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The Stalls of Higher Thought

Let Canadian Broadcasting Evolve Without Legislative Support.

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pigsofcanadianbroadcasting

Globe and Mail: Here we go again. Another business model that has failed to adapt to the rapidly changing times has stumbled before the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC) to “plead” it’s case for additional fees.

What CTV, Global and Rogers are essentially asking is for the CRTC to allow them to convert conventional television supported by advertising into speciality channels that are supported by mandated fees. Only they’ll still be overflowing with ads and the same bullshit time shifting and US broadcasting restrictions will be in place. Doesn’t sound so special to me!

Economic Weapons of Mass Destruction

Since the great economic crisis of 2008, governments around the world have seemed all too willing to step in to prop up private sector businesses for a variety of oddly similar reasons. Like “too big to fail”, “vital to our economic future”, you know, you’ve heard too many of them.

In fact they all seem to ring of the special note of dread. Almost the same kind of dread most North Americans felt when “W” and company were trompin’ around the globe screaming about weapons of mass destruction. Only this time the weapons are economic weapons of mass destruction not nuclear.

The Canadian television networks have used a similar tactic the last round of CRTC hearings. First closing a few marginal local television stations with as much fanfare as they can must. Then claiming extraordinary loses will continue to force them to “reevaluate” their local operations. Another claim of economic weapons of mass destruction? Allow us to charge fees or we’ll keep closing local stations.

This is an all but too familiar tactic by Canadian broadcasters, who like Canadian movies makers have spent too much time of the tit of Canadian tax payers under the false premise of cultivating and protecting Canadian culture. A quick spin through the dial clearly shows the true level of commitment to culture they are referring to. Trust me, if you think Kenny and Spenny and Tom Green are worth the millions of tax dollars these production companies get then I’ve got some wonderful vacation property in Florida to show you.

An End to FREE Markets

Now we have arrived the special time when their much vaulted FREE markets are not operating entirely in the favour of those who normally dominate them. Namely, Canadian broadcasters are suffering from innovation. User innovation, market innovation both here in Canada and south of the 49th. And their first and foremost response is to threaten the livelihoods of Canadians then to claim they can not survive without more government funding in the form of legislated user fees.

Canadian broadcasters like many telecommunication businesses have become very adept at getting legislative relief for their FREE market problems. You see, when their FREE market is working almost entirely in their favour they go almost batshit insane when consumer groups or politic ans so much as hint at the suggestion of ground-leveling regulations. But when they can no longer maintain their privileged position in their carefully constructed FREE Market they turn and run to government regulators for legislative relief. Quickly abandoning their FREE market principles for more government sanctioned user fees rather then attempt to innovate or change their business models beyond juggling a few lines on the Excel spreadsheets.

Enough With The Legislative Bailouts!

If Canadian broadcasters can no longer compete in the current market then they should sell their operations to someone who is willing to innovate and evolve with changing market and business model or they themselves should get their collective thumbs out of their asses and start responding to the rapidly changing marketplace with innovation and evolution and NOT with government sanctioned user fees that amount to a legislative bailout.

What happened to that time honoured FREE Market principals of sink or swim, competition and innovation? Seems to me that if Canadian regulators were to allow more competition in Canada’s telecommunications market we would surely see A LOT MORE rapid and innovative responses to marketplace changes. As it is now, there is absolutely no requirement for fat and lazy broadcasters to compete with one another when they know thay can show up at the next round of CRTC hearings waving their economic weapons of mass destruction and flags of culture to again fill their corporate cups on the backs of Canadian taxpayers.

Perhaps Canadian broadcasters might be wise to shed some of their other money losing media holdings before they plead poverty to the Canadian taxpayer? (:

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Written by mattliving

April 28, 2009 at 8:11 am

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