The CRTC could ... decide to revisit its television policy, a move that may open the door for networks to revisit their proposal to charge cable firms fees for their signals. The networks want to be able to charge monthly fees, as cable channels do, including many specialties owned by CTVglobemedia Inc. and Global.
However, the proposal has met much resistance from the regulator, the cable industry and consumer groups. Cable firms, including Rogers Communications, have called the proposal a cash grab.
A cash grab indeed and a foolish one. Again and again, CanWest (which owns Global) and CTVglobemedia have shown themselves clueless about the key cause of their financial woes.
It's not loss of advertising revenue, it's lack of quality - not imported, canned, one size fits all - programming. Study results make clear that people, especially young people, are turning off their televisions (if they own one at all) and turning on to the Internet. This cannot all be due to the Internet's attractions, e.g., being able to choose what one reads or views, often without commercial interruption.
There is general dissatisfaction with what is delivered via the boob tube or idiot box. Even the CRTC seems to acknowledge some of this.
Earlier this week, the CRTC published its annual financial figures for the industry, showing that profits at Canada's major commercial TV networks had fallen more than 90 per cent last year. Several factors led to the declines, including the migration of TV audiences and revenue to the Internet and to cable, and the impact of the TV writers strike last year.
If broadcasters begin charging cable companies monthly fees for airing their programs, those fees will in turn be charged to consumers.
Way to go! You're already experiencing a loss in viewers. How do you suppose charging the viewers who remain will help retain your current number?
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