CBC seeks new licence for Bold

CBC dropped the phrase 'from a rural perspective' in a new CRTC licence application for Bold, while critics call shenanigans on the already-revamped digital channel's premature 'rural' edit.

The CRTC has called off today’s hearing into the revamp of Country Canada, following a concession by CBC that the programming on the digital channel now known as Bold is inconsistent with its current licence.

The pubcaster has instead applied for a new condition of license that omits the phrase ‘from a rural perspective’ regarding programming. It wants Bold defined as ‘a national English-language service for rural Canadians’ that will ‘provide information, interaction and entertainment.’

Further details of the CBC’s application will be released shortly by the CRTC. The CBC conceded in a letter to the CRTC last month that the channel’s new lineup – which includes more music, dance and variety shows – may be inconsistent with its nature of service.

Critics have called shenanigans on the premature ‘rural’ edit, and say the CBC did not follow the proper process when it revamped the channel in early 2008. The regulator said in March it would call on CBC to explain its changes.

In a submission to the CRTC, the Writers Guild of Canada said Bold’s parent network acted ‘as if it does not need to listen to the CRTC or follow its regulations.’ Likewise the CFTPA called it ‘completely unacceptable’ that CBC went ahead with the revamp, even though it was warned by CRTC staff that it would likely have to apply for a revised condition of licence.

From Playback Daily