Oct 27, 2021
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Front Page, Industry News

Quebecor snuffs Sun TV News controversy, to apply for regular Cat 2 licence

OTTAWA – Quebecor Media Inc. plans to drop a three-year, mandatory carriage condition for its Sun TV News channel and instead apply for a regular Category 2 licence, Serge Sasseville, Quebecor’s vice-president of corporate and institutional affairs, told The Wire Report.

Sasseville confirmed the decision following a speech Tuesday from Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau to the Canadian Club of Ottawa at the Chateau Laurier, where he suggested to reporters that the company could amend its Sun TV News licence application.

“I would say there is a possibility that we drop our condition and go simply to Cat 2,” Peladeau said.

Earlier this year Quebecor filed an application to operate Sun TV News as a national English-language Category 2 specialty television channel, in which cable and satellite carriers would not be mandated to carry the channel.

But in the application, Quebecor requested an exception to broadcasting policy 2009-562, asking for “mandatory access” for the station for a maximum period of three years.

The request for temporary “mandatory access” is viewed as a request for a temporary Category 1 licence, which would require distributors to carry the channel and offer it to subscribers.

Category 2 licences are standard specialty channel licences. The licensees must negotiate carriage agreements with distributors like Bell Canada, Rogers Communications Inc., or Shaw Communications Inc.

Al-Jazeera English, for example, received a Category 2 licence from the CRTC last November. The channel did not reach carriage agreements with Bell, Rogers and Videotron until May 2, 2010.

The Sun TV News channel plans to launch in January 2011, and if it does not reach carriage agreements by that time, it could launch on Quebecor-owned Videotron. But Videotron only reaches Quebec customers, and Sun TV News is an English channel.

In a written response to questions from the CRTC attached to Quebecor’ Sun TV News application in July, Peggy Tabet, Quebecor’s director of regulatory affairs for broadcasting, suggested that three-year mandatory access for Sun TV News would be necessary for the channel to launch.

“If mandatory access for a maximum period of three years is not granted to Sun TV News, one or more major cable or satellite providers might decide to not offer this service. This would be fatal to our business case… and would likely result in the cancellation of the Sun TV News project,” Tabet wrote.

The controversy over the request for a temporary Category 1 licence arose in part because all-news services like CBC NN and CTV News Channel will lose their must-carry status next year.

The commission is redefining news services as operating in a competitive genre and the channels will instead have to negotiate with distributors for carriage like most specialty channels.

In a supplementary brief attached to the Sun TV News application, Quebecor argued that CBC NN and CTV News Channel had must-carry status for 21 and 13 years, respectively.

A CRTC hearing on the application has been set for Nov. 19 in Gatineau, Que.

Sasseville said the company will be in contact with the CRTC in the coming days to remove the special request for mandatory access from its application.

He said that although the company believed its arguments for mandatory access had a good chance of being approved, “we decided to go otherwise.”

Sun TV News has been steeped in controversy that led to the resignation of Kory Teneycke, Quebecor’s former vice-president of development in charge of Sun TV News who formerly worked as a senior official in the office of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“Over the summer, this controversy has gotten out of hand. It has morphed from market differentiation to something vicious and vitriolic. And yes, at times I have contributed to the debasing of that debate myself,” Teneycke said when he announced his resignation.

The Wire Report reported Monday that CRTC officials are now sorting through tens of thousands of submissions in response to the Sun TV News application.

Last week, international advocacy group Avaaz delivered more than 21,000 hard copy letters to the CRTC’s offices in Gatineau, Que., opposing the licence application for Sun TV News.

Peladeau told reporters that Teneycke “did a good job” for the company but declined to comment further on his resignation.

During his speech, Peladeau dispelled rumours that the station would be affiliated with Fox News in the United States, or that there was a secret deal between him and Prime Minister Harper to pressure the CRTC for approval.

“There is no connection of any sort between Sun TV News and Fox News, although-let me tell you-if our new channel could be as successful as Fox News our shareholders would be very pleased,” he said.

Prladeau said Sun TV News will be an extension of the Sun Media chain and offer content similar to the Sun newspapers.

