TVA Group Inc. has filed a complaint with the
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) concerning Bell ExpressVu’s business practices, which are depriving Le Canal Nouvelles (LCN) of substantial revenues. The practices in question involve the direct sale by Bell ExpressVu and its authorized agents of multiple decoders to new customers, for use in the customer’s primary residence and secondary residence. Bell ExpressVu is charging these customers only one monthly subscription fee and therefore paying LCN royalties for only one subscriber, contrary to CRTC rules.
The Broadcasting Distribution Regulations define a subscriber as a household of one or more persons, whether occupying a single-unit dwelling or a unit in a multiple-unit dwelling, to which service is provided directly or indirectly by a licensee.
Before filing the complaint, LCN informed Bell ExpressVu that is was opposed to this practice, which has a negative impact on LCN, and formally demanded that it end the practice. In view of Bell ExpressVu’s refusal even to admit that it is engaging in the practice, despite the evidence LCN holds, the company had no choice but to file a formal complaint with the CRTC. This was done on April 10, 2002.
LCN is asking the CRTC to take appropriate action, pursuant to section 12 of the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations, to ensure that LCN receives the royalties to which it is entitled.