SAT in Canada? Well, it looks like it will happen... Eventually.
TORONTO (CP) - The position of subscription radio in Canada's broadcasting landscape will be on the agenda this fall at public hearings, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission announced Thursday.
Proponents of the service - delivered to customers via satellite or ground relays - tout the advantages of being able to listen to the same station from one end of the country to the other and the ability to make more niche broadcasters available.
"Our application creates a tremendous opportunity for Canadian artists and musicians, especially those from the independent sector," Bob Mackowycz, vice-president of programming for applicant Canadian Satellite Radio, said in a news release Thursday.
He said the service would offer an opportunity for Canadian artists and musicians, "especially those from the independent sector."
Because subscription radio is a brand-new concept for the Canadian market, the CRTC hearings will consider a broad range of issues, including Canadian content requirements and what number of providers would be appropriate.
Three groups have filed applications to provide the service. They will be considered together beginning Nov. 1.
Canadian Satellite Radio is a partnership between former Toronto Raptors owner John Bitove Jr. and Washington-based XM Satellite Radio Holdings, which is already operating subscription-based satellite radio south of the border.
Also hoping to get a crack at the new service is the CBC, in partnership with XM's U.S. rival Sirius.
The third applicant is Chum Ltd., the only one of the three that is not planning a satellite-based delivery system.
The companies are proposing a range of services - from Chum's 50 Canadian channels for a $9.95 monthly rate, to Canadian Satellite Radio's offer of 101 channels (only four of which would be produced in Canada) for $12.99.
The hearings will be held in Gatineau, Que. The CRTC is asking those who wish to be a part of the process to notify them by Sept. 15.