The Zoomer Philosophy Volume 2
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/pol/ - >tfw you realize you're a brainlet
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As a small BDU, one that is relatively new to the industry, we cannot afford to absorb major cost increases and would be forced to pass them on to our subscribers. This could take the form of pressure to include certain services in basic or a requirement to distribute less successful programming services as a condition of obtaining access to high demand services, even to the extent of demanding that the BDU's customers must subscribe to certain less popular specialty services in order to subscribe to more popular ones. Once BCE's acquisition of CTV is complete, the English-language broadcasting market will be dominated by three vertically integrated entities that control both Canadian broadcast content and the means to distribute them.
In this instance it is incumbent on the Commission to safeguard customer choice by ensuring that the rules that will apply to CTV post-acquisition do not allow the large vertically integrated BDU to marginalize smaller non-integrated players in both traditional and new media broadcasting markets. You feel that you are at a disadvantage, et cetera. But you are very thin on specifics. One is more transparency in terms of negotiation and a cap on wholesale rate.
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What you suggest in paragraph 7 nobody disputes there is an issue, but when you say provide a safeguard, how do you do that without regulating the whole industry? So we have actually no visibility into that and no leverage in the negotiation. I mean surely the rate depends very much on the program services, its popularity and all of this.
And how -- let's say, for instance, TSN right now is no longer Category A and you want us to set a cap, how would you go about setting a cap for it? Like there is a legitimate reason for raising the rate and then what you are suggesting is there is a commercial reason just based on the popularity of the station. There would have to be some recognition that, of course, programming costs are going up, but it is not really just a question of purely extracting everything you could or actually excluding certain distributors from that market.
Only a few because you did answer a couple.
I was going to go through the Cogeco proposed safeguards and ask you if you agreed with them, but I see that you do. So that is a good thing. In fact, it is funding that goes to the producers. Then that is a discussion we can have. That is what we were arguing, is that that should go -- we should be allowed to use that money to fund our community channel and provide, you know, additional local content. That is to say if this transaction had not occurred, if the Shaw-Canwest transaction had not occurred, would this still be your position?
So there needs to be safeguards really to make sure that doesn't happen. Thank you very much for your presentation. John Rae from the Toronto Regional Office. He is by videoconference. RAE: I can hear you. Can you hear me in turn?
It is very echo-y coming back here. Oh, that's better. Rae, so whenever you are ready, you may proceed with your minute presentation. Chairman, Commissioners, thank you for the opportunity to appear and I particularly thank the Commission for making it possible for me to present from here in Toronto.
That helps me a lot, so I appreciate that very much. So I suspect we will get to know each other fairly well this year. Maybe next time I will be there in person. I hope so. Some would call that disparate outcome, some would call that unequal treatment, and I am going to call it what it is, discrimination. And yes, disabled people around the world, we have a history. Yes, we do. It is not as well documented as I wish it was, but I assure you we have a history. Despite medical research, our numbers are growing. Thus, what we are seeking ought to be as important to you as it is to us.
In fact, strange and surprising though it may sound, the marketplace is creating some new barriers. Yes, believe it or not, new barriers. No, guess not. I tried. So since I can't coax an accessibility genie out of this bottle, here we are looking to you. The Charter of Rights took effect in the eighties. And recently, of course, Canada became a full -- signed and more recently ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Stop blaming us.
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It is as a result of work that they have failed to do over the years. We want full access and the full benefit of, in this case, the broadcasting industry. I realize that is a position the Commission has taken, but it just makes no sense to me. We believe it should be percent. Of course, it will come incrementally, but even ten years is a long time. We can accept ten years, but nothing longer. Even ten years is a long time. That may be a new term for you. We do not see ourselves as just one more group of stakeholders, which many are fond of lumping all together into one group.
I'm sorry, but we are rights holders. That is to say, we are consumers, we know best what we need, and we should have a pre-eminent role in participating in helping to make that happen. Of course, in the area of economics, we find that the trickle down trickles up. It doesn't trickle up, it races up.
There is a greater concentration by the rich than ever before, and this notion of a stream trickling down -- it does trickle down some. It has trickled down to some within the disabled community, but for the most part the stream and the trickle seem unable to find our community. I presume that you know about that and you support that request? RAE: I am aware of it, and we fully support it.
I had hoped to be able to hear their presentation this morning over the computer, but it didn't work for me. I read over the submission by -- I guess it was signed by Mr. You have identified a number of areas where you are looking for improvement, if I could use that word liberally. We can only put in conditions of licence at licence renewal time, so it is our intent to follow up on the issues that you have identified here, and some of the other ones following another decision that, quite frankly, you didn't identify, and ask them where they stand on meeting those conditions, ultimately with the ability to impose upon their licence conditions their obligation, distinct and clear; rather than an expectation, but an actual mandate.
I have not looked, but I would imagine that Media Access Canada has already registered for that proceeding, and you certainly are welcome to do that as well, either as part of their organization or separately. The reporting and the accountability will all be dealt with in that hearing. RAE: We participated in the unresolved hearing process and appreciated what the Commission decided, but we don't think it went nearly far enough. That's why we now have to appear -- and we wish we didn't, because it is difficult for a group as small as ours to do this.
We are aware of the upcoming licence renewals, and we anticipate participating, but this was an opportunity to remind the Commission of what we are looking for, so we took this opportunity.
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Clearly, they are not happening as fast as you and others would like, or as we would like, but they are moving in the right direction, I believe. RAE: Excuse my scepticism, but in the disability field a lot of organizations talk a lot, and a lot of those same organizations are not nearly as good at walking the walk as they are at talking the talk. Otherwise, we are going to have to see them at the Human Rights Commission. They have failed to advance our circumstance either far enough or fast enough, and we are tired of being left on the margins.
That still is a good phrase. That phrase was enunciated way back in , and we are still waiting and fighting for it.
Lowry, when you are ready, you may proceed with your minute presentation. Chairman, Madam Vice-Chair, and Commissioners, when I realized that I had to rewrite my talk for today, based on the benefits package that was introduced yesterday, I realized that I would also be remiss if I did not explain my background. I think you should know where people are coming from and why they are here. I know that shows my age, but I have been around for a while. I have producer credits on some television programs, and a film that I am very proud of, but my first love was writing, and it led to a career in communications.
I worked with large companies, mainly in the high technology and business fields. Clients such as Sony and Xerox were pleased to find that I could take their technologies and explain them to business experts and to business buyers.