that requires the CRTC produce a report about how programming is distributed and how that will change in the coming years. This sounds a lot like work the commission has already done in its Let’s Talk TV process and discoverability conferences.
  • EBOX, an independent Internet provider in Quebec and Ontario, has decided to enter the TV distribution industry in Quebec’s major cities, but has run into a wall negotiating a distribution deal with … oh, go ahead, guess … yup, Bell Media. According to EBOX’s complaint of undue preference at the CRTC, Bell cut off negotiations, citing something about EBOX’s behaviour, and said it was no longer interested in allowing any Bell Media channels (TSN, RDS, Discovery, Space, Bravo, D, Vie, Investigation, CTV News Channel, Comedy, Much, Z, TMN, HBO) to be distributed by EBOX. Bell’s initial response says it has done nothing against the rules and will explain its dealings with EBOX.
  • Michael Geist notes (and CBC picks up) that Bell argued at a committee hearing into NAFTA renegotiations that there should be criminal provisions to prevent piracy and a CRTC-managed list of websites that Canadian ISPs should block for piracy violations.

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2 thoughts on “Media News Digest: CBC Montreal open house, EBOX complains about Bell Media, Mercer Report starts final season

  1. dilbert

    The “let’s talk TV” process really didn’t accomplish what it could have, in part because it really spent most of it’s time talking to incumbent players and really didn’t spend enough looking towards the future.

    IP TV, streaming, and other forms of digital delivery is already changing things so much, and things are only going to get even more diverse and more complicated. Beyond distribution, creation is also changing. Already, some of the biggest “TV” series aren’t even on TV at all, Netflix, Amazon, and others are producing content. The incumbent players don’t even want to talk about it.

    So instead, we have a whole report about skinny basic and re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic that is Canadian broadcasting. Cord cutting is a real issue moving forward, as people become disconnected physically and mentally from the 1000 channel universe.

    It’s also that the Let’s Talk TV was sort of the final swan song final gasp from the previous chair, an attempt to create a legacy other than rubber stamping mergers and take overs for the big players. It’s probably a very good thing for the new chair to lead something that looks at the actual future without worrying about offending Bell, Rogers, Corus, and so on.

    Reply
  2. Jean-Francois Berube

    If Bell Media wants censorship (blocking sites it deems as pirate sites) It should be told to move its assets to North Korea or Russia. That’s not the way we do business around here.

    Reply

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