TORONTO, June 19 /CNW/ - Rogers today applauded the efforts of the
Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on the release of its report on The
Evolution of the Canadian Television Industry.
On April 20th, a Rogers' panel led by Vice Chairman, Phil Lind, appeared
before the Committee to argue over-the-air broadcasters already receive many
regulatory advantages and that while all businesses across the country had
been impacted by the economic downturn, there was no convincing evidence to
prop up the financial results of the broadcasters with a government bail out.
Rogers cited the negative impact on consumers of the proposed fee which would
have resulted in increases of between $4 - $6.00 per month per subscriber.
After weeks of review and consultation with a broad range of interested
parties, the all-party committee made a number of recommendations to assist
the broadcasting sector but most importantly did not support the controversial
proposal of 'fee for carriage'.
"The number one issue from our perspective was the proposal to tax
consumers put forward by the broadcasters. Despite a non-stop lobby effort by
CTV to influence federal politicians, the report did not endorse the fee for
carriage concept," said Phil Lind, Vice Chairman, Rogers Communications Inc.
"We are encouraged as well by the rejection of fee for carriage and "value for
programming" by the Government Members of the Committee in their reasoned
The Government MP report spoke to equity and stated that this "report
must now indicate our most fervent and rigorous opposition to any potential
fee for carriage system, either negotiated or imposed, that would have a
detrimental effect on the consumer. We believe it is fundamentally unfair to
expect Canadian consumers to pay new and substantial charges each month to
their cable or satellite distributor to reflect such a system." The report
further noted that "the 90% of Canadians who currently receive their
television signals from a cable or satellite BDU already pay 5% of their
monthly subscription fee to support the production of Canadian television
The Government Members rejected the proposal, the Heritage Committee did
not support the concept, and fee for carriage as proposed by the broadcasters
has already been twice rejected by the CRTC in recent years. "The Heritage
Committee Report should serve as an important reference point for the upcoming
CRTC review of broadcast renewal licences," added Phil Lind.
Rogers is a diversified Canadian communications and media company. We are
engaged in wireless voice and data communications services through Wireless,
Canada's largest wireless provider and the operator of the country's only
national GSM/HSPA based network. Through Cable, we are one of Canada's largest
providers of cable television services as well as high-speed Internet access
and telephony services. Through Media, we are engaged in radio and television
broadcasting, televised shopping, magazines and trade publications, and sports
entertainment. We are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:
RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). For further
information about the Rogers group of companies, please visit www.rogers.com.