The Friends of Super Channel - Cable Weasel (Rogers) is Ferreted out

CRTC Finds Rogers Guilty of undermining subscriptions to Super Channel

EDMONTON, Sept. 29 /CNW/ - On May 18, 2006 the CRTC granted Allarco Entertainment inc. (Super Channel) the only national license for a new English-language Pay Television Network to provide more choice to Canadian consumers of broadcast entertainment. As a result of this decision Super Channel was officially launched in November 2007 offering Canadians a new pay television service featuring six new channels including two in high definition, plus Super Channel on demand.

Super Channel promised to fully support the Canadian independent production sector with three key initiatives.

    
    1.  By providing $2,000,000 a year for development financing for
        producers
    2.  By committing 32% of its gross subscriber revenue to Canadian
        Programming.
    3.  By establishing in each province a Creative development
        representative to help producers get their projects developed and
        into production.
    

As you may know, the broadcast distribution undertakings (BDUs) in Canada reach over 90% of Canadian households and six BDUs - Rogers, Shaw, Bell TV, Shaw direct, Videotron and Cogeco, control access to over 91% of cable and DTH subscribers. In essence, this small number of BDUs has the capacity of life and death over new services such as Super Channel. BDUs can choose who wins and who loses based on what is best for their companies and not necessarily what is best for the consumer.

Since its launch Super Channel has worked hard with all of Canada's BDUs to try and ensure Canadians are aware that there now is choice in the marketplace for Canadian pay television services. However one BDU, the largest in the country (Rogers) has shown little interest in promoting Super Channel, and in fact is discouraging people from buying Super Channel and pushing them to take TMN instead.

Ted Rogers (Rogers founder) said in a telephone conversation with Charles Allard of Super Channel, on more than one occassion that "Super Channel is being treated outrageously." Ted told Chuck that he so disagreed with the Rogers Cable team that at a recent CRTC structural hearing that he had to stand up and disagree with the Rogers panel. He said he could not agree with their presentation because he was a broadcaster and it was clear he did not see eye to eye with them.

Super Channel recently made a detailed presentation to the Parliamentary Heritage Committee commenting that Rogers had the lowest penetration levels of all BDUs with only one third of one percent.

Super Channel representatives told the committee they had done research into how Rogers customer services agents were selling Super Channel. It came out that 97% of all the calls requesting movie services were directed exclusively to TMN. Even if customers specifically asked for Super Channel, the customer service representatives dissuaded customers from purchasing Super Channel and pushed them to purchase TMN instead.

When the CSRs were asked if any movie services were available other than TMN, Super Channel was only offered 10 percent of the time. Rogers customer service representatives said the following:

    
    "I'm not that familiar with Super Channel, but TMN is better".
    "All of us (CSR's) have The Movie Network".
    "Super Channel is not as popular as TMN".
    

There are hundreds of such examples in our research in which Rogers CSRs push customers away from Super Channel to the Movie Network even if the customers call to order Super Channel.

If this situation is not quickly resolved it will be impossible for new services like Super Channel to achieve the cultural and business objectives of their CRTC license.

What is at risk for the production community if Super Channel does not continue?

    
    1.  The loss of two million dollars a year of development funding to the
        industry.
    2.  The loss to the production community of 32% of Super Channel's gross
        subscriber revenue.
    3.  The loss of a Creative Development representative in each province to
        help producers get their projects and into production.

    If the BDUs made any effort to support Super Channel the 32% could easily
equate to $30 million a year to the production industry.
    Hundreds of Canadian producers are going to go bankrupt as a result of
Rogers actions.

    Support the campaign to make Rogers
    "TREAT SUPER CHANNEL FAIRLY".
    And in doing so help the Canadian Production Industry

    BOYCOTT ROGERS NOW AND DEAL WITH A COMPANY THAT LIVES BY ITS BUSINESS
    CONDUCT GUIDELINES, ROGERS IGNORES THEIRS.

    Remember Super Channel is the seal pup and Rogers are the sealers.
    Tell Rogers how you feel, and send a copy of your communications to the
    CRTC

    Phil Lind
    Vice Chairman of the Board
    Rogers Communications Inc
    333 Bay Street East-7th floor
    Toronto, Ontario M4W 1G9
    Email him at lindpalu@rci.rogers.com

    Or chat with him at 416-935-7777 Or fax him at 416-935-3598

    Bring this up in forums, parties or anywhere else you can create
    awareness.

    Boycott Rogers Now!

    Thank you on behalf of the Friends of Super Channel.
    

SOURCE FRIENDS OF SUPER CHANNEL

For further information: For further information: Nic Wry, (780) 535-5516

Organization Profile

FRIENDS OF SUPER CHANNEL

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890