In a remarkable high-handed overstatement, the regulator issued a news release earlier this week with the above headline.
It was the preface to a basket of ‘must dos’ that Chair J.P. Blais and the Commission expects from large television groups up for license renewals. The expected includes nods to political correctness designed to weave hegemony and inclusiveness from a rabble of vocal outliers who in turn expect broadcasters to produce content that offers fresh perspectives and revisionism to our history and culture.
With a flourish of Orwellian prose, the news release reads as follows:
“As part of the licence renewals of the large television groups today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is supporting the creation of diverse, compelling and original Canadian content.
“The CRTC ensures on stable funding for Canadian production in all program categories, by focusing especially on dramas, documentaries, and musical and variety shows. As such, broadcasters have the tools they need to stay competitive in an on-demand environment, and consumers have access to a wide range of programming.
“With respect to the underrepresentation of certain groups, the CRTC has put in place credits that give an incentive to Indigenous producers and producers from official language minority communities to create programming.
“In addition, as part of the licence renewals, the CRTC is implementing the local television policy to ensure that Canadians have access to local news and programming that reflect them and inform them about their communities.
“Finally, the CRTC recognizes that women face a number of challenges with respect to key positions in the production and creative sectors. To promote women’s access to leadership positions, the CRTC will organize an event on women in production.”
A cut-out quote from the Chair and a bullet summary were also Included with this holistic approach to content production.
“We continue to require the large groups to make an important contribution not only to Canadian programming but also to the broadcast of original programming. The measures we are taking as part of these licence renewals also promote the creation of programming that reflects the linguistic duality and diversity of Canadian society, including the special place of Indigenous peoples in our society. Moreover, Canadians will have access to local information and news.”
– Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC
The licences of the large French-language television groups Groupe TVA, Groupe V, Bell and Corus and the large English-language television groups Bell, Rogers and Corus have been renewed for a new five-year term effective September 2017.
In Rogers’s case, the CRTC has renewed the licences of OMNI’s local stations for an interim period of three years, to coincide with the decision taken today to grant mandatory distribution to OMNI Regional in small basic packages until 2020.
In accordance with the conclusions of Let’s Talk TV, the CRTC is maintaining its support for the creation of Canadian content, while giving the groups flexibility so that they can adapt to new digital realities and compete with online services.
In the event of a local station’s closure, the licensee must inform the CRTC 120 days prior to ceasing operations. This gives Canadians an opportunity to express their opinions if need be.
Broadcasting decisions released this week by the CRTC
2017-143 Various licensees
Renewal of licences for the television services of large French-language ownership groups – Introductory decision
2017-144 Bell Media Inc.
APPROVED - Application to renew the broadcasting licences for the television services that will form Bell’s French-language Group for the next licence term
APPROVED - Application to renew the broadcasting licence for RDS, which are not included in the Group
2017-145 Corus Entertainment Inc.
APPROVED - Application to renew the broadcasting licences for the television services that will form Corus’s French-language Group for the next licence term
APPROVED - Application to renew the broadcasting licence for the service La Chaîne Disney, which is not included in the Group
2017-146 Groupe V Média inc.
APPROVED - Application to renew the broadcasting licences for the various French-language television services that will form the Groupe V Média inc. group of services
2017-147 Quebecor Media Inc., on behalf of TVA Group Inc. and Videotron G.P.
APPROVED - Application to renew the broadcasting licences for the television stations and services that will form of the TVA Group for the next licence term
APPROVED - Application to renew the broadcasting licences for the television services that will not be part of the TVA Group for the next licence term
2017-148 Renewal of licences for the television services of large English-language ownership groups – Introductory decision
2017-149 Bell Media Inc.
Various locations and across Canada
APPROVED - Application to renew the broadcasting licences for the various English-language television stations and services that will form the Bell Media Group in the next licence term
APPROVED - Application to renew the broadcasting licences for various television services that are not included in the Bell Media Group in the next licence term
Issuance of new broadcasting licences for various on-demand services
2017-150 Corus Entertainment Inc., on behalf of various licensees
APPROVED - Application to renew the broadcasting licences for the currently licensed television stations and discretionary services that will form part of the English-language Corus group of services in the next licence term
APPROVED - Request for broadcasting licences to operate the currently exempt discretionary services Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD as licensed discretionary services, and to include these services as part of the English-language Corus group of services
APPROVED - Request to revoke the broadcasting licence for CKWS-TV-2 Prescott and add that transmitter to the broadcasting licence for CKWS-DT Kingston as a rebroadcasting transmitter
2017-151 Rogers Media Inc. on behalf of itself and of 8064750 Canada Inc., 8834776 Canada Inc. and 9742638 Canada Inc.
APPROVED - Application to renew the broadcasting licences for the television stations and services set out in the appendices to the decision
Rogers Communications Canada Inc.
APPROVED - Application to renew the broadcasting licences for the on-demand service Rogers on Demand
2017-152 Rogers Media Inc.
APPROVED IN PART - Application to operate a national, multilingual multi-ethnic discretionary service to be known as OMNI Regional
APPROVED - Request for mandatory distribution of OMNI Regional on the digital basic service for the licence term
2017-155 Shaw Cablesystems (VCI) Limited
APPROVED - Application to renew the broadcasting licence for the national video-on-demand service Shaw On Demand
2017-156 Telelatino Network Inc.
APPROVED - Application to renew the broadcasting licence for the discretionary service Telelatino
Broadcasting notice of consultation:
2017-154 Call for applications for a national, multilingual multi-ethnic television service offering news and information programming as well as other programming
2017-153 Mandatory order Rogers Media Inc.
Pursuant to section 9(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission orders licensees of broadcasting distribution undertakings to distribute the national, multilingual multi-ethnic discretionary service known as OMNI Regional as part of their digital basic service, in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the Order
And here’s the reaction (so far)
Canada’s big TV ownership groups will have to jump over new hurdles if they want to shutter any of their local TV stations, according to licence renewals granted Monday by the country’s broadcast regulator.
Station owners will have to give 120 days notice of an intended closure, during which time the regulator will open the proposed shutdown to public hearings — Terry Pedwell, Globe & Mail
(The regulator) dealt a major blow to Canadian screenwriters — and Canadian audiences. In its decision on licence renewals for Bell, Corus, and Rogers, the Commission rolled back the broadcasters’ minimum financial contributions to Canadian drama and other programming.
This despite the fact that the WGC’s modest proposal to the CRTC, reflecting well-researched data, asked only for the maintenance of the status quo in terms of broadcasters’ financial contributions towards “programs of national interest” — Greg David, TV eh!TV eh!
"With the CRTC failing to use the tools at its disposal to help ensure Canadians continue to have reliable news and information about their communities, the ball is now in the federal government's court to take action," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias (whose union represents a large number of journalists and media workers across Canada) — CNW news release
“A rip and read of (the Canadian Press) won’t cut it,” said a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) official, suggesting that locally reflective programming involves news and information gathered by journalists based in the community — Michael Lewis, The Star