Rogers Communications Inc. is asking the CRTC to mandate TV providers keep OMNI in the same space on their channel line-ups when the new OMNI Regional service replaces the existing local stations. Rogers told the CRTC in a July 14 intervention that if Shaw Communications Inc. or other TV providers “remove OMNI from its current position alongside other local television services, it would have a significant negative impact on the advertising revenues and viewership of these services.” The company was responding to a Part 1 application filed by Shaw last month 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. In its response, Rogers said that if the CRTC grants Shaw’s request, it should require Shaw to distribute OMNI Regional on the same channel where the OMNI OTA station was previously, and if OMNI Regional’s mandatory carriage isn’t renewed, that the OTA station be reinstated on the same channel. The financial viability of the OMNI stations depends on ad revenue, Rogers argued. “One of the key factors in driving advertising and viewership on OMNI is its current channel placement in the local television neighbourhood where viewers expect to find OMNI among other local stations,” the intervention argued. Moving the channel would frustrate and confuse viewers, who wouldn’t be likely to find it in its new dial position without putting a significant marketing effort and costs in place to promote the new location. Rogers estimated that if Shaw were to move OMNI, there would be a 15- to 25-per cent decline in viewership, and a loss of $150,000 to $200,000 in ad revenues, and if all TV providers except for Rogers were to do so, the station would experience a “devastating” loss of $500,000 to $900,000. Shaw’s Part 1 was filed concurrently to a separate but similar proceeding launched by Quebecor Inc., asking for permission to eliminate one of two identical feeds from International Channel/Canal International (ICI) once the new OMNI Quebec (to be branded as ICI) launches. In its intervention, ICI made the same arguments as Rogers, asking the CRTC to not allow the channel to be moved.