CBC radio alert: What does yesterday’s decision by the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal to allow private broadcasters to negotiate carriage fees mean for consumers?
I’ve been asked to speak to this issue today on a cross-country marathon of CBC syndicated radio stations. It’s a bit like being asked to explain Charlie Sheen, but I’m giving it a shot. I guess since TV does indeed feed my family, I’m the objective, no horse-in-the-race, cable-paying consumer advocate CBC radio trusts. Either that or Doyle was busy.
No so surprisingly–despite the fact they stand to gain in the short term–the cable and satellite guys are still saying nix to this deal. Especially Rogers, who have already stated their intention to appeal, but there are already rumblings the others will follow. That means everybody waits until the Supreme Court signs off. Imagine if all that money went into creating Canadian TV shows instead of paneling law offices.
The cable and satelitte providers have said all along that they will pass along the extra carriage fee costs to the consumer. Will this be the last straw for folks already paying $60 bucks a month of 500 channels and nothing’s on? You can already stream The Office or 30 Rock or The Big Bang Theory now at your favourite network dot com. Do we really need to pay a cable bill and an Internet bill? No wonder Rogers is wary of anything that rocks the status quo.
There’s more to this: right before an election, will the government pull a hero move and step in and shoot down this carriage fee cash grab? It’s an election winner–anybody who stands up for free beer, hockey or TV in Canada will always get re-elected.
Besides, those dire, “broken business model” slogans look out of date now that CTV is back to bragging about how they just made a record haul from ad sales for the Academy Awards. You don’t hear about stations being shut down any more, either, now that things are all under one cosy roof.
Hear it all crammed into a five minute CBC radio rant. I’ve already spoken with the folks in Halifax, Windsor, Cape Breton and New Brunswick, but check me out in Whitehorse (3:45 ET). Victoria (running at 5:50 PT; thank you Jo-Ann Roberts.), Sudbury (4:10), Charlottetown (4:20), St. John’s (4:40), Winnipeg (4:50), Yellowknife (5 p.m.), Calgary (5:20), Edmonton (5:40), Toronto (5:50) and Vancouver (6:15).