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CRTC may give bargaining chip.

"Canadian television networks may get the right to pull their feed from cable and satellite services, and possibly black out shows on U.S. channels, if the broadcasters can't reach a deal with distributors on compensation for their signals"

I guess it is time to invest in an OTA antena
 

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The networks already have that right in a way.

Many of us subs usued to get the ThunderBay locals. A lot of people in Winnipeg are from or spent time there and it used to be available (there was a long thread on it here) and then the network (CTV) decided to pull it from everywhere outside of the TBay DMA.

I think I would rather see it pulled, or at least have the choice and put up an OTA than pay Shaw/Bell/Rogers an extra pile of $$$ that they then pay CTV/Globat/Etc.

The cable cos/sat cos will have to add a fee on top of what they are forced to pay the locals to cover "admin" costs.

Just my $0.02 worth...
 

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All of this has made me really wonder what exactly I am getting out of my Canadian service. I can get my news from the internet, radio, and print (all of which I consult daily), so I don't need Canadian news on TV. Then, I thought, "What sports will I miss?" Hockey. Well, CBC streams their games, and US providers also offer Center Ice.

My contract is up in October with Bell, so hopefully all of this BS is sorted out by then. I want either a firm NO for what the networks are asking for, or (if they get their fee for carriage) the right to opt out. Even then, I still might make the switch, and I bet I will be one of many. I don't want to get into a debate on legalities, I am simply pointing out how consumers have reached the end of their patience for a broken, overpriced, under developed service.
 

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Sounds like more of the fear campaign to me

I haven't been able to find any reference to that comment on the web except from the globe and mail article ("TV industry braces for blackout bargaining chip") written by Grant Robertson and he says the idea is being considered by the CRTC commission. They might have said that or mentioned it, but so far his comment saying they are is the only one i have found.

But hey if they want to pulll their signals and force a blackout of the shows on US channels and lose all that advertising revenue please go right ahead. What will i do...oh right i will watch those blacked out shows on the internet and i am sure the grey market US dishes will make a huge comeback too.

really the only thing i NEED TV for anymore is for live events, mostly sports
 

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CRTC may give bargaining chip.

"Canadian television networks may get the right to pull their feed from cable and satellite services, and possibly black out shows on U.S. channels, if the broadcasters can't reach a deal with distributors on compensation for their signals"
To us at CCSA, it does look like this is how it's shaping up. That "back door" approach to fee-for-carriage is a cause for some concern on the part of the small BDUs for a couple of reasons:

1) The broadcasters' written proposals to the CRTC for FFC were crafted so as to apply only to "non-exempt" BDUs. While the broadcasters back-pedalled on that at the NPH 2007-10 hearing, there is still a strong case to be made for exclusion of the small, exempted BDUs from FFC.

2) As many will know, there is a new, expanded small systems exemption order in the works. If FFC was done by way of amendment to the regulations, that exemption order would probably encompass exemption from FFC. In my view, that would be critical relief for the small BDUs and would not materially affect the broadcasters' revenue from any fee.

3) However, if broadcasters are given an express right to withold signals and negotiate fees commercially, there may be no regulation with respect to FFC from which small systems could be exempted. So this "back door" approach could actually hurt the small BDUs in an unintended way.

4) Finally, the small, independent BDUs rarely get commercial terms as good as the major MSOs and DTH. So, if this is left to commercial negotiation, the smaller BDUs who can least afford it may end up paying premium wholesale fees for the right to distribute the OTA signals. The result would be yet another area in which their costs are higher than those of their competitors. Already, they pay a premium for satellite transport of those signals that nobody else pays.

That's not good for small BDUs or their small-town and rural customers. Especially when HD signal satellite transport costs come fully into play, this may become a serious signal access issue for small-town and rural Canadians. The small BDUs may simply be unable to afford to source the signals and pay the new wholesale fees.
 

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BTW, the concerns I just set out would apply to both FFC for use of signals in local markets and negotiation for the right to distribute "out of market" OTA Distant Signals. The broadcasters want both of those things. So even the small BDUs that do not have local television stations in their service areas would be affected with respect to any stations they distribute for time-shifting purposes.
 

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This has happened in the US

This is exactly what happened in Buffalo when WIVB (the local CBS affiliate) reached an impasse with Time Warner cable. It happened right in the middle of football season too which gave the station additional leverage.

As a goodwill gesture (and to frame TWC as the bad guy), the station distributed antennas and instructions on how to tune both the analog and DTV signals.

The matter is resolved now, but it was pulled off cable for several weeks as I recall.
 

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Pulling channels and US programming would create a huge backlash against everyone involved. There are also legal implications. For example, if CTV, Shaw or Rogers pulled their stations off some BDUs, but not others that they partially or fully own, it could lead to antitrust allegations. The whole thing stinks of brinkmanship, extortion and blackmail by holding the public airwaves hostage. It's about time the CRTC got a backbone and told Canadian broadcasters to shape up or shut down.
 

