There are two issues with it.
One is that for CRTC community channels right now, the companies are supposed to spend 50% of their schedule and budgets facilitating citizens to have a voice. That's to try to encourage cable companies to provide community access. What Rogers is asking is whether they could move money from their big-city community channels, such as Toronto's, to some of their smaller channels. I say “smaller”, but they've shut down the really small ones, so we're talking about mid-sized communities, which are generally the same communities in which we already have other private and public broadcasters. Rogers just wants more money to compete in those markets.
They want to reduce the access percentage in those markets to 30% and use the money to hire professional journalists to do news. Again, this is not the use of that money that was intended under the legislation. Really, they're looking for more flexibility to spend that 2%, which is supposed to serve community media, however they want on professional production, which is what they've been doing over the last 20 years anyway. They've tended to professionalize these channels in order to compete with satellite, as per my presentation.
For us, it's more of the same. It's not going to bring more service to small communities. It's just going to enable Rogers to compete head to head with other private and public broadcasters in mid-sized markets that already have broadcasters. It's not going to bring new news coverage or open new stations.