R we over/under regulated?

R we over/under regulated?

Postby Jack Bennest » Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:51 am

It would seem from this article below canada regulates who gets the wealth in broadcasting but does not regulate the content and complaints.

Is that good or bad? The americans are more free enterprise right? So why do they regulatute and control more?




Got a complaint, don't call the CRTC!
Friday, 12 September 2008

In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is the federal agency responsible for regulating Canada's broadcasting and telecommunications systems.

Despite having complete control over which television and radio stations receive licenses and having god-like powers over how cable, satellite radio and television, and telephone companies operate, the CRTC refuses to deal with Canadian consumers who have complaints about how these organizations operate.



Radio and Television
For example, if a Canadian television viewer sees or hears something they deem offensive on the CBC, Global or CBC television network, such as the use of the F-word or perhaps a "wardrobe malfunction", they can try to lodge a complaint with the government regulator but they will be rebuffed.

It seems the CRTC would prefer to legislate from on high rather than actually dirty their hands with the details of Canadian Radio and Television.

So if a Canadian sees or hear something offensive on a Canadian Radio or television station in Canada, the CRTC will simply refer their complaint to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for resolution.

Despite the official sounding name, The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) is not a government agency. The CBSC is an industry trade group whose funding is paid for by more than 600 private sector radio and television stations across Canada.

So not only does the CRTC not investigate complaints about what is broadcast on Canadian airwaves but it turns over the complaints to the Radio and Television stations themselves. It seems the wolves are guarding the henhouse.

Contrast that with the United States where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) responds to consumer’s inquiries and complaints through its own Consumer & Governmental Affairs (CGB) bureau.

To show how this plays out in the real world consider the use of the F-Word. In the United States, the use of the word "fuck" on a national network show during primetime would result in the station being fined $250,000. In Canada, when the word "fuck" was used on-air during a Junior Hockey broadcast watched by millions of kids, the CBSC required TSN to simply issue an on-air apology. The station was not fined and no employees were sanctioned and/or fined.

More recently in a segment on Gilles Proulx's Le journal du midi broadcast on CHMP-FM in Montreal, the host repeatedly used the epithet "Fuck you", and referred to Montreal firefighters as "terrorists." Despite complaints from firefighters, the CRTC refused to get involve and turned the issue over the CBSC. The result was the station, which contributes to the operation of CBSC, suffered no financial penalty, the on-air personality suffered no financial penalty and neither the station nor the on-air personality was required to formally apologize to the firefighters.

Telecommunications
Not surprisingly, Canadians who have a beef with their local telephone or wireless company are also ignored by the federal agency responsible for regulating Canada's broadcasting and telecommunications systems.

If Canadian consumers have a complaint about customer terms and commitments, the unauthorized transfer of their service (a practice known as slamming), or such things as system access feeds or network fees, the CRTC will refer you to the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS).

Once again, despite the official sounding name, the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) is not a government agency, rather it’s a corporation funded by the following companies:


Bell Aliant Regional Communications LP
Bell Canada
Cityfone
Cogeco Cable Canada Inc.
Distributel Communications
Eastlink
MTS Allstream Inc.
NorthwesTel Inc.
Northern Tel
Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc.
Rogers Communications Inc.
Saskatchewan Telecommunications
Télébec
Telus Communications Company
Videotron Ltd.
Virgin Mobile Canada
Vonage Canada Corporation

In other words, the organization overseeing complaints against the telecommunications industry are the telephone companies themselves.
User avatar
Jack Bennest
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 4618
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 8:25 pm

Postby PMC » Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:22 am

The broadcast industry in this country does not need the `american way'.

All the noise about a breast appearing on television in the U.S. was totally absurd. A natural body part that everyone has, either male or female, is not something to get their ass in a knot about.... btw I have seen males with larger breasts than that, and they walk the streets of fatty america... the entire display was nothing more than promotional hype that could have easily been forgotten in the short term memory of most viewers.

