Dec 02, 2020
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CRTC threatens ‘end of broadcasting as we know it,’ CTV chief says

GATINEAU, Que. — One of Canada’s top broadcasters is blaming the federal regulator for contributing to the crisis facing conventional television.

CTVglobemedia Inc. chief executive Ivan Fecan levied sharp criticism at the CRTC on Monday at the commission’s special hearing on the state of the industry.

“Over the years, there has been a series of decisions that have had the effect of compromising the underpinnings of conventional television while favouring the distributors (cable and satellite carriers),” he said.

“What I am saying is that things are seriously out of balance when, for five years running, the system produces continuous growth for one sector and continuous decline for another.”

He said distributors are enjoying record profits while conventional broadcasters are losing money.

Fecan and other broadcasters are demanding the regulator change the funding structure in the broadcasting industry, including a controversial move to allow conventional broadcasters to charge cable and satellite carriers for their signals.

The so-called fee-for-carriage, which the CRTC has twice rejected, is believed to be worth about $300 million a year to broadcasters.

On Monday, the CRTC released its own calculation on what fee-for-carriage would bring, estimating that a 50-cent per customer charge per station would net broadcasters such as CTV, CBC and CanWest Global Communications $352 million.

Under the split, CBC would pick up $92 million, Global TV $72 million, CTV would benefit to the tune of $56 million and $57 million would go to Rogers Communications Inc., owners of the CityTV network.

Fecan said he was just handed the numbers and would need time to analyze them.

But he said there was not question that broadcasters need a new source of revenue beyond advertising, which has been hard hit by the recession.

He noted that CTVglobemedia has announced layoffs, the closure of local stations in Windsor and Wingham, Ont., and other cutbacks, including reductions in local programming. Canwest Global has also made deep cuts and is struggling to avert bankruptcy.

Fecan said more trouble will be coming if the system is not changed to allow broadcasters revenue other than advertising, which is declining.

While small-market stations are in the deepest trouble, he said, large markets are also facing high costs and dwindling revenues, citing CTV’s Vancouver station as one that is losing money.

“You have a landmark opportunity to create a sustainable framework,” he told the commission.

Fecan’s criticism of the CRTC extended to the latest proposal by the regulator that networks spend as much creating domestic programming as on buying American shows.

“What I’m telling you is you are playing chicken with the studios, and the consequence may very well be the end of broadcasting as we know it in Canada,” Fecan told CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein.

“What are you trying to achieve? I’m at a loss to consider why you, Mr. Chairman, who have no skin in this game, why you would play this kind of risk with our business.”

Although the cost of American programming is high, Fecan said the bottom line is that broadcasters make money on U.S. shows and lose money on Canadian programs.

Besides fee-for-carriage, which could cost cable and satellite subscribers $2 to $10 a month, Fecan said broadcasters also need a three per cent increase in the Local Programming Improvement Fund, and want the CRTC to force satellite distributors to carry local stations.

One reason the Timmins, Ont., station isn’t profitable, he said, is that 44 per cent of the population in the area watches on satellite and the local station isn’t carried.

“If there is room for dozens of porn channels, there should be room for Timmins,” he said.

Source: The Canadian Press

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Headline, Industry News

CRTC threatens ‘end of broadcasting as we know it,’ CTV chief says

GATINEAU, Que. — One of Canada’s top broadcasters is blaming the federal regulator for contributing to the crisis facing conventional television.

CTVglobemedia Inc. chief executive Ivan Fecan levied sharp criticism at the CRTC on Monday at the commission’s special hearing on the state of the industry.

“Over the years, there has been a series of decisions that have had the effect of compromising the underpinnings of conventional television while favouring the distributors (cable and satellite carriers),” he said.

“What I am saying is that things are seriously out of balance when, for five years running, the system produces continuous growth for one sector and continuous decline for another.”

He said distributors are enjoying record profits while conventional broadcasters are losing money.

Fecan and other broadcasters are demanding the regulator change the funding structure in the broadcasting industry, including a controversial move to allow conventional broadcasters to charge cable and satellite carriers for their signals.

The so-called fee-for-carriage, which the CRTC has twice rejected, is believed to be worth about $300 million a year to broadcasters.

On Monday, the CRTC released its own calculation on what fee-for-carriage would bring, estimating that a 50-cent per customer charge per station would net broadcasters such as CTV, CBC and CanWest Global Communications $352 million.

Under the split, CBC would pick up $92 million, Global TV $72 million, CTV would benefit to the tune of $56 million and $57 million would go to Rogers Communications Inc., owners of the CityTV network.

Fecan said he was just handed the numbers and would need time to analyze them.

But he said there was not question that broadcasters need a new source of revenue beyond advertising, which has been hard hit by the recession.

