out of the handbasket and into the gondola

Poor Lucifer must be tearing out his hair over the last couple of weeks. First the release of Debian ‘sarge’ dropped the temperature in hell to a new rock bottom low. Then a WWE sponsored ECW event that had no WWE manipulation at the production level (with the added bonus of WCW being mocked and it’s public face man humiliated) occurred. The engagement of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes finally started the process of the world righting itself again by filling existence with trivial oddities. But all was for nought. After clawing his way back to normal levels of heat and sulfur emissions this has to happen.

Dear CRTC,

Good job.

Sincerely,

Me

With those two words hell has once again become the skiing paradise of the supernatural world. For the first time in a long while (I won’t say forever) the CRTC has made a decision that not only makes sense given the Canadian context, but has gone out of it’s way to actually be reasonable.

Let’s take a little look at the decision.

  • Canada does not have nor will it have in the near future (if ever) a series of communication satelites that will allow radio broadcasting. So what do they do? Accept that fact.
  • By not having the atmospheric resources we know that it will be far too expensive to start up our own system. So what do they do? Accept that fact.
  • The Americans have been doing this for a few years now and have really started to push in their own market. Any system set up will probably have to be piggy-backed on their. So what do they do? Accept that fact.

That’s a lot of accepting for an organization prone to hypernationalism. So what happened? First I think they knew they were on shaky ground to begin with. The FCC has no regulatory framework for keeping check on this new form of broadcasting (one of it’s biggest marketing points south of the border) and any overt attempt would force the companies to start a legal action that would more than likely result in the CRTC being shown to have a similar lack of authority. Second, the companies were being nice by coming to them to begin with. There’s already a huge underground market. No one was forcing them to head north. Thirdly, they actually recognized that we have no chance in hell at competing simply because we didn’t bother to set up the hardware necessary to do so. It all adds up to the fact that the CRTC made a decision based on logic rather than fear. By setting up some simple requirements to make sure that Canada got a fair shake it allows a system to grow in an area that is in some desperate need of competition. CHUM and Roger’s own most of Canada’s radio stations and the ones they don’t are pretty much pointless in their broadcasting power as CHUM’s stations are in their programming choices (oddly enough the Roger’s stations generally attempt to put new music on (or in my case of listening habits better sports programs), go figure).

And what was the reaction that for every 9 foreign channels there had to be a Canadian channel? Sure. Sirius alone has changed their technology to provide for oodles of more channels. What’s three more than they were proposing?

The biggest complaint thus far is, surprise surprise, from CHUM. The CRTC didn’t make their lives easier by forcing the market to cater to their whims. Boo hoo. For once in the longest time I can remember the CRTC made a decision that will actually force Canadian companies to, gasp, act according to standard business models instead of forcing rampant protectionism that stifles any outside force from actually competing.

Now the biggest choice is which broadcaster to sign up with. At the moment I’m leaning towards XM radio. Sirius has Howard Stern. That alone pretty much solidifies my choice (creative genius? yes. mindlessly boring and derivative? absolutely). XM also has the better sports deal right now with MLB (my radio sport of choice). The fact that Chris Jericho has a radio show has nothing to do with it at all.