Sunday, 20 March 2016

Is CBC TV failing it's mandate for all Canadians?

CJDC Television effectively on February 22, 2016, has switched to  Bell's media's CTV Two Television network, instead of carrying television programming from the CBC. Residents of Dawson Creek have been watching programming from CBC television on CJDC TV for over 56 years.

Every cable and satellite provider in Canada must comply with the regulations set in the Broadcasting Act of 1991, regarding redistribution of at least one CBC television station (in both official languages of Canada) on the most very basic television subscription package. Television stations such as CBUT from Vancouver, must be added as a basic television channel in Dawson Creek. Perhaps cable and satellite providers in Dawson Creek, could choose to add CBXT from Alberta instead of CBUT, since Dawson Creek is located the Mountain Time Zone. Whether adding CBUT or CBXT, it will be an mandatory requirement for every cable and satellite company provider in the Dawson Creek area, to add another CBC television channel onto the very basic television service packages they offer.

Bell and the CBC both mutually agreed to end CJDC and CFTK affiliation agreement early, which was made public on October 28, 2015, on an application for approval by the CRTC, to end the 50 plus year affiliation agreement that both stations had with the CBC. It is very unclear when the actual date of television affiliate agreement was going to be up for renewal with Canada's public broadcaster. Disaffiliation of the last remaining private affiliates of CBC Television, was actually a long-standing decision by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. CBC claims only very small number of people who view TV over the air, and Canada's public broadcaster looks towards moving all television programming online, as the way forward with much of CBC's television programming is already available online to anyone with an high speed internet connection.

CBC also closed down, more than six hundred terrestrial rebroadcast television stations in 2012, which helped the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation gain television coverage to almost of 97% of the Canadian population. The yearly cost of operating these 600 rebroadcast television transmitters, which counted for about 1% of the federal funding the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation gets from the Canadian Government's budget. The money CBC gets from the Canadian federal budget, is suppose to help CBC with operating and programming costs, and help CBC provide distinct local programming to all Canadians. Since CBC Television is Canada's national public broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation should be able to serve as a voice and sight to all Canadians, equitably irrespective of location and regardless income. Not every other Canadian should be forced to subscribe a pay television service such as cable or satellite, just in order to receive the CBC television service.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has forced some of the last remaining loyal CBC affiliates such as CHEX and CKWS without any other choice, but to join the CTV television network. The CBC television affiliation agreement with Corus Entertainment, which covers Corus's two eastern Ontario television stations. This agreement was going to expire in 2015, and CBC just simply did not want to renew the television affiliation agreement with Corus. The only way CBC television is now available to Peterborians, is through subscription television package from a paid cable or satellite provider. Most cable and satellite providers operating in Peterborough, simply just redistribute the CBC Television signal from Toronto, since CHEX Television is now affiliated with the CTV television network instead of the CBC.

Even the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has long been a part of Peterborough's history, well at least for the past sixty years from a simple agreement with CHEX Television. We Vote CBC! campaign from the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting in 2015, turned Peterborough into a town and the strongest topic among local voters in the Peterborough–Kawartha riding, was the CBC funding cuts. Many Peterborians support more federal money given to Canada's public broadcaster, despite that CBC television is no longer locally available for Peterborians. Peterborough may still have free access to two CBC radio stations terrestrially, which only rebroadcasts radio programming from Toronto's CBC radio one and two. Which means there is no distinct local radio or television programming for Peterborough from the CBC. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has never operated a locally owned CBC Radio One station for residents in the Peterborough, and probably has no plans to offer a distinct local radio service to Peterborians in the near future.    

Dougall Media, owner of former long-time CBC television affiliate since 1954 of CKPR television in Thunder Bay, ended its affiliation two years prior to expiry of the affiliate agreement. CKPR TV could have remained a CBC television affiliate, but was told that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation would not be interested in renewing the affiliation agreement in 2016. 

