Citizen Group Challenges Videotron for Community TV Licence in Montreal

On September 5th, 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 Steering Committee for an Independent Community Channel (ICTV) for Montreal, is challenging 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.

Click here to see ICTV's complaint against Videotron, and licence application (scroll down the list of Part 1 applications until you find 2013-1746-2 and double-click it).

ICTV Application

A zip file will open on your computer showing a list of documents.

The key one (containing the complaint against Videotron and the description of ICTV's vision for community media in Montreal) is in the document called:

DM#2058002 - 2013-1746-2 - APP - DOC5-Rev - Appendix 1A - Supplementary Brief - ICTV-TVCI Montreal

If you live in the Montreal area and would like to support ICTV's application (and corroborate the fact that Videotron is in non-compliance with its MAtv licence), please contact CACTUS at (819) 772-2862.

ICTV's application has been garnering a lot of press. To read it, click Community TV in the News on the navigation bar to the left.