CRTC to hold non-appearance hearings on Sun TV News

The regulatory body will consider the licence application Nov. 19.

Quebecor Media can look forward to clearer sailing for its proposed Sun TV News channel after the CRTC on Tuesday said it will hold a ‘non-appearance’ hearing on Nov. 19 to consider the broadcast licence application for the conservative all-news channel.

‘In light of the applicant’s amendment to its application, and the information on the public record, the commission considers that the application no longer raises issues that require consideration as part of an appearing hearing,’ the CRTC said in a statement.

The decision follows Quebecor Media amending its application for Sun TV News by withdrawing an earlier request for three years of mandatory market access for proposed specialty channel.

Quebecor Media originally looked to convert Sun TV, a Toronto over-the-air TV station receiving mandatory carriage, into Sun TV News, so the all-news channel could end up in all Canadian homes.

The CRTC said no to that special treatment, including a second request for Sun TV News be offered to all Canadian cable and satellite TV subscribers for at least three years so it could compete against incumbent all-news channels operated by the CBC and CTV.

The non-appearance hearing means Quebecor Media has accepted that the all-news channel will have to compete for subscribers like any other category 2 digital channel, without favourable treatment.

From Playback Daily