The same hearing will also look at the licence renewal request for Sirius XM Canada. Besides a (seemingly) minor change to the definition of new and emerging artists, the company wants to drastically reduce its required contributions to Canadian content development funds, from 4% of gross revenues to 0.5% by the third year of the new licence. The CRTC believes it hasn’t met its existing licence conditions related to CCD contributions, and it’s generally CRTC policy to deny licence amendments to remove conditions that a licensee has failed to meet. If you want to suggest other changes in light of the Canada Laughs/Just For Laughs saga, now’s the time.
Quebecor boss Pierre Karl Péladeau has started a campaign of some sort to rally public support behind his contention that TVA’s specialty channels should be getting more subscription revenues. He published an open letter in the Journal de Montréal, TVA Sports and Le Devoir, and started a website with charts. But it’s unclear what he’s asking for specifically. Does he want the CRTC to step in and renegotiate its carriage contracts? Does he want it to just change how it evaluates value when it steps in to arbitrate these contracts (putting less emphasis on historical rates)? The website has no real call to action. Péladeau has a point, and is still very peeved that RDS gets more subscriber money than TVA Sports, but he seems to be decrying government intervention in private business while at the same time calling for more of it.
TSN had to face a bit of embarrassment on Sunday when it couldn’t broadcast the final of the WTA tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., because it didn’t have the rights to do so. Canadians who wanted to watch Bianca Andreescu win the title of the premier event had to either watch it in French on TVA Sports or via DAZN (which broadcast it on Twitter). If Canadian tennis continues to improve like this, TSN might want to be more aggressive about acquiring these rights.
Numeris is making big changes to how it measures radio ratings in most markets in Canada. For markets that use diary ratings (i.e. everywhere but Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary), instead of just surveying people’s listening preferences twice a year, listeners will be polled every two weeks, and averages will be released twice a year for all measured markets. This is a measure to counteract the increasing unreliability of Numeris data for smaller markets as it becomes more difficult to recruit participants. The transition to the new system will begin this summer.
The Globe and Mail reports a bureaucrat with Canada’s ISED department involved with telecom regulation was hired by Bell and worked as a consultant for that company while still employed by the government, a very obvious conflict of interest, and one that he apparently tried to hide when asked about it in a court case related to the failure of Mobilicity.