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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-07, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow CHCH and local broadcasters need your help!

Does CHCH's local programming matter to you?

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Review of the Local Programming Improvement Fund
Deadline for submission of interventions/comments: 15 February 2012

The Commission will hold a public hearing to review its policies and regulations relating to the Local Programming Improvement Fund, commencing on 16 April 2012 at the Conference Centre, Phase IV, 140 Promenade du Portage, Gatineau, Quebec. The Commission invites written comments and proposals, along with supporting evidence, on the matters for consideration set out below. The deadline for the receipt of comments is 15 February 2012.

Please take a few minutes to visit the CHCH site and do the CHCH survey

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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-08, 07:20 AM
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I really hope the CRTC cans the LPIF. It's ridiculous to force TV subscribers to pay yet another subsidy to support unviable channels.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-08, 12:47 PM
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To be honest, I rarely look at the locals on the Bell TV guide. As far as I am concerned, I am paying twice for channels I don't want. If I wanted local programming I would get them OTA.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-08, 03:44 PM
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I agree with Tridus. CHCH is a private business. If it can't make it on its own without a subsidy it needs to come up with a new business plan or shut down.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-08, 04:38 PM
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Last month, Metro 14 (also property of Channel Zero) had a similar survey about their Metro Debut show. Since CHCH is not carried on Vidéotron (except in Gatineau), the survey for me ain't going further than the 1st question.

Last time I checked, LPIF revenues help out producing newscast at local stations in small markets while fee-for-carriage (value for signal) creates an increase of 50 cents per local station per cable/satellite subscriber per month that goes directly into the vertically integrated company's bank account and have one single purpose: the shareholders.

IMHO, an english local station located in (or in the surroundings of) Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary or Winnipeg shouldn't receive a single penny of LPIF since they're located in strong markets with a lot of advertisement money.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-09, 06:20 AM
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All that LPIF does is allows those same big companies to not spend any money on the local stations, so they can throw it at simsubbing US shows instead. What you call it doesn't change anything, it's still money coming from subscribers and going to these big companies.

I'm sick of having fees and subsidies tacked on by the government to pay for things I don't watch. It's right up there in BS factor with all the channels I have to pay for that I don't want.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-09, 12:33 PM
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I agree with the other posters, if they aren't viable shut em down. I watch the first 2-5mins of evening news on CHCH then fastforward the rest and the local programming is a joke, pretty funny how all the best programs are subbed from US networks.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-10, 09:13 PM
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The only thing I watch on CHCH is Supernatural a few days in advance of Space! Not really worth the LPIF!
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-25, 08:31 AM
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CHCH doesn't receive LPIF revenue. LPIF is only applicable to very small-market stations, and CHCH doesn't fit that criteria.

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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-25, 08:41 AM
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Jase88, did you click on OTA Canuck's CHCH link from post#1 ?

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-25, 09:23 AM
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CHCH also does not produce any local content for the Alvinston/Sarnia/Chatham/London area that its repeater serves. They don't even provide weather forecasts for the area served by that repeater. If CHCH receives any LPIF funds, it's a scam.

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-25, 10:04 AM
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The survey is now closed and the CHCH survey unavailable. Please keep LPIF comments specific to CHCH.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-25, 10:11 AM
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Precisely my point. Now that the survey is over, when ya click the link this is what pops up at you..
Your support plays a vital part in ensuring CHCH remains a recipient of the Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF),..
"remains", implies that they have and do receive LPIF.

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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-25, 10:31 AM
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MT, I did.

I realize that CHCH is lobbying for LPIF revenue. But just pointing out that they currently don't receive it AFAIK, as they don't meet the criteria.

*edit*: With regards to the "remains" comment: I wonder, as Scarybob mentions, if CHCH does receive LPIF for the smaller communities they serve with a transmitter? I'll have to do some digging...

