Saturday, August 27, 2005

CANADA READY TO VETO SATELLITE RADIO

Yes, you read it right. Canada is going back to the Stone Age in no time.

Apparently the Cabinet is ready to step in and overturn the CRTC decision on satellite radio. Why? Because a bunch of Francophone artistes are upset that there aren't enough French-language channels to offer their own content to Francophones for big royalties. Plus, apparently conventional broadcasters are upset at the prospect of a little competition.

So that's what it's all about, eh? Our government wants our broadcasting system set up in such a way so that all the interest groups are accomodated. All these people who have their hand in the till have to be satisfied before any new business gets off the ground in this country. Pathetic. I'm convinced these Francophones just want to snare their piece of the pie. They want to cash in, and since they can't do it in a free market they have to get the Government to step in and re-regulate everyone so that they get all their easy money. It's part of the deal for all these broadcasting companies in Canada to have to donate a set portion of their funds to Canadian production and the Canadian music industry. Nobody gets to keep all the money for themselves in Canada, it's all regulated.

The really sad thing is that XM, for one, had already gotten started promoting themselves and they were going to be selling these satellite radios all over the country at Christmas time. A bunch of new radio jobs in this country will get shoved off to the side. Plus, all these sports fans will get their access to satellite radio sports channels delayed. And the already long-suffering Howard Stern fans are going to be delayed access to Howard Stern on Sirius --- and there are people who want to prevent him from coming into the country on satellite, too. Howard Stern, Opie and Anthony and these other cats are too much for the timid interest groups of Canada to handle. I think they want to get the government to step in and stop that programming, too. These political correctos!

And what is lost in the equation is the fact that at the end of the day this is a private enterprise we are talking about here. Satellite radio is selling a product. It's not like regular radio which is on the mass public airwaves and is free for everyone; satellite radio has actual paying customers, just like the movie theatres. It should be up to consumers to determine with their own wallets what the content ought to be on these satellite radio channels. If there aren't enough French channels, well, then that leaves it open to some company to start their own French-only satellite service and make a ton of money.

But none of these people are smart enough to think about that. Instead these groups want the Government of Canada to shove their ideas for programming down the consumers' throats whether they like it or not. This is radio-by-interest-group. That's what it is. The listeners have no say at all.

Makes me SICK. Canada, a free country: my foot.

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