Monday, September 11, 2006

Videotron Applies to CRTC to Allow Broadcasting of Satellite Radio on Digital Cable

On August 03, 2006, Videotron applied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the equivalent of the FCC, to allow the distribution of the two satellite radio services on digital cable. The reason for the request was given as follows:

Videotron submitted that the digital distribution of these services will result in a number of advantages for the Canadian broadcasting system. According to Videotron, not only will it enhance the choice and diversity of audio programming available to Canadians, but it will serve as a springboard and source of revenue for Canadian musicians, particularly those who are new and upcoming. Videotron argued that distribution of satellite radio services by Class 1 BDUs could also incite existing analog subscribers to subscribe to digital services. Videotron also remarked that other satellite radio services are frequently distributed in the United States. Videotron maintained that, if Canadian distributors cannot offer a comparable service, then consumers will abandon the Canadian distribution system to obtain U.S. satellite services.

The public has until October 03, 2006 to comment. It is already being opposed by the Canadian Conderence of the Arts on--you guess it--Canadian content regulations.

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