Safeguards needed to protect consumer choice and competitive pricing
following recent mergers between TV broadcasters and cable and
OTTAWA, April 27 /CNW/ - TELUS today submitted a proposal to the CRTC
for safeguards to protect Canadian TV viewers from anti-competitive
practices of the large broadcasting companies which now control
Canada's television industry.
In the past year there has been an unparalleled concentration of content
ownership resulting from large corporate acquisitions highlighted by
BCE's $3 billion purchase of Bell Globemedia and Shaw's $2 billion
purchase of CanWest. As a result, Canadian broadcasting content has
become largely owned and controlled by Canada's largest cable and
"The unprecedented concentration of market power in the broadcasting
sector created by the common ownership of programming services and
distribution platforms requires regulatory safeguards to protect
consumers," said Michael Hennessy, senior vice-president Regulatory and
Government Affairs at TELUS. "The potential for abuse of market power
is real and the risk to consumers is significant. Without proper
regulatory safeguards consumers could soon be facing increased costs
and reduced choice in their TV viewing options."
The proposed safeguards include:
Distributors should not withhold content from competitors. This will
prevent anti-competitive programming blackouts.
Preferential or exclusive programming rights should not permitted in
Canada. Consumers should not have to switch suppliers to watch their
To ensure fair competition, vertically integrated broadcasters should
not benefit from a head-start in launching new programming services.
Fees charged for a programming service should be in line with fees
charged for other services of equal value to consumers to ensure
consumer costs do not skyrocket.
A recent survey [http://files.newswire.ca/836/HarrisDecimaTelus.ppt] by Harrisdecima found that an overwhelming 88 per cent of Canadians
support federal government rules that require all content to be made
equally available to all distributors. Such rules are required to
ensure consumers can watch any program they choose, no matter which
company they buy their TV, internet or wireless service from.
TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications
company in Canada, with $9.8 billion of annual revenue and 12.3 million
customer connections including 7 million wireless subscribers, 3.7
million wireline network access lines and 1.2 million Internet
subscribers and more than 300,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by
President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of
communications products and services including data, Internet protocol
(IP), voice, entertainment and video.
In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team
members and retirees will, by year-end 2011, have contributed $245
million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered
4.1 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Ten TELUS
Community Boards across Canada lead TELUS' local philanthropic
initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding
philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of
Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to
receive this prestigious international recognition.
For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.
SOURCE TELUS Corporation
For further information:
TELUS Media Relations