CRTC & Canadian Media News – Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau says CRTC licence suspension could spell the end for TVA Sports

The Hurt Locker
Pierre Karl Péladeau

Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau told a CRTC hearing Wednesday that it had no alternative but to pull TVA Sports from Bell TV last week as a carriage dispute between the two parties drags on. The CRTC called Groupe TVA to the hearing to show cause why the commission should not issue a mandatory order requiring it to comply with Discretionary Services Regulations after it pulled TVA Sports’ signal for Bell TV customers Apr. 10, just as the NHL playoffs were getting underway. Bell is calling for revocation of TVA Sports’ licence, or alternatively a suspension until the end of the playoffs in June. Peladeau told a news conference that a suspension could pave the way for the end of the French-language sports channel. The CRTC says it will issue a decision “shortly.”

The CRTC has issued its Forecast 2020-2021, supplementing the CRTC Departmental Plan 2019-2020. Among the initiatives on tap to continue into the next year are the commission’s review of its Indigenous broadcasting policy, a public hearing on the renewal of CBC/Radio-Canada’s television and radio licences, and the implementation of a digital system for monitoring compliance in the radio market. The commission says it will also work with stakeholders to launch the next phase in the measurement and collection of accurate data on broadband delivery and performance across Canada. Find the Forecast here.

The Competition Bureau has obtained a court order to advance its ongoing investigation into some of Bell’s telecom marketing practices. The bureau has revealed it started a formal inquiry into Bell’s practices last August under the deceptive marketing provisions of the Competition Act. It’s examining potentially false and misleading representations made in connection with the promotion of Bell’s residential services, including home phone, internet and television sold separately or in bundles. It had to seek a court order because independent telco watchdog, the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS), maintained that handing over the information voluntarily would violate its confidentiality obligations. The order granted by the Federal Court of Canada requires the CCTS to produce records, including copies of consumer complaints filed against Bell relating to its residential services. Read more here.

The 2019 RTDNA Canada Network Award finalists have been revealed honouring network achievement in broadcast, digital and multi-platform journalism. Several categories have early winners, including Sportsnet for best Sports App, the lone finalist. Global News is the lone nominee for the Gord Sinclair Award for Outstanding Coverage of News – Live Special Events – Digital for its online coverage of the Royal Wedding. CBC Radio’s Unreserved is also alone in the Sam Ross Award for Opinion and Commentary – Radio category. Network winners will be announced at the RTDNA Canada 2019 National Conference & Awards Gala, May 10-11 in Toronto.

RTDNA Canada has released the list of finalists for its National RTDNA Awards of Excellence,recognizing the best journalists, programs, stations and newsgathering organizations in radio, television and digital. National winners will also be announced during the RTDNA Canada 2019 National Conference & Awards Gala, May 10-11 in Toronto.

Charnel Anderson and Logan Perley

Charnel Anderson and Logan Perley are the recipients of this year’s CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowships. The award allows two early-career Indigenous journalists the opportunity to explore issues of interest while being hosted by CBC News for one month at its Indigenous Centre in Winnipeg. Anderson, a member of Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek in northwestern Ontario and a Toronto-based freelance journalist, plans to examine Indigenous-led policies—including the First Nations Lands Management Act—that allow First Nations some exemptions from the Indian Act and help other communities in their pursuit of self-determination. Perley is Wolastoqew from Tobique First Nation, NB, and is in his final year of journalism and native studies at St. Thomas University in Fredericton. He will mark the UN’s International Year of Indigenous languages by exploring education initiatives aimed at revitalizing the endangered Wolastoqew language, which has fewer than 100 fluent speakers. The story or series resulting from the fellowship experiences will be considered for publication or broadcast by CBC News.

Joe Schlesinger

RTDNA Canada will posthumously recognize Joe Schlesinger with its highest honour, a Lifetime Achievement Award. A prolific foreign correspondent, Schlesinger played roles at CBC both behind the scenes and in front of the camera, including executive producer of The National and later, chief political correspondent. The award will be presented during the RTDNA Gala in Toronto May 11.

The Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) will recognize those with 25 and 50 years of service to broadcasting at the upcoming WAB Conference, June 5-6 in Banff. Applications for the Broadcast Order of Achievement are accepted following one’s 25th or 50th year of service. Registration for the 85th annual WAB conference is now open.

The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group (JPBG) has called for applications for this year’s Prairie Equity Scholarships. JPBG’s prairie stations are making two $2,000 scholarships available in 2019 to students accepted into a recognized broadcast education program at a post-secondary institution in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba. The Equity Scholarship was instituted in 2009 to address the shortage of broadcasters from under-represented groups including Indigenous, members of visible minorities, persons with a disability, and women. Since 2009, 14 students have received scholarships. Find more info and the application form here.

The Atlantic Journalism Awards (AJAs) will present a series of professional development webinars in April and May via Among the journalists to be hosted are Robyn Doolittle (Apr. 23) of the Globe and Mail; Halifax-based journalist and author Stephen Kimber (May 3); Jessica Leeder (May 8), the Globe and Mail’s Atlantic Bureau Chief; and Trina Roache (May 15), APTN video journalist/producer, and Cheryl Maloney, Mi’kmaq activist & consultant who’ll discuss how to report on Indigenous issues with understanding and sensitivity. Made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, individual sessions are $12.00, while all four can be purchased for $40. Students can register for free.

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