Industry surprise as CRTC delays CBC hearings

Canadian indie producers are questioning why the regulator delayed the pubcaster's license renewal hearings to June 2012.
July 11, 2011

Canadian indie producers have expressed disappointment with the news that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is delaying license renewal hearings for the CBC.

“This is a hearing that was long overdue even before today’s announcement,” Tom Cox, chair of the Canadian Media Production Association’s board of directors, said Friday after the regulator postponed the CBC’s license renewal hearing from this September to June, 2012.

The CRTC, in explaining the delay, said “it would be inappropriate” to impose license conditions on the public broadcaster when it faces uncertainty over its annual taxpayer subsidy from Ottawa.

The regulator added that it was also postponing the license renewal hearing at the request of the Quebec English-language Production Committee (QEPC), which sought key data about the CBC that was available as part of earlier April 2011 license renewal hearings for private Canadian broadcasters.

But the CMPA insisted that, while it supported QEPC’s request for how much the CBC spends on indie production nationwide, it didn’t seek a delay.

“More to the point, CBC doesn’t need the delay. It has the resources to compile and provide the requested data within the original time frame. We’ve seen it turn around data requests in our Terms of Trade negotiations in a matter of hours,” CMPA president and CEO Norm Bolen said in his own statement.

The CBC, for its part, insisted it didn’t seek a 10-month delay in its license renewal hearing.

“This was not requested by CBC/Radio-Canada,” CBC president Hubert T. Lacroix said in a statement Friday.

“Nonetheless, we look forward to the opportunity to make our case for the future next year,” he added.

(From Playback Daily)

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.