Is Internet TV making traditional TV irrelevant?


Today's television audiences aren't only fractured, they are fixated on other screens ... computer screens. And yet our broadcast regulator, the CRTC is still holding hearings on cable and mandatory carriage of TV channels. Today we're asking, Is internet TV making traditional television irrelevant?

Broadcast Consultant, David Keeble

Somewhere in a committee room in Gatineau, Quebec ... the CRTC is deciding what Canadians should and should not be able to watch on basic cable T.V. The Commission is hearing from many broadcasters including Vision TV, Sun News Network and Natural Resources Television. They're all vying for what's called mandatory carriage ... otherwise known as a guaranteed spot on the dial.

But as those channels fight for a place on the small screen, many gaze at a different screen altogether. On the Internet where mandatory is a four-letter word and television is transformed. We've gone from scheduled programming to streaming content. From a remote control to mouse clicks.

Why do so many broadcasters want to be on-the-dial in an on-demand world?
We're posing that question to David Keeble. He's working with the Canadian Punjabi Network in its fight to get mandatory carriage status. David Keeble joined us from Ottawa.

Technology Critic, Jesse Brown

House of Cards, an original show produced by Netflix is not only a political drama available exclusively online, it's the first major series to release an entire season of episodes all at once ... so you can watch at your own pace. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings calls it "the beginning of a new era of television."

To explore the role of basic cable in the world of livestreaming, peer-to-peer networking and piracy, we were joined by Jesse Brown. He's a technology critic for Macleans and Toronto Life Magazines. And he was in our Toronto studio.

The TV Is Dead. Long Live the TV - Wired

Author of Shut Off, Gregory Taylor

There are people alive today who can remember when television sets required high speed motors, so we shouldn't be surprised at the pace of television's transformation. Still, the range of choice is astonishing. We spoke with piracy expert Jean-Phillipe Vergne about traditional TV. He is an assistant professor at the Ivey Business School and the co-author of The Pirate Organization: Lessons from the Fringes of Capitalism.

What is Piracy?: TEDxTalk by Jean-Phillipe Vergne

You are now your own TV guide. What does all this choice mean for the business of broadcasting? Gregory Taylor is the author of Shut Off: The Canadian Digital Television Transition. He's also a post-doctoral fellow at Ryerson University, and he also joined us in our Toronto studio.

This segment was produced by The Current's Vanessa Greco and Melissa Shaw.

Are you a cable subscriber -- what do you think of more specialty channels in your cable package? Or is that issue a thing of the past for you -- Is most of your viewing now on the web? Or are you too busy listening to radio or podcasts? Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Reach us at Facebook.Our toll free number is 1-877-287-7366. And don't forget to check out our website. From there, you can email us and you can also download the podcast.

Last Word - Amanda Knox Promo

Coming up tomorrow, we'll speak with Amanda Knox. She was sentenced to 26 years in an Italian prison for murdering her roommate, Meredith Kercher, in 2009.
The case was a tabloid sensation, and after four years of legal upheaval, an appeal court eventually overturned the verdict and Ms. Knox was free.

But it's not over. A higher court in Italy wants to try Amanda Knox again. Throughout the case, she has had strong supporters, especially in her home of Seattle, Washington.

A local judge -- Mike Heavey -- was admonished for writing to the Italian authorities on Knox's behalf. But he's continued to speak out. We'll hear from Amanda Knox tomorrow, but today's Last Word goes to a thoroughly fed-up Judge Heavey.

Other segments from today's show:

Obama's Red Line: Will the US intervene in Syria?

Jared Cohen on the future of the digital world

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