Conservative Canadian network needs government help for survival

Sun News

A channel that has been called "Fox News North" by critics has asked the Canadian government to drop it a lifeline.

Sun News, which has been on the air for almost two years in Canada, is hemorrhaging money. The conservative network, which was launched by Quebecor Media, was an attempt to counteract CBC and CTV news with its perceived "liberal bias" (please note: I have not seen any of these networks. That is Sun News’ wording, not mine.). 

Quebecor Media says that the channel stands to lose $17 million this year, with more losses anticipated on top of that.

“This is clearly unsustainable,” said the company in its filing to the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission. What hurts it, according to the company, are its lack of carriage deals to offset loses. It has a deal in Quebec with Quebecor and with Shaw Communications and Cogeco, but other major carriers have not touched it yet, including MTS and Telus. Quebecor questioned that, saying that, “In case you were wondering, both Telus and MTS offer Al Jazeera, BBC World News and other foreign all-news channels,” in its filing. 

Canadians also have the chance to watch American news channels, as CNN, Fox News Channel, CNBC, Bloomberg Television and MSNBC reach into Canadian markets.

Quebecor says this hurts market awareness of the channel.

“Just over one in three Canadians have even heard of Sun News. Less than half that number has watched,” it said.

My uneducated position is that the carriers have the right to air whatever they think fits. This filing seems like Quebecor wants the channel mandated into Canadian homes. If you launch a product that people do not like, should the government be forced to fix it for you?


Written by: Hamatosan
Jan 22nd, 2013, 9:44 am

Images courtesy of SUN TV


Message Posted On Jan 24th, 2013, 9:33 pm
If Sun News gets bailed out it will be due to evangelical, elitist, Conservative Stephen Harper wanting to save a Conservative PR machine at tax payer expense.

Message Posted On Jan 24th, 2013, 9:27 pm
What happened to the old business acumen where you open a business, if it makes money great, if it does not, you shut down and try something else. When did we become a society where certain businesses get tax money to stay afloat at the expense or even peril of other viable businesses. Sun News being bailed out at tax payer expense would be immoral bordering on criminal. Besides we need to make room for reality TV which seems to be the crap of choice of the networks these days.

Level 1 (36%)
Since: 17/Apr/12
Message Posted On Jan 22nd, 2013, 4:15 pm

Nope.  If they're losing money, then they should just shut any other business has to.  The fact that they're a cable/satellite channel should have nothing to do with it.  The government shouldn't get involved...they don't get involved to save most businesses, they shouldn't do it with something as utterly unimportant as a TV channel.  Especially a TV channel that most people have never heard of (I think their claim of 1-in-3 is quite high), let alone watched.


Canadian Pride

Message Posted On Jan 22nd, 2013, 4:03 pm
The harper gov has been cutting the CBC's(Canada's only public broadcaster). funding for funding for years. To turnaround and give Sunnews a pro harper channel funding after talking about how the gov needs to get out of funding broadcasting would be damaging to his gov even amounst conservatives. Even the conversatives in Canada find Sunnews beyond biased and do not watch. Rogers, Canadas largest cable provider stopped carring it, because nobody watched and it was costing them money even through it had a prime channel 15 spot. Let this trash fake news channel die. Our system does not need the damage like in the US with Fox.

Message Posted On Jan 22nd, 2013, 1:49 pm
Sun News is always harping on the CBC, and how it is a taxpayer funded network (which it is, in part). Now they want to force themselves into the wallets of Canadian viewers through "must carry"! What a joke! This channel is available on Bell, which is a large cable provider. The main point is that they SunNews complains endlessly about CBC, and yet they plan to do an end-run at the consumer through the government too. Canadian's are taxed to death, and the CRTC regulates the broadcast systems so that there is little to no competition for consumers. They will probably get the CRTC to bend to the demand and be a must carry, and then consumers will have to shell out more to have a channel they just won’t watch. I think if the channel cannot turn a profit on its programming, then perhaps they should just accept that they are not right for the marketplace.
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