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Walter Dnes

join:2008-01-27
Thornhill, ON

[Rant] Companies want into your BDU (cable/satellite/IPTV) bill

In the old days, companies won your business the old-fashioned way... they earned it. E.g. Pay-TV channels produced compelling content, and advertised their channels, to get customers to buy their service. Nowadays, Pay-TV channel execs beg the CRTC to give them "mandatory distribution orders" on BDU systems, i.e. cable/satellite/IPTV systems.

"Mandatory distribution" is different from "must offer", which merely requires your BDU to offer the channel in question to their subscribers. "Mandatory distribution" means that the channel MUST be on the basic service of every subscriber, and the Pay-TV channel collects their pound of flesh from every subscriber. Low ratings, even no viewers, are not a problem when every cable customer is required to buy your Pay-TV channel.

See »www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2013/ ··· 3-19.htm for the CRTC notice of hearing (April 23). Sections 1 and 2 have the list of pigs seeking to get their snouts into the trough, and their hands into your wallets.
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corster
Premium
join:2002-02-23
Gatineau, QC
reply to Walter Dnes

Re: [Rant] Companies want into your BDU (cable/satellite/IPTV) b

Not referring to any specific channels here, but the CRTC has created the monster by giving some channels Mandatory Carriage from the beginning. You can't blame others for wanting the same treatment.

What they really should be doing is getting rid of both Mandatory Distribution and Must Offer designations, and making BDU's offer all channels a la carte. Unfortunately, now that the BDU's own most of the specialty channels, they benefit too much from forced bundling to ever offer it on their own.


Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
Premium
join:2005-03-12
kudos:8
said by corster:

You can't blame others for wanting the same treatment.

Yes you can. Mandatory carriage exists for good and valid reasons of public interest. I can blame others who seek only to exploit it as a gravy train to easy profits.


corster
Premium
join:2002-02-23
Gatineau, QC

2 edits
said by Wolfie00:

said by corster:

You can't blame others for wanting the same treatment.

Yes you can. Mandatory carriage exists for good and valid reasons of public interest.

Which is why channels such as MuchMusic, Showcase, Slice, E!, MTV, MTV2, MuchMoreMusic, Oprah Winfrey Network, the Comedy Network, TVtropolis, G4 Canada, and Mystery TV have Category A licenses, which have "must carry" status. Because having MTV in every home is a matter of public interest.

Mandatory Distribution goes a step further, i'll admit, but most of these applicants don't even have "must carry" status right now. Like I said, I think nobody should benefit from either Mandatory Distribution or Must Carry status, and every channel should be available a la carte, with the exception of maybe CPAC and CBC.

Alternatively, any channel that gets mandatory distribution should not be able to charge a subscriber fee. I'd be just as happy with that.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by corster:

Alternatively, any channel that gets mandatory distribution should not be able to charge a subscriber fee. I'd be just as happy with that.

+1


J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
reply to Wolfie00
said by Wolfie00:

said by corster:

You can't blame others for wanting the same treatment.

Yes you can. Mandatory carriage exists for good and valid reasons of public interest. I can blame others who seek only to exploit it as a gravy train to easy profits.

Which ones? I can see The Weather Channel and networks, but that's it.
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein

Walter Dnes

join:2008-01-27
Thornhill, ON
reply to corster
said by corster:

What they really should be doing is getting rid of both Mandatory Distribution and Must Offer designations, and making BDU's offer all channels a la carte. Unfortunately, now that the BDU's own most of the specialty channels, they benefit too much from forced bundling to ever offer it on their own.

I think that "Must Offer"is a good idea. I.e. an operator must allow their customers to make the choice. Otherwise Bell could decide not to offer Rogers Sportsnet, and Rogers could decide not to offer TSN.

That is totally different from "Mandatory Distribution", which forces a Pay-TV channel onto a subscriber's bill whether they want it or not. Pay-TV channels should not be mandatory.

Walter Dnes

join:2008-01-27
Thornhill, ON
reply to corster
said by corster:

Alternatively, any channel that gets mandatory distribution should not be able to charge a subscriber fee. I'd be just as happy with that.

Great idea. If a channel claims to qualify as being "in the public interest" under section 9(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act, it should be publicly funded. That way, there would be public accountability via federal/provincial legislatures. What's happening now is that the CRTC is effectively able to impose taxes on the public to subsidize private corporations. Taxation should only be done by elected bodies (federal/provincial/municipal). And to pre-emptively answer any shyster lawyers (e.g. Canadian Copyright Board), I don't care if you think "It's not a tax, it's a levy". If it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, and flies like a duck, it is a duck.