You won't be seeing “exclusively on your (insert carrier name here) mobile device” promos much longer.
The CRTC has ruled that integrated carriers — those telecom and media assets — must offer their television content to other mobile and Internet providers under “fair and reasonable terms” in a decision announced this afternoon.
(Interestingly, the decision specifically mentions “hockey games and live events,” as one must expect from Canada's broadcast watchdog.)
The hearings on consolidation in the broadcast industry began in June.
Companies will, however, be able to produce exclusive content specifically for an Internet portal or mobile device, including “supplementary programming such as behind-the-scenes video clips of a television program,” according to the CRTC's news release on the decision.
Under the framework announced, 25 per cent of specialty programming on an integrated provider must be owned by an independent broadcaster, broadcasters must make new pay or specialty services available to all distributors, and a code of conduct will be adopted to ensure good-faith negotiations and prevent anti-competitive behaviour.
CRTC chair Konrad von Finkelstein warned of further hearings in six months if broadcasters don't “make significant strides in introducing consumer-friendly options.” He's also called on the television distribution companies in Canada to offer more flexibility in their packages, though he doesn't go as far as demanding an à la carte option.
Good for consumers, who can't be strong-armed onto a particular carrier to feed their hockey jones. Good for the smaller carriers with data packages but no huge media/content/broadcast businesses. Demanding on the carriers, but not unduly so.