Some of CBC's disaffiliation with the private television affiliates also goes back to 2009, with CKX television as an exampleCKX television was an affiliate with CBC television since 1955, before it's closure in 2009. Most private television affiliate agreements with CBC, meant the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation agreed to purchase airtime on CKX. This agreement also helped CKX television in regards to the cost of maintaining the television transmitters, technical equipment, and along with distributing CBC television to South Western Manitoba for close to six decades

CBC made the decision in 2009, not renew the affiliation agreement with CKX television. This prompted CTVglobemedia to place Brandon's only local television up for sale or close it down completely. Another fact which lead to the demise of CKX Television, is that the fact that CKX, couldn’t get mandatory direct to home satellite access coverage in Western Manitoba. Which meant anyone watching television from a TV satellite provider in Brandon Manitoba, may not been able to receive CKX television. 

CKX News Final Broadcast

CKX Television up for sale

CBC television was offered to buy CKX television from CTVglobemedia (now Bell Media). The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation could have gotten CKX television mandatory direct-to-home satellite access coverage, probably as a CBC owned and operated television station. CBC television instead declined the offer to purchase CKX for one dollar, citing Canada's public broadcaster could not afford the long term operating obligations and the mandatory government transition to digital television for the Western Manitoba television station. However Brandon was not on the mandatory community list, for the conversion switch from analogue to digital television. The television transition from analogue to digital was mandatory in at least 28 chosen communities, which included provincial capitals and metropolitan areas with populations greater than 300,000. Some communities regardless of the size, that had at least two or more fully licensed terrestrial television stations, had to make the switch to digital television by 2011. The automatic must carry television provision with the CRTC, could have been the biggest reason for the decline on purchasing CKX television from CTVglobemedia. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation automaticly got cable and satellite television distribution of CBWT television from Winnipeg, without having to maintain a distinct local terrestrial television station for the second largest city in Manitoba 

The CRTC enforces Sections (a) & (d) in Paragraph 17 of the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations, which is part of the Broadcasting Act of Canada. Every cable and satellite television provider must comply with this regulation and provide the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a priority spot on the most basic television service package they offer to their customers. This provision seems to be quite unfair favouritism to private television broadcasters of Canada. Under Section C in Paragraph 17 of the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations, all programming services of all other local television stations that are not being distributed under paragraph (a) or (b). Which translates that the terrestrial television broadcaster, must maintain a terrestrial television signal in order to get mandatory redistribution rights on cable, in any given television market. Another biggest reason why the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is breaking ties with more smaller private local television broadcasters, is the automatic must carry CBC provision under the broadcasting act. As local cable and satellite companies are required to provide the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a reserved spot on their basic television channel line up. This mandatory cable and satellite provision of the broadcasting act for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, is making affiliated television agreements with private broadcasters, pointless to have

Broadcasting Distribution Regulations of paragraph 17, part of the broadcasting act, was supposed to help CBC television cover to 100% of Canada Instead it just created a loophole for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to exploit. This loophole is allowing the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, not to provide any distinct local television programming for many communities across Canada. This provision was meant to help the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation cover all of Canada, where a rebroadcast television transmitter may not be practical to operate, especially in small remote communities. There are many communities where the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation does not maintain a local terrestrial television presence, which now counts for at least 51% of Canada. The CRTC makes every cable and satellite provider in Canada provide a spot for CBC television, on the most basic television packages they sell to Canadians. Unlike Canada's private broadcasters, who must maintain a terrestrial television presence in order to get the same mandatory coverage as CBC gets automaticly. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has a much higher priority of getting their terrestrial television signals redistributed on cable and satellite, over private terrestrial television stations in Canada.

CBC has been using the static that only a very few number of Canadians still watches television over the air in Canada. Over the air digital terrestrial television services from the CBC, is available only in selective cities across Canada. Where local content is just only kept to a bare minimum televised newscast. Any Canadians living outside of these markets, would get a distant CBC terrestrial television station signal, distributed on cable or satellite in their local area, from the nearest CBC owned and operated television station.


