Quebecor has filed an application with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) against CBC / Société Radio-Canada (SRC) because the latter is violating applicable regulations by operating the ICI TOU.TV EXTRA online subscription video-on-demand service (Tou.tv Extra).
Tou.tv Extra is an alarming departure from SRC’s mission as a public broadcaster. First of all, it is charging subscription fees for access to content that is already heavily subsidized by the public through income tax and sales tax. Furthermore, by carrying programs from channels such as V, TV5, VRAK and ARTV on Tou.tv Extra, SRC is acting as a broadcasting distribution undertaking, in violation of the Broadcasting Act, without contributing to the Canada Media Fund – from which, by the way, it benefits significantly
This situation is further aggravated by the fact that SRC is granting TELUS exclusive preferential rights to allow its customers free access to Tou.tv Extra. As a public broadcaster, SRC cannot offer television programming on an exclusive or preferential basis to a limited population of subscribers.
Quebecor is not challenging the free version of Tou.tv but believes that Tou.tv Extra should be shut down immediately because it is in breach of regulatory requirements. Otherwise, the equilibrium of Canada’s broadcasting system and the roles of its players will be compromised.