Gatineau, Quebec: The country’s broadcast regulator has begun two weeks of hearings aimed at dramatically changing the way Canadian get and pay for the TV they watch.
The hearings, dubbed “Let’s Talk TV,” are not just about conventional television.
Companies including Google and Netflix are now in the mix, offering TV program delivery services, streamed online.
Their presence has put the conventional television industry under pressure, straining revenues as advertising dollars move to other forms of media.
The big cable companies are also feeling the effects of change, particularly with a desire voiced by the federal government to move to a so-called “pick-and-pay” system that would require an unbundling of TV channel choices.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has also proposed allowing local TV stations to shut down their transmitters, which would require consumers of free, over-the-air programming to pay for TV through one of many service providers.
In opening the hearings today, CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais suggested that rules protecting specific channels or broadcasters could be thrown out the window in favour of new regulations that empower Canadians to get TV programming how they want it, when they want it.
© 2014 The Canadian Press