Share your opinion about local and community television!

CRTC launching online discussion forum on this subject

OTTAWA et GATINEAU, QC, Jan. 12, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is inviting Canadians to express their views on local and community programming. From today until February 3, 2016, Canadians will be able to share their opinions on an online discussion forum.

Last September, the CRTC launched a review of local and community programming. Having analyzed the initial feedback, the CRTC is now publishing a working document intended to propose possible approaches and generate discussion.

The CRTC would like to discuss what role local and community programming plays in the lives of Canadians. The discussion forum will serve as a platform to answer questions such as the following:

  • Do you consider that local events in your area are sufficiently covered on television, in terms of quantity and quality? If not, give us ideas of what could be done to improve such coverage.
  • What information sources, other than local TV, do you consult to stay informed of local events and why?
  • What type of programming available on the community channel is of interest to you and why?
  • What could be done to improve your community channel? For example, should community channels operating in smaller markets broadcast professional local news to ensure that they cater to the diverse needs of their communities?

During the Let's Talk TV proceeding, the CRTC identified several challenges faced by local and community television in this digital age where both content and viewers are increasingly moving towards online services. Moreover, a survey conducted as part of that proceeding revealed that 81% of Canadians believe that local news is important. In this light, the CRTC wishes to discuss future approaches for ensuring access to local information and community access programming on multiple platforms.

The online discussion forum will be held from January 12 to February 3, 2016, the last day of the CRTC's public hearing on local and community programming.

Quick facts

  • The CRTC has published a working document intended to propose potential approaches and generate discussion. The CRTC does not give priority to one approach over another.
  • The CRTC wishes to ensure that Canadians have access to local news and community access programming that meets their needs.
  • The CRTC is interested in hearing other proposals to ensure that a sufficient amount of high-quality local information is made available to Canadians.
  • The CRTC will hold a public hearing in the National Capital Region from January 25 to February 3, 2016, in order to discuss the issues surrounding local and community television.
  • Average weekly viewing hours for Canadian news and actualities broadcast by Canadian television services is over 23% of total hours viewed in the English market and over 18% in the French market.
  • The percentage of Canadian households subscribing to cable, satellite or Internet Protocol television (IPTV) services was 82%, or 11.6 million households, in 2014.
  • In 2013-2014, over 150 million dollars was spent on the community channels.

Quote
"Following the Let's Talk TV conversation, we sparked a discussion about the future of local and community television. This programming is important for the system as a whole, but even more so for Canadians as citizens who want to be able to access locally relevant information.

To ensure that all Canadians be well-informed, fully-engaged members of their communities, we must make sure not only that local and community television is viable, but also that it adapts to the digital age in which we are living and where we are bombarded with both information and content.

Please join us on the discussion forum and share your views to help us revitalize local and community programming."

- Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC

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SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information: Contact : Media Relations, 819-997-9403; General information : 819-997-0313, Toll-free number: 1-877-249-CRTC (2782), TTY line: 819-994-0423

RELATED LINKS
http://www.crtc.gc.ca

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