Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Shaw "extremely disappointed" he can't bring U.S.A. to CAN

Shaw Communications disappointed with CRTC denial of access to USA Network

CALGARY - Cable TV company Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B) says it's "extremely disappointed" with the federal regulator's decision to deny access to the USA Network, the major basic cable programming service in United States.

"The CRTC is continuing on a path of protectionism for the benefit of certain Canadian programmers at the expense of Canadian television customers," Peter Bissonnette, president of Shaw Communications, said Tuesday.

"Shaw strongly believes that Canadians deserve access to the best national and international sources of programming - that is what the Broadcasting Act promises."

In January, Shaw applied to add USA Network to the lists of non-Canadian services that Canadians are allowed to receive. The CRTC turned down the application on Sept. 19, citing the need to protect the niche Canadian digital service Mystery TV, which airs three of the same programs.

Shaw said CanWest Global (TSX:CGS), which owns Mystery TV with TVA, acknowledged in its intervention on the issue that "USA Network is truly a general-interest service. It does not limit itself to any one particular genre but is rather a leading provider of original series, off-network television shows, sports events and blockbuster theatrical events."

The CRTC's decision "is particularly surprising given its statements in recent speeches and proceedings about the need to focus on consumers and respond to the challenges of black market satellite, the Internet and other new technologies," Shaw said in a release.

Shaw Communications is a diversified communications firm with 577,000 kilometres of fibre, whose core business is providing broadband cable TV, high-speed Internet, digital phone, telecommunications services and satellite direct-to-home services through Star Choice.

On the Toronto stock market Tuesday, Shaw shares rose 15 cents to close at $25.25.

No comments:

Add to Technorati Favorites