The CRTC has shared its plan for upcoming public consultations on Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, to ensure online streaming services make meaningful contributions to the creation of Canadian content, similar to traditional broadcasters. The commission has clarified that the Act will not apply to YouTubers; influencers or individuals making content on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram; podcasters making content carried on audio streaming platforms like CBC Listen or Spotify; and producers making content sold to online streaming services like Netflix, in addition to video game content. The CRTC will launch a series of public consultations over three phases, beginning with contributions to the Canadian broadcasting system, considering who should contribute, how much and how. The first phase will also consider which online streaming services will need to be registered with the CRTC as well as exemption orders and basic conditions of service. Read more here.
The CRTC has opened a Part 1 Application for the removal of Fox News from the list of non-Canadian programming services authorized for distribution. The move comes following publication of an open letter to CRTC Chairperson Vicky Eatrides in early April from Egale Canada calling for the channel’s removal from Canadian airwaves. The LGBTQ advocacy group says the American news channel’s programming is known to incite hate, violence and discrimination, and is in clear violation of Canadian broadcasting standards. The letter’s main target was former host Tucker Carlson, who has espoused anti-trans views, and was recently released by the network. The deadline for comments is June 2. Read more here.
The CRTC has now set the final rules for mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) access. Companies have 90 days to negotiate MVNO access agreements. The CRTC expects that regional competitors will start selling plans in new parts of Canada shortly after these agreements are in place. The commission says it will ensure those deals are reached quickly so that Canadians have more choice of cellphone services.
Meta says if Bill C-18, the Online News Act, becomes legislation, it will choose to end the availability of news content on Facebook and Instagram in Canada. In a statement issued this week President, Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, said the legislation is in “an invidious position.” “The truth is, our users don’t come to us for news. They come to share the ups and downs of life, the things that make them happy and sad, that interest them and entertain them. Links to news stories are a tiny proportion of that – less than three percent of the content they see in their Facebook Feed. But news publishers do find our services valuable. We estimate that Facebook Feed sent registered news publishers in Canada more than 1.9 billion clicks in the 12 months to April 2022,” wrote Clegg. “Asking a social media company in 2023 to subsidize news publishers for content that isn’t that important to our users is like asking email providers to pay the postal service because people don’t send letters any more.”
The 73rd B.C. Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) Conference heard that using all available tools at the industry’s disposal, including emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create compelling and engaging content, will be key to the future of radio and television. The association’s first gathering in three years, Claire Anderson, CRTC commissioner for B.C. & Yukon, set the tone for the conference, opening by touching on the policy consultations about to get underway around Bill C-11, telling those in attendance that the broadcast industry’s ability to connect with audiences is essential to success and remains imperative. One of the conference highlights was a conversation between Jim Pattison, who is still serving as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Jim Pattison Group at age 94, and Pattison Media President Rod Schween. The business magnate discussed his early career in sales and instilled values of integrity and quality customer service which he largely credits for his success. Read more here. (Photo gallery by Broadcast Dialogue with files from Gord Eno)
Rogers Communications has reduced its price per gigabyte of data by 50% on its most-chosen plan, has lowered its 5G entry price, and will provide all Rogers 4G wireless customers with access to the 5G network over the coming months at no cost. The company is additionally doubling the ultra speed data on its $85/month unlimited plan. Phil Hartling, President, Wireless, says the move is part of an ongoing commitment to make Rogers’ services more accessible and affordable.
Room Up Front, a volunteer-run initiative seeking to combat inequality in the Canadian photojournalism community, received a judges’ special citation at the National Newspaper Awards (NNAs) Friday night. New this year, the Special Recognition Citation was created as part of an effort to honour journalism that doesn’t fit neatly into the program’s 23 existing categories, but has had an exceptional impact on the Canadian news industry. Developed by photojournalist Jimmy Jeong, Room Up Front manages a BIPOC mentorship program for young talent within photojournalism and visual storytelling, providing them with training, guidance and support. Read more about this year’s NNA winners here.