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 2012-02-25, 12:21 PM
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LPIF=Laughing People Inciting Fraud

My favourite tv series on CHCH is Breakout Kings (it's an American show filmed mostly in Toronto with Canadian Brooke Nevin as part of the cast). It's also on A&E , which is why I had to add A&E to my cable bill (2nd tier) -- in order to see all the Season 1 episodes (A&E marathon also airs this Sunday) and the start of Season 2 (March 4 on A&E).

If it wasn't for CHCH, I wouldn't have found Breakout Kings.

The LPIF is a "lovely" fund that allows some companies to occasionally withdraw more money than they actually put in (hello, Bell). Ouch!

Local TV news doesn't matter that much to me, but if the LPIF smokescreen helps to keep more American programming on CHCH, so be it. Otherwise, dump the LPIF and start a better fraud.
[CHCH viewers eager to add input over CRTC funding issue]

February 14, 2012

The federal regulator has not ruled out reducing or eliminating the fund, which was worth $106 million last year. It comes out of a 1.5 per cent charge to cable and satellite bills.

More than 15,000 people completed the questions, said Cal Millar, Channel Zero president.

Millar doesn’t think the CRTC will eliminate the fund but he’s concerned the agency has opened the door to that possibility at all. The station will make its case directly to the commission at a hearing beginning April 16.

Millar says Channel Zero will argue that LPIF money received has gone directly into improving the quality and quantity of local news coverage.

“The LPIF has been very good for Hamilton and area … I think we have improved local programming and some of that is because of money received from the fund.”

He says the station sends out 32 news teams in two shifts each day and begins its local programming at 4 a.m. The station broadcasts 80 hours of in-house content a week, more than 11 times what it is required to produce.

Losing any of the LPIF could lead to reduced staff and programming hours or higher advertising rates, says Millar.

But he stresses that getting less money or no money at all from the fund won’t put CHCH in jeopardy.

“We would soldier on and continue our commitment to the community but it is an important part of our overall funding mix … A reduction would have an effect, but we’re not going to fall apart.”

Millar won’t reveal how much the station gets out of the fund, saying CHCH is privately owned and the dollars don’t come out of taxes. The CRTC also doesn’t disclose amounts paid to individual stations, but 26 stations across the country, including 20 owned by the CBC, have agreed to disclose their LPIF payments, which total $48.2 million.

They range from $4.5 million to the CBC’s affiliate in Quebec City down to $801,236 paid to CHEM in Trois-Rivieres.

The fund is paid based on a complex formula dividing Canada’s English and French markets that takes into account average spending on local programming for each station.

“CHCH is kind of like the poster child for the whole LPIF program in Canada,” said Ian Morrison, spokesperson with Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, an independent watchdog.

“I believe CHCH is just a remarkable new model in our broadcasting system.”

He estimates CHCH is getting somewhere between $1 million and $2 million from the LPIF.

Morrison thinks the CRTC will keep the fund in place but tighten its requirements.

There are 78 LPIF recipients, including some big players such as Bell and Rogers which both pay into the fund as a distributor and withdraw from the fund as the owners of small market stations. For instance, Bell (which owns CTV), paid $22.5 million into the LPIF but was paid $23.6 million out of it.

In upcoming hearings, LPIF recipients will be expected to demonstrate to the commission how the funding was used to improve viewer satisfaction and audience size, increase ad revenue, increase local news stories and grow local programming.

The fund was established in 2008, when a number of major broadcasters, including Canwest and CTV, were warning they could no longer afford to produce local content, and were cutting staff and letting broadcast licences expire. The CRTC said it would review the fund after three years.

Millar says there is no compelling reason to significantly alter the LPIF since the profitability of cable and satellite providers continues to rise and consumers have not protested paying the extra charge.

The CRTC initially demanded the cable and satellite providers pay the LPIF charge directly out of their own revenues but hasn’t enforced that.

“Now they’re just passing it on to their customers,” said Morrison. “They are not paying a penny … They love to raise fees when they get to keep the money.”
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