News Release Article from  Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Archived - CRTC encourages innovative use of digital media

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March 16, 2015 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ruled in favour of innovation by dismissing a complaint which stated that Rogers Media was granting undue preference to its subscribers by providing them with exclusive content through its online service GamePlus.

To encourage innovative ways of presenting content and the creation of compelling content for digital media, including Internet and mobile video services, the CRTC allows companies to provide exclusive content to their subscribers, as long as it is not created mainly for traditional television.

The CRTC considers that the programming available on GamePlus is essentially produced for distribution on digital media. As such, it can be offered exclusively and does not constitute an undue preference in favour of Rogers subscribers. In the CRTC's view, Rogers is in compliance with the established rules.

GameCentre Live is a service operated by Rogers to which all Canadians can subscribe to in order to access National Hockey League games online. GamePlus is a complementary service to GameCentre Live, available online only, and offered exclusively to Rogers subscribers. GamePlus provides access to bonus content, such as replays not available on the traditional television broadcast, exclusive analysis and interviews, and different camera angles.

The CRTC recently issued several decisions related to the Let's Talk TV conversation, and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. The new regulatory framework taking shape is focused on the future, and fosters the creation of content for digital media platforms.

Quick facts

  • The CRTC clarifies the various rules for content distribution on digital media.
  • To encourage innovation in the way content is presented, programs that are not created mainly for traditional television can be offered online on an exclusive basis.
  • The CRTC dismisses a complaint against Rogers regarding its online service GamePlus.
  • The CRTC considers that the programming available on GamePlus is produced for distribution on digital media, and as such, is in compliance with the established rules.
  • GamePlus is a related, complementary service that allows customers to tailor their experience using a second screen, such as a computer, tablet or smartphone.
  • The CRTC recently issued several decisions related to Let's Talk TV: A Conversation with Canadians, and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.
  • The new regulatory framework for the Canadian television system is focused on the future, and fosters the creation of content for digital platforms.

Quote

"Canadians have access to an abundance of content on multiple platforms. In order to stand out, creators, producers and distributors have to be creative and find innovative ways to create and deliver content to Canadians through digital media.

Rogers' GamePlus service is a complementary service available online to enhance the viewer's experience.

I encourage other companies holding broadcasting rights to be innovative online to in order to provide Canadian and international audiences with content that they want to see."

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC

Related links

Decision 2015-89

Broadcasting Order 2012-409 - Amendments to the Exemption order for digital media broadcasting undertakings

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