Saturday, May 16, 2009

CTV Wants To "Save" Local TV

Okay... Let's figure this out here.

You've seen the TV ads, and the website:

So CTV - owner of (with Bell-Globe Media) one of the largest satellite networks in Canada, would like to "stop the evil cable and satellite providers"? Hmmm...

Just WHAT would CTV gain? They already charge for commercial airtime. Maybe advertisers are not "biting"? While I do agree that cable providers should pay to use CTV, CBC, Global, etc., signals, the public should realize that this crusade against "cable/satellite tyranny" is contrived. Bell/CTV-Globe Media is part of the same conglomerate that owns the biggest "cable/sat" provider in Canada.

There must be some magic in the numbers. Maybe this is a ploy by the cable/sat providers to earn more? Looking closely, you'll note that CTV gets paid for commercial airtime. If they charge Bell more, then they make the extra that Bell pays them, BUT they also gain the extra mark-up that Bell will invariably charge it's customers for the "extra costs".

Don't you just love these huge, heartless media conglomerates? Time we legistlate the break-up of all these companies, and the selling off of the assets - piecemeal. THAT will bring REAL local focus back to media: Imagine the local papers, local TV and radio stations, that would be "freed" from their corporate overlords!

Breaking up the big media conglomerates would help local economies and local upstarts (and smaller businesses), but it would also help the big media moguls. Right now they are dying. No-one wants to buy advertising in the slow economy - particularly print ads. Once the print, radio and TV get separated, they will flourish alone. Strict laws to prevent ANY monopoly situation (like the CanWest Papers), and prevention of media cross-ownership. In the interest of progress, leave the internet wide open, so there is a guarantee that multiple sources will provide it in markets.

It's funny what you find, when you look at any situation with a bit of a magnifying glass...

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Tootrusting said...

I'm not sure what Bell is up to but you can be sure protecting the bottom line is their top priority.
Bell is now proposing a "FreeSat" service to carry the local channels

A few more details from the CRTC hearing

IF I follow the hearing correctly

Every local station would be available for its community so presumably some measures would be used such as scrambling to limited the number of stations any given consumer could view.

The local station would have to pay the backhaul costs to Bells Satellite facility

Existing Bell customers would need a new antenna to downgrade to the new service.

New customers to the "free" service would have to pay $300-400 + installation for the reciever.

In order for the Q3-2010 release date they would need a decision from the CRTC in Q2 - 2009.

I guess the idea is Bell doesn't pay the local stations for carrying their signals and in exchange the locals would have to spend less money upgrading their systems to digital TV as required by 2011.
Customers in poorly serviced areas would now have at least 5 free stations available (although the receiver cost seems high at the moment)

Of course the idea would have certain other advantages to Bell....

The Mound of Sound said...

Wasn't it CTV that just sold off three of its stations, two in Ontario, the other in Manitoba, to Shaw for a buck apiece? Shaw wants to prove that CTV was just crying the blues to persuade regulators to make cable distributors pay for their broadcast programming.

What I don't get is this. An advertiser looking to buy time on CTV is interested in the number of viewers and their demographics. That's it. That's what CTV sells. I don't think Rogers or Shaw make any money from CTV's ads nor do I believe for a moment that CTV doesn't count all of its cable viewers in its totals when negotiating with advertisers.

In other words, the cable companies don't take dime one from CTV and, in fact, expand its network and viewership allowing it to demand more from its advertisers.

If Shaw and Rogers were to pay CTV for its signal, they ought to be able to substitute and sell their own advertising. Given that the bulk of CTV's audience is probably cable-based, that would gut CTV's own advertising revenue.

Broadcasters, cable companies - they're all swine.

Doz said...

Obviously when different options were tested with focus groups, the line about saving local media was determined to be the one most likely to generate public support for a bail out.