The CRTC is currently accepting public comments in advance of hearings to be held on new broadcasting applications. Among them is an interesting proposal for a new television station out of Montreal.
Télévision communautaire Frontenac is an organization of about a half-dozen people who live within three or four blocks of the Frontenac metro station. They want to put together a low-budget cable access channel specifically for their neighbourhood (but also the city).
The application (ZIP file with PDFs) is for a French-language
Category 1 specialty channel community specialty channel for Bell Canada’s ExpressVu satellite service, which is nationwide and doesn’t provide community channels. (UPDATED: See comment below for more details.) Videotron, the local cable provider, has a similar service in Canal Vox, which it runs.
The station’s plan is to broadcast 25 hours a week, with 60% locally-produced community programming, of which 1 hour every week is new. Naturally, because of the bare-bonedness of the operation, it would not provide luxuries like closed-captioning or descriptive audio.
Montreal currently has a few other low-budget non-profit over-the-air channels, though none seem to conflict directly with the proposal:
- CFTU-TV 29 (Canal Savoir), an education channel run and produced by Quebec’s universities
- CIVM-TV 17 (Télé-Québec), a provincially-owned network with a variety of shows but with emphasis on educational programming for children
- CJNT-TV 62 (CJNT Montreal/E!), a CanWest-owned multicultural station that fills its remaining schedule with much-needed celebrity gossip shows and second-rate U.S. network programming simulcasts.
The hearing is scheduled for Oct. 30 in B.C. Though it’s mainly about which of a dozen applicants will get a lucrative FM radio channel in Kelowna, there are a few other interesting television applications:
- Vanessa, a French-language adult pay TV service with emphasis on … oh forget the euphemisms. It’s porn.
- Movie Trailer TV, a really stupid idea for a channel of movie trailers and making-of documentaries.
- Short Form TV, from the same folks as Movie Trailer TV, and whose sole programming restriction is that its content is short in length.
- The Christian Network, which is self-explanatory but would seem to overlap significantly with the multifaith Vision TV.
- Arya Persian TV, which doesn’t yet meet CRTC requirements.