Sunday, September 24, 2006

Future of the Canadian Broadcasting System

In response to the Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-72, the CBC/Radio-Canada filed its comments on September 01, 2006, concerning the "future environment facing the Canadian broadcasting system". There are 26 references to satellite radio. Below is one excerpt. It also talks about the failure of digital radio (HD radio, more or less) to take hold in Canada.

Satellite radio – Early success in Canada

Satellite radio is a relatively new technology which offers 100 or more channels of specialized music and talk programming. Satellite radio has experienced rapid growth in the United States and is now growing quickly in Canada – with over 200,000 subscribers in less than a year of operation.

The primary driver for satellite radio has been receivers in automobiles but, as noted above, the Canadian satellite radio services are seeking to extend their reach by means of distribution by cable and DTH BDUs, as well as via mobile wireless carriers. This type of expansion of satellite radio distribution channels could put it in direct competition with pay audio. If satellite radio were to begin to carry some local programming it might also become more directly competitive with conventional over-the-air radio.

As a stand-alone subscription audio service, satellite radio is testing new waters in the Canadian market. Consequently, it is too early to tell what level of impact this new platform will achieve.

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