Shaw Communications Inc. is asking the CRTC to allow it to take OMNI’s over-the-air (OTA) station out of its basic service package once OMNI Regional begins broadcasting. Rogers Communications Inc.’s proposal for a national ethnic channel, called OMNI Regional and consisting of four feeds, received temporary mandatory distribution in May for a licence term beginning on Sept. 1. In its decision at the time, the CRTC denied Rogers’ request that broadcast distributors “have the option to substitute the regional feed of OMNI’s national service instead of distributing the OMNI television station as part of the basic service,” noting that TV providers “are free to request an exception to their conditions of licence should they wish to be relieved of the obligation to carry OMNI stations as part of the basic service where this is required.” Shaw’s June 23 Part 1 application asked for permission to drop the local OMNI station while OMNI Regional’s mandatory distribution is in effect. It said in the application that “the proposed conditions will prevent the unnecessary duplication of programming on the basic service” and won’t harm Canadians because Rogers has “committed to continuing to operate OTA stations in Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver to prevent the ‘disenfranchisement’ of viewers who are without a BDU subscription.” It added that granting “the requested relief will allow Shaw to optimize capacity in order to offer the greatest quality, choice and diversity of programming.” In Quebec, Rogers reached an agreement with International Channel/Canal International (ICI) to brand OMNI’s Quebec feed as ICI Québec, for which ICI would provide much of the programming, the CRTC said in its May decision. In a separate Part 1 application filed Wednesday, Quebecor Inc. noted that once that channel is broadcasting, the company will be in a position where it will be obligated to broadcast two identical ICI feeds, and asked for permission to eliminate one of them from its basic service. The deadline for comments on both applications in July 31.