Canada's CRTC gets an earful at hearings on future of TV reports that Canada’s broadcast regulator is debating the future of television at a series of hearings in Gatineau, Que., that will wrap up at the end of this week.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) began hearing from stakeholders last week and has already had an earful from the large conventional broadcasters and cable providers as well as a number of interest groups and smaller players.

Here’s a look at some of what’s been said at the Let’s Talk TV hearings so far and what we can expect this week.

The incumbents

Bell, Rogers, Shaw and Quebecor all came out against the CRTC’s proposal that cable providers be forced to offer certain kinds of basic packages and that most of the rest of their content be offered à la carte (also called pick-and-pay).

The CRTC has proposed that cable companies adopt either a “skinny basic” package that would include only Canadian channels or an expanded basic package that could include other channels but would be capped at a rate of $20 to $30. Both would have to be “promoted in an equivalent manner to other packages” and neither would include the 4+1 U.S. networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and PBS), whose signals are available free over the air in many parts of the country.


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