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"Local TV Matters"

"Stop The TV Tax"



Who: CTV, A, Global, CBC, CHEK NEWS, V and NTV

Who: Bell TV, Bell Aliant, Cogeco, EastLink, Rogers Communications and Telus

Money: Cable companies make huge profits from subscribers, but they aren't sharing that wealth with the networks that provide their signals and programming. Basic cable bills have gone up more than four times the cost of living over the last five years.

Money: Less than 6 per cent (or $3) of an average TV bill is profit for the cable and satellite companies, which depend on other businesses like internet and local phone networks for profits.

Why now: The old broadcast model of making money solely from advertising is broken in a world of fragmented audiences, specialty channels, Internet TV and personal video recorders, which threatens smaller, underperforming stations. A fee-for-carriage is needed to save local stations and fund local supper-hour newscasts and morning shows.

Why now: The broadcasters want a bailout for poor business decisions. They spend big money on U.S. and foreign programs. They also won't fully commit to where they will spend the additional dollars and have suggested to the CRTC that the money should not be earmarked.

Local: Local television stations spent more than $5.6-billion on Canadian programming over the last decade - almost $3.6-billion of it was devoted to local programming.

Local: Cable and satellite companies also support local television. Rogers, for instance, produces thousands of hours of local programming in communities across Canada.

Who pays? About 90 per cent of Canadian homes subscribe to cable or satellite, paying those companies a basic cable fee to get the big networks. The threat by cable companies to raise fees would amount to double billing for local television.

Who pays? Networks want cable and satellite subscribers to pay for content that has always been free over the air to Canadians with antennas - a "TV tax." Broadcasters benefit from a wide distribution they couldn't otherwise achieve and reap the advertising revenues.

Source: Globe and Mail files, Local TV Matters, Stop The TV Tax

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