Monday, April 21st5.3°C
21633

TV viewers get a break

The Supreme Court of Canada says the CRTC does not have the power to make cable providers pay broadcasters for carrying their signals.

In a 5-4 decision Thursday, the court ruled that setting up such a system is not within the scope of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. In doing so, the justices overturned an earlier Federal Court of Appeal decision.

The Broadcasting Act can't be interpreted to give the CRTC that power, Justice Marshall Rothstein wrote for the majority.

"First, a contextual reading of the provisions of the Broadcasting Act themselves reveals that they were not meant to authorize the CRTC to create exclusive rights for broadcasters to control the exploitation of their signals or works by retransmission," Rothstein wrote.

"Second, the proposed regime would conflict with specific provisions enacted by Parliament in the Copyright Act."

In their dissent, Justices Rosalie Abella and Thomas Cromwell argued that seeking a system that would be beneficial to local television stations was well within the mandate of the CRTC.

"As an expert body, the CRTC, not the courts, is in the best position to decide what measures are necessary to save local stations from going bankrupt," they wrote.

The CRTC had decided in 2010 to launch what's known as a value-for-signal system as a response to a changing broadcasting landscape that saw local broadcasters struggling for revenue.

The CRTC declined comment on the high court's decision.

"We're just reviewing the decision," a spokeswoman for the commission said.

Currently, cable and satellite providers pluck TV signals out of the air for free and then redistribute them to their subscribers, who pay for access.

Bell Media said it's disappointed that the Supreme Court has found that the CRTC doesn't have the jurisdiction to implement such a system. TV viewers across the country would have benefited from long-term stability for their local television stations, which can no longer rely on advertising to cover their costs, said Bell.

"Local news, entertainment and other programming distinguishes Canadian broadcasting from everything else on TV," said Mirko Bibic, Bell's chief legal and regulatory officer.

Bell (TSX:BCE) said the television industry needs to find another way to help local TV survive,.

The Canadian Press
How does this story make you feel? (85 total votes)
Castanet MoodMeter
Amused
3.5%
Annoyed
4.7%
Happy
56.5%
Thrilled
2.4%
Worried
4.7%
Skeptical
28.2%


Read more Business News

20225


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14496.85-3.54
S&P CDNX997.84-0.93
DJIA16418.5910.05
Nasdaq4094.666-0.85
S&P 5001865.63+0.78
CDN Dollar0.9077+0.0006
Gold1285.80-7.60
Oil104.55+0.25
Lumber333.30+3.60
Natural Gas4.726-0.015

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.115+0.01
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.25-0.04
Cantex0.045-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.39+0.015
Metalex Ventures0.08+0.005
Russel Metals30.58-0.08
Copper Mountain Mining2.29-0.06
Colorado Resources0.26+0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.12-0.01
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.025-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.25+0.02

 



20970

FEATURED Property
19209697429 Sun Peaks Drive
10079661 bedrooms
$195,000
more details
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Learning to flirt with the edge

With all of the adventure activities I have done and still do, I wonder sometimes if the edge still exists. The systematic approach to learning a new adventure or extreme activity combined with the r...


Time spent prospecting

How much time should you put into prospecting? The question is a bit of a puzzle. Ideally, there would be a reference book that lists, by industry, how much time you should invest in prospecting acti...


Valuation fears grip markets

The Big Picture Valuation fears grip markets Growing concerns about the level of stock market valuations sparked a risk-off trade in global markets this week. Investors are worried that many companies...

_



21604

21604


Member of BC Press Council


21202