Thursday, June 16, 2005

CRTC GREENLIGHTS SATELLITE RADIO

Good news from the CRTC! They just said yes to satellite radio for Canada.

There were three applications - one affiliated with XM, one with Sirius, and the third was CHUM - and all three were approved, BUT with strict, draconian conditions ordering heavy Canadian content. Something like eight of these channels had to be Canadian channels and had to carry 85% Canadian content, and they also ordered them to play 25% "emerging Canadian artists" or something like that. Several channels had to be in French.

Already there is griping. The SIRIUS people are shellshocked because they apparently only budgeted for four channels. Eight will break the bank. As well, the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting are having a cow because they backed CHUM's bid (which had heavy Canadian content). Because the CRTC approved everyone, they think CHUM will get shortchanged and go out of business, and with that a lot of Canadian content will be up in smoke. So they don't even think the CRTC did ENOUGH! They are thinking of appealing the decision to CABINET!

Good grief, the politics never ends in this country. What bureaucracy, having self-important special interest groups lobby the Canadian government in order to tell you what programming you should be allowed to hear on satellite radio. This is absolutely maddening.

You know, the CRTC should simply stay out and the government should stay out of satellite radio. Satellite radio isn't the public airwaves, it's not some public trust. People don't get this stuff for free. It's private business where people have to fork over 13 dollars a month to listen to this. So Canadians who buy Satellite Radio are going to be milked by the CRTC, and see their money go to prop up our dying Canadian music industry. I don't want the government forcing me to pay extra to hear emerging Canadian "talent", I hear enough of that on Canadian Idol. In fact I get enough Canadian content from these local radio stations in Canada.

What I want to hear is endless pro sports and Howard Stern. That's what I call real talent! That's the reason why I want satellite radio in Canada, and that's why this decision to allow it in was long in coming.

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