The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.It will be interesting to watch how the CRTC handles PrideVision’s complaint against Shaw Communications and its satellite TV unit Star Choice regarding treatment of its service during the free preview period of new digital specialty services. This case will no doubt test the commission’s resolve in enforcing its regulations and its drive toward self-regulation. PrideVision is objecting to Shaw advertising the channel as a pay-per-view option, forcing subscribers to "opt in" to the gay and lesbian channel rather than making it available to all digital subscribers during its free preview period, which is slated to end in January (see story in this issue). Shaw has replied that because of the "adult" nature of the channel, it wants viewers to have to choose the channel to ensure young viewers don’t mistakenly tune in to anything raunchy. As a Category 1 service, PrideVision must be offered in a package before it is offered as a stand-alone channel. While there are no rules forcing distributors to even offer a free preview of the digital channels, industry-negotiated principles aimed at guiding the launch of the new digital services clearly require that all channels be distributed on a fair and equitable basis. For years, the cable industry has argued that there is no problem with the way it deals with specialty broadcasters because few or no complaints have been filed. Only a month ago, Janet Yale, president and CEO of the Canadian Cable Television Association, proclaimed that the digital launch was going so well because any past issues between broadcasters and distributors had been worked out. It should be noted, however, that some specialty channels have not lodged formal complaints in the past because of a fear of some sort of retaliation by the distributors – whom they need to carry out their businesses. So while PrideVision’s move is a gutsy one, it may be a necessary one. With so many channels vying for consumer acceptance in such a competitive environment, an unscrupulous move by a distributor could well put a channel in jeopardy. PrideVision appears to have a case, but will the CRTC have the resolve and power to force Shaw into compliance?