Radio-Canada: digital does not “match” traditional, says UDA

The quality of broadcasts on the web does not match the quality of broadcasts primarily intended for traditional television, explained the president of the Union des artistes (UDA), Sophie Prégent.

The Quebec Alliance of Image and Sound Technicians (AQTIS), the Association of Directors and Directors of Quebec (ARRQ), the Society of Radio, Television and Cinema Authors (SARTEC) and UDA have join their voices before the CRTC on this eighth day of hearing on the renewal of CBC / Radio-Canada’s licenses.

The public broadcaster asked the CRTC to be able to meet part of its license conditions for the broadcast of Canadian content on its digital platforms, rather than on traditional television and radio. The director general of SARTEC, Stéphanie Hénault, fears that the absence of a condition of license relating to expenditures on programs of national interest on conventional television, the door will be wide open at Radio-Canada [pour] reduce the volume and quality of programs.

It is incorrect to claim that an hour of web series […] equates to one hour of original national interest programming in prime time television, she adds.

Stakeholders are calling for a just transition.

The president of AQTIS, Christian Lemay, specified that he This is not to slow down the progress of Radio-Canada’s digital audiovisual services, but rather to ensure that the Corporation respects the current cultural and financial framework for Canadian broadcasting.

ARRQ President Gabriel Pelletier called for channels such as ICI RDI and ICI ARTV to make more room for original series and documentaries.

The decline of original programming on these two services [ICI RDI et ICI ARTV], especially the decline of documentaries, is of great concern to us.

Gabriel Pelletier, President of the Association of Directors of Quebec

Shorter renewal

These groups therefore recommend that the CRTC renew the CBC’s licenses while maintaining production obligations, but for three or four years only, and not five, as the broadcaster wants. They cite the lack of detail in the information provided by Radio-Canada regarding its digital services; the effects of COVID-19 that are likely to continue after the start date of the new license term; as well as the amendment to the Broadcasting Act.

A bill has been tabled to this end last November and notably plans to give new powers to the CRTC to allow it to regulate online platforms, which it cannot do at the moment.

Extra: yes, but …

The Association of Directors of Quebec was also asked about the paying service of ICI Tou.tv, the Extra, which has been widely criticized over the past few days.

For Mr. Pelletier, this fence is not ideal, but understands the need for funding, explained last week by the management of the public broadcaster. <q data-attributes="{"lang":{"value":"fr","label":"Français"},"value":{"html":"Idéalement, on voudrait que ce soit entièrement gratuit, a affirmé M.Pelletier. But we also want Radio-Canada to be able to offer and fulfill its mandate, and Extra provides a form of financing in the current economic model. “,” Text “:” Ideally, we would like it to be completely free, said Pelletier. But we also want Radio-Canada to be able to offer and fulfill its mandate, and Extra provides a form of financing in the current economic model. “}}” Lang = “fr”>Ideally, we would like it to be completely free, said Mr. Pelletier. But we also want Radio-Canada to be able to offer and fulfill its mandate, and Extra provides some form of funding in the current economic model.

It notes, however, that with its Tandem content advertising service, the public broadcaster is going too far. We draw the line with Tandem, which, in our opinion, […] can confuse listeners, he added.

Solange Drouin, Executive Director of ADISQ

Photo: Radio-Canada

The black hole digital

For its part, the Quebec Association of the Record, Show and Video Industry (ADISQ) fears that Radio-Canada’s digital shift will leave Canadians ” across the bridge That the crown corporation wants to build. She also deplored the lack of transparency of CBC / Radio-Canada regarding digital services.

<q data-attributes="{"lang":{"value":"fr","label":"Français","data":{"id":"fr","name":"Français"}},"value":{"html":"On ne connaît pas trop ce qui est fait, parce que c'est dans un trou noir: little information, a lack of transparency “,” text “:” We don’t really know what is being done, because it is in a black hole: little information, a lack of transparency “}}” lang = “fr”>We do not really know what is being done, because it is in a black hole: little information, a lack of transparency, launched the general manager of ADISQ, Solange Drouin. We must increase the broadcasting windows to have more.

It nevertheless welcomes certain initiatives implemented by the public broadcaster, in particular the distribution of albums and numerous playlists as well as the distribution of musical performances.

On the other hand, Ms. Drouin explains that it is difficult to know if what is done is sufficient.

To judge with rigor, however, it is crucial to have documentation of the activities that take place there. For example, in the playlists, did the Company respect the quotas in force in the traditional universe?

ADISQ also does not want CBC / Radio-Canada to neglect traditional radio and television, citing figures from the CRTC published in its monitoring report:% of Canadians have watched conventional television, and 84% listened to conventional radio in any week. “,” text “:” In 2019, on average, 80% of Canadians watched conventional television, and 84% listened to conventional radio any week. ” }} “lang =” fr “>In 2019, on average, 80% of Canadians watched conventional television, and 84% listened to conventional radio any week.

It therefore recommends that the Council deny the Company’s request to reduce its obligation to broadcast programs of national interest, of which musical programs are part, during prime time.

She also wants the spoken word radio ICI Première to broadcast more music.

We observe that, for several years, the space granted to our music has been in constant decline. From 33% in the 90s, it now occupies less than 10% of programming. We believe that the verbal vocation of a station is not incompatible with a certain level of musical diffusion, on the contrary.

Solange Drouin, Executive Director of ADISQ

Limit local ambitions

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters (AOD) has asked the CRTC to ensure that CBC / Radio-Canada is complementary to the private sector and not in competition with the latter, especially when the time comes to cover local news.

CBC should not develop new local markets, asked Doug Bingley, chairman of the AOD.

And that demand includes digital services. The Association asks that the public broadcaster take into account the possible effects on the private market.

AOD’s head of government relations, Ed Torres, explains that CBC needs to ask itself four questions before developing these new local markets: Does anyone else offer these services? Could someone offer them? Are we going to disrupt their business models? And, considering our limited financial resources, do we want to spend more?

The AOD also requests that the broadcaster cease all purely commercial activity, like Tandem, which increases competition with private broadcasters for advertising revenue.

Tandem, according to the AOD, also affects public perception.

<q data-attributes="{"lang":{"value":"fr","label":"Français"},"value":{"html":"Vous avez vu plusieurs interventions du public qui soutenaient que le service de l'information est biaisé, a rappelé M Bingley. Projects like Tandem fuel this perception and undermine the credibility of the Company. “,” Text “:” You have seen several interventions from the public who maintained that the news service is biased, recalled M Bingley. Projects like Tandem fuel this perception and undermine the Company’s credibility. “}}” Lang = “fr”>You have seen several interventions from the public arguing that the news service is biased, Bingley recalled. Projects like Tandem fuel this perception and undermine the Company’s credibility.

The public broadcaster will be able to respond to criticism next Thursday.

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