Rogers sends CRTC ‘no fees’ notice

A new submission filed by Rogers in advance of the Commission's November hearing argues against fee-for-carriage, and knocks the Canadian nets' national fee-support lobbying effort.

On the coattails of Canadian networks CTV and Global announcing the launch of a new fee campaign this week, Rogers has filed a submission with the CRTC in advance of the November hearing. The submission opposes the nets’ move and pegs fee-for-carriage as ‘an unnecessary bailout’ for over-the-air broadcasters. The submission, which follows two CRTC rejections since 2007 to a fee-for-carriage scheme, has Rogers arguing that OTA television broadcasters profit from the extended audience reach the carriage gives them, and that they are ‘well positioned’ to get through the current economic downturn.

‘Claims by CTV and Canwest/Global that the advertising-supported business model for over-the-air conventional television broadcasting is broken are simply wrong,’ says Rogers Communications vice chair Phil Lind in a recent release. ‘Advertising revenues will rebound at the end of the recession. The Commission got it right the first two times out; there is simply no need for a third hearing.’

Meanwhile, CBC/Radio-Canada, which recently announced it’s joining CTV and Global to participate in the Local TV Matters campaign, announced this morning that it too has filed a submission to the CRTC in advance of the November public hearings, one that it says documents the ‘failing model for conventional television broadcasting in Canada.’ The CBC submission is also providing the Commission with a regulatory framework that it says would permit cable and satellite companies to free-ride in distributing programming services to Canadians and ‘correct the current inequity that prevents broadcasters from receiving fair compensation for their signals.’