Shaw Wants Netflix & Google Regulated As Broadcasters
'Unfair,' claims company with long history of anti-competitiveness
Canadian ISPs have already managed to parry Internet video's assault by imposing low cap and high overages
in addition to wholesale throttling and usage-based billing
. The low cap, high overage model, as we've discussed for years, is largely about cashing in on such services and keeping traditional cable TV relevant. That's apparently not enough for Canadian cable operator Shaw, who is also now looking to have Netflix and Google regulated as broadcasters
. Shaw trots out several arguments in support of this, ranging from patriotism to "fairness":
“Why should we be burdened with anchors and costs? The reason Netflix can offer an $8.99 service is because they have no costs other than acquiring the content,” said Shaw president Peter Bissonnette. Bissonnette said the current situation is not only unfair, but also undermines the ability of Canadian broadcasters to finance Canadian programs because the foreign competition is sapping their revenue base.
Like so many companies, Shaw pretends to be a fan of "free markets" and anti-regulation -- up until the point where protectionism benefits them or they can get regulation imposed on the other guy
. Shaw ignores the reality that Netflix and Google are simply service companies -- not broadcasters (at least not yet). Shaw also pays empty lip service to "fairness," given their treatment of competing wholesalers -- and efforts like trying to prevent WIND wireless
from entering the market because they weren't Canadian enough.