CRTC hearings on local TV's future continue Tuesday

An eight-day hearing on the future of local television continues Tuesday as Canada's broadcast regulator hears dire warnings from private networks about funding troubles in a changing media landscape.
Private networks told the CRTC they have trouble financial local TV. (Diego Cervo/Shutterstock)

An eight-day hearing on the future of local television continues Tuesday as Canada's broadcast regulator hears dire warnings from private networks about funding troubles in a changing media landscape.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is hosting a public forum in Gatineau, Que., to determine what rule changes may be necessary to ensure the survival of local television stations.

Those channels have found their traditional financial model under threat amid a changing landscape for advertising and consumer viewing habits.

The symposium kicked off on Monday with comments from Vice Canada, the Montreal-based media empire that is about to launch its own cable television channel. While Vice, strictly speaking, does not currently produce what would traditionally be defined as local television, network executives told the commission that their core demographic of millennials are changing the entire industry.

"We know who our audience is and we make content specifically for that audience," said Vice's chief international growth officer, David Purdy. "They have migrated. They have voted with their feet."

Others who spoke on Monday include smaller television makers such as Halifax-based Eastlink, and Hamilton Ontario's Channel Zero. 

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