CBC/Radio-Canada welcomes the CRTC’s decision today to require Bell TV and Shaw Direct to carry all local television stations across Canada.
“The CRTC has made several significant policy decisions over the last few years to strengthen local programming in Canada. This is another critical step in that direction. We applaud their efforts,” said Steven Guiton, Vice President and Chief Regulatory Officer, CBC/Radio-Canada.
“Local stations provide a fundamental public service to their communities. They help citizens connect with their local government, businesses, schools and community organizations. They help define, build and sustain the local culture and local democracy. Our five-year strategy, Everyone, Every Way, commits us to strengthening our regional presence across the country. Having local stations available to everyone is key to achieving that goal,” continued Guiton.
Last November, CBC/Radio-Canada appeared before the CRTC to urge the Commission to ensure that all satellite television subscribers have guaranteed access to their local programming.
Bell TV and Shaw Direct provide service to about a quarter of households in Canada. Under the former rules – which required satellite television providers to carry only one station per time zone – hundreds of thousands of Canadians are being deprived of access to their local signal. Lack of access is particularly acute in the province of Quebec, where today Shaw Direct carries only one of Radio-Canada’s six local stations, and Bell only three.
As a result of today’s policy revision, a number of local stations will be added to the Shaw Direct program offering by January 1, 2013, including St. John’s, Fredericton, Charlottetown and Windsor on the CBC side and Rimouski, Saguenay, Trois-Rivières, Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Toronto and Regina on the Radio-Canada side. Several stations will also be added to the Bell TV offering by August 31, 2012, including Fredericton, Charlottetown and Windsor on the CBC side, and Rimouski, Saguenay, Trois-Rivière, Toronto and Regina on the Radio-Canada side.