General + Regulatory + Telecom + Media NewsRegulatory, Telecom and Media News - Rogers to redirect $13M in Shaw...

Regulatory, Telecom and Media News – Rogers to redirect $13M in Shaw funding to Citytv

Corus Entertainment says its Global television stations across the country will be left “in a precarious and unduly disadvantaged position” as Rogers Communications moves to redirect $13 million in local expression funding to its Citytv stations. In a letter to the CRTC, Corus requests confirmation of its eligibility to participate in the Independent Local News Fund (ILNF), funded by licensed broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs), which are required to contribute 0.3% of gross revenues from the previous broadcast year. Corus – which is effectively controlled by the Shaw Family Living Trust – says given Rogers recent acquisition of Shaw Communications, Rogers has confirmed it will redirect Shaw’s approximately $13 million annual local expression funding from 15 Corus-owned Global stations to six competing Rogers-owned Citytv stations. Corus says traditionally, over-the-air stations were able to deliver news as a public service based on internal cross-subsidies, but that’s no longer the case with the sharp decline in television revenues, noting a nine per cent dip in ad revenue, year-over-year, in the period from Sept. 1, 2022 to Feb. 28 of this year. Read more here.

Eastlink cable subscribers soon won’t be able to watch HGTV Canada, W Network, and Showcase, among 34 other channels on the service, as the telecom provider says it’s been unable to reach a carriage agreement with Corus Entertainment. Eastlink began sending notices to its cable subscribers last week alerting them to removal of the channels from their offerings, as of June 27. In addition to the aforementioned, Corus-distributed specialty channels like Food Network, History, Slice, National Geographic, CMT, OWN, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, YTV, Cartoon Network, Treehouse, Movie Time, BC1, Global on Demand, DejaView, DTOUR, Magnolia Network, Crime Investigation, Lifetime, History 2, National Geographic Wild, ABC Spark, Cooking Channel, Adult Swim, Nickelodeon, Boomerang, Series Plus, Historia, Disney La Chaine, and Teletoon French, are also slated to disappear. Read more here.

The Federal Court has ruled in favour of Videotron in a dispute over the illegal retransmission of TVA and TVA Sports by Konek Technologies Inc., Coopérative de câblodistribution Hill Valley and Libéo inc. In a decision handed down May 26, the court ordered the three companies, as well as Jean-François Rousseau, a shareholder in two of the ventures, to pay $553,000 in joint and several damages for copyright infringement. The court also issued a permanent injunction requiring the defendants to immediately cease carrying TVA Sports. The defendants were behind a technology that provided hotel guests with a variety of telecommunications services, including unauthorized access to the TVA and TVA Sports channels. A defamation suit brought by Videotron against the same companies is still before Superior Court.

ACTRA’s Hair and Makeup grievance against the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) and the Association Québécoise de la Production Médiatique (AQPM) has been settled. Intended to bring about systemic change in the industry, one of the key terms of the settlement is five full days of pre-bargaining on hair and make-up issues prior to the renewal of the Independent Production Agreement (IPA). The settlement also includes: creation of a recommended standard of products and equipment necessary for the provision of hair and makeup services to BIPOC performers; creation of a tool to help producers ascertain the skills and competencies required to work with BIPOC cast; commitment to work with industry partners to support the development of existing training initiatives to address equity in the provision of hair and makeup services; and addressing allegations of discrimination and harassment expeditiously.

CBC/Radio-Canada has launched its 2023–25 National Accessibility Plan, a three-year framework outlining how the public broadcaster plans to better serve and represent Canadians with disabilities. At the completion of the 2021-22 fiscal year, 4.0% of CBC/Radio-Canada’s workforce self-identified as having a disability, compared to a labour force availability of 8.2%. Among other recommendations, the public broadcaster says it heard from a series of cross-country consultations that it needs to be more intentional in its outreach to people with disabilities as part of hiring efforts and that employees with disabilities perceive fewer opportunities for advancement and professional development compared to their non-disabled colleagues.

RTDNA in the U.S. has announced this year’s Regional Edward R. Murrow winners. CityNews Vancouver was a big winner, coming away with four awards, including Best Breaking News Coverage and Best Continuing Coverage for its work on a deadly Christmas Eve bus crash on the Okanagan Connector. CityNews 680 (CFTR-AM) Toronto claimed the award for Overall Excellence, in addition to Best Newscast. Find the full list of Region 14 winners here.

Laura Lynch

RTDNA Canada holds its next webinar on Monday, June 5 at 2 p.m. ET, hosted by Laura Lynch, host of weekly CBC Radio show What on Earth. In Making it Matter: How to cover the climate crisis, Lynch will draw on her climate reporting experience. Register FREE here.

The Trust Project, a global non-profit network of news organizations working to affirm journalism’s commitment to transparency, accuracy, and inclusion, was honoured with the Digital Media Americas Award for Best Credibility Initiative for Local Journalism in the Americas during the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) Latin American conference in Mexico earlier this month. The Trust Project’s Trust Indicators were featured in the award, along with case studies, including Canada’s, which reported that since they earned the Trust Mark, they have seen significant interest from advertisers and funders and a higher open rate for their newsletter.

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