Local and Community TV
Most Canadians see local programming, and particularly local news, as an important service delivered by broadcasters. Such local programming can be offered on different platforms, including local TV stations, community channels and online.
The importance of local and community programming
We’re reviewing our policy for local and community TV programming to ensure it reflects today’s realities and challenges. Stay tuned!
We are proposing possible approaches to spark discussion about some of the issues associated with local and community programming.
Did you know...
- We published a working document intended to propose potential approaches and generate discussion. We do not give priority to one approach over another.
- We wish to ensure that Canadians in all markets have access to local news and community access programming that meets their needs.
- We are interested in hearing other proposals for using digital platforms to ensure that a sufficient amount of high-quality local information is made available to Canadians.
- We will hold a public hearing in the National Capital Region from January 25 to February 3, 2016, in order to discuss the issues surrounding local and community television.
- Average weekly viewing hours for Canadian news and current affairs broadcast by Canadian television services is nearly 23% of total hours viewed in the English market and nearly 28% in the French market.
- The percentage of Canadian households subscribing to cable, satellite or Internet Protocol television (IPTV) services was 82%, or 11.6 million households, in 2014.
- In 2013-2014, over 150 million dollars was spent on the community channels.
Why keep local programming and Over-The-Air (OTA) broadcasting?
The CRTC has taken these steps to ensure that OTA television and local programming continue to be available in Canada for a number of reasons.
- OTA television is widely available and free. Unlike paid television services, OTA television provides a viable, free, and convenient way for virtually all Canadians (over 32 million viewers, or about 97% of the population) to access television programming
- It helps us stay safe. Local programming offers information on events that are important to Canadians, such as approaching weather systems and police and other emergency notifications
- It helps create jobs and develop talent. Local television creates jobs in the Canadian broadcasting industry and helps develop Canadian talent
- It connects Canadians. Local television is where many Canadians turn to for local news and regional programming that connects them to their communities, their regions, Canada and the world. It is a pillar of our democracy that keeps us informed and challenges the way we think about the world
A short history of local programming and OTA broadcasting
For over 50 years, any Canadian with a TV set has been able to watch television programs through over-the-air (OTA) broadcasting – a free wireless television service that has typically included a significant amount of local programming.
What we are doing
Policies, Decisions and Orders
- Working Document for Discussion (Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-421-3)
- Over-the-air transmission of television signals and local programming (Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-24)
- A review of the policy framework for local and community television programming (Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-421)
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