Diversity of voicesLet me now turn to the second subject: How can we ensure a diversity of voices in a changing media landscape?In January 2008, following a wave of consolidation among broadcasters, we announced a policy to maintain a diversity of voices within the private element of the broadcasting system. This policy sets limits on the ownership of media outlets:In a large market, an entity may control a maximum of two AM and two FM radio stations in the same language. In smaller markets, an entity may control as many as three radio stations operating in the same language, with a maximum of two stations in either frequency band.For conventional television stations, the limit is one station per language in a given market.We will not permit an entity to control all three main sources of local news serving the same market: a radio station, a television station and a newspaper. At most, an entity would only be able to control two out of the three.We will generally not allow a single entity to have effective control of all TV distribution in a market.Finally, the policy provides a limit to the share of the national audience that a single broadcasting entity may control as a result of a transaction. Any transaction that would result in an entity controlling more than 45% of the national audience will not be approved. Transactions that would result in an entity controlling between 35% and 45% of the national audience will be carefully scrutinized. They will only be allowed if the Commission is convinced that they do not diminish the diversity of voices. And transactions that would result in an entity controlling less than 35% of the national audience will be approved expeditiously if there are no other concerns.Ownership consolidation is a fact of life, for both economic and technological reasons. Our media companies must be able to compete in the digital environment, where content can come from anywhere.But in spite of all the consolidation, Canadians still enjoy a rich variety of broadcast programming from public, private and community sources. Our 2008 policy, which was built on previous policies to maintain diversity, has worked well. When we applied it to the Shaw/Canwest transaction that we approved last month, for example, we found that the consolidated company would lay claim to a national audience share of less than 35%.But we cannot stand still. The rules for common ownership of radio stations are defined in terms of both FM and AM. But as you know, AM is losing market share, and it has been a long time since we had a single application for a new AM licence. The question arises: Should we still be regulating the AM market? Is there a case to be made for letting it go by way of exemption?
20 novembre 2010
Canada, il regolatore pensa alla deregulation dell'AM
Konrad von Finckenstein, chairman del regolatore canadese, la Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, interviene davanti al Comitato di presidenza di Canadian Heritage per introdurre il progetto di consultazione, a partire dal prossimo anno, sulle misure più adatte a preservare il pluralismo e il localismo nell'attuale contesto della "integrazione verticale" mediatica. Cioè la tendenza non solo della concentrazione della proprietà di media diversi in aree geografiche diverse ma anche della graduale sovrapporsi di tre ruoli un tempo ben separati: quello della produzione dei contenuti, della creazione di palinsesti (il ruolo dell'editore) e della distribuzione di palinsesti e contenuti.
E' un discorso interessante perché von Finckesteing affronta il tema della radiofonia AM/FM e pone - credo per la prima volta in Nord America - la questione della deregulation delle onde medie, un medium che sta perdendo cospicue quote di mercato e per il quale il capo della CRTC accenna a una ipotesi di "esenzione" dai vincoli di proprietà e forse di licenza, implicitamente per incoraggiare in quest'ambito l'aggregazione di risorse e la possibilità di creare comunque una massa critica commerciale.
L'intero discorso è stato pubblicato sul sito della CRTC.