He noted that CTVglobemedia has announced layoffs, the closure of local stations in Windsor and Wingham, Ont., and other cutbacks, including reductions in local programming. Canwest Global has also made deep cuts and is struggling to avert bankruptcy.

Fecan said more trouble will be coming if the system is not changed to allow broadcasters revenue other than advertising, which is declining.

While small-market stations are in the deepest trouble, he said, large markets are also facing high costs and dwindling revenues, citing CTV’s Vancouver station as one that is losing money.

“You have a landmark opportunity to create a sustainable framework,” he told the commission.

Fecan’s criticism of the CRTC extended to the latest proposal by the regulator that networks spend as much creating domestic programming as on buying American shows.

“What I’m telling you is you are playing chicken with the studios, and the consequence may very well be the end of broadcasting as we know it in Canada,” Fecan told CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein.

“What are you trying to achieve? I’m at a loss to consider why you, Mr. Chairman, who have no skin in this game, why you would play this kind of risk with our business.”

Although the cost of American programming is high, Fecan said the bottom line is that broadcasters make money on U.S. shows and lose money on Canadian programs.

Besides fee-for-carriage, which could cost cable and satellite subscribers $2 to $10 a month, Fecan said broadcasters also need a three per cent increase in the Local Programming Improvement Fund, and want the CRTC to force satellite distributors to carry local stations.

One reason the Timmins, Ont., station isn’t profitable, he said, is that 44 per cent of the population in the area watches on satellite and the local station isn’t carried.

“If there is room for dozens of porn channels, there should be room for Timmins,” he said.

Source: The Canadian Press

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headline, Industry News

CRTC threatens ‘end of broadcasting as we know it,’ CTV chief says

GATINEAU, Que. — One of Canada’s top broadcasters is blaming the federal regulator for contributing to the crisis facing conventional television.

CTVglobemedia Inc. chief executive Ivan Fecan levied sharp criticism at the CRTC on Monday at the commission’s special hearing on the state of the industry.

“Over the years, there has been a series of decisions that have had the effect of compromising the underpinnings of conventional television while favouring the distributors (cable and satellite carriers),” he said.

“What I am saying is that things are seriously out of balance when, for five years running, the system produces continuous growth for one sector and continuous decline for another.”

He said distributors are enjoying record profits while conventional broadcasters are losing money.

Fecan and other broadcasters are demanding the regulator change the funding structure in the broadcasting industry, including a controversial move to allow conventional broadcasters to charge cable and satellite carriers for their signals.

The so-called fee-for-carriage, which the CRTC has twice rejected, is believed to be worth about $300 million a year to broadcasters.

On Monday, the CRTC released its own calculation on what fee-for-carriage would bring, estimating that a 50-cent per customer charge per station would net broadcasters such as CTV, CBC and CanWest Global Communications $352 million.

Under the split, CBC would pick up $92 million, Global TV $72 million, CTV would benefit to the tune of $56 million and $57 million would go to Rogers Communications Inc., owners of the CityTV network.

Fecan said he was just handed the numbers and would need time to analyze them.

But he said there was not question that broadcasters need a new source of revenue beyond advertising, which has been hard hit by the recession.

He noted that CTVglobemedia has announced layoffs, the closure of local stations in Windsor and Wingham, Ont., and other cutbacks, including reductions in local programming. Canwest Global has also made deep cuts and is struggling to avert bankruptcy.

Fecan said more trouble will be coming if the system is not changed to allow broadcasters revenue other than advertising, which is declining.

While small-market stations are in the deepest trouble, he said, large markets are also facing high costs and dwindling revenues, citing CTV’s Vancouver station as one that is losing money.

“You have a landmark opportunity to create a sustainable framework,” he told the commission.

Fecan’s criticism of the CRTC extended to the latest proposal by the regulator that networks spend as much creating domestic programming as on buying American shows.

“What I’m telling you is you are playing chicken with the studios, and the consequence may very well be the end of broadcasting as we know it in Canada,” Fecan told CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein.

“What are you trying to achieve? I’m at a loss to consider why you, Mr. Chairman, who have no skin in this game, why you would play this kind of risk with our business.”

Although the cost of American programming is high, Fecan said the bottom line is that broadcasters make money on U.S. shows and lose money on Canadian programs.

Besides fee-for-carriage, which could cost cable and satellite subscribers $2 to $10 a month, Fecan said broadcasters also need a three per cent increase in the Local Programming Improvement Fund, and want the CRTC to force satellite distributors to carry local stations.

One reason the Timmins, Ont., station isn’t profitable, he said, is that 44 per cent of the population in the area watches on satellite and the local station isn’t carried.

“If there is room for dozens of porn channels, there should be room for Timmins,” he said.

Source: The Canadian Press

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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