Monday, November 16, 2009

THE TV HEARINGS ARE BACK ON

Well, the TV hearings into whether the Canadian TV networks will get more money are on. Carriage fees are the main topic with the networks hoping to force the cable companies to pony up fees-for-carriage for the broadcast signals they carry. So far on Day One, CRTC chair Konrad von Finkenstein is rightfully calling the two sides out for a confrontational and antagonistic atmosphere in this whole debate.

As for me, I am just frustrated and fed up with what's going on. As I have said earlier, I feel the viewers are getting shafted and ignored bigtime by everyone involved in this whole discussion. We're getting a big PR war being waged by the TV nets on one side pledging to Save Local TV, and the cable companies on the other side pledging to Stop the TV Tax. And we're getting these freaking ads on TV for both sides all the time, littering the screen. If you tune in CTV or Global, it's these "Local TV Matters" ads. If you tune in to Rogers or Shaw, it's "Stop the TV Tax!". It's like a bloody election campaign! Add to that the ads from these unions representing the talent in this country who work in the industry, and the other lobbying efforts. I've said it before -- the TV industry in Canada isn't about entertainment or serving the viewing public -- it is all about politics.

Just read the comments that are tacked on to both those news articles I linked to, and you can immediately tell what the reaction of the Canadian public is to all this nonsense. People are fed up and cynical about the TV networks, the cable companies, the CBC, these unions -- everyone in the whole TV industry. And they are even more fed up with the CRTC which calls all the shots and makes all the rules, acting as if they are cut-rate town councillors.

I've asked the question before and I'll say it one more time: when are the TV viewers who shell out for cable and satellite going to get their due respect and consideration from these TV people? Not likely, it seems. Anyway, this should make for interesting TV on CPAC, the Cable Public Affairs Channel -- if you care.

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