As for the use of the F word on that radio station, the jock and management will not walk away free... advertisers will walk, the CRTC gets to renew that stations licence and will deal with it then, and the jock is a fool that will get his karma as others here, have stated.

Why do americans control more, simply because they can. Should they... the average american still believes that Sadam Hussein is responsible for 9/11 so the intellect level allows the control to be expanded as deemed by the bureaucrats.

As for the article itself, it would seem to have been written by someone that has never worked in the industry, and is simply trying to generate noise without checking the facts.

My experience with the various telecoms in this country tells me, the people that work for these companies are what counts... I don't blame the telecoms because telemarketers invade my privacy, I blame the companies that do telemarketing... there is a big difference. Most Canadians can see/understand the difference... the same does not apply south of the border.
User avatar
PMC
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1415
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 11:22 pm
Location: Comox Valley

Postby skyvalleyradio » Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:38 am

To me, it's hard to compare radio & TV regs vs the big Telecomm conglomerates. Access to broadcasting is free, whereas Telecomm services are 'user-pay'

I think aspects of broadcasting regs are overkill. As has been discussed numerous times here, CANCON regs have outlived their usefulness in today's multi-platform media. There appears to be no even-handed handling of complaints, particularly regarding profanity. Profanity can be heard with regularity at many campus/comm FM's on a regular basis and DO garner listener complaints to the CSBC. In particular I will single out CHLY Nanaimo as an example. There were some bitter and heated arguments amongst volunteer DJs, management and board members about usage of the word 'fuck' . Many, such as myself were adamantly opposed to it's usage on air, but the argument was won by those who demanded the freedom to say it. There were complaints from listeners, but no punitive action was taken by the CRTC (or CSBC) and the issue certainly wasn't brought up at CHLY's recent license renewal. Other campus/comm FM's also seem to get away with this.

The Telecomms however, need MORE regulation as opposed to less IMO. Again, discussions here and elsewhere indicate price gouging, poor provision of service, poor tech support of these companies. As a regular reader of Internet lawyer/activist Michael Geist's daily blog, I have kept abreast of the sleazy tactics these companies engage in such as bandwidth throttling, 'Net Neutrality, ad insertion and ISP interference in users access to websites and reduction in service without price adjustments. The CCTS - like the Broadcast Standards Council is a joke. I attempted to lodge a complaint against Telus for elimination of Usenet Newsgroup access without a price reduction for ISP service. The CCTS accepted my complaint and after a thoroughly insulting and aggrovating "stale-mate" argument with a Telus service rep for over 30 min, The CCTS informs me that the "fine-print" in the Telus user agreement allows them to change the service provision agreement. Sorry for rambling on, but my little tale is told to illustrate the futility in lodging complaints against the Telecomms.
User avatar
skyvalleyradio
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1097
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:16 pm
Location: The Goofy Islands

Postby jon » Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:42 am

I think there is also the issue of Regulation v.s. Enforcement. It is a topic for a discussion of a more broad scope, but Canada is burdened with a majority of Laws that are not fully enforced.

I recently read a CRTC decision that kind of fit into the trivia category. Until a friend pointed out what it says in Oh, So Clear terms when you step back a few paces: the Big Guys get away with a lot, while the Little Guys get stepped on good and hard by the CRTC.

For example, nothing much happens when a change in Ownership occurs before CRTC approval. Or a CRTC complaint is received about CanCon violations by one of the biggest stations, owned by one of the biggest owners, in the Country.

