Local TV subsidy to be phased out by 2014

After pressure from the major cable and phone giants, the CRTC has decided to phase out the $100 million annual TV subscriber subsidy for small market news operations.

By August 31, 2014 the programme improvement fund will be phased out, leading to the monthly charge being eliminated from monthly cable and satellite bills.

“The fund was created to ensure television stations had the resources to meet Canadians’ needs for local programming. We are satisfied with the support it has provided during a difficult economic period,” CRTC vice-chairman Leonard Katz said.

Canadian media unions have criticised the decision, as their members depend on the subsidy to remain in jobs at local TV stations that run at a loss.

“Since the CRTC has ignored repeated requests to mandate local news on TV, this decision will lead to job losses and ongoing threats of TV station closures,” said Peter Murdoch, vp of media at the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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