Facts a moving target in Local TV Matters press conference

    Coalition of broadcasters present biased, inaccurate information in

TORONTO, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - Members of the Local TV Matters coalition held a press conference today to outline their numerous complaints about the TV Tax debate. Claiming they were not asking for a new fee, the broadcasters promoted their campaign that would result in a TV Tax of up to $10 per month on cable and satellite bills.

There are numerous important facts, however, that the Big Networks did not tell Canadians today:

The Big Networks Said:

Cable and satellite providers paid $300 million annually for US television.

They didn't say:

Cable and satellite providers pay seven times that amount - $1.9 billion - to Canadian networks. When it comes to programming, CTV alone spent $355 million on American programming compared to just $230 million on Canadian programming in 2008.

The Big Networks Said:

Cable and satellite providers are stealing broadcasters' signals.

They didn't say:

Cable and satellite distributors provide countless benefits to the big networks.

Just one of those, simultaneous substitution of Canadian ads, contributes more than $300 million dollars to their bottom line. In addition, the cable and satellite companies collect $102 million of the CRTC-mandated LPIF fee on their behalf.

But the largest advantage provided free of charge to broadcasters by cable and satellite distributors is the rebroadcasting of their over-the-air signals which provides local TV advertisers with no less than 92% of their viewing audience. Thus, their largest revenue stream is provided almost entirely by cable and satellite distribution.

The Big Networks Said:

In the United States, the government allowed broadcasters to negotiate carriage fees.

They didn't say:

Canadian distributors are required by regulation to carry local stations in their basic cable or satellite packages. This means that your local television provider has to carry these signals and provide prime dial allocations to the full suite of local TV stations. The revenue generated from this rule benefits broadcasters, and only broadcasters. While no such rule exists in the United States, the Local TV Matters coalition didn't bother to draw that distinction.

The Big Networks Said:

Advertising revenues are 'in decline' and 'not likely to recover'

They didn't say:

Even broadcasting moguls say that their business is rebounding. Just this week Canwest CEO Leonard Asper said, "our television business alone generates hundreds of millions of dollars in operating profits, so we have a successful business," adding that "advertising markets are going to come back." If Canwest is so optimistic, why so much doom and gloom from Local TV Matters?

SOURCE Rogers Communications Inc.

For further information: For further information: Jan Innes, Rogers Communications Inc., Jan.innes@stopthetvtax.ca, (416) 935-3525; Jacqueline Michelis, Bell Media Relations, jacqueline.michelis@bell.ca, (613) 685-1427, 1-888-482-0809

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