CTV Newsnet wants to go head-to-head with U.S. cable news competition
CTV News is asking the CRTC to revise the licence of CTV Newsnet to put it on a more competitive footing with all of the U.S. news services now beaming into this market - and the ones trying to gain entry.
CTV News is asking the CRTC to revise the licence of CTV Newsnet to put it on a more competitive footing with all of the U.S. news services now beaming into this market – and the ones trying to gain entry.
Aside from CBC Newsworld, U.S. services CNN, CNN Headline News and CNBC are now seen in Canada. Applications to broadcast U.S. feeds have also been submitted by Fox News; MSNBC (a joint venture of MSNBC, Rogers Communications, and Shaw Communications); and business news channel Bloomberg (submitted by Shaw, which has a digital licence for Bloomberg Canada).
Currently CTV Newsnet is the only English-language news service with restrictions regarding its broadcast of original programming. It is limited to a headline news format on a rotating 15-minute cycle of national news, business, weather, and then commercial breaks.
In its CRTC submission, Newsnet proposes keeping its headline news format but asks that it be able to broadcast more original Canadian news programming.
Newsnet specifically asks that these conditions of licence be deleted: requirement that it operate on a 15-minute wheel format; the requirement that no 15-minute period shall elapse without the broadcast of a minimum two-minute headline news segment; and the maximum of 25 exceptions to this requirement allowed each week (imposed in 2001).
The submission states: ‘In addition to the difficulties posed by the 15-minute wheel format itself, the condition of licence which allows 25 exemptions from the 15-minute wheel each week is onerous and impractical. It forces a news producer to program with a stopwatch in hand, as staff attempts to anticipate the week’s news and how many exemptions might be required.’
It also asks for the revision of the condition that the service be described strictly as ‘headline news’ and that it also be allowed to add context to the news through analysis and interpretation
CTV Newsnet launched in October 1997 as CTV News 1.