Mayor to declare May 23 'Save Local Television Day'
Published Friday, May 22, 2009 5:35PM EDT
The acting mayor of the City of Ottawa is set to proclaim May 23 as "Save Local Television Day" on Saturday, as two of the city's local TV stations hold open houses in a campaign to save their stations.
"By coming together as one united voice on Save Local Television Day, we can show our support for our local television stations, who have been long-term valued contributors to Ottawa's culture," Acting Mayor Michel Bellemare said in a media release issued on Friday.
Canadian broadcasters are currently at odds with the CRTC over their ability to develop new revenue streams to support local programming.
CTVglobemedia and Canwest Global have said they would like to charge cable and satellite companies for carrying their channels, as is done with specialty channels.
To protect consumers, CTV is calling for a review of how cable and satellite companies bundle and bill consumers for the TV channels they choose.
It is estimated that the so called 'fee for carriage' would boost broadcasters' revenues by about $300 million.
However, Canada's largest cable and satellite companies have filed a formal complaint to the CRTC over CTV's "Save Local TV" campaign.
Phil Lind, vice chairman of Rogers Communications Inc., says the campaign violates the Broadcasting Act because it's "unbalanced" and violates respected journalistic principles.
However, CTV says the campaign is in full compliance of federal regulations and the network is overwhelmed by the response it's getting from viewers.