Home / Workplace Directory / Canadian Media Guild / One-third of Canadians to lose free TV signals under broadcaster plan

One-third of Canadians to lose free TV signals under broadcaster plan

The Canadian Media Guild, which opposes the broadcast industry’s plans to shut down transmitters that send free TV signals to one-third of Canadians, will present an alternative to the CRTC today.

“Broadcast executives seem to think there is no problem in forcing one-third of Canadians to pay for TV service, while continuing to provide free signals to the other two-thirds who live in major cities,” says CMG national president Lise Lareau. “We think this is bad business and even worse public policy.”

The CMG’s solution involves broadcasters sharing digital transmitters in the smaller markets that would get nothing under the broadcaster plan. A single digital transmitter and frequency can be used to broadcast up to six channels. The solution would allow broadcasters to share the digital upgrade and operating costs. It also stands to increase the number of free TV channels from what is currently available in smaller markets.

Viewers with an older TV and antenna simply need a $60 converter box to receive the free signals. Viewers with a new digital TV and antenna need no additional equipment. Canadians who live near the U.S. border and in cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa can already tune to a variety of free Canadian and American digital channels.

“Every study we have seen suggests that television remains a popular past-time for people of all ages,” Lareau adds. “People turn to TV to find out what is going on in their area, from weather and natural disasters, to information about community events and public decision-making. That kind of service should not be, and has never before been, a luxury requiring Canadians to pay a monthly bill.”

The CRTC is holding hearings into the renewal of private TV licences and is examining the transition from analogue to digital television. The CMG will be appearing before the CRTC this afternoon and to hear our presentation on the web: click here.

Click here to download our full submission to the CRTC.

Find Member Resources

Popular Topics

Scroll to Top