Sun News Network Will Not Be Aired On Basic Cable

Photo courtesy of torontosun.com

Photo courtesy of torontosun.com

Sun News Network is among many channels that did not make the cut for basic TV.

By: Nikki Gill, Staff Writer

On Aug. 8, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) rejected a bid by Sun News Network to be included in basic cable packages across Canada. The bid was rejected among a dozen other channels that were also hoping to receive approval.

In order to receive approval, the CRTC requires that a channel add something unique to the Canadian broadcast system and give a voice to a group that would otherwise not have one.

Many of the channels whose bids were rejected stated they will not continue operating. Prior to the decision, Sun News Network said it would shut down its two-year-old operation if all cable, satellite and IPTV systems across the country did not carry its signal and pay a higher wholesale rate than the average 6 cents per month it is currently receiving.

However, the network has decided to continue operations for the time being, as the CRTC also stated it will look at helping all national news services secure carriage across the country. The CRTC has invited Canadians to contribute their comments on a proposed regulatory framework for all-Canadian national news services.

[pullquote]Our objective at the end of this is simply to have a system that is equitable, not only for channels that have been in the market for a long time but also for new entrants.[/pullquote]

They will look at four main principles. The distributors must offer all-Canadian national news. As well, they must place Canadian news services in close proximity in their channel lineup. National news services should be available in a package and on a stand-alone basis, and should be offered in the most appropriate packages according to their content.

Those who wish to submit their feedback and comments to the proceedings can do so in an online form by September 9, 2013.

“Our objective at the end of this is simply to have a system that is equitable, not only for channels that have been in the market for a long time but also for new entrants,” said Kory Teneycke, Vice-President of Sun News Network in an interview.

The CRTC agreed that the policies surrounding all-Canadian news services need to be reviewed.

“We are concerned that, under the existing rules, Canadian news services are not being given a pride of place in our broadcasting system,” said CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais in a release.

Another challenge facing the regulator is that Canadians currently have more access to non-Canadian news services than Canadian news services and that Canadian news services receive half the monthly wholesale fees that non-Canadian news services receive.

Nikki got her first taste of journalism as a teenager working for The Mississauga News. Since then, she’s graduated from the Ryerson School of Journalism and also travelled to the United Kingdom to intern for the London Daily Express. She now works and freelances in the online world.

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