There are no good guys in this dispute over whether cable should pay for broadcast content. Actually, there are no good guys in the whole arena of businesses nominally “regulated” by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
Too many of the too-few players were born with golden spoons in their mouths, placed there by the federal government in the form of broadcasting and cable licences. Ottawa-blessed CRTC monopolies, in other words.
By owning an early radio station, a family so lucky as to have such a licence could have parlayed it into TV and cable businesses, gobbled up smaller operators over the years and bloated to a size that screams out for anti-trust action to break it into bitesize pieces that help the economy and the consumer public.
Then, already regulated by CRTC, they’re in line to get into telecommunications. Thus we have monster corporations owning everything from multiple radio stations in the same cities, TV stations, telephone service, cellphone service and whatever comes next in the high-tech communications world.
So we also, thanks to the CRTC, get a costly oligopoly of a few cellphone and wireless providers where there should be a score of them from coast to coast. And we pay among the highest rates in the developed world for our cellphones.
In such a customer-gouging universe it’s to be expected they’d come up with a scheme to suck some more out of your wallet while providing nothing in return. (Think “system-access” fees. ) The latest is TV broadcasters trying to get you to pay your cable provider for picking up their signals.
It’s a scam. They’re broadcasters…broadcasters…get it? They make their money selling ads that they broadcast through the airwaves in hopes everyone will see them and they can charge even more for their ads.
If anything, the cable providers attract many more pairs of eyeballs to make those ads worth more.
So long as the cable providers are prohibited from inserting their own ads or message to replace the broadcasted ads, there’s no reason to pick your pocket for any of these characters the CRTC spoils with its “regulation.”