Cable must pay, says CEP

OTTAWA, Nov. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's broadcast regulator should put an end to the tiresome television wars and force cable and satellite companies to pay for the local TV stations they use, says Canada's largest media union, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP).

"The evidence is overwhelming that cable can and should pony up instead of handing its bills to cash-starved subscribers," says Peter Murdoch, Vice-President, Media. "What we need is a strong regulator - backed by the Government of Canada - to put Canadians' interests first."

In 2008, Canada's cable and satellite companies took in two-thirds of this country's TV revenues, but accounted for just 18% of all Canadian TV program expenditures. Murdoch says the CRTC should re-balance revenues in the broadcasting system by making these companies pay for the local TV stations they carry, just as they already pay for foreign signals.

"Canadians are already over taxed by cable companies drunk on profits so high that oil companies must be envious," says Murdoch. "The CRTC needs to demand that cable and satellite companies pay for what their businesses use, just like any other business."

CEP opposes the CRTC's idea that TV stations should make backroom deals with cable and satellite companies, because these deals will put profits before Canadians' desire for strong local TV stations and affordable cable.

"The fact that big cable companies are now threatening to involve the Prime Minister's Office hardly matters to average Canadians. CRTC deregulation has let cable bills skyrocket for years, and has let local TV stations close. CEP is calling on the CRTC to put Canadians first, and to regulate cable and satellite.

Murdoch will be presenting CEP's submission to the CRTC in Gatineau on Tuesday, November 24, in the afternoon.

SOURCE Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

For further information: For further information: Peter Murdoch, Vice-President - Media, (613) 230-5200, x 249, Cell: (905) 516-5720, pmurdoch@cep.ca

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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