The CRTC’s long-awaited decision on mandatory carriage came out today. While everyone’s attention was on Sun News Network, which was denied a mandatory carriage order but thrown a bone with a review of rules concerning the distribution of Canadian news channels — see my analysis of that decision here — there were a bunch of decisions here. For the most part, proposals for new services were denied and existing services were renewed, some at slightly higher rates.
The exceptions are these:
- TV5’s proposal for mandatory distribution across Canada, in exchange for providing a second feed focused on francophone communities outside Quebec, was approved
- AMItv Français, a French-language described video service that would be a sister network to AMItv, was approved
- The Nunavut and Northwest Territories’ request for mandatory distribution of their parliamentary channel on Bell and Shaw satellite services was approved
- ARTV has been awarded an order requiring all digital cable providers offer the service to subscribers, though that can be on a discretionary basis, and at a negotiated rate
- Avis de recherche was denied renewal of its mandatory distribution order, though it is being given until Aug. 31, 2015, to work out a new business model if it wants to stay alive
Here, in chart form, is what was proposed and what the CRTC decided for each channel:
|Channel||Description||Language||Current fee||Requested fee||Approved fee||Conditions||Notes|
|ACCENTS||Francophone minority communities||French||N/A||$0.25||Denied||Licence denied as it was dependent on mandatory distribution|
|All Points Bulletin||Police bulletins||English||N/A||$0.06 (E)||Denied||Licence renewed as non-mandatory service|
|AMI-audio||Readings of news articles||English||$0.04 (E)||$0.04 (E)||$0.04 (E)||Licence renewed|
|AMItv||Described video||English||$0.20 (E), $0 (F)||$0.20 (E), $0 (F)||$0.20 (E), $0 (F)||Licence renewed|
|AMItv Français||Described video||French||N/A||$0 (E), $0.30 (F)||$0 (E), $0.28 (F)||New licence approved|
|APTN||Aboriginal||English, French and Aboriginal languages||$0.25||$0.40||$0.31||Licence renewed|
|ARTV||Arts and culture||French||N/A||N/A||N/A||Service has access rights across Canada, but remains discretionary||Licence was renewed as part of larger CBC licence renewals|
|Avis de recherche||Police bulletins||French||$0.06||$0.08||$0.06||Service remains mandatory only in Quebec, only until Aug. 31, 2015||Licence renewed as non-mandatory service until 2020|
|Canadian Punjabi Network||Punjabi programs||Punjabi||N/A||$0||Denied||Had requested mandatory distribution only in areas with high Punjabi-speaking population. Licence denied as it was dependent on mandatory distribution|
|Canal M||Audio reading service||French||$0.02 (F)||$0.04 (F)||$0.02 (F)||Licence renewed|
|CPAC||House of Commons and other public affairs programming||English and French||$0.11||$0.12||$0.12||Licence renewed|
|Described Video Guide||Audio service of described video programming information||English||N/A||$0.02 (E)||Denied||Licence denied as it was dependent on mandatory distribution|
|Dolobox||User-generated content||English||N/A||$0.06 to $0.08||Denied||Service remains licenced but has yet to launch|
|EqualiTV||Programming about people with disabilities||English||N/A||$0.25||Denied||Service remains licenced but has yet to launch|
|FUSION||Youth/user-generated content||English||N/A||$0.32 (E), $0.16 (F)||Denied||Licence denied as it was dependent on mandatory distribution|
|IDNR-TV||Natural resources||English/French||N/A||$0||Denied||Licence renewed as non-mandatory service|
|Legislative assemblies of Nunavut and NWT||Legislative hearings||English/other||N/A||$0||$0||Applies only to satellite services||Terrestrial distributors in the territories already carry these channels|
|Maximum Television||Video-on-demand||English||N/A||N/A||Denied||Licence denied as it was dependent on mandatory distribution|
|Starlight||Canadian movies||English||N/A||$0.40||Denied||Licence denied as it was dependent on mandatory distribution|
|Sun News||Right-wing news||English||N/A||$0.18 (E), $0.09 (F)||Denied||The CRTC is looking at setting new rules about distribution of Canadian news channels. Will continue as non-mandatory service|
|TV5 and TV5 UNIS||Francophones outside Quebec||French||N/A||$0.30||$0.28 (F), $0.24 (E)||Both channels combined must produce at least 50% Canadian content; Order comes into effect only after TV5 UNIS’s launch||Dissenting opinion from Candice Molnar saying service does not qualify for distribution order. Licence renewed|
|Vision TV||Faith programming||English||N/A||$0.12||Denied||Licence renewed as non-mandatory service|
|TOTAL||$0.60 (E), $0.44 (F)||$2.72 (E), $2.47 (F)||$0.91 (E), $1.07 (F)||New distribution orders in effect until Aug. 31, 2018.|
(F) denotes fees in markets with a majority francophone population, and (E) denotes all other markets. For simplicity, I’ve included Quebec-only distribution orders as French-language markets, though the two definitions are not identical.
Note that this isn’t an exhaustive list of mandatory carriage channels. CBC News Network (in French-language markets), RDI (in English-language markets) and The Weather Network/MétéoMédia also have mandatory distribution at non-zero rates.
UPDATE: L’Express Ottawa speaks to the people behind ACCENTS, who say the CRTC’s decision was flawed and they don’t believe TV5 will properly fulfill the mandate of giving a voice to francophones outside of Quebec.
Pretty much what I figured would happen. Very close, but not quite, the giant red X I thought was coming. Time for Michael Coren & co. to start revising their CVs.
Their 24 viewers will be crushed.
I tried Sun News for a month just out of curiosity. The ideological stuff was exactly what I expected, but the station was just plain bad.
Someone explain why I am forced to pay for Game TV while we’re at it. A more pointless channel has never existed.
I don’t think the government should force anything on us anymore regardless.
I believe GameTV is distributed with either no or a very low wholesale rate, so you’re not really paying for it. Nobody forces cable companies to add it to their basic package.
Pingback: CRTC S.9(1)(h) Hearing (Mandatory Carriage) Decision | Butter Tarts and Brown Drinks
Do you refer to the CBC has left wing news? Or the Gazette as no news?
Pingback: Avis de recherche needs a miracle | Fagstein
Pingback: Rogers throws desperate hail-Mary with OMNI mandatory distribution request | Fagstein