Monday, July 06, 2009

Save Local....'needle scratch'....Roadtrip!


From cbc.ca, the big announcement today from the CRTC included the following:

In an effort to preserve local TV programming, Canada's broadcast regulator has increased a fund for small TV stations to more than $100 million.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission says it is a temporary measure for the 2009-10 broadcast year and will be reviewed in the fall.

The cable and satellite companies have been ordered to contribute 1.5 per cent of their gross broadcasting revenues to the local programming fund, an increase of 0.5 per cent.

Phil Lind, vice-chairman of Rogers Communications Inc., responded to the announcement with a statement that the consumer would end up paying the extra cost, which he estimated at $50 to $100 a year per consumer.

Thanks Rogers, for not beating around the bush at least...of course it will cost us all more to, as Bill Brioux points out, watch local stations produce even less than they already do:

One shocking little detail buried in the fine print in today's CRTC funding announcement: after all that whining from broadcasters--yes, those same "Save Local TV" guys--about how all those local news costs are breaking their business models, the CRTC has lowered the minimum local programming levels to 14 hours a week in big cities and just seven hours a week in "non-metropolitan markets." That is an hour a day. So here is more money--go out and do less.

The money is meant for broadcasters in markets of less than a million people to "to maintain their spending on local news and other types of local programming." Seven hours a week in my non-metropolitan' market amounts to two half hour newcasts a day...I really doubt there will be any other types of programming if the news alone will satisfy the networks' minimum programming requirements. Seriously...nada.

Meanwhile, I write this as I watch The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien on NBC, channel 8 on my dial, but it's being simulcast via the A Channel...but not the 'Regina' A Channel (cuz there ain't one), but the Barrie/Toronto feed of the A Channel. So I'm getting to see commercials for Casinorama, Lavalife (promoting 905 and 416 area codes), Oliver Jewelry on Eglinton, the Shaw Festival, Lastman's Bad Boy..."Noooo-body!"...and promos for their local news.

So, whose local TV will I be supporting or saving again when my cable bill goes up...again?


It's all depressing enough to make one wanna take a roadtrip...so I am. Seeing Elvis Costello and the Imposters, and doing some camping.

Catch you in a week or so...enjoy the sun everyone.

2 comments:

wp said...

This was a depressing post to read first thing in the morning. Did the CRTC get hoodwinked or did they bow to the silly "Save Local TV" campaigns?

And sorry you have to watch those awful Oliver commericals.

M said...

I'm confused, b/c I thought this was all right, I mean really what's our alternative second rate american shows where we stay employed but can't grow in the medium? I think it could have favored local stations a little more as well as regional.