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Canadian digital applications deluge CRTC

Canadian viewers can expect a wave of new non-fiction channels to hit in the not too distant future. Regulatory body The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission recently received a total of 452 digital channel applications, 91 of which have applied for...
May 1, 2000

Canadian viewers can expect a wave of new non-fiction channels to hit in the not too distant future. Regulatory body The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission recently received a total of 452 digital channel applications, 91 of which have applied for a Category 1 license, 355 for Category 2. There are also two pay-per-view and four new video-on-demand service applications.

Category 1 licensing requirements include a minimum of 50% Canadian content by the end of a seven-year license term and Canadian majority ownership. Category 2 requirements include a minimum 35% Can-con and majority Canadian ownership. The CRTC says it will award at least ten Category 1 digital licenses and an unlimited number of Category 2 services, though the former has guaranteed distribution while the latter do not.

The following is a select list:

- Toronto’s Alliance Atlantis filed in association with a wide range of partners, including BBC, E.W. Scripps, News Corp. & National Geographic. Proposals include The Independent Film and Documentary Channel, Food Network Canada and Health Network Canada.

- CHUM Ltd. in Toronto filed seven applications, including the Indie and Docs channel, FashionTelevision: The Channel, and MasterMusic.

- Commercialcaster CTV filed nine applications, including The Digital Network; Discovery Health Canada; Men’s Entertainment Network; and Exploration Network, offering a mix of geography and culture.

- Rogers Broadcasting is the lead promoter on Today’s Parent TV, ZDTV Canada and Biography Channel.

- Calgary’s Craig Broadcasting Systems is fronting three applications including Festival, which will program ‘indie docs and movies,’ and The Met, aimed at promoting Canadian artists.

- Quebec’s Television Quatre Saisons has applied for four French-language licenses in craft and homes (Teleservice), animals (Nature), and women’s issues (Canal F).

- BCE Media in Toronto is leading an application called Travel TV.

- Toronto’s Corus Entertainment and partners are backing Chrome, a men’s lifestyle channel; Booknet; Discovery Travel & Adventure; Land & Sea; Parent TV; and The Canadian Documentary Channel.

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty

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