Friday, January 28, 2005

We say this game's not of our choosing; why should we risk losing?

This is why I want a completely deregulated Canadian broadcast market: OTTAWA, ONT. - U.S. specialty channel Spike TV will remain on the air in Canada. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has ruled that an unfair competition complaint was unfounded. The complaint filed by Global Television and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters last year, argued that Spike – an American channel devoted to men's lifestyle issues – provided unfair competition to domestic channels, most notably Global's digital channel, Men TV. But the CRTC ruled Thursday that there was little evidence to show that the American channel was in direct competition with any Canadian services, and therefore it should remain available. I'm disgusted. Not surprised, obviously, but disgusted. Canadian broadcasters were just salivating at the thought of getting a chance to kneecap the competition - for no other reason than that the Cancon-subsidizing provisions of the law give them the opening to do just that. What's the difference between more or less consumer choice, really, as long as you don't have the icky option of choosing an American channel, instead of its lame Canadian quasi-similarly-themed counterpart? I don't watch SpikeTV. In fact, today, I just dropped the package from my ExpressVu service that includes it; the only thing I ever had bothered to watch it for was TNG reruns, and I really can't stand those any more. But I want the choice to be mine whether or not it can show up on my screen, not that of some cabal of cynical would-be monopolists in Toronto. Finally, the CRTC just wouldn't be a real Canadian bureaucracy without clumsy, random displays of contempt for Americans: The CRTC saw a difference between Spike, which targets middle-class American males, and Men TV which features lifestyle programming for men from an urbane, sophisticated perspective. Gah. If I lived somewhere I could feasibly install a grey-market satellite dish, I would. I'm just about reaching my limit for the shenanigans of the CRTC, and their co-conspirators in the Canadian broadcast industry.


Blogger Kacie said...

Here in Texas I could get Japanese stations on my satellite dish if I wanted to pay an extra $20 or so a month, so it shouldn't be too difficult technologically to get American channels from Canada. Of course 'technologically' and 'bureaucratically' are two separate things, so...

I love Spike TV. Actually, I generally like the 'men's' channels more than the 'women's' channels. Let's see, aliens and DNA fingerprinting or sappy soap operas and talk shows: which would I rather watch? I watch CSI and Star Trek reruns pretty frequently, and every once in a while I tune in to Hey! Spring of Trivia.

1/29/2005 11:58:00 AM  

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