The CRTC announced Tuesday it will extend the deadline for comments on opening up the general interest pay television genre to competition in the French-language market. Interested parties originally had until March 19, 2010, to submit their comments for broadcasting notice of consultation 2010-41. However Astral Media Inc. requested the deadline be extended to reply to arguments raised by TVA Group Inc. “Given the importance of the issues raised in this proceeding, the Commission considers it appropriate to allow interested parties to reply to comments,” the CRTC said in the notice of extension. The new deadline is now set for April 20. TVA had originally put in an application with the CRTC to open up the market, but in broadcasting public notice 2008-100, issued on Oct. 30, 2008, the CRTC said it would not open competition in a given genre unless “a competitive environment would not significantly reduce either the diversity of services available to subscribers or the services’ contribution to the creation of Canadian programming.” Astral’s Super Écran is currently the only general pay television service in the French-language market. The CRTC is seeking comments on the appropriateness of opening up the market given the “reduced size” of the French-language market.