Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sun News Network yanks channel from Bell TV

On the 3rd May 2011, Sun News Network (formerly Sun TV channel) - Channel 213,  disappeared from Bell TV's satellite channel line up after being yanked by Quebecor Inc.

Sun News Network owners Quebecor Inc, shut the channel down,  they are in dispute with Bell,  over what subscription fee for the channel should be paid to them by Bell.

Sun News Network launched on the 18th April 2011. 

The problem :
When negotiations to carry the Sun News Network channel began the channel was trying for a mandatory access Category 1*  Rating -  (Sun TV channel already had this rating in Toronto and some other Southern and Eastern Ontario areas. This was the fee Bell were paying). The new channel was not granted a Category1 licence.

Bell had no objection to paying a reasonable rate for the channel, but when the channel went on air, (18th April 2011), Quebecor requested that Bell pay them an expensive Category 2** subscription fee, instead of the current fee, OR the channel would be shut down on the 3rd May 2011.  This ** requested commercial subscription fee would then have to be passed on to Bell TV subscribers. 

The current position :
Bell and Quebecor still need to negotiate a mutually acceptable fee. The matter has also been referred to the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) . It appears Bell are being asked to pay extra for a channel that is being provided at the lower subscription rate in other Canadian cities AND as a free over-the-air channel it is still being carried on Bell Fibe TV.

Also worth reading - Wikipedia page- Sun News Network

 Channel must be carried by service providers for a nominal subscription fee. 
    (ie Mandatory access - the channel would probably be included in Digital Basic Package)
    Free over-the-air, local ie CBCNews, CTV News, Canadian content ie Book TV,  etc.

**Channel is optional - the channel owner and the service provider negotiate a fair
    subscription rate, which is then passed on to the service providers customers.
    (Channels may be paid for individually or bundled together into theme packages)
    Specialized content ie Dusk, Animal Planet, sports ie Leafs TV, news ie BBC Canada.

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