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Bell asked federal government to include action on foreign TV content in Online Streaming Act

The National Post reports the company's requests weren't part of the government's draft policy direction to the CRTC

Bell asked the federal government to amend the Online Streaming Act to ensure Canadian broadcasters can purchase foreign TV content, the National Post reports.

The act “must be amended to contain measures to ensure that foreign content owners continue to make their content available to Canadian broadcasters and streamers,” the company stated in a letter to Canadian Heritage in March.

The National Post obtained the document under an access-to-information request.

The Online Streaming Act makes amendments to Canada’s Broadcasting Act and allows the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to govern streaming services with rules similar to traditional broadcasters.

If the government doesn’t take action, Bell said, Canada’s broadcasting system will be in trouble. This is because U.S. companies offer their streaming services to Canadians, going around “TV broadcasters that have traditionally been the only option to distribute that content,” the National Post notes.

“Canada’s broadcasting system will not survive without new legislative and regulatory rules that ensure Canadian broadcasters have access to popular foreign content,” Bell’s letter stated.

While the government has released a draft policy direction for the CRTC on the matter since Bell sent the letter, the National Post notes the company’s position hasn’t changed much.

The publication further reports the government didn’t include Bell’s asks in its draft policy direction. A spokesperson for Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge said the government will make a final policy direction available “soon.”

More recently, the CRTC ordered streaming services making more than $1o million annually, to register their companies and provide details on their services.

Source: National Post 

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