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Shaw attacks CRTC USA Network ruling

Briefs | 09/25/2007 1:22 pm EDT

"The CRTC is continuing on a path of protectionism for the benefit of certain Canadian programmers at the expense of Canadian television customers," said Peter Bissonnette, president of Shaw Communications Inc., in a press release questioning last week's CRTC decision denying Shaw's request to add USA Network to the lists of eligible satellite services for distribution on a digital basis. "Shaw strongly believes that Canadians deserve access to the best national and international sources of programming – that is what the Broadcasting Act promises." The application, which was submitted by Shaw in January, was denied primarily on the basis that it was competitive with the Category 1 specialty service Mystery TV. However, Shaw counters that Mystery TV owner CanWest MediaWorks Inc. acknowledged in its intervention that "USA Network is truly a general interest service. It does not limit itself to any one particular genre but is rather a leading provider of original series, off-network television shows, sports events and block-buster theatrical events."

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