Stop the TV Tax, coalition urges CRTC

TORONTO, Oct. 5 /CNW/ - Saying that this is no time to ask Canadian families to pay up to $10 more per month on their cable and satellite bills, a coalition of Canada's leading cable and satellite providers today launched a campaign to Stop the TV Tax at www.stopthetvtax.ca.

The campaign responds to the attempts by the large television networks to hide behind the issue of local television funding in order to obtain a new tax, a fee-for-carriage, on cable and satellite subscribers. The Coalition has launched the Stop the TV Tax campaign in order to ensure that Canadians hear the whole story.

Bell, Bell Aliant, Cogeco, EastLink, Rogers and Telus have joined together to help consumers Stop the TV Tax.

The Coalition takes aim at a new tax being proposed by the broadcasters to fund television networks, which could amount for consumers to up to $10 more per month on their cable or satellite bill. The campaign marks an extraordinary union of competitors and consumers who are united in their opposition to the TV Tax. "Cable and satellite subscribers have united to stop the broadcasters' costly proposal because it amounts to a tax, pure and simple. This tax will hit viewers for stations that have always been available for free over the air," said Phil Lind, Vice Chairman of Rogers Communications Inc.

"It's an unnecessary new tax on consumers," said Mirko Bibic, Bell's Senior Vice-President, Regulatory and Government Affairs. "Having just secured close to $100M from the newly implemented CRTC Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF), the broadcasters are simply asking for more handouts."

The proposed additional TV Tax would see satellite and cable companies charged to carry channels that have always been free to viewers over-the-air. If the CRTC moves ahead with this tax, cable and satellite providers will ensure that consumers understand the impact of this tax and have the opportunity to lodge complaints with the regulator and government in Ottawa.

Lind says the TV Tax comes at a high dollar figure for most subscribers. He adds that the tax has no clear benefit to local television, stating, "The networks have twice demanded the CRTC charge consumers a TV Tax, and were twice rejected."

"There is no justification for such increases at this time; no additional value is being delivered to viewers by broadcasters," said Bibic. "Satellite and cable providers stand on the side of television consumers to fight this charge."

The Stop the TV Tax coalition's website, www.stopthetvtax.ca, will serve as a portal for citizen engagement, offering a wide range of concrete actions consumers can take to Stop the TV Tax. Print, radio and television ads will raise awareness of the website.

    
    Audio news release clips
    --------------------------------

    Phil Lind, Rogers Communications, Clip 1
    http://www.stopthetvtax.ca/phil_lind_1.mp3

    Phil Lind, Rogers Communications, Clip 2
    http://www.stopthetvtax.ca/phil_lind_2.mp3

    Mirko Bibic, Bell Canada, Clip 1
    http://www.stopthetvtax.ca/mirko_bibic_1.mp3

    Mirko Bibic, Bell Canada, Clip 2
    http://www.stopthetvtax.ca/mirko_bibic_2.mp3

    Mirko Bibic, Bell Canada, French Clip
    http://www.stopthetvtax.ca/mirko_bibic_FR.mp3

    Or visit the Stop The TV Tax media page at: http://www.stopthetvtax.ca/
    

SOURCE Rogers Communications Inc.

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) 785-1427, 1-888-482-0809


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