Corus defends OWN Canada before CRTC hearing

Corus Entertainment has defended Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Canada network before the CRTC and argued that they will make sure it meets the terms of its license.

“You have our unequivocal commitment that with greater clarity of the parameters of Category 5(a) programming, Corus will ensure that Oprah Winfrey Network Canada is 100% compliant with its nature of service,” Corus CEO John Cassaday said a the hearing.

The CRTC had threatened to pull the license from Corus for OWN Canada due to the lack of educational TV content they were showing, with more emphasis being placed on entertainment.

Corus promised to gain a better understanding of what the CRTC considers educational content and said they would focus on two new series that show “clear learning objectives” for OWN going forward.

“They… represent significant new investments in a category of programming that has seen little if any such investment by anyone else in the last two decades,” John MacDonald, VP of television and head of programming and production at Corus.

The new content will include “online component that will provide clear learning and instructional opportunities for the viewers. Subject experts in their fields will provide viewers with concrete opportunities to acquire useful and relevant knowledge.”

“The commission has called Corus to this public hearing to discuss its apparent ongoing non-compliance in further detail,” Marc Patrone, a CRTC commissioner said.

“We expect Corus to show cause as to why a mandatory order should not be issued requiring the licensee to comply with its conditions of license, and its license should not be suspended or revoked.”

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