CKX News Final Broadcast Fade to Black 

CKX Television Brandon, MB - Wikipedia 

CKX television's final broadcast and newscast occurred on October 2, 2009 at 6:00 PM local time. CKX television stopped broadcasting at 7:00 PM local time, right after the final television newscast. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Winnipeg television station CBWT, took the place of CKX television on Westman Communications Group's cable channel 6. Westman Communications Group (WCG) is the operating name of Westman Media Co-operative, also referred to as Westman Cable. Westman Communications Group, provides cable television service to the city of Brandon Manitoba, and the surrounding communities of south western Manitoba.  

CTVglobemedia also used the closure of CKX TV, in a ploy to get redistribution charges out of every cable and satellite provider in Canada, just for distributing their television signal. CTV globemedia has made the claim, that the current Canadian broadcast television model is broken. The only way local television can survive in Canada, if mandatory redistribution charge is imposed on every single cable and satellite provider, for the privilege of redistributing their local terrestrial broadcast signal. More local television broadcast stations across Canada, will simply close down in the same manner that CKX television did in 2009, without this mandatory redistribution television broadcast charge, as mentioned in the advert back in 2009. 

Unfortunately, the CRTC or any Canadian government cannot force the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (or any other licensee such as Bell Media) to remain a affiliation with any particular Canadian television network. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has kept to a strong claim that the media business for television has changed fundamentally in Canada. Keeping the last affiliation television agreements with some of the few remaining private television broadcasters may no longer be viable option for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  

CBC has rapidly been moving away from the free terrestrial radio and television system model since 2014, and modelling towards on-line mobile content provider as part of its digital first strategy. CBC claims using this digital-first strategy, would keep Canada's public broadcaster solvent for the distant future as the current radio and television model is broken. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation views on line television streaming as the way forward, and much of CBC Television's programming is already available on line to any Canadian with an internet connection. This digital-first strategy would also deprive Canadians who do not have access to the internet, especially in rural areas where high speed internet may not be affordable. There may be some Canadians who may not have access to a computer or internet, which would prevent them from watching or listening to CBC under the digital-first strategy plan. If CBC's moves forward with this digital-first strategy, the future broadcast model would fail to serve every Canadian with distinct local television programming by 2020, set up by the 1991 Broadcasting Act.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation also has been using statics that the current television model in Canada is broken in their digital first strategy, without considering most of the problems facing the Canada's private broadcasters. Which most the relates to copyright problems to programming rights to television programmes, which the local television broadcaster has copyrights to in their localised market of Canada. The copyright problems originates from out of market and foreign television who air the same exact television programme, without purchasing the local television programme rights. It turns the most Canadian satellite and cable providers, normally redistribute distant American terrestrial television channels on their television system, as a ploy to get Canadians to sign up for subscription television service.

Having several American channels redistributed on many cable and satellite systems has helped subscription television grow in Canada, which this growth has lasted for the past several decades. How could the distribution of these foreign channels on every cable and satellite systems, help the local Canadian television broadcasters out. When these distant American channels only dilutes the local audience, as they carry almost the same identical television programming. This dilution of local audience created by cable and satellite providers, who redistribute a large number of American television channels on their platforms, which is also known as audience fragmentation. This audience fragmentation also prevents local Canadian businesses from advertising on local television. Under the broadcasting act, which allows cable and satellite companies to include up to at least five foreign American broadcast television stations. On one provision that each of the first four foreign channels from America is affiliated with a different American commercial television network, according to the broadcast act. The distribution of at least one of these five American channels, must be a non commercial television station. As long as these provisions are made, any Canadian satellite and cable provider can carry at least 5 of these American channels as part of their basic television channel line up, sold to Canadian consumers.

Canada is one of the few and only countries in the world that allows foreign broadcast television stations to be retransmitted without any copyright restrictions, on most Canadian cable and satellite broadcast systems. Local Canadian terrestrial broadcast stations along with national television networks, do buy the copyrights to more than 50% of the top 100 American television programmes shown here in Canada. When you add in all the non Canadian broadcast television stations that also carrying the same television programming that is also shown on most local Canadian channels, now you create a problem in association with duplicate television programming. Distribution of these American channels, is creating so much audience fragmentation, and could be preventing local businesses from advertising. How can many Canadian businesses can get their message out to Canadians on local television, if there is not enough local audience to support and watch their advertisement in the first place. This audience fragmentation has become such enormous problem that many local terrestrial broadcasters face in Canada everyday. Canada could lose every single terrestrial television station by 2025, if nothing is done to protect the local television broadcasters programming copyrights.

