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CTV Newsnet calls for lifting of format restrictions
11/19/2004

 
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TORONTO - The decision by the CRTC to permit the U.S. Fox News network to broadcast in Canada strengthens the case for CTV Newsnet's proposal to remove rigid constraints on its news programming claims CTV.

"The issue is fairness," said Robert Hurst, president, CTV News. "This makes Fox News the sixth American television news service to be approved for broadcast in Canada - without any format restrictions. In fact, CTV Newsnet continues to be the only English-language television news service, which must operate under severely restrictive conditions."

"We have entered a new era in which American news choices dominate English-language Canadian television. Canadians have a right to increased, enhanced, unmistakably Canadian news sources, with the ability to compete head-on with Fox News or any other foreign news channels. That's what our application is all about. And today's CRTC announcement makes it more urgent than ever," said Hurst.

CTV applied Aug. 25, 2004, for a change in its licence conditions that requires it to air rigid "newswheel" segments every 15 minutes. It is limited in its ability to air breaking news. CTV Newsnet is the only English-language news service that operates under such restrictions. It is seeking to remain a headline news service in its application, but with greater flexibility to bring Canadians the headline news of the day.

"The net result of our application would be more original Canadian news coverage," said Hurst. "And in the free market of ideas - the type of free market that the CRTC has endorsed in ushering in Fox News, with its unabashed point of view - more news, with a more Canadian perspective, would be a very good thing.

"The CRTC has gazetted our application and we're hopeful that they will deal with it positively and expeditiously," said Hurst.





 
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