Around The Dial: Broadcast & Media News Today

News about media and the regulatory environment both inside and beyond Canada's borders.

OTTAWA - GATINEAU: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission set out best practices for TV service providers yesterday. The unofficial regs are meant to ensure Canadians are offered real choice regarding their services and have information about their options.

In a statement announcing the regs, the regulator said that the TV providers must follow these best practices by providing information about the new choices that will be available as of Dec 1. Furthermore, they are to keep their offers simple and transparent; offer deals and discounts regardless of the entry-level package selected; provide online tools allowing subscribers to easily add or remove channels; and offer different options to obtain a set-top box.

The Commission is also renewing the licences of most TV service providers for one year, rather than the usual seven-year term. "This will enable the CRTC to closely monitor the TV providers' practices as they implement the new TV choices," the statement reads.

Continuing: "These new options will enable Canadians to create their own package for TV services. Canadians are encouraged to shop around to ensure they are aware of what is available in the market if their service provider's offers don't meet the needs or the budget of their household. There are many online tools on the CRTC's website to help Canadians find the best services and negotiate with their provider."

Quick Facts

  • Since March 1, 2016, all licensed television service providers must offer a basic package priced at no more than $25-per-month (not including equipment).

  • Some smaller providers like Access, Zazeen, Rangtel and Beanfield have been offering the small basic package at less than $25-per-month without having to subscribe to other services.

  • Since March 1, 2016, Canadians also have more options to add to that basic service, as TV service providers must offer channels either individually or in packages of up to 10 channels.

  • Starting on December 1, television service providers will have to offer both pick-and-pay and small packages.

  • The service providers' actions regarding these new TV choices will be closely monitored in the year to come to ensure that they respect the best practices highlighted by the CRTC.

  • As a result of the CRTC proceeding, some providers announced plans to change practices that were not consumer-friendly.

  • Canadians have multiple options to watch TV programming, which can include a combination of the new basic package, individual channels, small packages, free over-the-air stations and Internet streaming services.

  • Canadians are encouraged to use the new CRTC online tools to help them identify their needs and budget, shop around and negotiate for TV services.


"Starting on December 1, Canadians will have greater flexibility in choosing how they subscribe to TV services. We have set out best practices for television service providers and created online tools to help Canadians navigate this new world. We encourage Canadians to shop around, as some providers are offering consumer-friendly options that include a basic TV package at less than $25-per-month." -- Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC

Additional links

Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2016-458 – Review of practices relating to the small basic service and flexible packaging options and other matters related to the licence renewal of broadcasting distribution undertakings
CRTC continuing to monitor implementation of new basic television package and pick-and-pay
CRTC welcomes new era of choice for TV viewers
You Have Choices

Additional information on the basic TV package

In March 2015, the CRTC announced changes to the way TV services are offered following the Let's Talk TV conversation. During this extensive process, Canadians told the CRTC they wanted more choice, flexibility and affordability in TV services. These changes ensure Canadians have the ability to choose the television services that meets their unique needs, budgets and realities.

Since March 1, 2016, Canadians can subscribe to an affordable basic TV package that costs no more than $25-per-month (excluding equipment). According to information filed with the CRTC, the following television service providers are offering the small basic package at less than $25-per-month:



CBS Radio Inc. has filed its Form S-1 SEC registration for an expected Initial Public Offering. The mile-long document explains the basic business, summarizes financials for the first nine months of 2016, and discloses investment risks. We examined the prospectus and made notes of the digital aspects.                          

-- James Cridland's Future of Radio is a column by the Australia-based radio futurologist. THIS WEEK: BBC World Services expands its language offerings. PRX offers podcast training to radio. Big changes for Brisbane's breakfast radio

-- NextRadio has introduced a newsfeed as a new way to present radio station content to listeners. The feed includes items from stations such as trending tweets from a particular user’s favorite programs and other related content such as artist and song facts or concert information.

Radio Ink

It's because of digital that radio needs more regulation: That's the view from Galaxy Communications CEO Ed Levine who was part of Radio Ink's Independent Operator panel at Forecast 2017. Levine's point: If Facebook and Google can own 100% of the digital space in his market, why can't he own 100% of the radio stations in his market?

-- Former NAB consultant to head Trump's FCC transition: Jeffrey Eisenach has been appointed to head President-elect Donald Trump’s FCC transition team. He's also considered to be a candidate to head the government agency along with Commissioner Ajit Pai.

--- Do you know this about your advertisers? According to BIA/Kelsey, over 77% of small- and medium-sized businesses are now using social media. For the third year in a row, social media is the top marketing channel used by small businesses to communicate with their customers, according to BIA/Kelsey's latest survey.


The Canadian Media Fund hopes to capture the ear of Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly and her colleagues today with a showcase of on-and-off screen talent with the ambition of pushing the Canadian TV and digital media brands on Capitol Hill.

-- It's described as the world's largest one-day film festival and it runs coast-to-coast in Canada on April 17. Reel Canada, a non-profit organization, announced the initiative National Canadian Film Day 150 at a Toronto event on Monday, adding that the governments of Canada and Ontario have made the cross-country event possible by pledging major funding of more than $3M.

"The 150th anniversary of Confederation is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the wealth of our unique cultural heritage, which is a reflection of our diversity," the Honourable Mélanie Joly, minister of Canadian Heritage, said in a statement. More than 800 screenings in communities across the nation and in Canadian embassies around the world are planned.

-- Steve Faguy reports that Barry Morgan is off the air at CJAD, with Ken Connors filling in the shift that runs noon to 3pm. The bigger story is that popular Montréal radio host Tommy Schnurmacher is moving to afternoons and reducing his schedule to an hour a day. Faguy has the station as saying it will announce Wednesday at 8:05am what happens to the 9am-3pm schedule, so far saying only that Schnurmacher and his Gang of Four will be doing the noon hour.


Worth Noting

Why CBC's predatory behaviour riles some media execs: The heavily subsidized public broadcaster is aiming for more digital revenues after the Trudeau government promised $675M in new funding over five years -- The Georgia Straight

The media organization Canada needs to understand Indigenous issues: Rick Harp's mediaINDIGENA is a much-needed platform for an underserved population --

Small publisher says news business needs local ‘boots on the ground’ : Publisher Ken Waddell testified in front of the Heritage committee that local publishers are vital to the health of local communities and the larger democratic vitality of the country -- The Star

Donald Trump's media summit was a 'f--ing firing squad': He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars -- NY Post


Leave a comment