Thursday, October 8, 2009


It’s war between the cable companies and the TV operations – and local stations in particular – who produce so much of the content they carry. We’ve been hearing about this issue for a while, with some ads previously in play and a fair amount of media coverage around recent CRTC hearings on the “fee for carriage” issue, as it’s known. At issue is a call for compensation by TV outlets for the local news and other programming they generate, which is in turn made available by the cable companies as part of their offerings. The TV folks say with the collapse in ad revenues with which they’ve been hit, the free programming ride has to end for the cable operators, pointing to the recent demise of a Brandon, Manitoba TV station and noting that 20-30 other local outlets across the country are also on shaky financial ground. To amp up their message, the TV operators held a mass news conference Thursday at CTV’s Queen Street HQ, supplementing their argument with the release of new commercials plus the capper – a music video by Dave Carroll. He’s the Nova Scotia singer-songwriter who recently rocketed to viral fame after his internet video “United Breaks Guitars” became an online sensation. Getting media coverage for an issue which directly impacts media is obviously not among the greatest of challenges, but by supplementing the issue talk with the integrated paid ads AND the buzz-worthy music video (already making the social media rounds), it’s a Touchdown.

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