Surprise! Number of radio/TV stations in Canada rising

11/20/2002

Ottawa/Gatineau, - The CRTC issued its third annual Broadcasting Policy Monitoring Report today. The report appears to counter claims that convergence is leaving Canadian viewers and listeners with less choice. In fact, both the number of stations and number of owners of radio and television stations in key Canadian markets have risen significantly reports the commission.

The 2002 report has been enhanced to provide new, additional data on social issues; the diversity of voices and services in Canada's broadcasting system; and viewership of all types of French-language and English-language television programming in Canada.

More viewing and listening choices for Canadians:

From 1991 to 2001, both the number of stations and number of owners of radio and television stations in key Canadian markets have risen significantly. Canadians now enjoy:

484 English television services and 597 English radio stations

109 French television services and 199 French radio stations

27 third-language television services and 18 third-language radio stations

Television viewing preferences:

Both Francophone and Anglophone viewers preferred dramas and comedies, by a wide margin, followed by news and public affairs.

Satellite distributors gain ground:

From 1998 to 2001, the distribution industry gained 420,000 new subscribers. The cable industry, however, lost 220,000 subscribers between 2000 and 2001, mainly to satellite distributors (via Direct-to-Home or DTH).

More programming for persons with hearing and visual impairments:

Canadian broadcasters are making their programming more accessible for persons with visual impairments or hearing impairments by increasing the levels of closed captioning and, for the largest broadcasters, video description.

Benefits:

From June 1999 to July 2002, 23 transactions/transfers of control or ownership of television stations directed benefits in excess of $515 million to the Canadian broadcasting system.

Since the Commission's Radio Policy was introduced in 1998, radio stations have spent close to $127 million to develop Canadian talent via licence renewals, station purchases and new radio stations.

Under the new Broadcasting Distribution Regulations of the CRTC, distributing enterprises have contributed almost $116 million in 2001 to the Canadian Television Fund and other programming funds.

The CRTC is issuing its annual report to both assess the impact of its regulatory measures on the broadcasting industry and measure the success of its policies and decisions on the Canadian broadcasting system as a whole.

The report also fosters public participation in policy development and broadcast licensing proceedings, and contains a wide range of data on radio, television, broadcasting distribution, the Internet and social issues.

The commission invites interested parties to provide suggestions for improvements or additions to future editions of the report by writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2 or by electronic mail at info@crtc.gc.ca.

Copies of the report are available at any CRTC office or visit www.crtc.gc.ca


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