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CRTC issues call for multi-lingual, multi-ethnic television channel

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The Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC) aims to capitalize on Canada’s diversity with a new call for applications for a channel aimed at delivering news and informational programming to Canada’s third-language citizens.

According to the CRTC’s official broadcasting notice of consultation, the governing body responsible for Canada’s radio and television services issued a call for applications from “persons wishing to operate a national, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic television service.”

The new channel would receive distribution on the “digital basic service,” meaning it would be available to all Canadians, regardless of a cable subscription.

The call for applications is in direct response to a motion filed by Rogers Media for a “broadcasting license to operate a national, multilingual multi-ethnic discretionary service to be known as OMNI Regional.”

Rogers’s application for OMNI Regional was granted for an interim three-year-period.

“By approving the licensing and mandatory distribution of OMNI Regional, we are addressing a pressing need,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman and CEO of the CRTC, in a media release.

However, the CRTC is concerned that OMNI Regional will not fully meet the Commission’s expectations as outlined in section three of the Broadcasting Act, which states that the CRTC is responsible for serving and reflecting the circumstances of Canadians, “including equal rights, the linguistic duality and multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society and the special place of aboriginal peoples within that society.”

“Our standards for nationwide mandatory distribution are high,” said Blais, in the same release. “Rogers will have to remedy the shortcomings of their OMNI service and compete with other applicants to have the privilege of reaching Canadians across the country.”

Rogers submitted its application for OMNI Regional as part of the media corporation’s license renewal application.

The deadline for applications is Aug. 18th, 2017. All applicants are expected to meet the CRTC’s regulations, as well as the expectations outlined in the Broadcasting Act.

Source: Canada Newswire, CRTC

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