Saturday, August 27, 2005

Dead Air

The Cabinet panders to the Can-Con cultural industry yet again: it's pulling the plug on satellite radio.

On June 16, the broadcast regulator granted satellite radio licences to Sirius -- a consortium of the CBC and Standard Radio -- and Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR).

Sirius and CSR both plan to offer subscribers between 60 and 100 commercial-free music channels for $15 to $20 a month.The services are licensed to carry nine foreign channels for every Canadian channel.

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission also licensed CHUM and Astral to deliver pay radio via a ground-based digital network.

The decisions upset many in the Quebec artistic community, which complained that only 10 per cent of the services will be Canadian, and only 2.5 per cent will be francophone.

Appeasing the artsy-fartsy crowd in Quebec--every man Jacques of them separatist--seems to be the bizarre political strategy Paul Martin is following to bring the Liberals in Quebec back from the brink of death.

It's produced the Michaelle Jean fiasco; now it's about to stem the tide of broadcast technology in Canada for about ten minutes.

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