But relatively minor violations will see a loss of license, or forced ownership change, for CFAR Flin Flon. Take a look at their recent short-term license renewal at http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Decis ... 08-149.htm

And this is not an isolated incident. I recall another incident where an independent owner was virtually forced to have one of the big boys come in and get his logger tapes working properly. Next thing you know, the big boy buys the station.
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9091
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Postby skyvalleyradio » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:02 am

jon wrote:

" Or a CRTC complaint is received about CanCon violations by one of the biggest stations, owned by one of the biggest owners, in the Country. "

Campus/comm FM's regularly get their asses kicked for even he smallest of CANCRAP (thanks, Mike) violations and are often punished by the CRTC for this resulting in short-term license renewals
User avatar
skyvalleyradio
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1097
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:16 pm
Location: The Goofy Islands

Postby Mike Cleaver » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:03 am

We are always told here in Canada that the airwaves belong to the public and certain individuals are given stewardship of these frequencies to serve said public.
What a crock of bs!
Licenses are given out to those who make the best presentations in the song and dance before the CRTC commissioners and those who promise the most CANCRAP and the biggest donations to loser "artists."
How is the interest of the public served by a 50 thousand watt station that does nothing but broadcast traffic reports when a much better service is provided by a competitor?
How are we being served by several stations playing exactly the same music tracks over and over again?
How are we being served by stations that cut news programming and local talk shows in favour of networked crap from elsewhere?
People don't listen because there's nothing there.
It's much easier to find what you want on the net, then load up the mp3 player and listen to it when you want.
Mike Cleaver Broadcast Services
Engineering, News, Voice work and Consulting
Vancouver, BC, Canada

54 years experience at some of Canada's Premier Broadcasting Stations
User avatar
Mike Cleaver
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:56 pm
Location: Vancouver

Postby PMC » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:03 am

I want to add a little more to the above.

Last night I watched Bill Moyers Journal... I love PBS, and his show last night was about Shock Jocks and the impact it causes on the intellect level of America...it is a brilliant piece of work, that unfortunately will not be seen by most americans since PBS does not have the market of the big three.

Watch the show via the net... any canuck broadcaster will be impressed with the presentation of the legitimate facts given.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/09122008/watch.html
User avatar
PMC
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1415
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 11:22 pm
Location: Comox Valley

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:09 am

PBS also had superb coverage of both the Dem and G.O.P. national conventions a week or so ago. Some of the other networks (Ahem, FOX, ahem) gave it more of an Entertainment Tonite treatment.
"You don't know man! I was in radio man! I've seen things you wouldn't believe!"
User avatar
Neumann Sennheiser
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1139
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:43 pm
Location: Port Ludlow, Washington, USA

Postby PMC » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:28 am

Mike Cleaver wrote:How are we being served by several stations playing exactly the same music tracks over and over again?

How about blaming lazy music directors that buy music packages to get all the work done for them by someone else...

Mike Cleaver wrote:How are we being served by stations that cut news programming and local talk shows in favour of networked crap from elsewhere?

I would say two things, profit and spreading a general view... I don't agree with cutting local content ! [/quote]

Mike Cleaver wrote:People don't listen because there's nothing there. It's much easier to find what you want on the net, then load up the mp3 player and listen to it when you want.

People do watch/listen to local news.... the net is however becoming more of a source for music and video because of the budget cuts. The impact of local radio and television is still there... I always watch A-Channel in Victoria because I know I am getting real local news of Vancouver Island, that a network bird feed out of Montreal or Toronto is not going to supply.

If there is anything that local broadcast outlets need to do, that is to promote themselves alot more within the community and A-Channel in Victoria is a good example of how to do it.
User avatar
PMC
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1415
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 11:22 pm
Location: Comox Valley

Postby skyvalleyradio » Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:05 am

A-Channel is one one of two exceptions - the other being CFAX 1070 which has a web stream for listeners outside of the reach of the AM signal. Other than that, good luck trying to get any local news on 'the big island' or the Goofy Islands.

