Gerald McGoey has taken over as CEO of Look Communications Inc., replacing long-time chair of the board of directors Michael Cytrynbaum. McGoey is currently CEO of Unique Broadband Systems Inc., the majority shareholder in Look.
CRTC approves transfer of PrideVision to William Craig
The CRTC approved on May 28 the $1.5- million purchase of the Category 1 diginet PrideVision by William Craig from current owner Headline Media Group Inc. (Broadcasting Decision 2004-191). Ownership of PrideVision will transfer to 6166954 Canada Inc., a numbered company wholly-owned and controlled by Craig. Craig will own 80.2% of the voting shares of PrideVision, and the remaining 9.9% voting shares will be owned by other shareholders. Headline Media was forced to sell the channel after it began losing massive amounts of money (CCR, June 5/03; CCR Update, Feb. 5/03). Craig says he can turn the fortunes of the channel around by negotiating new carriage agreements with distributors (CCR, March 25/04).
Carleton University mass communications professor Paul Attallah says that Bill C-2, which proposes to amend the Radiocommunication Act to tighten penalties for satellite TV signal theft, is a bad piece of legislation. In an interview with Zoran Vidic for Canadian Communications Reports, he states the bill will restrict the viewing choices of Canadians.
Corus Entertainment Inc.’s pay service Encore Avenue Ltd. (formerly MovieMax!) is asking the CRTC to allow it to be carried on discretionary analog tiers in an effort to turn around its sagging fortunes (Broadcasting Public Notice 2004-35). Encore, which is distributed in Western Canada, complains that it is currently at a competitive disadvantage because the pay movie channel licensed in June 1994 can only be carried on an encrypted basis.
Citing unspecified examples of abuse by distributors, broadcasters contend that existing regulatory safeguards for verifying affiliation payments are inadequate and want their right to audits enshrined in broadcasting regulations. The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) tells the CRTC that such a move would reduce the growing number of complaints regarding affiliation payments that are being filed with the CRTC. In response to the CRTC’s call for comments on the possibility of amending the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations to add provisions governing the audit of affiliation payments, the CAB notes that 27 of 83 dispute resolution complaints filed with the commission between May 12, 2000 and Sept. 20, 2003 involved requests to audit distributor records. The CRTC is considering codifying audit rights in legislation at the request of the CAB (CCR, April 8/04).
New entrant Ciel Satellite Group is hoping to nab the 129 degrees west orbital slot over a competing bid from Telesat Canada to provide broadcasters, and cable and direct-to-home satellite TV operators with choice in their satellite provider. The company, with the backing of some satellite industry heavyweights, has applied to develop the real estate, as has longtime satellite operator Telesat.
The acting head of the Canadian Cable Television Association (CCTA) took several pot shots at Ottawa this week, stating that the federal government "doesn’t get" copyright, and that he is "pissed off" more steps aren’t being taken to combat the theft of TV signals.