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Thanks interesting article, if only to point out some aggravating truths about the present licensing/regulatory regime we live under.

It's interesting to mention this kind of thing to the next generation. They don't even understand the issue because they don't consume television, and I think this is what will ultimately change the regime - not hundreds of millions of dollars more into CRTC hearings, white papers, industry subsidies, simsub, blocking Hulu and the like.

Some day when I get going on one of my "why can't I watch real HBO?" rants, one of these kids is going to ask...

"What's a network?".
 

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Most of my current favorite shows are unavailable on any Canadian stations, or they show up months or years later in SD instead of HD. More often that not they are also butchered due to technical problems, to add commercials or fill time slots. These are not obscure shows either but popular, highly rated and often critically acclaimed shows that would do well on Canadian stations. Since they are delayed by weeks or months they are also easy to overlook in the schedules. The US air times are usually widely publicized in the media but not for Canadian airings. For this I have the privilege of paying over $100/mo, only to be forced to break the law if I want to watch my favorite shows in their native format (as they were meant to be aired) and in a timely manner.

Critical acclaim for a U. S. import doesn't always translate into Canadian viewers. For years, Global tried to find a timeslot for "The Shield," another FX series that saw a breakthrough Best Actor Emmy award win for lead Michael Chiklis. While "The Shield" had its fans in Canada, Global found them few and far between and could never place the series in an optimum timeslot. "Monk" was another U.S. cable show that seemed to bounce around Canadian schedules.
The problem with these shows is that they do typically "bounce" all over the schedule and sometimes to different stations. Nothing is more irritating that watching a show and having it disappear or switch stations and/or air times two episodes from the season finale. Global is the worst offender. They have done this so often that I will no longer watch a US series on a Global owned station. Global can whine all they want about lack of viewers and losing audiences to US stations but the bottom line is that it's their own fault for being so negligent with their scheduling.
 

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It all goes back to 2003 - 2004 and the government in power at the time. We now have a lacklustre TV selection as a result. The BDUs are protected and have no reason to change.
 

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My personal opinion is that shows that do make it up here are bounced around as a result of internal politics at the networks that broadcast them.

Either that or the executives believe that one week in an unadvertised timeslot is enough to show a trend! :confused:

All this is more than enough to feed the popularity of bittorrents and other alternatives.

Having said that, I am finding that, with the irregular broadcast schedules we are seeing more and more often, most shows are more enjoyable if you capture the entire series and then watch it over a week or two or three. That does nothing for the advertising that the shows depend on, since I won't be counted as a viewer during regular airtime, but just getting into a show then having it either off the air or into reruns for 3 - 6 weeks really sucks.
 

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So far, our Canadian TV is a joke.
Broadcasters are playing with regulations and chess to avoid US specialties from crossing the Canadian border by stating they have similar content and they licence brands, but can't take a commitment.

In other words, they keep specialties like TNT, FX, SyFy and USA out saying this and that canadian channel already carries most of their daytime shows, but when it comes to original prime-time series on these US specialties, well, our canadian broadcasters will just sit them out, but if they somehow get popular, they'll wait for the acquisition rights to go lower so they can take the cheap route. Once they aired the first season, months after the US, well, too bad for you, we don't have money, wait for the DVD to come out! See ya!

Specialty "Space" keeps SyFy out of Canada but fill their schedule with 14 HOURS A DAY of Star Trek and Stargate shows! The rest being shows that aired on CTV.

Specialty BBC Canada keeps BBC America out, but fill their schedule with Canadian shows, don't accept any new series, and even get rid of other BBC shows (EastEnders went to VisionTV).

Specialty Star! keeps E! out of Canada due to same target content.

Specialty IFC Canada keeps IFC USA out, BUT IFC Canada programs big studios movies. They no longer use the term "Independant Film Channel" for IFC Canada.

Same goes for MTV Canada. MTV means "Music Television", but MTV Canada never uses that. But who cares at this point as MTV US doesn't air music videos anymore...

But the choice of destination network isn't always the greatest one.
On MuchMusic, you expect music and videos. Did anyone expect ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars" to air there? And bummer, MuchMusic ain't in HD.

I can go on with examples. Truth is, channels are sold in packages, broadcasters get subscriber revenues regardless if they're being watched or not, then spend very little in programming, letting viewers watch endless reruns of shows spread on multiple channels. Easy profits! In fact, that's how CanWest operates.
 

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"Specialty "Space" keeps SyFy out of Canada but fill their schedule with 14 HOURS A DAY of Star Trek and Stargate shows! The rest being shows that aired on CTV."

I'd rather have Space. They don't show Wrestling (still haven't figured out what that has to do with sci-fi!).

Yes they are showing reruns of The Listener and Defying Gravity that was on CTV. I for one am glad they have picked up Merlin since CTV didn't want to show it.

But they also have Sanctuary, had Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Doctor Who and Torchwood.

There are now some CTV shows that get a second airing on Space but really I see that as a plus if I happen to get a messed up airing of something like Fringe and still get a chance to get a better recording to watch.

It is weird on how much Star Trek and Stargate they do re run but it's what keeps the station afloat.

For me it isn't about what country a show comes from, but if I like it. I do watch a lot of British shows and I hate when Americans do a remake of a really good Brit sci-fi show like Life on Mars instead of coming up with their own stuff.
 

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Sorry to disagree. I would rather have Syfy which bradcasts in HD. It seems that CTV has made a decision for whatever reason to offer SPACE in"fuzzy vision" only thus diminishing the entertainment value of many of their shows. And they even run HD trailers promoting some of those shows onthe main CTV network!
 

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I think that the crtc should approve channels like syfy ect,ect but in HD only, that way there is absolutly NO competing with a canadian channel.
 

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I gave up a year ago. HD doesn't mean much compared to a proper 16x9 image that hasn't been cropped on the sides so TV on DVD has been cheaper and better than paying for poor value Canadian cable.

Oddly enough even buying the discs outright to own upon release has been cheaper overall than paying for cable.

Having said that if our cable was as good as the price/selection in the Time Warner (for example) cable packages I'd likely still have cable.
 
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