Yesterday the CRTC released an important decision regarding a dispute between Canada’s national gay and lesbian programming service, OUTtv and Shaw Cable systems. The CRTC ruled that Shaw has subjected OUTtv to an “undue disadvantage” in its marketing practices. In addition, the CRTC ruled on a number of other important issues including channel placement and audit rights.
It was noted in the decision that the marketing practices of Shaw have caused the penetration rate of OUTtv to be lower on Shaw systems (0.49%) than on other BDUs (ranges from 6.61 – 18.11%).
The penetration rate of OUTtv, as recorded in December 2007, was 0.49% of subscribers on Shaw systems. This compares to 18.11% for TELUS systems, 15.69% for Bell ExpressVu, 9.27% for Cogeco systems and 7% for Rogers systems and 6.61% for Star Choice. The average penetration rate for OUTtv on Cogeco, Bell ExpressVu and Rogers BDUs was 10.7%.
“We are very pleased the thoughtful decision of the CRTC on this matter”, noted Chief Operating Officer Brad Danks, “the decision really demonstrates how clearly the CRTC understands the impact of a carrier’s marketing and packaging on the economic health of a programming service. Hopefully our friends at Shaw will work with us to create an appropriate marketing situation for OUTtv.”
Read the full decision at the CRTC’s website: