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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? (:

Written by mattliving

April 28, 2009 at 8:11 am

Time Warner $40M on Connectivity. $3 BILLION on TV!

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Graphic courtesy of arstechnica

arstechnica: Recently Time Warner attempted to introduce consumption-based Internet billing (metered Internet) using that old tired excuse about rising connectivity costs. In fact, most ISPs have been using the capacity excuse to throttle their users and use privacy invading technologies like deep packet inspection.

But accoring to Time Warner’s 2008 Annual Report it on spent $40 million on Internet connectivity while it poured over $3 BILLION into purchasing programming! The cost of Internet connectivity is NOT the problem. $3 BILLION to purchase programming that is available FREE online! Hmmm?

Written by mattliving

April 22, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Posted in Big Business, Greed, Internet, TV

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CRTC Considers Capping U.S. Program Spending. Finally!

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ravingrabbidsGlobe and Mail: In a move that would reshape prime time television, the federal broadcast regulator is considering placing a cap on how much the country’s biggest TV networks can spend to acquire hit U.S. shows, such as Grey’s Anatomy, The Office and House.

The proposal, which came as a shock to network executives yesterday, would require CTV, Global, CITY-TV and others to spend the same amount on Canadian programming as they do on U.S. shows. For every $1 spent on programs from outside the country, a dollar would have to be spent at home creating a domestic show.

The announcement by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission comes just days after new federal data showed the networks spent a record $775-million on foreign programming last year, with most of that content coming from major Hollywood studios.

bspcommentFinally the CRTC is waking up to the fact that Canadian networks only pay lip service to their Canadian content requirements. Not that there aren’t some good Canadian shows. It’s just that shitty Canadian programming is the core programming that Canadian broadcasters use to try and convince the CRTC that they are living up to their licencing obligations.

Written by mattliving

February 14, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Posted in Entertainment, TV

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