I understand why the CBC folks are upset, but honestly, excluding it from thenew consumer raping regimewas the one thing that the Commission got right.
The CBC is in a unique position. It’s funded by the government, but also is able to sell advertising to make up for funding gaps. I’m not saying that the CBC doesn’t need money, it does and I wish the government would quit screwing around with its funding levels and invest in it properly. What I am saying is that allowing it to take part in the same negotiations as private broadcasters would be completely inappropriate.
I talked in the post linked above about double dipping. Well, letting the CBC in on this fair market signal value action…it doesn’t get any more double dippy than that. when something is funded by the government, what that really means is that it’s funded by you and I. whenever we buy something and pay tax on it, whenever we have taxes taken off of our weeks pay, really any time we pay a fee to the government for any reason there’s a chance that some of that money is going into the CBC. so for the network to then turn around and say that it should be included in a process that will for all intents and purposes see new funding come out of our pockets via the cable companies, that’s just plain wrong and I’m happy to see that though the CRTC generally doesn’t care much about consumers in the slightest (don’t worry, Canadians won’t mind paying the new costs and can totally afford it) that they made a somewhat sensible move for once.
There’s also the issue of signal blackouts if negotiations aren’t going well. According to CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein, the broadcasting act states that the CBC must always be available to Canadians, so creating a situation like we could see with private broadcasters either cutting or having their signals cut by TV providers would run afoul of that. to me, that makes sense. I know I’d be quite angry if something I was already paying for was taken away from me because somebody thought I needed to pay for it again.
Von Finckenstein also said that the Commission hasn’t forgotten about the CBC and will work on something that may help them once they have a better idea of how things go for the private broadcasters, a statement that kind of makes me wonder if I might at some point have to take back everything I just said.
I need to talk a little more about this blackout idea while I’m here. The thing is unfair and unworkable from the outset. does anybody honestly believe for one second that any cable or satellite company that also owns TV stations is going to pull its own signals from itself? Give me a fucking break! I can see right away where this is going. “The Rogers group of stations is working hand in hand with Rogers Cable to come to an agreement, but those dicks from Bell won’t step up to the plate.” If you’re one of those people who’s unsure about who owns what, you’ll almost certainly have a pretty good idea of how it works once you start losing stations during negotiations. What a complete crock.