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Media, Regulatory & Telecom News – Matt Devlin named Sports Media Canada’s Broadcaster of the Year

Jack Armstrong, Broadcaster of the Year honouree Matt Devlin, and Leo Rautins. (Twitter/@leorautins)

Toronto Raptors play-by-play announcer Matt Devlin has been named Sports Media Canada’s Broadcaster of the Year. Devlin was among eight honourees in the annual Achievement Awards’ Class of 2019, half of whom were recognized for their work during the Raptors’ run for the NBA Championship title. They include Raptors president Masai Ujiri, who is now a two-time recipient of the Sports Executive Award; Michael Grange, who filed game stories, features and columns for; and Mark Blinch, an NBA and NHL photographer for Getty Images, whose work during the NBA playoffs included his photo of Kawhi Leonard’s winning basket against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 of the second round. Late Montreal sportscaster Randy Tieman, long-time public relations executive Fay Olson, photographer Don Vickery, and Terry Leibel, the first woman to host a national sports program and to co-host CBC-TV’s Olympics coverage, were also honoured. Read more here.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) was once again overwhelmed with complaints following comments made by co-host Jessica Allen on CTV’s The Social Nov. 12, in response to Don Cherry’s firing from Coach’s Corner. Allen referenced “white boys, who weren’t very nice…and often bullies” who played hockey at the universities she attended, and denounced the sport’s toxic culture. The CBSC received a large number of very similar complaints concerning the Nov. 9 Coach’s Corner broadcast. It also received a large number of complaints about Sportsnet’s decision to fire Cherry and has had to clarify that it has no jurisdiction over the employment or operations of its member stations, nor can it require a station to remove an on-air host. The CBSC has yet to issue a decision on Cherry’s remarks.

Bell Media, Groupe TVA, Rogers Media have been successful in their bid to win a court order compelling Canadian internet service providers (ISPs) to block websites that profit off of pirated television online. In what’s a first, a federal court issued a nationwide blocking order Friday prohibiting ISPs from allowing access to The IPTV provider offers 4,000 live TV channels for $15/month, including Citytv, CTV, Global, and BBC, among other channels.

The CRTC has launched its second call for applications for the Broadband Fund, which is set to provide up to $750 million over five years to support improved broadband access. Applicants that have at least three years’ experience deploying and operating broadband infrastructure in Canada can apply for funding to build or upgrade access and transport broadband infrastructure or mobile wireless networks. Applicants must be willing to invest financially in their project and demonstrate that it would not be viable without the support of the Broadband Fund. The deadline for submissions is March 27, 2020.

Cogeco Communications, Rogers, Bragg (Eastlink), Shaw and Videotron have filed a petition to the Governor in Council appealing the CRTC’s August decision to significantly lower high-speed internet wholesale rates. The companies are requesting that the Governor in Council refer Telecom Order CRTC 2019-288 back to the commission for reconsideration, in conjunction with the pending broader review of its Internet wholesale regulatory framework. The telecom operators say as part of the CRTC’s broader review, wholesale rates should be established in order to allow wireline network builders to recover the actual cost of network investments.

LISTEN: Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast caught up with Duncan Stewart, Deloitte Canada’s director of Tech, Media and Telecom Research at the recent Ontario Association of Broadcasters’ Connection ‘19 conference. If you took in Stewart’s presentation at OAB, consider this the companion podcast. He dives into his predictions on the future of radio, TV, smart speakers, VR, and more.

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