CRTC announces new media ownership rules

New media ownership rules announced on January 15 by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will restrict future cross-media acquisitions in order to ensure Canada’s “diversity of voices” is protected.

In the new rules, no person or entity may own more than two of the three types of local mediaÔÇôradio, television and newspapersÔÇôin any given market. In addition, the CRTC will not allow anyone to own more than 45 per cent of the total television audience, or allow mergers or acquisitions that will allow one person or company to control the delivery of programming for a market.

The decision is a result of hearings that were held in September 2007, and the announcement from the CRTC notes that these changes are a result of increased consolidation among broadcasters.

“With these new policies, we have developed a clear approach to guide us in assessing future transactions in the broadcasting industry,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., CRTC chairman. “It is an approach that will preserve the plurality of editorial voices and the diversity of programming available to Canadians, both locally and nationally, while allowing for a strong and competitive industry.”

Read the full announcement on the CRTC website.