Source: The Wire Report

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Front Page, Industry News

Quebecor snuffs Sun TV News controversy, to apply for regular Cat 2 licence

OTTAWA – Quebecor Media Inc. plans to drop a three-year, mandatory carriage condition for its Sun TV News channel and instead apply for a regular Category 2 licence, Serge Sasseville, Quebecor’s vice-president of corporate and institutional affairs, told The Wire Report.

Sasseville confirmed the decision following a speech Tuesday from Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau to the Canadian Club of Ottawa at the Chateau Laurier, where he suggested to reporters that the company could amend its Sun TV News licence application.

“I would say there is a possibility that we drop our condition and go simply to Cat 2,” Peladeau said.

Earlier this year Quebecor filed an application to operate Sun TV News as a national English-language Category 2 specialty television channel, in which cable and satellite carriers would not be mandated to carry the channel.

But in the application, Quebecor requested an exception to broadcasting policy 2009-562, asking for “mandatory access” for the station for a maximum period of three years.

The request for temporary “mandatory access” is viewed as a request for a temporary Category 1 licence, which would require distributors to carry the channel and offer it to subscribers.

Category 2 licences are standard specialty channel licences. The licensees must negotiate carriage agreements with distributors like Bell Canada, Rogers Communications Inc., or Shaw Communications Inc.

Al-Jazeera English, for example, received a Category 2 licence from the CRTC last November. The channel did not reach carriage agreements with Bell, Rogers and Videotron until May 2, 2010.

The Sun TV News channel plans to launch in January 2011, and if it does not reach carriage agreements by that time, it could launch on Quebecor-owned Videotron. But Videotron only reaches Quebec customers, and Sun TV News is an English channel.

In a written response to questions from the CRTC attached to Quebecor’ Sun TV News application in July, Peggy Tabet, Quebecor’s director of regulatory affairs for broadcasting, suggested that three-year mandatory access for Sun TV News would be necessary for the channel to launch.

“If mandatory access for a maximum period of three years is not granted to Sun TV News, one or more major cable or satellite providers might decide to not offer this service. This would be fatal to our business case… and would likely result in the cancellation of the Sun TV News project,” Tabet wrote.

The controversy over the request for a temporary Category 1 licence arose in part because all-news services like CBC NN and CTV News Channel will lose their must-carry status next year.

The commission is redefining news services as operating in a competitive genre and the channels will instead have to negotiate with distributors for carriage like most specialty channels.

In a supplementary brief attached to the Sun TV News application, Quebecor argued that CBC NN and CTV News Channel had must-carry status for 21 and 13 years, respectively.

A CRTC hearing on the application has been set for Nov. 19 in Gatineau, Que.

Sasseville said the company will be in contact with the CRTC in the coming days to remove the special request for mandatory access from its application.

He said that although the company believed its arguments for mandatory access had a good chance of being approved, “we decided to go otherwise.”

Sun TV News has been steeped in controversy that led to the resignation of Kory Teneycke, Quebecor’s former vice-president of development in charge of Sun TV News who formerly worked as a senior official in the office of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“Over the summer, this controversy has gotten out of hand. It has morphed from market differentiation to something vicious and vitriolic. And yes, at times I have contributed to the debasing of that debate myself,” Teneycke said when he announced his resignation.

The Wire Report reported Monday that CRTC officials are now sorting through tens of thousands of submissions in response to the Sun TV News application.

Last week, international advocacy group Avaaz delivered more than 21,000 hard copy letters to the CRTC’s offices in Gatineau, Que., opposing the licence application for Sun TV News.

Peladeau told reporters that Teneycke “did a good job” for the company but declined to comment further on his resignation.

During his speech, Peladeau dispelled rumours that the station would be affiliated with Fox News in the United States, or that there was a secret deal between him and Prime Minister Harper to pressure the CRTC for approval.

“There is no connection of any sort between Sun TV News and Fox News, although-let me tell you-if our new channel could be as successful as Fox News our shareholders would be very pleased,” he said.

Prladeau said Sun TV News will be an extension of the Sun Media chain and offer content similar to the Sun newspapers.

