CBC Newsworld and Réseau de l'information de Radio-Canada must remain available to all on digital basic service

    OTTAWA, March 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Representatives of CBC/Radio-Canada today
presented their case to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
Commission (CRTC) in favour of CBC Newsworld and Réseau de l'information de
Radio-Canada's (RDI) continued carriage on basic service, after the transition
from analogue to fully digital distribution has been completed.
    "CBC Newsworld and RDI provide 24-hour news and information with a depth
of perspective that is unmatched by any other Canadian television service,
conventional or specialty," said Executive Vice-President, CBC Television,
Richard Stursberg. "Approval of their applications will ensure that the
digital basic service meets the needs of all Canadians in both official
languages - including those who don't have the means to acquire optional
    Over the coming years, cable television will be moving from analogue to
fully digital distribution, bringing with it the need for certain changes to
the regulatory environment. In anticipation of these changes, the CRTC is
considering different options for basic cable and satellite television service
in the future. CBC/Radio-Canada filed applications with the Commission to
ensure that CBC Newsworld and RDI, which are already part of the basic
analogue package, continue to be carried on digital basic and, therefore,
remain available to the greatest number of Canadians.
    CBC/Radio-Canada representatives stressed how important it is to keep
CBC Newsworld and RDI within the basic digital service for all subscribers.
"These services play an essential role in providing a Canadian perspective on
international events, in giving Canadians a window on the lives of Canadians
from all regions of the country, in serving the needs of Francophones outside
of Québec, in promoting Canada's cultural and social values, and in
contributing to a national dialogue amongst Canadians on political events that
is so important to the democratic process," said Executive Vice-President,
French Services, Sylvain Lafrance.
    The approval of CBC/Radio-Canada's application should not affect cable
and satellite subscribers' bills, as the current basic service already
includes CBC Newsworld and RDI.

    About CBC/Radio-Canada

    CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its
largest cultural institutions. With 28 services offered on Radio, Television,
the Internet, satellite radio, digital audio, as well as through its record
and music distribution service and wireless WAP and SMS messaging services,
CBC/Radio-Canada is available how, where, and when Canadians want it.
    Through this array of activities, CBC/Radio-Canada brings diverse
regional and cultural perspectives into the daily lives of Canadians in
English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, in nine languages on its
international Radio service, Radio Canada International, and in eight
languages on its Web-based Radio service RCI viva, a service for recent and
aspiring immigrants to Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Heath-Eves, Media Relations,
CBC/Radio-Canada (Ottawa), (613) 288-6235, heathevk@cbc.ca

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