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Mon May 15 3:28 pm  #1

CRTC Wants National OMNI-Like Service With Mandatory Carriage

Rogers cancelling all those ethnic newscasts a while ago may come back to haunt the company. It was because of what OMNI no longer shows that the CRTC on Monday issued a call for a national multi-language cable network that serves ethnic Canadians. The bonus for creating what could be an expensive proposition? Mandatory carriage on all cable and satellite systems throughout the country.

Rogers wanted the national service but the CRTC had reservations. From their website:

"...the Commission stated that it was concerned that the service proposed by Rogers Media did not fully meet the Commission’s expectations for such a service, particularly with respect to long-term viability, the small portion of the program schedule allocated to newscasts and the lack of specific amounts of regionally reflective programming in the proposal.

"The Commission weighed its concerns in regard to the application against the extraordinary need for this type of service and approved the application by Rogers Media for an interim three-year period. OMNI Regional will fill the gap in multilingual, multi-ethnic programming from a Canadian perspective while the Commission conducts a proceeding to consider proposals for a service that will meet the needs of third-language Canadians."

I hope Rogers doesn't end up with this thing by default or simply because they have the most experience at it. Their constant cuts to OMNI have angered many communities, which complained bitterly to the CRTC about their main source of news disappearing without any replacement. 

In the meantime, OMNI Regional is supposed to be ready for its three year stop gap by September 1st, consisting of four regional feeds across the country at a cost of 12 cents per subscriber. 

Applications for the permanent channel are due by August, although a decision could be a long way away.  

CRTC announcement

Financial Post: CRTC grants Rogers mandatory distribution of OMNI newscasts

Last edited by RadioActive (Mon May 15 6:02 pm)