The CRTC only protects the local terrestrial broadcasters rights, only if the television shows are identical and shown simultaneous on both local and distant television channels. Now the local broadcaster has the right for the substitute the distant station for the local signal, which is known as simultaneous substitution. This provision with the CRTC, does not protect the local broadcasters rights, if the identical programmes are shown at different times throughout the day. There are no options to protect the local broadcasters from the foreign television signals, if the same identical programming airs at different times from the local broadcasters schedule. Who will protect the local broadcasters copyrights to programmes shown on local terrestrial television stations across Canada, from distant terrestrial television stations. This copyright infringement to the programme rights held by the local station, also carried on the distant television station will lead to audience fragmentation in that local market of Canada. Audience fragmentation does play a huge role in the demise of advertisement revenue on Canada's private television networks. 

Another big problem that is facing every Canadian television broadcaster along with the CBC, is the 1000 Canadian television channel universe. The current one thousand channel Canadian universe does not have enough subscribers to support such broadcast model. This multi channel universe model is currently funded and supported by television redistribution charges, billed to cable and satellite television providers for offering these channels to their subscribers. The television costs of redistributing these speciality channels are normally passed back on to the Canadian consumers, in bundle television subscription packages. These so called subscription television packages, normally results in hefty monthly cable and satellite bills for the average Canadian consumer to pay.

Most Canadians are getting fed up of getting gouged by Satellite and Cable providers, in this respect of these unwanted television channels on every TV subscription package, sold to Canadian consumers. Many Canadians are getting quiet upset and tired of paying for television channels, they normally do not watch and are not interested in watching. So the trend to trim the monthly television costs is a must for every Canadian. So this television cord cutting tend is now sending an important message to the cable and satellite television industry. We the Canadian consumers, do not want to pay your ridiculously high monthly television subscriptions, for television channels that we will never wanted to watch in the first place. If every Canadian stopped subscribing to Cable and Satellite for television, CBC television will no longer be viewable to 51% of the Canadian population.  

After all terrestrial television signals are still widely still available to 97% of the Canadian population, and at least 65% of Canadians live within range of a digital television transmitter. Now only 49% of Canadians can receive CBC television signal terrestrially through a rooftop aerial, that's if they choose to watch television freely over the air versus paying a cable or satellite provider to get the same exact television signal. Watching television terrestrially has it's benefits as apart from the one off cost and having the aerial antenna fitted to your roof, as terrestrial television has no recurring monthly costs or obligations, and the television signals are uncompressed and of greater quality. Yet more surprisingly is that more Canadians are now taking advantage of digital terrestrial television signal, from their local broadcaster. More than half of one million Canadians have already "cut the cord," meaning they had a subscription either cable or satellite but have chosen to not to renew the subscription. There are some exceptions for those Canadians who live in condos or apartment buildings, may not have access to these signals due to physical barriers or building rules. which receiving their terrestrial television signal through a aerial rooftop antenna may not be allowed, and the only choice to watch TV is through paid television provider. 

One would think that Hubert Lacroix, the current CEO and President of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, would recognise the value of rural CBC television stations for all of Canada. Even French Canadians are in a continuing struggle to have a voice in a predominantly English Canada, just as much as rural Canadians are in a continuing struggle to have a voice in rural Canada. Now big Canadian cities may be where the majority of the Canadian population lives, where CBC television can fulfil it's mandate perfectly. CBC television is thought to be the Canada's public broadcaster of all Canadians, not just for big urban cities of Canada. Now the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation only provides local distinct television programming to only 49% of the Canadian population. The other 51% accessing CBC television must rely on Cable, Satellite, and on-line internet streams.

 The 1991 Broadcasting Act states that...

