Wednesday, August 17, 2011

CBC Transmitters Get Stay Of Execution

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<p>Canadians using antennas to receive over the air television signals in certain cities that were threatened with losing CBC television on August 31st can relax because an application for an extension for one year was approved by the CRTC to allow CBC transmitters that were slated to shut down to operate in analog until August 31, 2012 to allow CBC to make 'alternative arrangements' for OTA viewers that would be adversely affected by CBC shutting down transmitters. <br>
The CBC has not announced what alternate arrangements they would make with OTA TV viewers.&#160; Would CBC buy cable TV subscriptions for any CBC watchers that would lose in any community where CBC is unwilling to upgrade their transmitters?&#160; The only 'alternative arrangement' that the CBC should get is any transmitters that the CBC doesn't upgrade to digital should be sold to community groups and private companies that would upgrade and operate these stations as CBC affiliates. </p>
<p>CBC's license from the CRTC is up for renewal within the one year analog stay of execution.&#160; If the CRTC and the elected officials the CRTC answers to hear from enough Canadians that, letting CBC shut down transmitters is unacceptable and doing such is a failure of the CBC's mandate of universal accessibility to all Canadians.&#160; The only alternative arrangement that CRTC would have is revoking the license for the CBC to operate their network.</p>
<p>An addendum to the story, the proposed upgrade the transmitter of CBAT, the CBC station that serves Fredriction and Saint John, New Brunswick was finally approved by the CRTC.&#160; CBC's original application was rejected by the CRTC back in January because CBC proposed installing a digital transmitter to serve Fredricton leaving viewers who rely on over the air signals in Saint John stuck with analog.  As much as it should be said that a better proposal came from the CBC that would provide digital OTA service to both Fredricton and Saint John, it's not.  The application to operate the digital transmitter is the same as the application that the CRTC rejected.  Saint John TV viewers will get the same analog service after August 31st.   For a public broadcaster with a mandate to serve all Canadians, the actions of the CBC have been running quite contrary to that mandate.

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