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Patrick Brown Wants To Raise Your Cable Bill


robert_viera

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In an attempt to portray himself as the saviour of local television, Barrie MP Patrick Brown is calling on the CRTC to allow CTVglobemedia (and others) to charge cable and satellite companies fees to carry the signals of television stations who broadcast over the air. The fees would no doubt be passed on to cable and satellite subscribers in the form of higher monthly bills. CTVglobemedia, which owns the local "A" station in Barrie, recently laid-off 24 of the 74 employees of the station and cancelled local programming including "A Morning", "A News This Week" and "Ontario News This Week".

Even though most of the shows on "A" are American, CTVglobemedia chose to cut local programming. According to a local union president, CTVglobemedia "threw the local stations under the bus" when times got tough. 1 Now Patrick Brown is siding with CTVglobemedia and asking cable and satellite subscribers to pay additional fees to watch broadcasts that are "freely" available over the air. Of course, these broadcasts are not really free, you pay for them when you purchase goods or services from companies that advertise on these stations. Since advertising rates are based in part on the size of the audience, I wonder how much less CTVglobemedia would be able to charge for advertising on "A" if it's broadcast was not carried by the cable and satellite companies?

In an article in The Hill Times 2, Patrick Brown is quoted saying "The value I see in the A Channels is that they are Canadian cultural content; when I turn on the A Channel news they're talking about Canadian news. I don't want to turn to CNN and have no Canadian content, have no local content."

I guess Mr. Brown hasn't been watching "A" Channel very closely, because this quote seems to indicate that he isn't aware that "A" Channel regularly uses CNN content in it's news broadcasts.

If Mr. Brown wants to save local programming, he should be presenting a petition to CTVglobemedia and not asking cable and satellite subscribers in Barrie to fork over more money to a company like CTVglobemedia that cuts local programming so that subscribers can watch a channel that features mostly American programming and that subscribers already support through it's advertisers.

By the way ... the biggest chunk of CTVglobemedia is owned by Canada's richest family, the Thomsons. If the CRTC allows these new fees, the Thomson's will get richer, cable and satellite subscribers will get poorer, and we'll have Patrick Brown, in part, to thank for it.

1http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/ArticleDi....aspx?e=1469969

2MPs across country wonder where local newspaper, television coverage going..., by Harris MacLeod, The Hill Times

Edited by robert_viera
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....If Mr. Brown wants to save local programming, he should be presenting a petition to CTVglobemedia and not asking cable and satellite subscribers in Barrie to fork over more money to a company like CTVglobemedia that cuts local programming so that subscribers can watch a channel that features mostly American programming and that subscribers already support through it's advertisers.....

Something is amiss here...why has "no Canadian content" successfully found a market to begin with?

Why not just wave the magic CRTC wand and ban all foreign content?

Why does this madcap struggle continue all these years?

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It occurred to me to wonder if cable companies would choose to carry the local stations at all if it cost them anything to do so.

Is anyone likely to cancel their cable contract because local programming is unavailable? Is anyone else going to step in and compete while carrying it?

Didn't think so.

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how about give the consumer the choice of whether or not they want it, but then we have the liberals to thank for the CRTC telling us what we should watch, and what crap our tax and advertising dollars should support. Its time for the CRTC and CBC to disapear from Canada, lets make our own choices instead of letting some government civil servant tell us what our choice is.

Edited by Alta4ever
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It's no secret that big media conglomerates like CTVglobemedia are in the broadcasting business to make a profit. Their modus operandi is nothing new. They buy up local media outlets and then they reduce costs (e.g. firing local employees) by replacing local content with cheaper national or American content in order to increase their profits. I have to give CTVglobemedia credit for threatening to further eliminate local content and then trying to point the finger of blame at cable/satellite companies and government bureaucrats. Very clever! My local MP certainly has bought into their argument. If the CRTC made a mistake, it was in allowing CTVglobemedia to buy these local stations in the first place.

Edited by robert_viera
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It's no secret that big media conglomerates like CTVglobemedia are in the broadcasting business to make a profit. Their modus operandi is nothing new. They buy up local media outlets and then they reduce costs (e.g. firing local employees) by replacing local content with cheaper national or American content in order to increase their profits. I have to give CTVglobemedia credit for threatening to further eliminate local content and then trying to point the finger of blame at cable/satellite companies and government bureaucrats. Very clever! My local MP certainly has bought into their argument. If the CRTC made a mistake, it was in allow CTVglobemedia to buy these local stations in the first place.

The CRTC is the mistake.

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Its time for the CRTC and CBC to disapear from Canada, lets make our own choices instead of letting some government civil servant tell us what our choice is.

Would you rather have the Thomsons or perhaps the Aspers decide what we get to watch on TV? At least with government bureaucrats there is a bit of public transparency and accountability.

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Grrrr. I hate cable as it is. So much garbage that I pay for and don't watch, or in the case of the 3-4 French channels, can't understand.

We're next door to Toronto, sure would like to know if anyone is successfully using some kind of antennae. I'd be outside with my cable cutters.

Edited by 85RZ500
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It's no secret that big media conglomerates like CTVglobemedia are in the broadcasting business to make a profit. Their modus operandi is nothing new. They buy up local media outlets and then they reduce costs (e.g. firing local employees) by replacing local content with cheaper national or American content in order to increase their profits. I have to give CTVglobemedia credit for threatening to further eliminate local content and then trying to point the finger of blame at cable/satellite companies and government bureaucrats. Very clever! My local MP certainly has bought into their argument. If the CRTC made a mistake, it was in allowing CTVglobemedia to buy these local stations in the first place.