"...the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as the national public broadcaster, should provide radio and television services incorporating a wide range of programming that informs, enlightens and entertains;

All programming provided by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in the broadcast act of 1991 should:

        be predominantly and distinctively Canadian, reflect Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences, while serving the special needs of those regions,

        actively contribute to the flow and exchange of cultural expression,

        be in English and in French, reflecting the different needs and circumstances of each official language community, including the particular needs and circumstances of English and French linguistic minorities,

        strive to be of equivalent quality in English and French,

        contribute to shared national consciousness and identity,

        be made available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means and as resources become available for the purpose, and reflect the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canada."

Since 2012, CBC has been hit by redundancies and programme cancellations, all due to thanks to Stephen Harper's government funding cut of $115 million from the federal budget for the CBC. Even if the funding is restored as promised by the Liberals, will the current CBC President still continue the plan to diminish Canada's Public Broadcaster to nothing with their digital first strategy. How could the extra $150 million benefit the 51% of Canadians who longer can access CBC Television without a expensive television subscription from a Satellite or Cable provider.

Now the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's mandate to serve every Canadian will be diminished a little more, once CJDC TV in Dawson Creek switches television networks to CTV2 in a few days. Now the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, only now serves at minimum of only 49% Canadians from their television division. CBC television does provide some bare minimum local programming to a very few communities across Canada, which most of the local television programming is kept to just a televised newscast. While the other 51% of the Canadian population has no other choice but to subscribe to Cable or Satellite, just in order to watch CBC Television in their part of Canada. Since most cable and satellite providers, just redistributed distant television signals from Canadian markets that CBC has a broadcast television station in. This also includes anyone living in the Dawson Creek area of British Columbia, who still watches television terrestrially. Now residents of Dawson Creek, still watching CBC television terrestrially will now have to get Cable or Satellite in order to watch CBC television, once CJDC switches from the CBC to the CTV2 television network. 

Most of the problems facing private television broadcasters in Canada is due to audience fragmentation, not changing the patterns of watching television programmes from the television model to the internet platform. Internet video streaming is taking the place of the local video store. Renting films on line is more easier than picking the same film in a store. Yet there is still not one Canadian, or American broadcaster that is following in the same path and targeted goal, as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is trying to achieve with it's digital-first strategy plan. All the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is doing a destructive measures, by stripping all assets of what was once Canada's public broadcaster. I am still lost on how Canadians benefit by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation selling much of it's real estate in a short space of time. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has sold its Windsor studios to London Ontario based investor Clayland Developments Ltd, for $1,425,000 in 2014. Turned around and then signed a 10 year lease with Clayland for only 13,000 of the studio’s original 32,000 square feet. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation wants to transfer the risk of being an building owner, to the advantages of being a tenant, which is mentioned in part of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Digital-First Strategy. According to the Digital-First Strategy, which is also known as A Space for Us All. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation can be even more local but at reduced costs, despite having their televised newscasts in Windsor trimmed down from 90 to 30 minutes in 2015. How can the sale of the CBC Windsor studio be justifiable, as CBC claims they are not in the real estate business, as their excuse for selling it's 825 Riverside Drive studios to a private investorHow can the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, greatly benefit by renting it's property back from the buyer, versus continuing to own the property outright like normal businesses do. CBC needs to try a little harder in convincing Canadians that, CBC can provide more local services at far less operating costs, when it provides most communities across Canada like Windsor, with bare minimum local programming

Can the Liberals give what they promised to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, with their $150 million election promise commitment of new funding for Canada's public broadcaster. Can this money from the Liberals, help restore the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation commitment to Canadians back. Even the leader of the NDP Party, Thomas Mulcair has written an open letter to federal heritage minister, Mélanie Joly. Urging the federal heritage minister, to keep the promise of restoring the funding cuts to CBC that Steven Harper's government imposed on the CBC back in 2012. The Liberal party made a promise to give CBC 150 million dollars, just to keep Canada's public broadcaster solvent. Which this $150 million pledge from the Liberals to the CBC, was based on election campaign promise to help get Justin Trudeau elected as the 23rd Prime Minster of Canada. Even if the Liberals keep to their promise, would this $150 million funding boost help stop this destructive dismantling of Canada's public broadcaster by the current president, and what commitment can CBC provide to Dawson Creek in the foreseeable future, along with the rest of Canada. 

© Copyright 2016   All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment