Three words (Updated)

Okay, six words, in two parts.

First,

Get a grip.

Then,

You’re being played.

Sun TV News, the new wingnut news station that’s being called “Fox North”, and lately the perfectly rational “Hate Media”, isn’t even on air yet but has been generating red-faced progressive outrage for months.  There are petitions to stop it from …from what? From getting a Mandatory Carriage license?  From going on air at all?  One wonders.

One also wonders if people understand what a Mandatory Carriage (aka “Category One”) license actually is, and why such licenses are granted.  A “Category One” license is granted to stations covering specific programming genres, one license per genre.  The 24-hour news genre is already covered by CBC Newsworld and it doesn’t much matter what kind of bias Sun TV News reports with, it’s still 24-hour news. Granting them a Cat One license, something that could only happen if some CRTC regs were overhauled, would mean also having to give one to CTV Newsnet, and maybe others.  Apart from mandatory carriage, one of the perks of a Cat One license is a low spot on the dial, and guess what:  there are only so many of them, which is why Cat One licenses are so rare.  The chances of “Fox News North” getting a Cat One license are less than zero.

But the chances that this Kory Teneycke dude might just be the smartest guy in the room are pretty good.

UPDATE: There is a lot of confusion around this issue, and I am one of the Confused.  In the comments, stageleft (see his more explicit take on this topic here) sheds some light on the situation:

Quebecor is asking for a “must offer” license, which would mean that the cable/satellite networks would have to offer it somewhere in their line-up. Something that is considerably different from the must provide it to every household with a basic subscription that the CBC enjoys.

“Must offer” is indeed very different from Category One.  The confusion probably arose because Sun TV originally applied for a Category One but was rejected, prompting Teneycke to comment

“We’re not particularly fazed by that letter. We’re focused on moving forward […]  We’re confident that we’ll have a licence in time for our projected launch, and one that will satisfy our needs on the business side.”

Those opposed to the station apparently took that remark to mean that the coveted Category One license would be obtained by some underhanded, nefarious means, probably with the helpful interference of our totalitarian Prime Minister.  The suspicion was bolstered when CRTC chairman Konrad von Fickenstein, whose term ends in 2012, was offered another job to vacate early, and thus began the C/1 Truther Movement.

My opinion that Teneycke is the smartest guy in this particular room still stands.

18 Responses to “Three words (Updated)”


  1. 1 MgS Monday, September 6, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    I think it is relevant and important to recognize how quickly the Sun newspapers have willingly become mouthpieces for CPoC headquarters-issued talking points.

    It says a great deal about today’s Conservative party that it feels that it has to have its very own tame mouth organ to spew its propaganda.

    Whether or not Faux News North comes to fruition is irrelevant – they’ve created their own little propaganda outlet that seems even more blithely willing to do their bidding than the National Post ever was.

  2. 2 Brian Monday, September 6, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    It says a great deal about today’s Conservative party that it feels that it has to have its very own tame mouth organ to spew its propaganda.

    No, it doesn’t!   Everybody wants to have the ability to speak for themselves, rather than have others explain what they would say if they could speak for themselves.

    It says next to nothing about them that they want a station.   Surely this is obvious, since many, many people want a mandatory carriage license, if I read this right.

     

    Question: Has Canada implemented HD radio (where there can be many programs on the same frequency) and the feature of several different programs available on the same TV channel through digital TV?

    I was wondering because of the statement, “… one of the perks of a Cat One license is a low spot on the dial, and guess what: there are only so many of them, which is why Cat One licenses are so rare.”

  3. 3 stageleft Monday, September 6, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Quebecor is asking for a “must offer” license, which would mean that the cable/satellite networks would have to offer it somewhere in their line-up. Something that is considerably different from the must provide it to every household with a basic subscription that the CBC enjoys.

    As I’ve said before, I hope they provide an OTA (over the air) offering so that people like me who got fed up with cable/satellite and disconnected get to watch. I get Sun in HD-OTA now – sure it’s got a different slant to what the CBC offers (I get that in HD-OTS as well), but it that really such a bad thing?

  4. 4 900ft jesus Monday, September 6, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    “Granting them a Cat One license, something that could only happen if some CRTC regs were overhauled, would mean also having to give one to CTV Newsnet, and maybe others.”

    I’m not so sure, JJ. This government has managed not only to circumvent many regulations, it just flat out ignores them. I still can’t get over how they got away with firing Measner from the Wheat Board considering they have no authority to do so.

    Harper didn’t just say “I make the rules,” he really believes he is entitled to. Look at the massively incestuous relationship between Harper, Kory, and Péladeau.

    As regulations presently stand, it’s true that Sun Media should not get that license, but it’s pretty damn clear that’s what Harper is trying to get for them. And watch the others – CBC, CTV – get blocked at every turn so that their voices are reduced. If Stevie pulls this off before he’s politically deep-sixed, that is.

  5. 5 stageleft Monday, September 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    @900ft jesus: At the risk of sounding repetitive Quebecor is not asking for a Category 1 license. The request is for a “must offer” somewhere in the lineup for a period of 3 years.

    It would not be something like the CBC which is sent into every home as part of the basic cable/satellite package as mandated by the CRTC. All the application means is that the channel would, for a period of three years, have to be offered by cable/satellite providers as part of some package they offer in the event that Canadian subscribers not only want it, but are willing to pay extra to get it.

    As I said over at my shop

    As I understand it Quebecor is a Canadian media company looking at offering substantial Canadian news/opinion/analysis content to a Canadian audience.

    Under those circumstances I don’t think a three year must carry (as part of basic subscriber packages), let alone the “must offer” license they are asking for, is tremendously unreasonable.

