Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Did the good guys just win one?

Seems so.
On Tuesday, after a speech in Ottawa, Quebecor chief executive officer Pierre Karl Péladeau said the company would withdraw its request to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for an exception to the rules of its licence that would have made Sun TV News available to more Canadians.

So, now they're going for an ordinary Category 2 licence, despite the fact they had previously argued that Fox News North wouldn't be financially viable without the three-year 'must offer' special licence.

Oh, and speaking of special, isn't this? Quebecor is actually going to follow the rules.
“We’ve decided to go with the policies of the CRTC,” said Quebecor spokesman Serge Sasseville. . . .
“We are in favour of deregulation, but that [three years] would have been a transition period for us ... but we are part of the free market, so we decided to renounce that special request.”

Now they're part of the free market?

Impolitical speculates on the reasons for the walk-back, but I'm going with the straightforward.

After their ReformaTory bumboy with, supposedly, the ear of the PeeEmmOooo made a complete ass of himself and had to resign, Quebecor simply didn't have the juice.

And, of course, more than 83,000 pissed off Canadians who signed the infamous Margaret-Atwood-backed Avaaz petition had zip zero nada nothing to do with it either.
Mr. Sasseville said the decision to change its request to the regulator “had nothing to do with the Avaaz petition.”

Yaaaaaah, riiiiiight.

No juice and egg on their face. Not quite the hog's trough banquet they were expecting.

Let the market decide. And I'm betting this venture is falling flat on its eggy face.


Balbulican said...

I've been involved with CRTC license applications before. Essentially, you calculate the most you could ever get under any circumstances, if all the Gods were smiling down at you and leprechauns were dancing at your feet. And that's what you apply for.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes the Commission reacts badly, at which point, if you can, you muster your indignant political support to argue your case. And when that doesn't work, you cheerfully retreat to the default position, which is: "oh, okay. We'll just accept an ordinary license like everyone else."

I couldn't get too excited about this: it was a business maneuver, and they tried for a regulatory competitive advantage. It made business sense. The Commission and the public at large saw through it, and now they have to compete like everyone else.

fern hill said...

Yabbut, Balbulican, the ReformaTories NEVER back down. I still think this is good. Especially since the initiative was on their side. Not reacting to a CTRC move or decision.

But I defer to your experience.

Balbulican said...

I agree completely, I think it's good too.

Niles said...

I have to wonder if they're going for 'first we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin'. IE: get the license, get on the air and then PUSH the legal niceties to the limit and whine about CRTC being meanies and then demand better carriage after they've exploited the publicity.

I know one thing's for certain, however they're going to be carried, Balbulican. They're never going to be APTN. Honestly, APTN seems like the only real national Canadian tv station around these days.

APTN news reporters do things like...ask probing questions of high profile people.

J. A. Baker said...

If you ask me, I think it was a cynical stunt to get the mouth-breathing useful idiots to take to arms to "Defend free speech!!!1!!1!!11!1eleventy-one!!1!" Remember the whole contretemps over Annthrax Coulter's visit to UWO back in March? That's the sort of thing I'm talking about.

It happens all the time down here in the Excited States: Dr. Laura's use of the n-word and Saint Sarah the Blameless Martyr's insipid defense of her, the idiot bigot in Florida who wanted to burn the Qu'ran on 9/11, etc. etc. etc. It's sad that this is just the latest crap we're exporting to you guys.

fern hill said...

Niles: whining is what neo-cons do best. No, wait. Second-best. Shrieking is what they do best.

JAB: I think our wingnuts are emulating yours. But mercifully, we have faaaar fewer of them than you do.

Rob F said...

Everyone will be spending a lot more time worrying about Faux News North if proposed new CRTC regulations allow a current station to morph into it.

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