Saturday, November 04, 2006

Canadians Denied Satellite Radio via Satellite TV

On Friday, November 03, 2006, the CRTC ruled that satellite radio could not be distributed by direct-to-home distributors. In other words, Canadians will not receive satellite radio as part of their satellite TV package. In their decision, they wrote:

In this decision, the Commission finds that satellite subscription radio (SSR) undertakings are not programming undertakings and that the licensees of direct-to-home broadcasting distribution undertakings, in the absence of a specific condition of licence allowing such distribution, do not have authority under section 39 of the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations to distribute the programming of SSR undertakings.

It was the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that opposed the distribution by satellite TV. The CBC is a partner of Sirius Canada. The central question was whether satellite radio was a programming undertaking or a broadcasting distribution undertaking. The CRTC ruled the latter. The government at work.

Also, the Globe and Mail has an interesting article on the decision. They also point out that Rogers has applied to carry satellite radio on its digital cable channels. Videotron has also applied.

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