Sun News changes tactics, pleads with CRTC for charity

Sun News changes tactics, pleads with CRTC for charity

We're number two: Sun News TV goes for a Class 2 licence

When last we looked, Sun News was trying to convince the CRTC that it deserved a Class 1 broadcasting licence—the kind that would require cable and satellite providers to include the channel in their basic package (it’s basically a licence to print money). The problem is that the CRTC isn’t giving those out anymore and is, in fact, taking them away from CBC News Network, CTV News and other networks that already have them. In its latest filing, Quebecor (the parent company of Sun News TV) has instead asked the CRTC for a Class 2 licence, with a special favour: it would still like the government to force cable and satellite providers to put their network on the menu, but only for three years, and subscribers wouldn’t be forced to watch it, Clockwork Orange style.

The CBC has the story:

That does not mean it wants cable and satellite companies to be forced to carry the new channel, Quebecor said, just to give viewers the choice to add it to their TV package — without any obligation to do so.

“We are interested in not being locked out of the market, but we are interested in consumer choice,” said Kory Teneycke, vice-president in charge of developing Sun TV News. “We don’t want to force anyone to have to take the channel.”

Teneycke, the former communications director for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, made the comments Wednesday as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said it would review the Sun TV News broadcast licence application at a Nov. 19 hearing.

This kind of pleading is a bit of a departure from Teneycke’s previously cocky attitude; back in July, he boasted that, regulator be damned, “We’ll get exactly what we’re asking for at the end of the day.”

We hope this reversal doesn’t take the wind out of the sails over at Sun HQ. Sure, some of Canada’s best talents have opted to stay at the CBC, and the national regulator isn’t doling out favours, but Canada needs a conservative outlet. Otherwise, Tories in this country would only have the National Post. And the Sun papers. And the PMO.

• Quebecor wants Sun TV News on cable, satellite [CBC News]
• Quebecor Not Giving Up On Application For Must-Carry Sun TV News [The Wire Report]
• Sun News TV filing [CRTC]