Cogeco Câble inc.
TSX : CCA

Cogeco Câble inc.

March 22, 2010 18:54 ET

Consumers to Pay More Under New Value-For-Signal Regimen Barring Court of Appeal Reversal

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 22, 2010) - In reference to today's decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to establish a new value-for-signal regime for private conventional TV broadcasters, Cogeco Cable Inc. (TSX:CCA) reiterates its position that the proposal provides no solution and will ultimately see consumers footing the bill. Cogeco Cable, as the regulator itself, questions the CRTC's authority to implement such a regime. Cogeco Cable intends to be a party to Federal Court of Appeal proceedings on this matter.  

"Canadians would gain nothing with this proposal, which would eventually force them to pay more for TV from conventional broadcasters with no assurance of improved quality or quantity of content," stated Yves Mayrand, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs of Cogeco Cable.

Such a proposal is blatantly unfair since it would allow private conventional TV broadcasters to collect a fee for their programming when viewed on cable or satellite systems, while it is available free of charge to all Canadians over the air and, increasingly, via the Internet.

"In our opinion, the CRTC has no authority to establish new intellectual property rights. That is the role of government and elected officials. As a result, we intend to be a party to Federal Court of Appeal proceedings regarding the CRTC's jurisdiction in this matter," added Mr. Mayrand.

In Cogeco Cable's assessment, the CRTC proposal fails to solve the conventional broadcasting industry's real problem: excessive spending on major network programming from U.S. studios and networks. This is confirmed by the CRTC's March 18, 2010 statistical report on the financial results of the conventional TV broadcasting industry, which indicates that these expenditures reached unparalleled heights in 2009, accounting for nearly two thirds of all spending on programming by Canadian conventional TV networks.

The Canadian TV broadcast industry already receives significant subsidies, including over $102 million under the Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF), to be maintained by the CRTC, in addition to nearly $300 million under the Canada Media Fund for the production of Canadian programming.

ABOUT COGECO CABLE

Cogeco Cable (www.cogeco.ca) is a telecommunications company and is the second largest cable operator in Ontario, Québec and Portugal, in terms of the number of Basic Cable service customers served. Through its two-way broadband cable networks, Cogeco Cable provides its residential customers with Audio, Analogue and Digital Television, as well as HSI and Telephony services. Cogeco Cable also provides, to its commercial customers, data networking, e-business applications, video conferencing, hosting services, Ethernet, private line, VoIP, HSI access, dark fibre, data storage, data security and co-location services and other advanced communication solutions. Cogeco Cable's subordinate voting shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: CCA).

Contact Information

  • Cogeco Cable
    Marie Carrier
    Director, Corporate Communications
    514-764-4700