CRTC rules that Shaw Cablesystems put OUTtv at "undue disadvantage"
Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission issued a negative ruling regarding Shaw Cablesystems' treatment of a specialty channel for the LGBT community.
The CRTC ruling stated that Shaw subjected a numbered company, 6166954 Canada Inc., to "an undue disadvantage" regarding the marketing of OUTtv, which was contrary to the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations.
The decision stated that Shaw offers an "All In" package of specialty channels for a monthly fee of $26.95. But to include OUTtv within this package, subscribers had to put in a special request.
"The penetration rate of OUTtv, as recorded in December 2007, was 0.49% of subscribers on Shaw systems," the CRTC ruling stated. "This compares to 18.11% for TELUS systems, 15.69% for Bell ExpressVu, 9.27% for Cogeco systems and 7% for Rogers systems and 6.61% for Star Choice. The average penetration rate for OUTtv on Cogeco, Bell ExpressVu and Rogers BDUs was 10.7%."
Shaw placed OUTtv on channel 370, adjacent to stations with sexually explicit adult content, even though OUTtv discontinued adult content in April. 2005.
The CRTC ordered Shaw to reply within 30 days "setting out the steps it will take to ensure that in the future its marketing of OUTtv does not result in the service being subjected to an undue disadvantage".