The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Reading the comments tendered as part of the over-the-air television review, one can’t help but wonder how the CRTC can possibly arrive at a decision that doesn’t blatantly favour either broadcasters or BDUs. In 1999, the commission hypothesized that digital technology would add more consumer choice but fragment viewership, and that pay and specialty services would continue to grow. However, the regulator posited, Canadian producers’ past successes in foreign markets would be repeated, and that conventional broadcasting would continue to dominate the Canadian television industry. Of course, much has changed since then. According to the CFTPA, the export value of Canadian television programs slid from a high-water mark of $611 million in 1999-2000 to $270 million in 2004-05. And the commission’s 2006 broadcast policy monitoring report states that pay and specialty services had evened the gap with conventional broadcasters in English Canada – at least in terms of revenue – with both coming in at $1.76 billion. Given the current reality, the broadcasters’ request to be able to monetize their audience through a subscription fee seems reasonable enough. However, it could be possible that no amount of mandated simultaneous substitution or virtual channel override will ensure Canadian audiences watch their programs of choice on national broadcasters. Indeed, many of the respondents caution that excessive regulatory intervention will drive audiences toward, not away from, alternative unregulated sources of content. Unfortunately, there may be no easy answers to this one, and the CRTC may find itself in a quandary that it’s never had to face before: a situation where no amount of policy-making will substitute for letting market forces run their course.