News

Canadian carriage fee debate heading to Supreme Court

Rogers Communications is going to the highest court in the land to stop the country's broadcasters from collecting retransmission fees.
March 2, 2011

Canadian┬ácable company┬áRogers Communications is going to the highest court in the land to stop the country’s broadcasters from collecting retransmission fees.

“Rogers will be seeking leave to appeal the decision,” Rogers spokeswoman Jan Innes told realscreen sister publication Playback Daily.

Canadian telecom Telus is to join Rogers in taking their case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

No word on whether rival cable and phone giants, including BCE and Shaw Communications after they scooped up conventional TV assets of their own, will join the Rogers appeal to the high court.

The legal move follows Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal earlier this week siding with conventional broadcasters on retransmission fees from cable and satellite TV operators.

Cable and satellite TV operators took heart from the Federal Court of Appeal judges splitting on the question of the CRTC’s jurisdiction in allowing a fee-for-carriage regime for the industry.

The lower court’s dissenting opinion from Justice Nadon held that the Copyright Act disallows royalties to be paid for the retransmission of local signals, and so limits the CRTC’s power to impose its will under the Broadcasting Act.

(From Playback Daily)

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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