Monday, November 2, 2009

Local TV Matters

Anyone who watches TV in Ontario will have doubtless seen the ads being run on Canadian channels. One being produced by the local TV channels (Achannel, CTV, Global etc) and the other being run by the cable networks, predominately Shaw. Local stations claim they are losing money and the money being paid for local TV by cable subscribers is not being given to the, cable is keeping it all.  Cable claims that local TV has run itself into the ground and if they can't run a profitable business, they should go under. Cable also claims that that the local stations are just begging for a government bail out.

Like most viewers, I don't doubt, I initally ignored the ads. Until one day I was bored and I looked up the website for Local TV Matters. This site is run by Canadian broadcasters who are petioning the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission) to force cable companies to hand over the money being paid to them by subscribers for local TV. The cable companies claim that if they are forced to do so, they will pass the buck onto subscribers in the form of a monthly $10 "tv tax".  This irritates me. I am a cable customer but I like my local tv too. I am already paying for local tv and the cable company is keeping that money and threatening me that they may make me pay more for services that I'm already paying for!! Since the inception of satellite and cable service, local broadcast signals have been accessible to the cable companies. The cable companies demand payment for passing these signals on to customers, but don't remit any of that payment to local stations. The local stations are simply asking to be paid for their services, which makes perfect sense.  The CRTC will be making a decision this fall about what to do about this situation . I am writing this blog post to show my support for local tv and I will forward this post to the CRTC via the Local TV Matters website. I urge all of my Canadian readers to write to the CRTC to offer their support as well.

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