Rose Simpson’s column appears Tuesday mornings on the OttawaStart Blog. She also blogs at Rose’s Cantina. You can read her previous columns here.
Did you hear the head honchos from CBC at the CRTC?
Usually, the CRTC hearings are dry affairs, so you can be excused for not paying attention, but these hearings are both entertaining and important because they will determine how much you will pay for cable service and whether or not you get to “pick and pay” for the services and channels you actually want.
Like the executives at all the other for-profit television networks, the CBC brass are saying that they believe Canadians will pay to subscribe to the nation’s broadcaster. The CBC is different, of course, because it is, for the most part, funded by you and me….
So the CBC is saying we will be happy to pay to subscribe to the CBC and yet we are already paying for the CBC.
That’s stupid, isn’t it.?
But I don’t succumb to the siren call of the nerds sitting on card chairs asking me to donate to public television. Lots of people — rich people, mostly — do contribute to public television, and I thank them for their contribution.
The CBC could try the same tactic, 24-hour fundraising, but you know it won’t do that when it can get the money from the taxpayer. Hell, the CBC even balks at the mere thought of advertising.
I like Peter Mansbridge and I watch his show every night he’s on, though I turn the news off when I see Wendy Mesley. And Evan Solomon. I also like Rick Mercer, no, that’s not true. I don’t like the current Rick Mercer who has become little more than a pitchman for Tourism Canada.
I like the old Rick Mercer and the old This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
So I don’t watch either.
But I can also watch them on the Comedy Network.
So it’s the National, I watch. That’s it.
Now Peter is looking like he’s getting ready to get out the old fishing rod, and volunteer as a stagehand at the Stratford Festival, supporting his wife Cynthia Dale’s dubious career, so I’m trying not to be too attached to him.
Which leaves me, as a television viewer, in this spot.
If all I’m watching of the CBC is the National and Peter retires, will I be happy to pay a subscriber fee to get the CBC?
Here’s what Canadians want, I believe.
We want to stop paying ridiculous cable bills that are almost as much as our mortgage payment.
We don’t really give a rat’s ass about Canadian culture, anymore.
We want to pay just for what we watch, and let’s face it, a lot of Canadians — fair minded, intelligent, ethical people — are not even prepared to pay for that.
Most people I know steal their television by downloading it.
I’m happy to pay for the basic channels ($40), and a handful of others, like the Food Network, HBO, A&E, Bravo and TSN for the tennis. That’s pretty much it.
I never want to see another French channel, twelve more sports channels, and all those lifestyle channels that feature gardening and saying “yes” to the dress, and Duck Dynasty.
As far as subscriptions are concerned, I feel I’m covered just by paying my damned cable bill.
We’re funding reality shows about moving houses, repairing leaky basements and where to plant the best azaleas. Oh yes, we’re also funding a shitload of Lifetime movies destined for the U.S. and cop shows that the American networks use as fillers during the summer.
Like Rookie Blue on CBS? You’d better; you paid for it.
And I dream of a day I don’t have to spend half my night scrawling up and down the dial, zooming past 57 channels with nothing on.
But I won’t pay more for it.
I need that money to pay for Super Channel for six months so I can watch Homeland.
— Rose Simpson
See also: Ottawa Television Guide
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