Regulators reject must-carry bid for Canadian all-news channel

Quebecor's Sun TV news channel may be a "completely new genre in Canada," as the media giant claims, but that still doesn't entitle it to must-carry privileges on the nation's cable channels, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has ruled.

Despite the fact that the CRTC said in March that it wouldn't listen to any more applications for rarely granted category 1 must-carry licenses until 2011, Quebecor pushed forward with one anyway, asking for special consideration for its channel by reasoning it would be "an information and analysis channel" that was different than its all-news competition.

That, said the CRTC, was nitpicking. "News and analysis are sub-categories of the information programming category," Peter Foster, director general of television policy and applications wrote to Quebecor. The better solution, it was suggested, is that Quebecor give up this quest and get a second tier license that requires transmission negotiations with the different service providers.

Nonsense, said Kory Teneycke, head of the project for Quebecor. "We're not particularly fazed by that letter. We're focused on moving forward (and) we're confident that we'll have a license in time for our projected (Jan. 1, 2011) launch and one that will satisfy our needs on the business side."

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