Canadian-dominated "basic" package essential to the future of television system: S-VOX

    TORONTO, Oct. 22 /CNW/ - Canadian television needs a mandatory "basic"
package consisting predominantly of Canadian channels to preserve the
diversity of the system, Toronto-based S-VOX Trust has told the federal
broadcast regulator.
    In a submission to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
Commission (CRTC), S-VOX called for rules to ensure that Canadian content
providers hold "pride of place" within the country's television system.
    S-VOX, which operates the analog multi-faith channel VisionTV, as well as
two digital services (One: the Body, Mind & Spirit channel and The Christian
Channel), made the submission as part of the CRTC's review of the specialty
and pay television sector. A public hearing will commence in February 2008.
    The submission follows on the heels of a proposal to the CRTC by Rogers
Communications Inc. that calls for reducing the size of the basic package.
    In its submission, S-VOX notes that the goal of the Broadcasting Act is a
television system that "promotes Canadian content and Canadian programming
services over foreign alternatives," reflects the country's bilingualism and
diversity, and responds to Canadians "as citizens as well as consumers."
    S-VOX proposes a basic package in which at least two-thirds of the
channels are owned and operated by Canadians. To be eligible for inclusion in
this basic tier, a channel must offer a minimum of 65 percent Canadian
content, and invest at least 50 percent of its revenue in Canadian
    This basic package should also include minority language services, should
deliver content for diverse audiences, and should offer educational and
community programming.
    Bill Roberts, President and CEO of S-VOX, points out that cable companies
and other broadcast distribution undertakings (BDUs) govern access to the
market, controlling distribution, packaging, pricing and channel placement.
This puts programming services at a disadvantage - particularly those smaller,
independent channels such as VisionTV that deliver, as a condition of licence,
high volumes of Canadian content.
    "We cannot rely on market forces alone to ensure that viewers enjoy
access to Canadian programming that reflects our country's diversity," Mr.
Roberts said. "The success of Canadian television over the years has been the
result of achieving a balance between market forces and a judiciously measured
degree of regulation. This is the model that will ensure that our television
system continues to thrive."

    S-VOX ( is a diversified multimedia enterprise that offers
high-quality television and digital content for individuals seeking spiritual
awareness and personal growth. S-VOX properties include: VisionTV, Canada's
multi-faith and multicultural television broadcaster, along with the digital
television services One: the Body, Mind & Spirit channel and The Christian
Channel. Other ventures include: Vision TV International, a partnership with
Toronto-based Ellis Entertainment that develops, produces and distributes
original programming for the global marketplace; and Christian Media Sales, a
product marketing and media buying company.

For further information:

For further information: David Todd, Media Relations Manager, Phone:
(416) 368-3194 ext 207, Email:

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