The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.The high costs and risks associated with launching new digital specialty TV channels has shattered the CRTC’s goal of promoting a diversity of voices in the Canadian broadcasting system. It had hoped its flexible licensing framework for digital channels would encourage the introduction of new broadcast players. Sadly, that isn’t happening. The 76 new channels, including diginets, unveiled this month by Bell ExpressVu illustrates that only established broadcast players are launching yet more digital services. Craig Broadcast Systems is going ahead with Stampede, and CHUM with MuchMoreRetro.  It’s a difficult environment for new players. Late last month, for example, a receiver was authorized by the CRTC to temporarily manage the High School Television Network Inc. SF Partners was authorized to operate the Category 2 channel for a period of nine months (Broadcasting Decision 2003-78). The channel had little financial support right from the beginning. For a while it was using the facilities of another upstart broadcaster, Stornoway Communications, and a one-day block of programming was replayed day after day. That’s not the way to attract viewers. Although a few new players did receive licences and launch channels, such as Stornoway, Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, and the operators of Movieola and a few other channels, many of them are struggling. PrideVision, owned by Headline Media Group, which already had one analog specialty channel, is in serious trouble. The diginet will likely be sold to an established player. Another potential newcomer, Salter Street Films, was licensed for the Independent Film Channel. But as a small player it did not have the bargaining power to negotiate for reasonable access to the titles in Alliance Atlantis Communications’ film library. It ended up selling its assets to Alliance Atlantis before even getting the channel off the ground. The sad reality is that very few entrepreneurs with a good channel concept have the infrastructure, the connections, or financial wherewithal to be successful in the broadcasting business. Unfortunately for the little guy, incumbent broadcasters will dominate the digital channel universe going forward.