Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Broadcasting Regulatory Policy

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Policy Problem The recent Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications (CRTC) (2013c) 'Broadcasting Regulatory Policy on the Distribution of Canadian Category C national news speciality services' marks a new regulatory approach to distributing competitive news and sports programming in Canada. This policy is a response to Canadians' concerns over consumer choice due to program bundling and an inability to select news and sports programs on a stand-alone basis (CRTC, 2013c; CRTC, 2014). Based on the Commission's public notice on 'Regulatory Framework for Broadcasting Distribution Undertakings and Discretionary Programming Services', the new regulation demonstrates an effort to reduce national news and sports program regulations and to…show more content…
Furthermore, the CRTC (2014) initiated 'Let's Talk TV' in October 2013, which enabled a discussion between the regulatory body and Canadians to share their views on current regulations in broadcasting and the future of television packaging in Canada. The subsequent report of 'Let's Talk TV' outlined the concerns and satisfactions of the Canadian public. In late 2013, the CRTC (2013c) ruled that Category C national news services should be offered by all broadcasting providers in an effort to remove regulatory restrictions for new entrants, increase competition in this sector and to enhance consumer choice. Issues and Implications The CRTC (2013c) identified five categories that this policy addressed: the necessity of offering all marketable news services, news neighbourhoods, packaging requirements, filing affiliation agreements and resolution strategies in negotiation rates and set an implementation period. The Commission ruled in favour of offering all news services to Canadian cable subscribers, against requiring that broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs) categorize similar programming into news neighbourhoods, against requiring packaged or bundled services and has permitted continued commercial negotiations instead of CRTC mediated negotiations. By March 19, 2014, all BDUs are required to satisfy the must-offer provision of this policy; all other arrangements will be effective

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