There doesn't seem to be anyone on the industry side interested in pushing OTA in Canada. As many of you have said, we can't really look to our traditional networks to push for it. They're broadcasters by hobby. CTV, City and Global are directly owned/related to companies selling cable/satelite subscriptions. They only operate (an ever shrinking) OTA footprint through an inheritance from purchasing once independent companies. Even worse, our tax payer funded outlets, like TVO and CBC, have followed suit with transmitter shutdowns in a bid to save some pennies in their budgets. Independents and foreign companies have a hard time with the CRTC, who regulate which channels can exist, who can run them and how they operate. It's really disapointing the CRTC has been so apathetic towards OTA. We're in the midst of a growing base of consumers saying no to cable subscriptions and yes to OTT VOD. Instead of offering OTA as a compliment for network shows, some sports and local news, the CRTC is just willing to have those people drop out of the Canadian media space. However, I'm hopeful that we'll see some change in the bigger markets. We're getting to the point where an independent attempting to launch a new cable channel is the equivalent of trying to launch a new print outlet in 2017.
Yes TV runs a late night branded block of programming from Buzzr, a minor US DTV net that airs ancient game shows. I wonder if they'd be interested in operating a Canadian equivalent up here? I know the CRTC says they want "innovative" sub-channels, but with cable channel genre protection being dead, there's little reason to keep that mindset outside of wanting to dissuade OTA usage. I guess their issue would be supplying Cancon for that, since a church ministry isn't exactly going to have a library of relevant content.
We have a couple of companies with large libraries perfect for subchannel catalog usage. CBC has produced literal decades worth of material that isn't getting play. Same with DHX. That stuff isn't in rotation on their main channels and wouldn't find much of an audience on streaming platforms.