CTV owns very few broadcast channels unless I'm mistaken. Although it did acquire the A_channels when it bought parts of Chum City....I imagine if one of us came up with a few bucks and the leaf tickets we could buy those white elephants for ourselves....

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Would you rather have the Thomsons or perhaps the Aspers decide what we get to watch on TV? At least with government bureaucrats there is a bit of public transparency and accountability.

I would rather have that because it would then be veiwership that would decide not someone with a social ajenda.

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Would you rather have the Thomsons or perhaps the Aspers decide what we get to watch on TV? At least with government bureaucrats there is a bit of public transparency and accountability.

It's my wife who decides what we watch. Whether it is CTV or Global that provides the content makes no difference to me. I prefer a business that has experiance trying to meet the consumers taste over an idiotic silly servant and a nebulous political agenda...

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I would rather have that because it would then be veiwership that would decide not someone with a social ajenda.

This isn't about which channels you can or can't watch on TV, it's about whether you should pay even more for some of the channels you're already watching. It's not about the CRTC either. It's about CTVglobemedia and the other media conglomerates trying to get the government to give them another way to get more revenue from the public even as they cut local programming.

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Another Conservative MP seems to have a different perspective on this issue than Mr. Brown. The following quote is from the same Hill Times article mentioned in my original post:

Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant (Refrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, Ont.) said she is concerned that CTV will try and use the economic downturn to wriggle out of its "obligation" to provide local coverage. The A Channel's Pembroke station has laid off 10 employees, cutting the station's staff down to two.

"The current owner of the A Channel had obtained that from the previous owner without a lot of acute community resistance because there was the promise that they would continue to provide local coverage. We're concerned that the current holder will use the present economic conditions to release it from its long term obligation to service Pembroke and the surrounding viewing area," Ms. Gallant said.

Edited by robert_viera
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As a Starchoice subscriber, I don't mind paying more to watch A-Channel because I bought a package and I find Starchoice has taken away channels that I had paid for and keeps raising their rates,so if I have to pay for A-Channel, then at least I'm paying for a channel that I can watch! Poor Windsor, On., is trying to fight it and I hope they can but there's too much power with the Minister and the CRTC.

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CTV should cut their losses and sell the A channels of craig's list....they are money pits that will lose money whether they get cable funding or not...

I would be willing to make an offer of $1000 provided that there are no job promises and I can sell the stations the next day...

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CTV should cut their losses and sell the A channels of craig's list....they are money pits that will lose money whether they get cable funding or not...

I would be willing to make an offer of $1000 provided that there are no job promises and I can sell the stations the next day...

Take it away Dancer..go for it...I just hope that Mr. Rodgers does not roll over in his grave before decompostion takes place...selling of communications has always been odd to me - It reminds me of two people on opposite sides of the valley - yelling back and forth - but before they talk they have to give ten bucks to a guy standing and guarding the best sonic vantage point - I say free cable for all - I get free cable - and I don't know why and I don't care to ask - and if it goes - so what - I will read a book.

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As a Starchoice subscriber, I don't mind paying more to watch A-Channel because I bought a package and I find Starchoice has taken away channels that I had paid for and keeps raising their rates,so if I have to pay for A-Channel, then at least I'm paying for a channel that I can watch! Poor Windsor, On., is trying to fight it and I hope they can but there's too much power with the Minister and the CRTC.

Do you mind that the extra money you might be paying to watch A-Channel will ultimately end up in the pockets of the people who chose to close A-Channel stations and cut local programming?

The Minister and the CRTC didn't make the decision to close A-Channel stations and cut local programming, CTVglobemedia did.

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Why isn't it that way already? Cable subscriptions do not use public broadcast bandwidth.

No in our programing we are required to take certain channels, and if the is a channel that the CRTC deems as the Canadian equivelent of the American channel we only get the canadian one.

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No in our programing we are required to take certain channels, and if the is a channel that the CRTC deems as the Canadian equivelent of the American channel we only get the canadian one.

Not exactly...if an american show is screening on a US and a Canadian channel, the canadian feed will be shown.

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Do you mind that the extra money you might be paying to watch A-Channel will ultimately end up in the pockets of the people who chose to close A-Channel stations and cut local programming?

The Minister and the CRTC didn't make the decision to close A-Channel stations and cut local programming, CTVglobemedia did.

A-Channel wanted the cable and dish companies to pay for a "carriage fee" so A-Channel and other stations could stay on air. The minister Moore does have power over the CRTC but I wonder who gives more money to the Tories, A-channel or CTV? I do get A-Channel London but can't get A-Channel Windsor, unless I go back on my aerial. BTW, they didn't cut A-channel London, Tory country.

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Not exactly...if an american show is screening on a US and a Canadian channel, the canadian feed will be shown.

No if I want the sci-fi channel, or some other specialty channel from the US I can't get it because we have space.

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In an attempt to portray himself as the saviour of local television, Barrie MP Patrick Brown is calling on the CRTC to allow CTVglobemedia (and others) to charge cable and satellite companies fees to carry the signals of television stations who broadcast over the air.

Cry me a river. Barrie voted in that joker. Deal with it.

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