In yet another example of Canada’s broken broadcasting policy, Canada’s national broadcasting regulator, the CRTC, today denied John Bitove’s (XM Canada’s founder) HDTV Network Inc’s application for an eight city Canadian HDTV broadcast network. The network was to be backed by Microsoft founder and Charter Communication’s chairman, Paul Allen.
Most Canadian cities have few or no digital broadcasters. Global has repeatedly missed the CRTC-imposed deadlines to launch its terrestrial HD broadcast system in Canada. Here, a proven entrepreneur was denied the right to do that which a national Canadian broadcaster is unwilling or unable to do.
Why? Because the network was not committing to broadcast enough local Canadian content. Content that most Canadians neither want nor watch.
It was heartening to see one commissioner, Len Katz, dissent.
Canada’s broadcasting policy is in need of top to bottom reform with an emphasis on market-driven competition and integration with U.S. broadcast and telecom policy. Until then, Canadian consumers are left with an increasingly sub-par and antiquated broadcast system.
Update: The San Francisco Chronicle picked up this post here.
– Using the TiVo Series 3 in Canada (October 15, 2006)