Friday, March 27, 2009

Canada's Television Cartel

While newspaper Ad revenue is decreasing (because fewer people are reading newspapers, and the articles that make it into the newspaper are either completely uninteresting) The same thing has apparently happened to broadcast television. Now the Canadian television industry wants the right to get carriage fee's from cable broadcasters, and they want to be allowed to spend less on Canadian content, which is apparently unprofitable.

Now, even the CBC is suffering, so I'm not going to say they're making up this problem, but most of them made their own beds. Canwest-Global owns a ton of specialty channels, which are apparently profitable enough. Same with Bell and Rogers. Heck, CBC owns a few specialty channels as well. So they create all this glut in the market, and go into debt to do so, and now that ad revenue has fallen (and who knows, it could be temporary) they're crying "woe is me, how did this happen? How did my source of steady revenue all of a sudden dry up? Will I be forced to actually produce content people might want to watch?" No of course they didn't. They went crying to the federal government for bailouts, crying that the CRTC is picking on them, making them follow through on their contract with the Canadian people. The OTA (Over the air) Spectrum serves a purpose in Canada. Emergency needs, promotion of Canadian culture, all that kind of stuff. Of course, we still don't have any DIGITAL OVER THE AIR BROADCAST in Winnipeg. Meanwhile the entire united states has already basically switched. Except for the one channel we might receieve in winnipeg, the fox affiliate KNRR, which isn't broadcasting at full power yet, sadly.

Media companies are suffering because they didn't adapt fast enough, and they got greedy. We wouldn't have this problem if we simply opened up ownership of Canadian media to the world, instead of these few media cartels that have been allowed to bully their way into repackaging American entertainment into Canada all these years. If all we're going to get is American shows, then why don't we just let NBC buy Global, CBS buy CTV, and ABC can buy CITY TV or A channel or whatever else there is. They can call it NBC Canada, and they'd still be on the hook to produce Canadian and/or local television, but at least they'd probably do it, unlike the canadian media companies perpetually crying poverty.

Plus then we'd probably be able to watch Hulu on the internet without getting those ridiculous messages about not being in the USA.

Get rid of this collusion in the marketplace. Open up media ownership. Who cares who owns it, so long as they provide some Canadian content. Clearly, Canadian owners won't.

I bitch about the CBC A LOT, but I would hate to see it shut down. I think if they didn't allow such biased reporting they would be in a far better position currently, but luckily for them I don't hate the concept of the CBC. They serve a purpose, and that purpose should be focused on more than creating ridiculous shows that appeal to 30/40 something women. I'm glad they cancelled the inside track on CBC Radio, who cares about minor sports? Nobody. Screw the olympics.

Man this article would be so much better if I proofread before I submitted it. AH WELL.

** UPDATE **

It's EASY TO LIE when you own the media. Digital Home Canada article mentions that RECORD PROFITS for CANWEST GLOBAL AND CTV GLOBE MEDIA. Amazing that they're crying poor about OTA. Clear evidence they manufactured this whole thing. Unfortunately, this is the reason the CBC is a necessary evil.

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