Sunday, March 22, 2009

Carriage Fees: Why Not?

Carriage fees are payments specialty channels get from cable companies. Yet network TV channels, even hard-pressed local ones, don't get them.
Why not?
I just watched a movie on Showcase Action. It was loaded with commercials. BCExpressview charges me for Showcase Action, and the owners of the channel get a little money from me every month.
If I watched the movie on the local CTV, Global, A Channel or CBC station, they would get nothing.
So, why is that?
Bundle up the network stations and sell them as a package, or look at "basic" cable as a package, and pay these people. We do need to save local TV. In fact, we need more local TV stations owned in the community, creating material that actually covers them.
Later, when broadcasters are back on their feet, we can have a pick and pay system that will allow people to vote with their pocketbook for the survival of individual channels, network or specialty. But right now, the private broadcasters have a point: they deserve to be paid.


maplestar said...

Because they are broadcasters, using radio spectrum space to transmit their signal. Why should I have to pay extra for something I can get for free with an antenna?

I can chose TSN and opt out of CNN (or vice versa) and only pay for channels I want...but I can't opt to drop my local channel, even though I don't need cable to receive their signal for free. Why should I be forced to pay extra (because you know the cable companies would have to get the carriage fees from customers) to receive freely available channels a second time?

Ottawa Watch said...

But they're not, at least not for much longer. In a few months, they'll be digital, and you won't be able to pick them up over the air.
Even if they weren't going digital, why shouldn't you or the cable companies pay a carriage fee if you get them by cable? The cable companies get them free and sell them to you. Or should the channels that get carriage fees be barred from selling commercials?

Anonymous said...

Global and CTV are allowed to simulcast American progamming to boost their advertising revenue. What more do they want? Even my local CBC affilliate is allowed to simulcast off the Ottawa affiliate.

Anonymous said...

Here are some radical ideas. De-commercialize CBC English television. Move all English television fund dollars over to the CBC main network. Only broadcast 100% Canadian arts, drama and comedy on CBC-TV. Eliminate all subscription-based specialty channels, except Newsworld. Rename Newsworld, "CBC 2", add more quality documentary programming to the channel and eliminate commercials from it also. Let all public broadcasting advertising dollars go to the private broadcasters.

Bill McMinn said...

I don’t think hurting economy has anything to do with the situation that CTV finds themselves in. They have been airing shows from the American networks that I can watch on basic cable. There are a lot of shows that have never even been seen on Canadian television. Maybe picking up some of those shows will build an audience that will be attractive to advertisers. CTV can save themselves, don’t expect me to do it through a higher cable bill. People with antennas will still be able watch CTV for free, I simply refuse to subsidize those who do not have access to cable or satellite TV.