The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.
Sandra Macdonald has been named president and CEO of the Canadian Television Fund (CTF). She replaces former president and CEO Garry Toth, who is on leave of absence for medical reasons (CCR, June 21/02). Macdonald was government film commissioner and chair of the National Film Board from 1995-2001, and president of the Canadian Film and Television Production Association from 1992-95. She has also worked for the CRTC and Communications Canada and was a producer. She is a founding board member of the CTF.
CHUM Ltd. converts five all-sports stations to music
CHUM Ltd. will convert its Toronto all-sports radio station 1050 CHUM back to oldies radio, the company announced August 27. As well, the music format will be reintroduced at its all-sports stations in Winnipeg, Kitchener/Waterloo, Kingston, and Halifax. Its sports stations in Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal will remain. "After over a year in the sports radio business, it became clear that the amount of investment in time and money we dedicated to the Team Radio Network, did not show signs of audience growth in the Toronto area," says CHUM Radio president Jim Waters. "In Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal, our sports radio stations with their local focus and first-in-the-format advantage are performing well." CHUM announced plans for a national sports radio station 15 months ago (CCR, Feb. 1/01).
In May 2001, the Canadian government announced it would invest an additional $500 million in Canadian arts and culture over three years (CCR, May 10/01). More than a year after the announcement, the non-profit arts advocacy group the Canadian Conference of the Arts has examined the effect of the new funding. It concludes that program implementation has been slow, and that much of the money is being used to increase staff at Canadian Heritage, rather than flowing directly to the cultural sector. Below is an excerpt from the group's Investment in Canadian Culture report.
The CRTC has rejected an application by Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel) to replace its current condition of licence on the distribution of U.S. 4+1 signals with a more general condition – Broadcasting Decision 2002-248. The decision reaffirms the regulatory practice of authorizing the carriage of specific U.S. 4+1 television network signals by condition of licence, and reinforces the commission's simultaneous substitution rules.
Broadcasters and cablecos are reacting very differently to the CRTC's process to establish rules governing the distribution of specialty services by cablecos in an all-digital environment – Broadcasting Public Notice 2002-48. Even as broadcasters are not surprisingly seeking continued protection for specialty channels in the basic package in digital, cablecos are asking for the wider flexibility already accorded to their all-digital direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV rivals.
Members of the broadcast community were generous in donating to Canada's major political parties, particularly the ruling Liberals, in 2001. Figures released this month by Elections Canada reveal that Craig Broadcast Systems Inc. has recently become a major donor to the Liberal Party of Canada, with Craig Broadcast Alberta Inc. donating $32,769.38, Craig Broadcast Systems Inc. giving $26,000, Craig Wireless International Inc. donating $3,998.50, and Craig Wireless executive Boyd Craig giving $761.66.
A Toronto-based startup will soon unveil technology that will allow broadcast-quality digital video to be streamed wirelessly to multiple televisions and other consumer electronics devices without the need for duplicate set-top boxes. ViXS Systems Inc. has developed a chip set that turns the digital cable box into a home gateway that puts multiple televisions, PCs and other devices on the same Internet Protocol (IP) network. If the technology lives up to expectations, it will essentially allow for the delivery of greater digital services for less money.
The incumbent cable operator in Whistler BC is arguing that allowing another Class 2 cable operator into the resort town would fragment the market and result in reduced cable service. Whistler Cable Television Ltd. is urging the CRTC to deny a broadcast distribution licence to David Reid and Richard Hazell, two entrepreneurs hoping to bring a second cable service to the town of 7,500.