CRTC bars Fuel TV from Canada

The regulator says the American action sports channel would compete too directly with Fidelity HD's Radx.

The CRTC has barred American action sports channel Fuel TV from penetrating the Canadian market to protect an existing adrenaline-driven Canadian cable channel.

The regulator denied an application by Rogers Communication to add Fox Cable Networks’ Fuel TV to Canadian cable and satellite TV schedules on grounds it competes with an existing HD cable channel, High Fidelity HD’s Radx, which is devoted to risk and adventure-themed programming, including extreme sports.

The CRTC’s so-called genre protection rule stops US and other foreign channels from airing in Canada if they compete with an existing Canadian service.

But the majority CRTC decision to deny Fuel TV entry into Canada had dissenters.

CRTC commissioner Timothy Denton urged the regulator to abandon genre protection because Canadian broadcasting and its rules cannot go forward on inertia only.

‘At some point in time, on some issues, commissioners have to depart from the consensus, the precedents, or the staff position ­ no matter how apparently reasonable ­ and cease to be compliant with what has gone before,’ he wrote in a dissenting statement.

And fellow commissioner Michel Morin said the CRTC displayed ‘unjustified overcautiousness towards a new non-Canadian service that would have complemented the Canadian offering.’

From Playback Daily