To add to all of this, I can truly say, "Broadcasters, the kids have tuned you out!" (I'm betting PMC will back me on this one!) My yellow & black mobile music testing facility for 5 - 18 year olds has demonstrated to me how irrelevant radio is to this age group. There are still a few students that don't have iPods and they HATE the radio as do I. The old '92 Bluebird has a '92 state-of-the-art sound system: AM/FM/cassette unit which we're stuck with. So...the mechanic kindly installed a lighter/accessory socket to run a small FM transmitter that we can connect to the headphone jack of our mp3 music players. Now, there's a different music mix every trip! Count another 150 teens & pre-teens that no longer listen to morning & afternoon drive radio!
User avatar
skyvalleyradio
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1097
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:16 pm
Location: The Goofy Islands

Postby PMC » Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:24 am

jon wrote:But relatively minor violations will see a loss of license, or forced ownership change, for CFAR Flin Flon. Take a look at their recent short-term license renewal at http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Decis ... 08-149.htm

And this is not an isolated incident. I recall another incident where an independent owner was virtually forced to have one of the big boys come in and get his logger tapes working properly. Next thing you know, the big boy buys the station.


I read this, and the CRTC was fair. It acknowledged that there are issues that the station needs to deal with and that market forces are difficult.

As for similar stations being bought up, if you want to have a radio station then you should have the bucks to play with, or sell it to someone that does. There is nothing wrong with CFAR taking on a partner etc. if it will give them the capital to operate as they should.

Skyvalley has shown us that one can do things if one has the perspective of doing it :)
User avatar
PMC
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1415
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 11:22 pm
Location: Comox Valley

Postby PMC » Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:37 am

skyvalleyradio wrote:To add to all of this, I can truly say, "Broadcasters, the kids have tuned you out!" (I'm betting PMC will back me on this one!)


The kids have tuned out... and there are many reasons why... a 15 year old told me the other day, he doesn't believe any of what he hears on the radio or tv anymore because of the content by people that slam others and are hypocrites in their values... he is aware that repeat air play is only done to get money, rather than for the talent.

Today's broadcaster needs to see that the education system is creating bright kids that have the ability to discern what is true and what is an illusion.
User avatar
PMC
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1415
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 11:22 pm
Location: Comox Valley

Postby skyvalleyradio » Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:51 pm

These bright young kids have an amazing sophistication in their musical genre preferences, often liking a very wide range of music. They are also fairly tolerant when listening to musical genres that aren't their favourites. I credit this musical knowledge largely to iPod usage, webcasts, and trading music amongst themselves. Radio only plays a role with the very young kids whose parents know better than to buy them iPods which will get lost, stolen or broken quickly. Like PMC, I too have heard kids of various ages stating that they have a big distrust of what is fed to them via radio & TV. Kids as young as 11 have told me the music they hear on the radio is totally controlled & that adults have NO idea what they REALLY listen to.

From this I draw two conclusions about radio's future: either give up on the kids and keep programming focused to those 30+ in age OR get serious about aiming programming to attract these younger listeners which I think is a lost cause at this point
User avatar
skyvalleyradio
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1097
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:16 pm
Location: The Goofy Islands

Postby cart_machine » Sat Sep 13, 2008 7:31 pm

PMC wrote:Today's broadcaster needs to see that the education system is creating bright kids that have the ability to discern what is true and what is an illusion.


Now they could only discern what is true spelling and what isn't.

cArtie.
User avatar
cart_machine
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1580
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 11:52 am
Location: The Past

Postby cart_machine » Sat Sep 13, 2008 7:37 pm

skyvalleyradio wrote:These bright young kids have an amazing sophistication in their musical genre preferences, often liking a very wide range of music.


But are they different than a lot of other people, Sky? I listen to real old stuff (20s and 30s) but enjoy a fairly wide array of styles of music.

In olden days, you'd have full-service stations with block programming where you'd get that sort of thing. But radio doesn't programme that way now. Stations feel listeners want to know exactly what kind of music they'll hear whenever they feel like tuning in, and playing more than one type of music would be confusing (and it's easier selling one format than a bunch of them).

cArtie.
User avatar
cart_machine
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1580
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 11:52 am
Location: The Past

Next

Return to BC Radio History quizzes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest