Quebecor wants CRTC to require Sun News on basic service

Quebecor says its television network Sun News suffered a projected $17-million loss in 2012 and will continue to record unacceptable losses unless the federal regulator requires cable and satellite companies to carry it on their basic service. The media giant said the current distribution agreements are inadequate to support the channel, which is only offered […]

Quebecor says its television network Sun News suffered a projected $17-million loss in 2012 and will continue to record unacceptable losses unless the federal regulator requires cable and satellite companies to carry it on their basic service.

The media giant said the current distribution agreements are inadequate to support the channel, which is only offered in 40% of households.

It said these distribution challenges also hurt advertising revenues.

In its filings, Quebecor forecasts that Sun TV will lose $19.5 million in 2013, $18.9 million in 2014 and $18.1 million in 2015 – with losses in the tens of millions carrying on each year through to 2020.

Quebecor called the situation “clearly unsustainable.”

“The current distribution agreements Sun News has with cable and satellite providers are inadequate to support the channel,” it said.

It claims the addition of Sun News to the basic service would be a “negligible” cost to consumers, adding only $2.16 annually to each household – $1.08 per Francophone household – if the costs are passed on to subscribers.

“Obviously a preferable option would be for (cable and satellite providers) to remove an American or foreign content channel (and associated distribution fee) from their basic lineup and include Sun News on a zero cost to consumer basis.”

Quebecor wants the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to require that Sun News be carried on all analog and digital basic services in Canada through the end of 2017. It would then be treated like other “Category C” services.

“Our plan would allow Sun News to establish an audience under similar rules and regulations to those afforded CBC Newsworld and CTV News Channel for 21 and 13 years respectively,” the company said in filings to the CRTC.

“We don’t begrudge our competitors in any way, we simply want the same rules that they enjoyed – at least for the next five years.”

Sun TV launched in April 2011 and its on-air personalities include conservative pundit Ezra Levant.

The CRTC approved a five-year licence for the channel in November 2010 after Quebecor dropped its request for a special licence that would have required cable and satellite carriers to offer the service.

Media Articles

Metro pairs fashion with food

Grocer partners with fashion magazine Flare on food-focused marketing campaign

Activia kicks off campaign with world record attempt

Yogurt brand positions itself as a "lifestyle partner" through Rogers Media partnership

HBO Canada gives fans a chance to sit on the Iron Throne

Selection of Game of Thrones products available at Toronto pop-up shop

CBC News lays off 144 staff, Radio Canada cuts 100

Layoffs shave $15 million from public broadcaster's operating costs

CRTC bids to make TV service contracts easier to understand

Proposed code the latest to emerge from CRTC's "Let's Talk TV" hearings last fall

How to create an engaging flyer

Expert Patrick Rodmell shares five best practices that apply to all retail sectors

Kevin Crull apologizes for interfering in CTV coverage

Bell Media president says he was wrong to try to influence the editorial decisions of CTV

Virgin Mobile Canada seeks to foil pranksters with PSA

Mobile company urges Canadians to be on the lookout April Fool's Day