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Dec. 20, 2020

Getting really ticked off of the situation in Canada. OTA is a plain disaster! We ATSC 1.0 in HD with each station getting 9 channels. Example:
5.1 CBLT Toronto has 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8 and 5.9
Since 2011 not one station in Southern Ontario has not Multicast. That is the whole idea going digital is better picture and more selection.
Meanwhile in Buffalo, New York across the Border all there stations are Multicasting. One Station WBXZ 56.1 is doing 12 channels 56.1 thru to 56.12.
Meanwhile, Canada is like a stick in the mud, nothing is happening WHY??????
What is the problem.
 

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I'll play along, what content/channels are you expecting to be shown on these 9 CBC subchannels? There is nothing stopping Canada from having subchannels and in fact some do exist in Ontario, Leamington has 4, and northern Ontario has a few 'new' ones now (closed some ota towers and merged the existing channels together). Global used to run a duplicate SD subchannel a few years ago, never understood why.

Canada regulates what channels are allowed, no fluff stations they must have a purpose and contribute local news / content to be allowed to use our public airwaves, and a company can only own 1 TV station per region (example CTV and CTV2 cannot be in the same region). Omni1+2 are an exception but are providing multi language local content and serve a unique purpose, similar to CBC fench. There are really no other channels to add and by having their own frequencies we are getting better picture quality, that US station might have 12 channels but let's be honest most of them are terrible SD quality. Like it or not the system is working as intended.

The only reason OTA has even survived in Canada is from simsub regulations which Bell/Rogers are caring about less and just forfeiting those rights in smaller markets. With no OTA in a region they hope you end up paying for Bell sat for example, and then they get simsub rights on you as a subscriber to their satellite anyway, or better yet targetted ads through IPTV.

Also note, it may seem easy/cheaper to just add subchannels but in reality each subchannel has a cost as well, some reports have shown cases where it's almost the same cost as running two separate frequencies anyway.

CBC OTA renewal is up and there is a large group who would rather see it be cancelled then even continued at this point. Pandemic is speeding up the death of Canadian OTA with significantly reduced advertising revenue.
 

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The only reason OTA has even survived in Canada is from simsub regulations which Bell/Rogers are caring about less and just forfeiting those rights in smaller markets.
Not quite. Bell simsubs almost every channel on their services whether they have the right to request it or not. Those simsubs extend to other services that resell Bell (Telus satellite) or use Bell feeds (such as smaller cable companies.) Bell's expansion is making OTA simsub revenue less relevant as they increase market share.
 

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Not quite. Bell simsubs almost every channel on their services whether they have the right to request it or not. Those simsubs extend to other services that resell Bell (Telus satellite) or use Bell feeds (such as smaller cable companies.) Bell's expansion is making simsub revenue OTA less lucrative as they increase market share.
Isn't that my next sentence? They hope you sign up for their service to continue simsub on you, which they do have the right to do and if the smaller carrier is reselling their service obviously they get whatever Bell provides.
 

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Pandemic or not, OTA in Canada has been phasing out over the years. There's very little money to be made providing free TV service.
 

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I've always been curious as to why CBC and SRC don't do a .1/.2 sort of thing (or, have the subchannel mapped to a different virtual channel entirely). Heck, in Ontario, have an agreement with TVO to put it on the .3, too.
 

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The CRTC strictly prohibited multiplexing existing channels during the initial digital transition. It also prohibits multiple channels from one owner in any market. (There is an exemption for multicultural channels.) The end result was an acceleration of OTA transmitter shutdowns due to increased costs for both conversion and operation of OTA transmitters.
 

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Upgrading CBC equipment to support multiplexing to have the same end result (CBC and CBC french available in same coverage) would be a big waste of tax dollars. In fact it would actually degrade each stations ota quality so doing nothing is actually better in this case.

TVO is publicly funded in Ontario (and not across Canada), not saying it can't happen but would be pretty complex to merge and split costs with a federal government funded station that also gains advertising revenue and would gain further market penetration with the TVO OTA coverage which is vastly superior. Also repeat loss of picture quality again.
 

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The Canadian model is broken...
Doesn't mean it can't be fixed with the right government in place...
Here in the US is different, because anyone with the capital can buy a license to broadcast
and start something up and compete in any given market, within a fairly short period of time.

Look at WBXZ, independent, family owned, startup in what 2014??
within a few short years it was outperforming Longtime 'ION' in local ratings.
 

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Part of the problem here is that the CRTC allowed "death stars" that put local broadcasters out of business. Satellite services launched with over a hundred OTA stations available country wide. Satellite expanded competition to smaller markets that were previously dependent on local OTA. Local broadcasters were suddenly competing with out of market big city stations and losing ad revenue to them. That was not allowed in the US. The US did not have OTA on satellite until many years later and then it was restricted to local stations. Canadian broadcasters must also contend with deep penetration of US OTA stations on cable and satellite. Competition from distant Canadian stations on cable is not allowed in the US. More revenue was lost due to the expansion of specialty stations on cable.

Before that even happened on a large scale, local broadcasters were already in trouble due to falling advertising revenue from small businesses that were shutting down due to the invasion of US big box stores. Large businesses and US chains tend to buy national advertising on networks rather than deal with numerous small stations.

In addition and, again, unlike the US, the CRTC allowed big corporate networks to buy up almost all the small, independent stations, basically eliminating privately owned TV in all but a handful of markets. It's still possible for independent broadcasters to be started and but financial success is difficult. They must compete with national networks for advertisers, content and carriage on cable and satellite. The large networks are owned by companies with deep pockets that also own most of the cable and satellite TV operations plus most of the infrastructure required to deliver internet and TV signals. It's like trying to open a coffee shop next door to Starbucks and being dependent on them for coffee beans, wifi and parking.
 

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You nailed it ExDilbert. Great analogy.

If there was money to be made by opening up a new OTA television channel or expanding a existing one (including adding subchannels), someone would do it. Almost none have tried. Most of the stations still in business have existed since the dawn of the television broadcasting era. Many have not survived. Nearly all the stations that were locally or family owned have been purchased by big media.
 

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.. Global used to run a duplicate SD subchannel a few years ago, never understood why.
That's easy. There was still analog/standard definition cable back then. Not every cable company had direct feeds from the network, some (we are talking the smaller operations) actually received it over the air. I guess Global thought it was better to provide it directly (ie. they had control to do it the way they wanted to) instead of forcing the cable companies to downconvert it.
 
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