Source: The Wire Report

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

Front Page, Industry News

Quebecor snuffs Sun TV News controversy, to apply for regular Cat 2 licence

OTTAWA – Quebecor Media Inc. plans to drop a three-year, mandatory carriage condition for its Sun TV News channel and instead apply for a regular Category 2 licence, Serge Sasseville, Quebecor’s vice-president of corporate and institutional affairs, told The Wire Report.

Sasseville confirmed the decision following a speech Tuesday from Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau to the Canadian Club of Ottawa at the Chateau Laurier, where he suggested to reporters that the company could amend its Sun TV News licence application.

“I would say there is a possibility that we drop our condition and go simply to Cat 2,” Peladeau said.

Earlier this year Quebecor filed an application to operate Sun TV News as a national English-language Category 2 specialty television channel, in which cable and satellite carriers would not be mandated to carry the channel.

But in the application, Quebecor requested an exception to broadcasting policy 2009-562, asking for “mandatory access” for the station for a maximum period of three years.

The request for temporary “mandatory access” is viewed as a request for a temporary Category 1 licence, which would require distributors to carry the channel and offer it to subscribers.

Category 2 licences are standard specialty channel licences. The licensees must negotiate carriage agreements with distributors like Bell Canada, Rogers Communications Inc., or Shaw Communications Inc.

Al-Jazeera English, for example, received a Category 2 licence from the CRTC last November. The channel did not reach carriage agreements with Bell, Rogers and Videotron until May 2, 2010.

The Sun TV News channel plans to launch in January 2011, and if it does not reach carriage agreements by that time, it could launch on Quebecor-owned Videotron. But Videotron only reaches Quebec customers, and Sun TV News is an English channel.

In a written response to questions from the CRTC attached to Quebecor’ Sun TV News application in July, Peggy Tabet, Quebecor’s director of regulatory affairs for broadcasting, suggested that three-year mandatory access for Sun TV News would be necessary for the channel to launch.

“If mandatory access for a maximum period of three years is not granted to Sun TV News, one or more major cable or satellite providers might decide to not offer this service. This would be fatal to our business case… and would likely result in the cancellation of the Sun TV News project,” Tabet wrote.

The controversy over the request for a temporary Category 1 licence arose in part because all-news services like CBC NN and CTV News Channel will lose their must-carry status next year.

The commission is redefining news services as operating in a competitive genre and the channels will instead have to negotiate with distributors for carriage like most specialty channels.

In a supplementary brief attached to the Sun TV News application, Quebecor argued that CBC NN and CTV News Channel had must-carry status for 21 and 13 years, respectively.

A CRTC hearing on the application has been set for Nov. 19 in Gatineau, Que.

Sasseville said the company will be in contact with the CRTC in the coming days to remove the special request for mandatory access from its application.

He said that although the company believed its arguments for mandatory access had a good chance of being approved, “we decided to go otherwise.”

Sun TV News has been steeped in controversy that led to the resignation of Kory Teneycke, Quebecor’s former vice-president of development in charge of Sun TV News who formerly worked as a senior official in the office of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“Over the summer, this controversy has gotten out of hand. It has morphed from market differentiation to something vicious and vitriolic. And yes, at times I have contributed to the debasing of that debate myself,” Teneycke said when he announced his resignation.

The Wire Report reported Monday that CRTC officials are now sorting through tens of thousands of submissions in response to the Sun TV News application.

Last week, international advocacy group Avaaz delivered more than 21,000 hard copy letters to the CRTC’s offices in Gatineau, Que., opposing the licence application for Sun TV News.

Peladeau told reporters that Teneycke “did a good job” for the company but declined to comment further on his resignation.

During his speech, Peladeau dispelled rumours that the station would be affiliated with Fox News in the United States, or that there was a secret deal between him and Prime Minister Harper to pressure the CRTC for approval.

“There is no connection of any sort between Sun TV News and Fox News, although-let me tell you-if our new channel could be as successful as Fox News our shareholders would be very pleased,” he said.

Prladeau said Sun TV News will be an extension of the Sun Media chain and offer content similar to the Sun newspapers.

Source: The Wire Report

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

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