Cable and Satellite Subscribers tell CRTC "No Thanks" to a TV Tax

Customers make case to CRTC against Big Networks' proposed TV Tax

GATINEAU, QC, Dec. 8 /CNW/ - Cable and satellite subscribers today made their case against a TV Tax to the CRTC commissioners during the regulator's public hearings on the impact of a TV Tax on Canadian television consumers.

Presenter Rosalie Persichini of York Region owns a family business with her husband; the two started the Persichini Easter Seals Run/Walkathon 34 years ago, and have long used community television to promote their event. During today's hearing, Persichini noted the value of her local cable station to her charity, "Rogers TV has had a huge impact on the success of the run/walkathon. Over $3 Million dollars has been raised for over 7,000 physically disabled children across Ontario.... "When I think of local TV, I think of Rogers TV. They are truly part of our community and cover the events that are important to local residents."I am here today to say I don't think we should pay more for local TV. We already have wonderful local TV from our cable company. Rogers TV provides the local lens on York Region."

Former BCTV reporter and 26-year veteran of TV journalism Harvey Oberfeld lamented the loss of local content, particularly in TV news, "Mr. Chairman, I was there. I saw ... for years before my retirement, how the (network) conglomerates that took control of Canada's private television stations, did their hatchet jobs on local television ...in particular, local television news."

Later in his testimony, Oberfeld urged the commission to be skeptical of the Big Networks' claims, "Don't believe private TV's claims.... what they really want is a bailout from bad investments, the poor economy, and rising costs of buying foreign programs."

Lydia Luckevich, a cable subscriber in Toronto told the commission that she preferred the local content offered by her cable provider's own local station, "(My Rogers community station) has more local content of interest to me than CBC, CTV, Global or CHCH all of which I rarely if ever watch."

Nicole Brunet, of Montreal, echoed Luckevich's concerns about the fee, "I'm against this fee. Consumers will pay it, and it is nothing more than a disguised tax we'll be forced to absorb. (Text Translated)

This round of hearings will continue until Friday, December 11.

The individuals called to present today all submitted their names through the public process hosted on the CRTC's website. They were assembled to appear by the Stop the TV Tax coalition.

SOURCE STOPTHETVTAX.CA

For further information: For further information: Jan Innes, Rogers Communications Inc., Jan.innes@stopthetvtax.ca, (416) 935-3525; or Jacqueline Michelis, Bell Media Relations, jacqueline.michelis@bell.ca, (613) 685-1427, 1-888-482-0809

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