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NEWS: CRTC to consider mandatory distribution for Sun News on April 23

The Toronto Star reports, “A financially hobbled Sun News Network has asked the CRTC to force cable carriers to distribute the channel. Currently Sun News isn’t a part of many analog or basic cable packages. …Sun News proposes the CRTC grant the network mandatory distribution, which would obligate carriers to make the channel available on basic cable and boost the network’s beleaguered bottom line. …Sun TV’s proposal requests that along with mandatory distribution the network receive a fee of 18 cents per month from each cable subscriber. In Quebec that fee falls to nine cents per customer. The company feels those fees would turn a $17 million loss into a modest profit by 2014.”

In June 2010, Canadian Press reporter Bruce Cheadle made the case that Prime Minister Stephen Harper may have been personally involved in the formation of Sun News. In October 2010, the Council of Canadians joined with OpenMedia.ca and many others to call on the CRTC to oppose consideration of a license for Sun News. But in late-November 2010, the CRTC approved a five year license for the channel after it dropped its request for a licence that would have required cable and satellite carriers to offer the service.

While the deadline for the public comment period has just passed, the CRTC will consider the application from Sun News at a hearing scheduled for Tuesday April 23.

For more, please see these campaign blogs:

NEWS: Fox News North premieres April 18
ACTION ALERT: Oppose Quebecor/ Fox News North’s CRTC application
‘Canadian nightmare: Fox news north’ by Murray Dobbin
‘Harper’s Foxy luncheon’ by Linda McQuaig