On September 5, Videotron proposed to the CRTC that it be allowed to spend between $6 and $10 million to fund a second community TV channel for Montreal, to be programmed exclusively in English. The money would be taken from the Canada Media Fund, which is used by independent professional producers to fund high-quality drama and documentaries… programs like Murdoch Myseteries, Rookie Blue, and the Listener.

The channel would be called MYtv, a clone to Videotron’s existing MAtv service. The company is currently in violation of its licence requirements to “reflect the official languages, ethnic and Aboriginal composition of the community” with the exclusively French MAtv service.

The professional production community is naturally concerned, given that the new channel would drain scarce resources that would otherwise have supported the production of programming that could be seen nation-wide.

A citizen group has proposed a third solution, that would meet the needs of both Montreal’s minority communities AND the professional production community. The group, calling itself the Steering Committee for an Independent Community Channel (ICTV) for Montreal, wants to challenge Videotron for its basic licence to administer the community channel. Current CRTC policy states that if a cable company is not meeting its licence requirements, a community-based undertaking can have it, along with the 2% of that cable company’s revenues from the licence area to support it.

For more information, see full press release from the Steering Committee for ICTV.

To see the letter written by the Steering Committee for ICTV Montreal to the CRTC (requesting a 60-day delay for the Steering Committee to develop a full application), click here.

To see the appendix to the Steering Committee’s letter, summarizing the advantages of an independent model for community TV in Montreal, click here.

To see all the interventions on this issue that have been posted so far (sometimes it takes a few days for CRTC staff to get them all posted) click here

Reprinted from: http://cactus.independentmedia.ca/node/622