Canadian Satellite Radio Ruling Upheld
The Canadian government has upheld the CRTC's ruling, allowing the two satellite radio broadcasts to continue as scheduled with their introduction into the country. Sirius Canada and Canadian Satellite Radio (a partner of XM) were granted licenses in July, paving the way for satellite radio in Canada. However, an appeal led by competitors CHUM Ltd. and Astral Media Inc. claimed that the CRTC did not require enough Canadian-based programming from the new licensees.
A federal cabinet committee met for over two hours on Friday (9/9) and opted to reject the appeal. Friends Of Canadian Broadcasting head Ian Morrison spoke to The Globe And Mail, calling it "a sad day for Canadian content" and predicting that terrestrial broadcasters will now ask to cut their required amount of Canadian programming to keep up with the satcasters.
"Having listened and responded to the concerns expressed over the recent weeks, we are confident that we will be bringing a stronger product to market, a product that meets the unique needs of Canadian listeners, and artists," said Sirius Canada President/CEO Kevin Shea.
The satcasters are required to have at least 10 percent of their channels produced in Canada, with at least 85 percent of those channels' programming also Canadian. Also, at least 25 percent of the Canadian channels must be French-speaking.