Up until the death of Analog TV you could put up your antenna and pull in free local signals. That’s how TV has worked for years. The ability to put up a transmitter was strictly enforced by the Government via the CRTC which controls radio and tv and what licensing fees are paid and what fees you basically pay.
The world changes and TV has gone digital. So has radio for the most part. The CRTC still has their nose in the middle of your media and the price that we pay for TV is much higher than it should be. It’s not market driven; it’s lobbied for and given as a sort of monopoly. And it’s made millions if not billions for a few companies.
It’s like you live in China, but with porn stations on your Star Choice dish.
Right now we are being bombarded with commercials screaming about extra taxes for local tv and local tv telling us we’re going to lose our local tv stations. All of this is smoke and more smoke.
In the old days ads were sold on TV stations to create revenue. When cable came around, and then satellite, there was no real hub bub about those signals being snatched because one, there wasn’t much they could do about it as it was a free product, and two it raised their viewership thus allowing them to raise ad rates. In other words they made money by the cable companies pumping out their signals.
2009 – Ad revenues are not very good. The death of Analog means that the only form of viewership is from the Cable and Satellite companies. The Internet is going to take over both of those industries soon too. One internet feed is all your going to need. Internet ad revenues are going up while conventional media are going down.
Today for instance most cable companies offer packages that include volp phone service, internet service, and cable. Convergence is almost here so where does that leave the broadcasters?
In the hole. They have very limited options because of the CRTC they need the distribution channels. There’s always been a balance between content and distribution and the pendulum does swing and right now the CRTC is swinging it in favor of the Cable and Satellite companies.
Or Canadians can demand changes in the reach and breath of the CRTC. We need to make sure that the CRTC is not allowed to control the internet either. There are opportunities for communities to have their true local TV stations and radio; just that it will be on the internet. There are opportunities for home grown net shows, movies, and music.
Right now the biggest hurdles are the government. I can tell you that our radio station faces that hurdle as Canada does not offer an internet only license to pay royalties for music. According to the government agencies I spoke with the determination as of today is for us to contact each rights holder and that we potentially can get in trouble for using public domain music even.
Times are changing. The cost of analog broadcasting vs digital have doomed the old TV industry. I remember doing an internship at CF CF in 1984 and they were having me erase old 1 inch master tapes so that they could reuse or transfer their video library.
We need to get more active in taking part in those changes and not leaving it up to the likes of the CRTC.
The good news is that there’s a bright future on the horizon for home grown talent. The challenge is to encourage it and not stomp it out as it grows.
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