Canuck movies must go on – on Citytv

Rogers loses its bid to get out of its Cancon requirements, but is cleared of alleged license violations.

The CRTC has denied a request to relieve two Citytv stations of certain Cancon requirements, ruling that the Toronto and Vancouver outlets must each continue to air 100 hours of domestic movies in prime time per year.

Parent company Rogers Communications had asked that the requirement be dropped, arguing at the license renewal hearings this past spring that it was unnecessary in light of the many other channels that program Canadian movies.

In its ruling, issued earlier this week amid a raft of renewals and other decisions, the Commission said it had seen ‘insufficient evidence’ to support the argument, going on to note, since the stations were issued one-year licenses, that changing the terms ‘is not warranted at this time.’

The move by Rogers drew a rebuke from groups including the Canadian Association of Film Distributors and Exporters, which went on to accuse the company of having already violated its licenses, following its purchase of the stations in 2007, by telling distributors that it was not in the market to buy Canadian films.

The CRTC looked into and cleared Rogers of the allegations. ‘None of the changes implemented by Rogers [following the purchase] resulted in a situation where one of its television stations was operating in non-compliance with its conditions of licence,’ it said.

From Playback Daily