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ScaryBob said:
The whole thing stinks of brinkmanship
I've said it before, but I see the networks, the BDUs, the CRTC, and the government as all being engaged in an elaborate, decades-long dance, intertwining with each other, stepping on toes, embracing, dipping, pirouetting, always hoping that the song will never end, with consumers as nothing more than the floorboards.

This is a fascinating time, but I don't have any favourites in this latest episode of Canadian broadcasting's "So You Think You Can Outdance" competition.

If the networks build out DTV across Canada I'd be delighted, and the competition would make the BDUs go back home and really sharpen their pencils, resulting in (hopefully) better options for consumers.

A broadcasting executive commented to me the other day that the egos involved are huge. :rolleyes:
 

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It would be funny if Global would start handing out antennas here and tell viewers to use them to watch their channel... it would backfire on them. "Oh wait, I can also use it to watch Fox, CBS, and NBC!"
 

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I've said it before, but I see the networks, the BDUs, the CRTC, and the government as all being engaged in an elaborate, decades-long dance, intertwining with each other, stepping on toes, embracing, dipping, pirouetting, always hoping that the song will never end, with consumers as nothing more than the floorboards.

This is a fascinating time, but I don't have any favourites in this latest episode of Canadian broadcasting's "So You Think You Can Outdance" competition.

If the networks build out DTV across Canada I'd be delighted, and the competition would make the BDUs go back home and really sharpen their pencils, resulting in (hopefully) better options for consumers.

A broadcasting executive commented to me the other day that the egos involved are huge. :rolleyes:
Here's another of my interminable posts, which I'm copying over from another forum. I promise, I'll start doing short barks in the future.:)

****** said:
It's hard to tell the exact profits since BDU's include them in packages with specialty channels, but the ratings say that conventional channels are the most watched (CTV is Canada's #1 Network) How can BDU's say that the most popular channels they carry don't help their profits?
This is what truly baffles me about this whole sorry mess. It seems to me that the broadcasters have simply made the wrong proposal. Why propose a fee-for-carriage, which they must have known would meet virulent resistance from the CRTC, the BDUs and Canadian viewers, when they could have asked simply to be re-licensed as specialties, something that the BDUs, the CRTC and viewers apparently could have accepted?

It feels to me like somebody high up made a bad strategy decision years ago and, ever since, they have been backed into a political corner supporting that flawed decision.

Here's what I mean:

1) Let us accept your point that the conventional broadcasters are "the most popular channels" with the top viewer ratings in Canada.

2) They also have the rights for the major US prime time series. They have rights to major sports event programming and to the big reality TV properties.

3) They say that the foundation of the advertiser-supported conventional model is "broken" and that fee-for-carriage, as proposed will not fix that problem but will only "fix the cracks in the foundation".

4) They say that the specialty services are doing very well. The specialties are doing well, with PBIT percentage margins ranging between the high teens and low twenties. That's a very good ROI.

5) The sports specialty service, TSN, has a regulated maximum rate for distribution on a BDU's basic service, of $1.07. TSN can and does charge substantially higher wholesale fees for discretionary tier distribution. Typically, TSN is carried on a tier with 80% or greater penetration of the BDU's entire subscriber base.

6) For the sake of argument, assume TSN gets a very conservative ten cent premium for discretionary tier distribution. That gives a rate of $1.17.

7) 80% of subscribers * $1.07 is WAY more dollars than 100% of subscribers * $0.50. It's an effective per-subscriber rate of $93.6 versus the $0.50 effective rate that FFC would give. Even on a 65% penetrated tier, the specialty gets an effective per subscriber rate of $0.76. Even if the networks can't get TSN's rates, I bet they can do better than a $0.50 effective per-subscriber rate.

8) The broadcasters do not WANT to do over-the-air transmission in the digital environment. They want the BDUs to do the distribution. So what is the advantage of OTA broadcasting?

So, CTV, given its top viewer ratings and wealth of rights to US prime-time content, should be able to do EXTREMELY well as a specialty service - far better than it would do under fee-for-carriage as proposed.

As points of comparison, Outdoor Life Network had a 2007 PBIT margin of 31.14%. CTV's own Animal Planet, a Category 2 digital service with no carriage rights at all, had a 2007 PBIT margin of 20.30% - for "animals outdoors" programming content.

Sure, local news is expensive to produce but there's SERIOUS coin to be made here.

Surely then, these networks could compete as specialty services on the strength of their content, their ubiquitous, established brands and the depth of their corporate promotional pockets.

What I do not understand, then, is why the broadcasters do not LEAP at the chance to be licensed as specialties.

I am all the more perplexed when I consider that licensing these services as specialties and allowing them to compete as such could actually fix the fundamental problem that has been placed before Canadians - that the "advertiser only" supported conventional television model is "broken".

