Friday, October 23, 2009

VERITAS: TOUCHDOWN - CTV'S STRATEGIC SPECULATION


Bill Walker is giving Premier Dalton McGuinty a Touchdown in the space opposite for not speculating this week … I’m giving the same to CTV for doing the exact opposite. Contradictory? Only if you fail to recognize that for every rule there is an exception, and this one demonstrates it. The general rule is that spontaneous speculation about “what if?” scenarios is usually a recipe for disaster. The exception is when that speculation is deliberate and strategic – usually in the form of the highly-effective “doomsday scenario.” CTV and the other major broadcasters are continuing their outstanding PR offensive against the cable companies, complaining that the cable giants take their broadcast signals for free and then sell them to subscribers as part of their cable packages, making huge profits as a result. For their part, the cable companies say their unsubsidized investment in cable system infrastructure has led to increased viewership and, as a direct result, higher ad rates for the broadcasters. But back to CTV specifically, who, during an editorial board meeting with the Toronto Sun (editorial boards are an excellent communications tactic to highlight and explain positioning on an issue), said that “there is an absolute real risk 10 (CTV) stations in Ontario could be shut down” unless the cable companies start paying for their broadcast programming. It’s a hypothetical situation in the one sense – but also a clear and present danger in CTV’s view – and by deliberately postulating that scenario, they are amplifying their message in powerful and tangible terms.

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