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Péladeau urges CRTC to ease regulations

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The big boss of Quebecor, Pierre-Karl Péladeau, urges the CRTC to lighten its regulations to allow private Canadian television networks to cope in competition with the giants of online distribution.

  • Stéphane Bordeleau (View profile)Stéphane Bordeleau

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The day after his appearance at the CRTC hearings on online broadcasting services, the CEO of Quebecor, Pierre Karl Péladeau, urges the CRTC to quickly ease the regulations imposed on broadcasters here to give them more agility in the face of “streaming giants” who capture a growing share of audiences by escaping all these rules.

The big boss of Quebecor , who visited the studios of the show Tout un matin on Tuesday, on the airwaves of ICI Premiere, refuses to lower its flag in front of the global online broadcasting giants who drain advertising revenue from the industry.

Private televisions have only one source of income, and that is advertising. If you reduce it and even possibly destroy it, what do you think will happen? We will no longer have the means to invest, warns PKP.

Television is an extremely important vector […] to highlight the language, of course, but also all those who revolve around our cultural industry: theater, variety shows, song, those who write…< /p>A quote from Pierre Karl Péladeau, CEO of Quebecor

For the big boss of Quebecor, there is no doubt that general television or specialty television still has its place, even if its financial capacities have been significantly reduced.

Recall that TVA, struggling with significant revenue losses, announced on November 2 the elimination of 547 positions – 31% of its workforce – , the end of its internal production activities in entertainment content, the end of activities in the majority of regional stations and the rationalization of its real estate portfolio.

Regulation is killing Quebecor's activities, according to Pierre-Karl Péladeau.Broadcast HERE FIRST.All one morning.

Regulation is killing Quebecor's activities, according to Pierre-Karl Péladeau

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TVA Group had already announced in February the removal of 240 positions, including 140 directly to TVA.

In June, Bell announced the elimination of 1,300 positions as well as the closure or sale of nine radio stations and the closure of two offices abroad due to the financial pressure weighing on the group. /p>

Bell added that its 35 local television stations, operated under the CTV, CTV Two and Noovo brands, as well as three optional television news services – CP24, CTV News Channel and BNN Bloomberg – were also under financial pressure.

According to a study by the Academy of Digital Transformation (ATN) of Laval University conducted in October 2022, a quarter of Quebecers subscribe to at least three online distribution platforms.

Usually critical of Radio-Canada, the big boss of Quebecor recognized the important cultural contribution of the state corporation, suggesting that it is soon all that will remain of the Canadian television ecosystem if the private networks fall, lack of audience and advertising revenue.

Will only Radio-Canada remain? Maybe. So will it be at the discretion of the government in Ottawa? What's going to happen? Are we moving forward, are we reducing budgets? he asked, referring to the fact that the SRC is dependent on government funding.

However, the crisis spares no one. The management of Radio-Canada/CBC recently announced to its employees that it would have to make up a shortfall of $100 million in its budget for next year due in particular to advertising revenues that were not there.

For Pierre Karl Péladeau, who appeared Monday before the CRTC which is examining for three weeks the regulatory framework of Bill C-11 on continuous online broadcasting, it is urgent that the Council lightens the rules which govern the media of x27;here to enable them to adapt and survive the streaming revolution.

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Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau after his appearance before the CRTC in 2021. (Archive photo)

Claiming to have repeated to the CRTC members what he had told them 12 years ago, Pierre Karl Péladeau deplores the regulatory burden that the organization imposes on private networks.

His conclusion is clear: regulation is killing our business.

The CRTC is currently holding a series of hearings to establish a new regulatory framework as part of the adoption of Bill C-11. It will notably discuss the contributions to Canadian content that foreign online broadcasters will have to make. Quebecor, Bell, Telus, Cogeco, Radio-Canada, Rogers, as well as Netflix, Google and Apple, among others, were summoned by the CRTC.

We are required to report, we have to pay royalties, we have to invest in the [Canada Media] Fund, we have to distribute all kinds of channels that unfortunately few people watch. There is a cost linked to all of this, recalls PKP.

It’s imposition upon imposition upon imposition… And when we look at foreign companies, they have no obligation. They do what they want and we see our revenues decrease and our regulatory burden increase.

A quote from Pierre Karl Péladeau, CEO of Quebecor

Today, we have very important regulatory affairs departments. The regulatory burden is extremely heavy and, unfortunately, it has significantly impacted our financial capacity to invest.

When it is argued that, without regulation, Canadian networks could flood their schedule with American series, the boss of Quebecor retorts that his network does not need of Canadian emissions allowances.

We know very well what Quebecers want to see, he assures.

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Quarter of Quebecers subscribe to at least three online viewing platforms.

As for the proposal put forward Tuesday at the CRTC by Bell Media executives to create an information fund in which foreign giants should contribute to support and protect the television industry here, Pierre Péladeau does not believe in it.

It took, I think, five years before sales tax was applied to Netflix […] while all other products in Canada are taxed.

A quote from Pierre Karl Péladeau, CEO of Quebecor

If the government has difficulty imposing a sales tax, what will happen when we tell Meta, Google , to Apple, to Paramount […] Do you believe that there will be a government that will say: "We are going to ban the broadcast of Netflix in Canada?"

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A rally in solidarity with the employees of the Trois-Rivières TVA station. (Archive photo)

Reacting to the comments made the day before before the CRTC by their employer, the members of the Union of TVA Employees , affiliated with CUPE, recall in a press release published Tuesday their employer's clear cuts in regional TVA stations.

According to Steve Bargoné, coordinating advisor for the Communications sector of CUPE-Québec, without CRTC regulations, whether outdated or not, local news produced by regional stations would have disappeared from our screens a long time ago. /p>

According to the union, Quebecor is using TVA employees in the battle it is waging for the deregulation of electronic media in the country.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">It is unacceptable that our jobs are sacrificed to the detriment of the public interest and in the name of Quebecor's business model. Deregulation is not the solution, writes Carl Beaudoin, provincial president of CUPE 687.

Local 687 represents nearly 1,000 employees TVA Group.

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