The Shotgun Blog
Thursday, November 18, 2004
The wait is almost over
Rejoice, my fellow right-wing death beasts(TM): the CRTC has approved Fox News for Canadian television. If there are any conditions on it, they aren't mentioned in this brief CP story.
As the cherry on top, we can get the NFL network, too.
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Posted by: Kathy Shaidle | 2004-11-18 9:45:35 AM
Hooray for the crushing of free speech!
Posted by: rick mcginnis | 2004-11-18 9:49:04 AM
I may never leave the house again...
Posted by: Kathy Shaidle | 2004-11-18 10:04:11 AM
Why oh why would our benevolent government nanny allow us to be delivered into temptation by those warmongering neo-conservative devils. I can already feel my precious 'Canadian values' slipping away. Or so I've been told at the CBC/Globe/TorStar pulpit.
Strange, isn't it. I find myself torn between happiness at this development and self-loathing (like a good little Canadian) that such a minor victory for freedom of speech can bring me such joy. If you know what I mean.
Posted by: Matt Hillier | 2004-11-18 10:46:36 AM
I don't even have Fox News yet and I wanna go invade someone. Yee-HAW!
Posted by: rick mcginnis | 2004-11-18 10:51:00 AM
Just remember it was the CanWest Truth Squad who contributed significantly to the Fox News thing taking this long. Not that the CRTC's policy helped either. But please don't start shrieking about HBO etc. as the entire economics of the Canadian teevee biz are based on the ability of companies based here (like CanWest) to buy and distribute those U.S. entertainment programs--the commission is not going to dismantle that. If you think all those American channels should be available here, then all you'll have nationally is the CBC and then what? (More moaning and groaning, no doubt.)
Posted by: Marc Weisblott | 2004-11-18 11:13:08 AM
They're going to have to apply protective laminate to the keyboards at the Toronto Star, to prevent premature wearing of the "x" key.
Posted by: Kate | 2004-11-18 11:16:20 AM
The goodness!!!!! I just returned from a visit to the USA and thought the news coverage from Fox to be way better than CNN. Fair and balanced is a good term for their coverage because the pole has been moved so far to the left that we forgot where the center really is!!!!
Posted by: Themaj | 2004-11-18 11:18:26 AM
CTV has become CBC light, in terms of their news/political coverage. I figured out about a year ago how easy it is to live without Lloyd.
Posted by: Kate | 2004-11-18 11:20:41 AM
"the entire economics of the Canadian teevee biz are based on the ability of companies based here (like CanWest) to buy and distribute those U.S. entertainment programs--the commission is not going to dismantle that. If you think all those American channels should be available here, then all you'll have nationally is the CBC and then what?"
I sincerely hope the market is opened for HBO and any other channel Canadians choose to watch, Marc. The entire economics of the Canadian wine industry was to sell us Concorde-based plonk from government-owned monopoly retail outlets until free trade came along. Now we have a large assortment of distinctive quality wines.
Our current TV biz reminds me of that awful Ontario plonk of days gone by. I simply don't buy the story that having a protected biz hanging off the government teat for survival and indifferent to actual viewers is something to be grateful for. Nor do I buy the story that the only alternative is nothing at all. You may believe that Canadians by nature are such hopeless mediocrities that they could not possibly produce a viable TV business without government coddling but I do not.
Posted by: Kevin Jaeger | 2004-11-18 11:33:46 AM
This morning The Globe And Mail described Fox News as `abrasive`. Well, if the truth be sandpaper, then let's hope they scrape the skin right off the Globe's arse.
Posted by: John Palubiski | 2004-11-18 11:36:55 AM
I hope they open up the airways too. At least as far as Digital/Satellite goes, which has virtually no restrictions in bandwidth (unlike traditional radio frequencies where restriction was, in my opinion, justified).
Kevin's wine analogy is funny - especially in the context of this story about the Alberta Govenment subsidizing Big Rock beer at the expense of losing at least a 5 year $60-million race series in Calgary and possibly 160 jobs in Edmonton's Molson Brewery.
Why are they called the Conservative Party again?
Posted by: k | 2004-11-18 11:40:34 AM
I've got no personal problem with a free-for-all, it's certainly done the internets no harm ... the Aspers would also be out of the broadcast teevee business within five seconds of such a decision being cast and CTV not far behind. But they've managed to play the specialty channel game well by getting licenses for channels that fail to deliver on what they originally claimed to do, which then end up being bundled into packages with more attractive channels ... check out my post regarding the Bell Globemedia-owned talktv ... (with more to follow on that front).
Posted by: Marc Weisblott | 2004-11-18 11:49:28 AM
I wonder if they'll replace some of the advertising with "approved" advertising like they do now on American channels. There's nothing that causes me more dissonance than having to watch ads for "The Greatest Canadian" while watching the Dennis Miller Show.
Posted by: Tim Rosnau | 2004-11-18 1:49:41 PM
The market will speak. Those who don't care for Fox News, need not watch it.
Posted by: lrC | 2004-11-18 3:04:23 PM
The "approved" advertising in question is just time swapped between Canadian broadcasters, though.
Posted by: Marc Weisblott | 2004-11-18 5:22:23 PM
Just want to 2nd Mark's comments & perhaps clarify some of the confusing world of Canadian TV. The local commercials during CNBC and, no doubt, FNC, are not Nanny CRTC at work as much as the "local ad insert" spot provided by CNBC, FNC et al for US local cable spot sales. Were you in, say, Buffalo, instead of CBC ads you'd see Billy Fucillo ads for various noisy lawyers.
I agree with Mark about little changing in the future, even if the Conservatives form the next Govt. It is economics, not our sainted "cultural values" etc. CTV, Global et al buy the Canadian rights to the US shows, full stop. Blocking the US channels when they show the programs they've paid for -- simulataneous substitution, in CRTC speak- is part of the deal.
Sometimes the bizarro CanCon rules etc work for us, largely by accident - networks such as Showcase, Bravo Canada and HGTV Canada are superior to their US equivalents, IMO.
A lot of Canadian internet sites, like Canadian magazines and books, indeed thrive in a totally free market and I do suspect we'd have better, stronger TV in a free market, had things evolved differently.
Posted by: JGS | 2004-11-19 7:06:57 AM
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