Monday, February 1, 2010

CBC Newsworld "mandatory distribution"

Tonight I discovered that CTV does indeed have a 24 hour news channel, but sadly it is not a part of my basic cable package, while CBC Newsworld is. So I did a little research, and I found an interesting application by the CBC to the CRTC in 2007; "the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) requested mandatory distribution of the national specialty television programming undertaking known as CBC Newsworld on digital basic". That's right, the CBC applied to mandate the inclusion of Newsworld in all basic digital cable packages across the country, forcing cable providers to charge the mandated subscription fee.

What reasons did the CBC state for forcing Canadians to purchase their service? Here's a sample:

"The CBC noted the importance of CBC Newsworld to the broadcasting system, submitting that Canadians value and trust the news and information programming the service provides and see it as an essential component of basic television service."

"The applicant also submitted that in an ever expanding world of digital programming, all Canadians need to have access to Canadian points of view and content when it comes to news and current affairs. Finally, the CBC contended that CBC Newsworld makes a significant contribution to the objectives of the Act, through its high level of Canadian content, its original programming, the presence of diversity in its programming through regional points of view on the same news stories, and the provision of a public service that is essential to the maintenance and enhancement of national identity."

"The applicant also noted that, should CBC Newsworld not be granted mandatory distribution, the resulting decline in subscription and advertising revenues would lead to a need to reduce expenditures"

The CBC cited the ability of Newsworld to enhance "national identity" and if Canadians were not forced to purchase the services, the network may have to reduce expenditures. Duh? Because unless you force people to buy it, not enough people will subscribe to cover operating expenses! Is CTV news not Canadian enough? I have to buy Newsworld, and the CTV News Network is not in my cable package. At least this was what the CRTC responded with:

"The Commission also notes that the bulk of the services' spending is devoted to production infrastructures and to the personnel required to produce programming, and that any reduction in revenues would have a direct impact on the services' means of production and, consequently, on their capacity to provide adequate regional, national and international news and information. The Commission considers that granting mandatory distribution on digital basic to these services would help maintain their ability to fulfill their mandates with respect to offering high-quality information and news services that aim to serve Canada's French-speaking communities in anglophone markets, and Canada's English-speaking communities in francophone markets.

Accordingly, the Commission considers that it would be appropriate to grant the CBC's request for mandatory distribution of CBC Newsworld"

I realized that I had CBC Newsworld in my cable package. I did not realize that the CRTC mandated that I need it. The "wholly owned specialty channel" was unable to survive against competing networks. Now what I am really curious to see is how many additional households had the forcible entry of Newsworld into their cable bills as a result of this decision. How much additional money did Newsworld extract from cable subscribers as a result?  I would also love to see measured ratings over these periods to see if Canadians watched in greater number due to the increased distribution. As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him walk on it...


  1. If you can't give Soloman tax dollars, just force Canadians to buy him.

  2. Obviously the CRTC is in cahoots with the CBC. Does the CBC have people sitting on the board of the CRTC? What is the relationship?

  3. Are there any English-speaking communities in francophone markets? I can only think of the eastern township area and most of them can surely speak French at this point.

  4. If CBC Newsworld is a 24 hr news channel, we don't get it here, but we have CTV Newsnet & believe me it has become so extremely partizan & pro-liberal that it's really hard to watch. The Harper bashing is huge & they never tell 'all of the story'. They always seem to be campaigning for the Liberals & did their best to push the protests & that FB group.
    Though don't they all get their so called *news* from one & the same source?

  5. Well the CRTC mandated that Newsworld be part of every basic cable package in 2007, and I can't comment on CTV Newsnet because it is not on my television. If they are partisan then they are partisan, but since they aren't 67% tax subsidized, I could care less.

  6. My whole beef with the CBC is that they are mostly funded by parliamentary appropriations. I make jokes about the Toronto Star every so often, but I don't force myself to read it. In fact, I don't read the Star at all. I don't care about the Star. My roommate in University had his father on the Star's Editorial Board and I was a loyal Mike Harris supporter. He and I had fierce debates.

    But again, if they can survive in the free market, I don't loathe their existence. If the CRTC mandated that people buy the Toronto Star, I’d be pissed off.

  7. Exactly right Iceman!!! Keep digging.

  8. CBC controls what you hear and see. If you live in the Maritimes, you probably will not hear much of the PM even though he had just given a speech. what the media does to those who only have CBC is show bits and pieces of the PM's speech, or none at all.
    A man phoned into Rutherford radio show told him that he 'only' gets CBC they know nothing of what is going on. He even said that if you farted the cbc there has it on news. The guy went on to say that it is so bad that most people there have to switch to scanning the radio to get other than CBC.
    Here is another trick CBC manipulates the words of the prime minister and when he is interviewed by Mansbrige they(CBC) know where their 'bait' is to manipulate: Maritimes, BC, TORONTO QUEBEC and other strictly CBC run locations. The least you know about the prime minister in those areas the easier it is for CBC to 'brainwash' you.
    But what the whole of canada will hear about is OBAMA.
    I personally don't blame the innocent canadian for their doubts; I blame the national media for keeping them in the dark.

  9. I'm with Fay, keep digging indeed. We HAVE to do something about the corrupt CBC after all we pay for that Liberal propaganda machine. I finally had it with CBC when they were caught colluding with the Liberals, remember? Pablo and Krista?