CRTC denies Sun News Network's request to be carried on basic cable -

CRTC denies Sun News Network’s request to be carried on basic cable

Does this spell the end of the channel?


OTTAWA – Sun News Network says it will stay on the air while the CRTC reviews the way news channels are regulated in Canada.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on Thursday rejected the network’s bid to be carried on basic cable, casting fresh doubts on the future of the controversial upstart broadcaster.

But the CRTC also says it will review the regulations for news channels in Canada.

“The diversity of voices is an essential component of our society, particularly as they relate to news and information in the Canadian broadcasting system,” CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in a statement.

“Television news channels provide an important public service by ensuring that Canadians are exposed to different opinions and perspectives on matters that concern all citizens. We are concerned that, under the existing rules, Canadian news services are not being given a pride of place in our broadcasting system.”

That provides a glimmer of hope for Sun News, which told the CRTC this spring that anything short of mandatory carriage would spell the end of the channel, dubbed “Fox News North” by some critics when it made its debut in April 2011.

“We are disappointed that the CRTC did not rule in favour of our application for a mandatory distribution order,” Sun News executive Kory Teneycke said in a statement.

“However, we are encouraged they have found merit in the main arguments laid out by Sun News on price, channel placement and distribution, and have provided a mechanism to address these issues.”

The application by Sun News “acted as a catalyst for this broader review of the framework for national news services announced today,” he added.

Mandatory carriage would have generated significant revenue for the network, which lost $17 million last year — a situation parent company Quebecor (TSX:QBR.B) calls “clearly unsustainable.”

But the CRTC says Sun News didn’t meet the criteria for a mandatory carriage.

“Given its exceptional nature, the CRTC has set the bar very high for obtaining a mandatory distribution order,” the commission said.

Sun News wasn’t the only channel denied a bid for must-carry status.

The regulator also rejected 11 other applications, including Vision TV, Maximum Television Canada, the Canadian Punjabi Network and Starlight: The Canadian Movie Channel, which had the backing of luminaries like David Cronenberg, Denys Arcand and Atom Agoyan.

French broadcaster Nouveau TV5 and the French arm of AMI TV, which provides accessible broadcast services such as described video, were both granted mandatory distribution orders.

A number of existing mandatory carriage orders were also renewed, including the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and the Cable Public Affairs Channel.

Here’s the full list of channels denied mandatory carriage in Thursday’s CRTC decision:

  • Described Video Guide
  • Avis de recherche
  • Sun News Network
  • All Points Bulletin
  • The Natural Resources Television Channel
  • Dolobox TV
  • EqualiTV
  • Canadian Punjabi Network
  • Maximum Television Canada
  • Starlight: The Canadian Movie Channel
  • Vision TV

Filed under:

CRTC denies Sun News Network’s request to be carried on basic cable

  1. I wonder if the standards violations based on Ezra’s anti-minority stuff were also part of the reason. Poor guy, he can’t cash in any further off his anti-human rights jabbering.

    • On a more serious note, it does look they denied it to a whole bunch of stuff. It’s not like S-TV was a unique new program that was denied the standard industry treatment, it was just one of many many offerings that didn’t make the cut for treatment that very few programs receive (or COULD recieve, given that airwave space is finite).

      • Air wave space isn’t the issue here. Tons of airspace for video. The real issue is CRTC is being thought control … only government approved messages can get through to you.

        Watch the intro to Outer Limits.

        • I don’t know where you were for the last 10 years but you’re free to go back

    • I don’t feel bad for Ezra.

  2. It’s time to cut off all subsidies to the CBC and do a major review of the CRTC.

    • Yep, CBC, Canadians Brainwashing Canadians for statism and other peoples money for nothing.

      CBC makes me sick, as it is really a brainwashing tool used by government to sell statism state. When I lived out of Canada for 10 years the statism brainwashing wore off and ever since I have realized the political statism nature of CBC.

      Once you have accepted that CBC and others are managed media to brainwash you, you can see the patterns all over the place on how government media manages the naive people of Canada.

      Part of why I am a disenchanted with Canada. We are suckers for oversized unaccountable government and it is the most expensive item in our lives. Yep, politicians are deceiving us out of our hard earned money for back room lobby corruption and really do little for the cost to benefit us. But hey, CBC will convince you otherwise.

  3. Yep, Ottawa CRTC controlling what you hear and see, to sell statism and the false perception that Ottawa has value.

    What a farce. As I realized how brainwashed Candians were after I lived and worked outside of Canda for 10 years to come back and see what a pathetic brainwashing and ra-ra corrupt statism country we really are. Not many in Canada question how the most expensive item in our lives, government, behaves with our money.

    CRTC will assure you all get only statism media. Fortunately Macleans isn’t like the CBC puppet…time to subscribe as we need media that isn’t just a Ottawa/CRTC control the herd type.

  4. You know we have a ethical and honest government working for the middle class people when CBC gets its corporate welfare and statism welfare of over a billion canceled outright.

    Until then, as Outer Limits says, we control what you see and hear.