The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.It’s starting to look like Star Choice has been snookered. And it’s doubtful the CRTC will do anything about it.  The eleventh hour battle over four Anik F1 transponders is baffling, both for its timing and its preoccupation with who should decide which Category 2 channels get carried on satellite. If Star Choice were to control these transponders, obviously it would be in a much better bargaining position to determine what these channels will give up to get distributed (i.e. equity), what they will charge subscribers and how they are packaged with other services. But when NetStar, CTV, Chum and Alliance Atlantis are the ones leasing the transponders, the tables are reversed. While Star Choice clearly isn’t happy with the turn of events, it’s doubtful that the public interest is any worse off. The issue of fairness also has little relevance in this new competitive environment. Letting Star Choice decide who gets carried probably isn’t fair, and neither is having Chum, Alliance and two BCE-owned broadcasters decide either. However, some new licensees also don’t think it’s fair that certain cable operators are demanding a 9.9% equity stake before they carry new licensees. If anything, Canada’s regulated broadcast licensees are smarting from a harsh dose of competitive reality. Everyone knew that carriage negotiations would become cut throat when the CRTC decided to license a whopping 260 Category 2 digital channels when there wasn’t enough capacity on either cable or satellite to carry that many. It doesn’t even matter much if Telesat or its owners secretly wanted these broadcasters to claw back the transponders from Star Choice. In the end, what Category 2 channel wouldn’t have wanted to take advantage of a clause in a contract that ensured their access to over 500,000 satellite TV subscribers. Rather than hand the transponders back to Star Choice, the CRTC or government should send a message to BCE that the time has come to divest itself of Telesat. As long as Canada’s only satellite company is carrying its parent’s TV channels allegations of conflict and undue preference will continue.