At a press conference in downtown Toronto yesterday, Quebecor president and chief executive Pierre Karl Peladeau announced plans to launch Sun TV News, a new 24-hour English news channel, on January 1, 2011.

Provided Sun TV receives CRTC approval in coming months, Quebecor says it plans to spend $100 million over the next five years to get the network up and running.

From a Canadian news junkies perspective, the idea of a another source for news in this country is wonderful. From a Canadian business perspective however we are left wondering whether there are enough viewers and advertisers in Canada to support another news outlet.

Excluding local conventional televisions with their local news packages, Canadians can now get their news from the nightly news of three major networks, one urban network, multiple cable news networks, multiple cable news network’s from the U.S. and several from outside North America.

The following is a list of the major English language news outlet now available in Canada which Sun TV News would compete against.
  • CBC
  • CTV
  • Global
  • CITY TV (Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg)
  • Business News Network
  • CBC News Network
  • CTV News Channel
  • CP24
  • Local CBC, CTV and Global Television stations
From the U.S.
  • ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC News
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • MSNBC
International
  • Al Jazeera
  • BBC World News
  • CNN International

After reviewing the list, it’s only natural to ask `Where is SUN TV news going to get its viewers from?`

During the event Peladeau and the new head of SunTV News Kory Teneycke described existing Canadian news networks as "condescending," "politically correct," and "boring" and promised that Sun TV news would be "Canada's Home to Hard News and Straight Talk." Programming, which Teneycke said would be "unapologetically patriotic," would consist of news during the day and talk shows at night.

Judging by Mr. Tenecyke`s descriptions of his competitors during the press event and Sun TV`s tagline, it appears the network is hoping to duplicate the success of Fox News Network in the United States by wrapping itself in the flag and by offering outspoken populist commentary.

While the obvious bias and skewed reporting of Fox News may upset traditional journalists, it clearly is appealing to American audiences. In the U.S., Fox News reigns supreme over cable news network’s CNN and MSNBC. In the first quarter of 2010, the Fox News Channel enjoyed its best quarter ever in the ratings race while viewership at both MSNBC and CNN were down.

Judging by the business success of the Fox News Channel south of the border then it’s not unrealistic to assume that Sun TV could be stealing viewers from CBC, CTV, Global and all the rest.

-- Hugh Thompson for the Digital Home Blog

Discuss Sun TV in Digital Home's Canadian Television Industry / Channels and Providers discussion forum .