NOBODY is saying that FFC will fix that problem for the long term. Instead, the FFC proposal is laden with opportunities for acrimony and endless, unproductive debate with no prospect of truly fixing anything at all. And that's right where we are.

It seems to me that an alternate approach of licensing these networks as specialties has a strong prospect of success, including preservation of "local" television. These networks have everything they need to compete and succeed - so why won't they do it?

Would the commercial negotiations for affiliation agreements with the BDUs be tough? You bet they would. They could hardly be tougher than the FFC negotiation and they could hardly cost as much. I wonder how much the cross-country, cross-media publicity campaign, complete with station-hosted "open houses" across Canada, has cost these folks. Add to that, of course, the costs of showing up time and again at the CRTC and before parliamentary committees, fully briefed, with a team of 20 lawyers and executives each time. It's got to be millions by now.

I have to believe that the broadcasters have crunched the numbers on the specialty service option but I just can't see where the problem could be with competing that way. The only other answer I can come up with, other than being wedded to a bad strategy from the outset, is that the broadcasters are so deeply immersed in their own long tradition of regulatory guarantees that they simply cannot think outside of that box.

In my experience though, money always talks louder and make no mistake: it's about the money.

So here's my honest question out to the forum: "What the heck am I missing here?"
 

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I'm so sick of Canadian Television stations living off of our dime and wanting more. The top programs weekly in Canada are all American and available on American Stations included in Cable and Satellite packages. It's time for CTV, Global and CBC to become strictly Canadian content and leave the American programming to the American stations. At that point they would truly see just how much viewers value their content. If these stations can not stand on their own without piggybacking off of American content, then it's time to say goodbye.

If the CRTC actually allows CTV to blackout American shows on American stations, I'm done with spending my money on Canadian Broadcasters. If they want to bite the hand that feeds them so be it. This protectionist viewpoint on Stations that don't even produce any decent Canadian content is ridiculous.
 

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If CTV, Global, etc get the right to black out programs on the US networks, there WILL be a boycott of companies and products that advertise on the offending stations. Then all they will have left is government paid advertising. Then watch the whining that they aren't getting any revenue.
 

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They don't want a speciality license because at that point they are off OTA, with no guarenteed placement on the BDU channel grids. OTA channels are general content channels that offer a variety of programs. Speciality channels are one trick ponys, with less commercial time. CTV, and Global simply want the public to finance them.

And just one more thing. They do not own the copyright of US shows. They purchase the broadcast rights to show these shows in a certain territory for a limited time period. The actual rights are still with the content owners, unless they sell those rights. The question then is, do the US networks have overide in their dealings if a competing non US broadcaster has also purchased broadcast rights.

Example...

1 - What if US broadcasters start to demand that Canadain stations can no longer broadcast their shows at the sametime in Canada, and that they are to appear a week later? World premier is on the US network that ordered the show.

2 - What about a market like Detroit. I've never seen what the Windsor stations do, but I have read that they cannot broadcast the same shows that the Detroit affiliates have due to the over lapping market (OTA).

That I'm trying to point out is, if they start to play hard ball, the US border affliates can start to play hardball as well. Those affiliates have lost a lot of ad revenues due to Simsub. What if they start to demand protection for their market as well. CTV & Global are being very short sighted.

Between the Canadian public supporting CTV & Global or US border affliates, who do you think they will back. The stations that give them the shows they want, or the stations that feel we owe them something.
 

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In Windsor, the networks show general-purpose sitcoms like Two and a half Men that are already in syndication. CHWI-TV and WKBD-TV both air that series, but at different times and different nights. CBET-TV is similar, in that it had to drop jeopardy and The Simpsons due to rights issues from WDIV-TV (Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy), and WKBD-TV (The Simpsons). Global and CTV are about to get into another bidding war with american broadcasters? they are either very brave or very foolish if they think they can compete with broadcasters 100x their size. the americans can simply say "uh, no thanks. we don't want to sell our program rights to you." then what?

Areas like Burlington-Plattsburgh (which is in reach of the Montreal locals) was already in a bidding war (CJNT-TV vs. WFFF-TV) regarding Simsubbing, which left WFFF-TV constnatly shuffling its schedule at the last second to avoid having its programs simsubbed. not sure who won in that, but expect ALL the border affiliates to do that if GLobal and CTV get what they want. NBC will decide "we dont' want to make more episodes of that anti-comedy, Howie Do it" with Canwest... CBS migh tell CTV to make flashpoint by itself.... trade wars are rarely fun, but in this case, it might be great to see CTV and Global get their rears handed to them by the american networks :D

regarding lost ad revenue... WKBD-TV and WWJ-TV are making a KILLING by advertising mostly WINDSOR stores. no one seems to simsub them, either... cogeco and the CRTC must not be paying attention down here.
 
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