10.10.2009

why are my tax dollars being used to prop up canwest?

The CBC and the National Post newspaper have announced a deal to share sports and financial coverage across their media platforms.

Effective immediately, CBC.ca will feature financial stories and podcasts from the Financial Post while nationalpost.com will include daily stories from CBC Sports.

The print version of the paper will also periodically include CBC Sports material, the two organizations said in a joint statement issued Thursday afternoon.

Richard Stursberg, executive vice-president of CBC English Services, described the deal as "an attractive arrangement for both organizations.

"As Canada's national public broadcaster, we have an unsurpassed reputation in the field of sports reporting, which will be available to more Canadians through the Post's readership. CBC.ca's financial news content will be enhanced by one of Canada's most trusted and respected sources of business news," he said in a statement.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"This partnership builds on key strengths of two great news organizations," said National Post president and CEO Paul Godfrey. "Together, we will provide Canadians the best in business and sports news."

"An attractive arrangement for both organizations"? As a CBC "shareholder" - i.e., taxpayer - I disagree! Why are my tax dollars being used to prop up this right-wing media rag? And why wasn't the public consulted?

Here's another laugher: ""This partnership builds on key strengths of two great news organizations". CBC can't be two great news organizations, can it? Who's the other one?

10 comments:

penlan said...

"CBC can't be two great news organizations, can it? Who's the other one?"

LOL. If you think about it CBC IS 2 organizations now. Split with NP. Bipolar. ;)

Liam said...

This action and the 'localtvmatters' campaign have become the biggest media farce.

As long as the Cons are in charge, they'll find ways to hollow out the core of the CBC and pay off their buddies with CTV and CanWest while they're at it.

L-girl said...

You know, I don't really understand the "local TV matters" thing.

It's obviously a scam - I'm not thinking that CTV & Global are worried about my expenses. And I know that it's a fight between the cable & satellite providers and the stations. But I don't really understand what it's about.

Anyone who wants to explain it in NON-JARGON terms is free to do so in this thread. (But please don't throw around telecom-business expressions without explaining with they mean. Thanks.)

Scott M. said...

(But please don't throw around telecom-business expressions without explaining with they mean. Thanks.)

Ouch. I'm guessing that was aimed at me.

OK, so here's the deal:

TV advertising is suffering. The TV networks are therefore asking the CRTC (sort of Canadian FCC) to force the cable companies to pay them a per-subscriber fee ($0.15-$0.50 per subscriber).

The Cable and Satellite companies are advocating against this new fee, stating that their customers won't like an increase in fees. So the networks strike back, saying that there's no need for Cable and Satellite companies to raise fees, they should instead pay out of their profits.

To explain how this would "work" to the public, they are saying that people are already paying the cable companies for local TV and the cable companies are keeping it. Which of course is bunk, but is hard to explain in as short a time.

Cable and satellite companies have put millions of dollars into their technology laying cable across the country, etc. They are required, by law, to carry these networks in their basic cable package. Why? Because if they didn't, the local TV networks wouldn't have *any* ad revenue (70% of people have cable/satellite). The CRTC goes a step further and requires cable and satellite companies to substitute a Canadian signal over an American signal if they are carrying the same program at the same time. This, again, ensures you're looking at local ads and not far-away ads. This is why when you tune to NBC to watch "Chuck" you see CityTV instead.

The money Cable and Satellite companies collect for basic service goes towards maintaining the telephone poles, cables, ensuring a clear picture, sending out technicians when a squirrel eats through a cable, substituting signals, etc. And, of course, some profit too. But none, as in ZERO, is collected for local TV.

So, in short, they're lying when they say cable companies keep the money "you're already paying for local TV".

Of course there's no way the CRTC would ever say to Shaw, "give some of your profits to CTV", that would be insane, so they just run this complete farce of a TV ad.

In my opinion, if the networks want to get a fee for their signal, that's fine. Either they should show the cost separately as a government mandated fee, or allow the cable and satellite companies to negotiate with the networks. But if they can't come to an agreement don't force the cable and satellite companies to carry them.

Oh, and BTW, this fee-for-carriage scheme comes right on the heels of the Local Programming Improvement Fund, where the cable companies were dinged 1.5% of their revenues (yes, revenues) by the CRTC to be put into local TV. Most cable companies have just put it on the bill as another government mandated tax.

L-girl said...

But please don't throw around telecom-business expressions without explaining with they mean. Thanks.)

Ouch. I'm guessing that was aimed at me.


No, not at all. It's not aimed at anybody in particular. I wrote it because when I Googled trying to learn about this issue, 100% of what I found was written in biz-speak that I'm unfamiliar with.

L-girl said...

Scott, thanks for the explanation. I'll have to re-read it a couple-three times before I really get it!

Scott M. said...

Scott, thanks for the explanation. I'll have to re-read it a couple-three times before I really get it!

Which is why the cable and satellite companies will never be able to fight back effectively against the networks.

Scott M. said...

CBC can't be two great news organizations, can it? Who's the other one?

SRC Radio Canada?

L-girl said...

Which is why the cable and satellite companies will never be able to fight back effectively against the networks.

So it's not just me!

It's also a bit difficult to think of Rogers or Bell as anything in need of fighting back.

impudent strumpet said...

I'm late to the thread, but I just wanted to say that Scott's is the only explanation I've ever heard that makes the cable companies' position make even a modicum of sense. And that includes the propaganda sent to me by my cable provider.