    I am also at the point of begging for some solid evidence that Harper is elbow deep in this as so many have said. There is no doubt in my mind that he’d absolutely love it but so far all I’ve seen is speculation.

  6. 6 Jasper Monday, September 6, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I would try to stop this if I were you. This means Canadians will be able to flip the channel to a non liberal news org.

    We can’t have that now. Do what Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro did, just shut them down.

  7. 7 JJ Monday, September 6, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    stageleft – Thanks for the heads up. After viewing the petition, I posted this in dismay and then boogied off for the day.

    If the license they want is a “must offer”, doesn’t that kind of makes the outrage about being “forced to pay for it with our cable fees” all the more silly? Nobody is being forced to pay for anything they don’t want, at least no more than the usual cable packages force customers to do.

    This may be another one of those sleazy little situations where the Outraged aren’t being completely honest about what it is they really want, which I’d guess is for this station not to get on the air at all. But as I’ve said before, if people want it and someone will provide it, then who am I to tell them they can’t have it?

    And as someone who appreciates a good marketing play, I think Teneycke et al have done a pretty good job at generating publicity for their new venture without paying Dollar One.

    Heading over to your place now to see what you have to say about all this…

  8. 8 900ft jesus Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 4:47 am

    thanks, stageleft. I’ll have to think more about this.

  9. 9 Peter Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 5:30 am

    That’s a good point, SL, but we sneaky wingnuts plan to bribe the cable companies to offer it in a package together with the NHL channel and a new soft-porn channel.

    Tee Hee.

  10. 10 JJ Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 7:16 am

    MgS

    I think it is relevant and important to recognize how quickly the Sun newspapers have willingly become mouthpieces for CPoC headquarters-issued talking points.

    With all due respect, so what? We apparently know what they are, and look accordingly askance at their output, so the world is turning as it should. I rarely if ever link to any Sun publications for the simple reason that they’re pretty much fishwrap and their content is too biased.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but as an issue we should be outraged over, “Fox News North” strikes me as something engineered to prompt outrage and free publicity, but overall is pretty weak tea.

    OMG! I said TEA! 😉

  11. 11 JJ Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Brian

    “It says a great deal about today’s Conservative party that it feels that it has to have its very own tame mouth organ to spew its propaganda.”

    No, it doesn’t! Everybody wants to have the ability to speak for themselves, rather than have others explain what they would say if they could speak for themselves.

    I think any government, right left or indifferent, would love to have a TV network that is friendly instead of critical like the media is supposed to be. The difference right now is that we have in place a government with such a spineless opposition that the governing party can get away with being quite open about it.

    Question: Has Canada implemented HD radio (where there can be many programs on the same frequency) and the feature of several different programs available on the same TV channel through digital TV?

    We do have HDTV, but I’m not sure what it’s all about. I’ll get back to you…

  12. 12 JJ Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 8:05 am

    stageleft

    sure it’s got a different slant to what the CBC offers (I get that in HD-OTS as well), but it that really such a bad thing?

    I’ve never seen it, but offhand I lean strongly towards more and different reporting angles never being a bad thing. I prefer my news “ungarnished” as it were, but I also don’t mind seeing a little bias — it helps me understand why people hold certain views. And it can make for good blog fodder! 😉

  13. 13 JJ Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 8:48 am

    900

    As regulations presently stand, it’s true that Sun Media should not get that license, but it’s pretty damn clear that’s what Harper is trying to get for them

    I’m sure Harper would love to have the power that so many progressives think he has 😆 Yes, the PMO is a powerful office, but there’s only so much even a PM can do without damaging himself, and taking an active part in building a 24-7 propaganda mouthpiece is probably crossing the line for most voters.

  14. 14 JJ Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Peter

    we sneaky wingnuts plan to bribe the cable companies to offer it in a package together with the NHL channel and a new soft-porn channel.

    😯
    Oh no, and if it’s in a cable package with hockey, hockey fans will be forced to watch it, just like I’m forced to watch the Country Music Channel! Horrible, horrible…

  15. 15 deBeauxOs Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 9:09 am

    It sounds like a sweet deal, JJ.

    The Cons let you keep your guns – oh, wait, the gun registry isn’t really a plot to remove firearms from rural folks – and libertarians provide moral support to HarperTV.

    😉

  16. 16 JJ Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 10:53 am

    deBeauxOs – It was in the spam bin with comments from Penis Enlargers dot com and Lose-Weight-Fast dot org!! I don’t know why, there are no links in it. Oh well, Weirdpress strikes again…

    As to the substance of your comment, I wouldn’t call it “moral support”, but you can if you want 😉

    I look at it the same way I try to look at any issue where there’s an ideological divide, by putting the shoe on the other foot: if it was a liberal station, under a Liberal government, would I be outraged about it? Probably not. I might think the machinations are a little sleazy, but basically Business As Usual. So that tells me that I probably shouldn’t be too outraged about this situation.

  17. 17 J. A. Baker Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I would try to stop this if I were you. This means Canadians will be able to flip the channel to a non liberal news org.

    We can’t have that now. Do what Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro did, just shut them down.

    Ah, J’ass-spur. Still tilting at strawmen, are we?

  18. 18 Bleatmop Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I don’t see that getting a must offer license is a problem. Though I think it highlights what a debate should be, that is how we sell our cable and satellite channels here in Canada. I don’t know much able cable, but in Shaw Satellite, I have to buy channels in packages of 6 or so. My guess is that this channel would probably be packaged in with CTVNN, CBCNW, MSNBC, FOXNEWS, ect. Personally, I’d like to be able to pick and choose the channels I like, so I could choose to not support Fox, or MSNBC, or whatever suits my fancy in any way I please. That way this channel could live or die on it viewer support.


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