moved for leave to introduce Bill C-552, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act (sports blackouts).
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to introduce my bill today that would ban television blackouts for live sporting events held in venues constructed with the use of public financing. Blackouts are broadcasting restrictions imposed by broadcasters, professional sports teams, and leagues.
With this being Grey Cup week, it would be great to see Canadians from coast to coast to coast gather around their television sets to cheer on their respective teams. Sorry, Mr. Speaker, go Ticats, go.
Whether it is the NHL or CFL footfall, Canadians have tended to support the use of public money for the construction of stadiums and arenas to house professional sports franchises. All Canadian Football League games on TSN are subject to local blackouts. Edmonton Eskimo home games are not broadcast in Edmonton or the immediate surrounding area, to ensure that fans buy tickets. In the case of the Saskatchewan Roughriders home games, the blackout zone covers the entire province of Saskatchewan, largely because the team relies more on the whole province for support.
However, these stadiums did receive some public funds. With that, it is only fair that leagues offer some reciprocity and allow fans to watch the games on television without the threat of local or regional blackouts.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)