Quebecor wants CRTC to require providers to carry Sun News on basic service

OTTAWA – Quebecor says its television network Sun News suffered a projected $17-million loss in 2012 and will continue to record unacceptable losses unless the federal regulator requires cable and satellite companies to carry it on their basic service.

The media giant says the current distribution agreements are inadequate to support the channel, which is only offered in 40 per cent of households.

It says these distribution challenges also hurt advertising revenues.

In its filings, Quebecor forecasts that Sun TV will lose $19.5 million in 2013, $18.9 million in 2014 and $18.1 million in 2015 — with losses in the tens of millions carrying on each year through to 2020.

Quebecor (TSX:QBR.B) called the situation “clearly unsustainable.”

“The current distribution agreements Sun News has with cable and satellite providers are inadequate to support the channel,” it said.

It claims the addition of Sun News — dubbed “Fox News North” by its critics — to the basic service would be “negligible” to consumers, adding only $2.16 annually to each household — $1.08 per Francophone household — if the costs are passed on to subscribers.

“Obviously a preferable option would be for (cable and satellite providers) to remove an American or foreign content channel (and associated distribution fee) from their basic lineup and include Sun News on a zero cost to consumer basis.”

Quebecor wants the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to require that Sun News be carried on all analog and digital basic services in Canada through the end of 2017. It would then be treated like other “Category C” services.

“Our plan would allow Sun News to establish an audience under similar rules and regulations to those afforded CBC Newsworld and CTV News Channel for 21 and 13 years respectively,” the company said in filings to the CRTC.

“We don’t begrudge our competitors in any way, we simply want the same rules that they enjoyed — at least for the next five years.”

Sun TV launched in April 2011 and its on-air personalities include conservative pundit Ezra Levant.

The CRTC approved a five-year licence for the channel in November 2010 after Quebecor dropped its request for a special licence that would have required cable and satellite carriers to offer the service.




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Quebecor wants CRTC to require providers to carry Sun News on basic service

  1. No.

  2. Yes

  3. Sun News needs to be subsidized to be viable. Corporate Welfare Bums!

  4. Lol no.

  5. So the attacker of welfare recipients and proponent of free market ideology wants a little welfare because the market has decided it doesn’t need Sun News Network.
    If the over 55, white, mainly male viewers want SNN shouldn’t they expect to pay for it themselves?
    Or is it not welfare if it applies to the right wing?

    • I was also thinking that. Isn’t this everything Sun News is against?

    • Even Ayn Rand took social security and medicare benefits. They just don’t want other people to get them.

  6. IF they actually practiced professional journalism then I may have supported them; but then they wouldn’t need support because the market would accept their business model. The invisible hand is sending a clear signal, shut it down and take responsibility for the failure of your degenerate product.

      • The CBC has a bias as all news organizations do, but their journalists are capable and professional. While I’d like the see the CBC be more responsive to the market place, they provide service to Canadians in places that can not be served economically by other outlets. The Sun admitted their lack of interest in journalism when they abandoned the press council; they are nothing more than a propaganda rag for the extreme right, diminishing valid right wing ideas with everything they publish.

  7. This is hilarious. They just cut 500 more people from their newspaper division last November, and now they can’t make ends meet with their TV channel? Maybe Pelladeau/Quebecor just isn’t cut out to be in the media game. Say, didn’t they start out in video? And we know how well that’s going …

  8. Even at $2.16 a year it’s not worth it to me. Initially, when it started, I was curious to see it but found watching it made me depressed – so much negativity and shrillness. Don’t know what is happening with Quebecor but, I subscribe to two of their local newspapers too (not the Sun!) and the quality of local reporting has declined greatly recently (not that it was ever that great!). All the layoffs are taking their toll everywhere.

  9. Interesting that the projected cost would be about $2 per year….

    Anyone aware of a satellite or cable or whatever provider that actually allows subscribers to select individual channels for similar amounts? If THAT were so, I’m sure I could easily get my bill down to $4 per month.

  10. The main reason SunNews is in dire straits is because it is an abhorrent channel to watch. I am a conservative, but there is no way I can watch SunNews. Michael Coren is good, but there just are not enough good quality conservative journalists in Canada.

    The presentation of the on air content suffers from what appears as amatuerish production.

    Another sore point is the arrogant attitude and overbearing manner their news editors choose to present its viewpoint. It is too similar to the Toronto Sun newspaper.

    After all, there must be a reason for the Globe and Mail having bigger circulation numbers all these years compared to the Toronto Sun.

    IF the CTV/Globe empire wanted to have a go at conservative tv journalism, it would be much welcomed. But there is no way I will pay for this ‘schlock’ the Sun Company calls jounalism.

    Quebecor must have known the challenges they faced coming in to all this. They have given it a fair try. However, having acquired this license from CRTC has not turned into a license to print money as they had hoped.

    My suggestion is for them to try harder to improve the product or give up the license and allow another conglomerate to have a try.

  11. No thank you… remember the fiasco interview with Margie Gillis?

  12. yes please!

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