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Upfront: New Canadian Cable Apps

Although 10 of the 23 Canadian specialty services licenced last year have yet to find cable or satellite carriage, the CRTC (Canada's federal broadcast regulator) has received over 70 applications for new services in the latest licensing round....
November 1, 1997

Although 10 of the 23 Canadian specialty services licenced last year have yet to find cable or satellite carriage, the CRTC (Canada’s federal broadcast regulator) has received over 70 applications for new services in the latest licensing round.

Despite the existing carriage conundrum, most of the new proposals come from companies which already own Canadian specialty services, meaning that the would-be cablers are betting the CRTC will rule as it did last year and give a license to every qualifying applicant. If that’s the case, then the licence winners are, in essense, reserving their right to the genre until market conditions can support their launch.

Among the factual service applications, it looks like the battle for a travel channel will shape up as the most interesting. Montreal-based Astral Communications, Toronto-based Baton Broadcasting, Western International Communications of Vancouver, chum of Toronto and Toronto’s NetStar Communications are all vying for a chance to engage Canadian armchair travelers.

Hearings are expected to begin spring 1998.

Selected Canadian factual applications:

Alliance Communications

Canal Histoire (History)

Biography Television

NetStar Communications:

Animal Planet

The Y Channel (Men’s Television)

The Explorer Network (Travel)

The Health Network

The Science & Technology Channel

Atlantis Broadcasting

National Geographic Channel Canada

Canada’s Health Network

Fit TV Canada

Food Network Canada

People Channel (Biographies)

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Land & Sea – Canada’s Country Connection (Rural life)

Les Ržseaux Premier Choix

Canal Justice (Law and Justice)

La cha’ne gourmande (Food)

Radio Canada

Ržseau de l’žconomie (Business and Finance)

Ržseau de l’histoire (History)

Ržseau des arts (Arts and Culture)

Rogers Broadcasting Limited

Chatelaine TV (Lifestyle)

The Documentary Channel

Today’s Parent TV

Also in Upfront:

-News Briefs for November 1997

-Disney goes back to nature

-Paramount boosts its reality slate with Wild Things

- Discovery’s Latin American Travel Buy

-TVNZ’s Natural History Unit goes on the block. And the winner is. . .

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.

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