What’s Wrong With Demanding The Best

Curious angle in the article this am from William Houston. Word is that the CRTC is about to deregulate what TV stations carry and when.

“The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is expected to revise the rules pertaining to mandatory carriage, genre protection and restrictions on the entry of foreign channels.The CRTC could move to ease or eliminate rules that require specialty channels to keep programming within the bounds of their particular genre.For example, TSN, as a sports channel, is not allowed to air, on a slow night, a Hollywood movie or a music video.The Score Television Network could do away with its sportscasts and stop running its sports ticker at the bottom of the screen. It could go even further and switch to a programming model based on TBS in the United States, which combines sports programming with movies and old sitcoms. Another possible change is the CRTC eliminating the must-carry and must-offer rules imposed on cable and satellite companies for carriage of analogue cable channels and category one digitals.That could result in Rogers Cable or Shaw Cable deciding not to carry TSN. That wouldn’t happen, because TSN offers a strong programming schedule, and consumers would complain.”

Enough gobble gook for ya?

Here is what I don’t get. Why, can someone please tell me, is any of this a bad thing? As a consumer, I want the best. Why are we such protectionists in this country? When I listen to the radio, I don’t want to hear Canadian music vs. American Music or English Music, I want to hear the best. When I go to a resutaurant, I don’t say bring me a Canadian steak vs. an American Steak, I want the best steak. The truth of the matter is, we the public should want and demand the best, period. While living in the USA, I would watch TBS when it carried Gilligan’s Island, and turn it off when the Braves played the Astros. Wouldn’t that be a nice alternative to say that god awful talk show on the Score that is on now???? The reality is, the market will dictate what we see. Either people will watch, or they won’t.

“One TV executive described the potential impact as Darwinian, with weaker services falling by the wayside.”It would be survival of the fittest,” he said. Arguably, deregulation would reduce the quantity and range of sports programming that Canadians now receive. The present system, in which specialty channels are required to stay within their niche, has worked pretty well.”

Why is this a bad thing???? Why should the masses suffer for the very few. I have no interest in watching curling. Shoot me. I haven’t watched 30 seconds of bowling (save for Kingpin and the Big Labowksi). If Equestrian jumping is on, I turn the channel about as quick as I do the Kennel Club dog show. I am not sure which I like least, spelling bees, or the guy on TV who paints scenes by numbers. As a consumer, especially in the digital age I want the best offer available. Why did grey market satellite take off here???? DirecTV and Dishnetwork offer superior products to Bell and Rogers. Buying a foreign Satellite wasn’t a cheap investment. People still pay for both services using a legitimate US address in order to get superior programming availability. There is no better example of this then the Superbowl, where the commercials are as big as the game is. Except here in Canada. Where we are so worried about our products that we don’t carry them. Hey, why not ban the academy awards and the emmy’s too. Only show Canadian Award shows???? Better yet, why not have a market where you can only buy Canadian????? We as Canadian’s have an inferior complex like no other. The reality is, a great deal of what we produce is competitive if we allow it to be. Instead our government agencies enact legislation that tells the rest of the world we are second class and need protection from you the best.

I feel so much better now…

you can read Houston here….

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October 16, 2008 2:31 pm

@mf37 #3 – Yeah, but on the other hand it also means we get Nickleback every other song. Blech…

The Meatriarchy
October 16, 2008 7:31 am

If deregulation gets rid of the endless hours of poker being shown on sports networks I am all for it.

October 15, 2008 2:34 pm

Nice catch on the Houston article, I completely missed it.

Three thoughts:

1. The rule of thumb when dealing with the CRTC is get your license and then do whatever you want. The Score’s original CRTC license forbid live broadcasting of sports and LeafsTV’s did as well – yet there they are showing all sorts of live sports coverage. If TSN wanted to show Slapshot, North Dallas 40 or Young Blood, I’d doubt there’s much the CRTC could or would do about it.

2. The most interesting element in this story is the “must-carry” rule. Channels with minimal to non-existent ratings are able to survive because they get a tiny cut of every single cable bill. If cable/sattelite providers are no longer required to carry these channels forcing them to generate paying subscribers to stay on the air, many of the smaller niche channels will likely be dead within six months to a year (which is not a bad thing).

3. While I love losing the must-carry rules, I actually don’t mind minimal regulation in terms of content requirement. CanCon may not be the greatest, but at least it’s original programming, creates an opportunity for creative employment and a stepping stone for many artists, writers, producers, directors, etc. At the very least it’s an alternative to 500 channels offering non-stop reruns of Everyone Loves Raymond and CSI/Law and Order franchises.

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