Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Death Of Sun News

                                                    http://www.thestar.com/

Sun News is dead. A speciality channel which specialized in sound and fury, it passed quietly into the night. The whole project was ill conceived from the beginning. Christopher Waddell writes:

Initially, the Sun TV strategy seemed almost foolproof. Take a failing over-the-air channel in Toronto that relied on advertising for all its revenue and turn it into a national speciality channel that viewers would have to pay for through monthly cable or satellite subscriptions. To make it happen, mix in political pressure and powerful connections, deftly exploited.

Quebecor believed — or was convinced by others — that if it created a conservative all-news channel modelled on Fox News in the U.S., the Harper Conservative government would be so delighted (or would submit to having its arm twisted) that it would force the CRTC to require every cable and and satellite distributor in the country to include Sun TV on mandatory carriage.

That would mean all of Canada’s 10 million or so cable or satellite subscribers would have to pay to watch Sun TV — or pay to not watch it, but pay for it regardless. If each household paid Sun TV just 25 cents a month as part of their cable bill, the channel would reap $30 million a year.

The prime minister's former director of communications came on board. But the Harper government presented itself as the consumer's friend, and it did not deliver as Quebecor expected:

In the final analysis, Quebecor badly misread the environment on every level. It was apparently unaware of growing public anger about the cost of cable TV. Viewers infuriated at having to pay for channels they don’t watch are increasingly cancelling their cable entirely and, like many young people, are happy to have video delivered to them online.

Like the prime minister himself, the people behind Sun News were economically inept. Their economic ignorance cost 200 jobs. Mr. Harper's ignorance has cost much more.


15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Conspiracy theorist here.

The Harper Cons didn't want mainstream Canada to know the kind of crazy that Harper is associated with, so they closed SunTV in a defensive move prior to the fall election.

Want proof? The corporate media will NEVER send a reporter/journalist to the crazy church in Calgary that Steve attended.

UU4077 said...

I'm surprised the Conservatives didn't pony up to keep the channel alive at least until after the next federal election.

Owen Gray said...

I'm sure the idea crossed their minds, UU4077. But that would be a little too obvious. They prefer to do things under the radar.

Owen Gray said...

A very interesting observation, Anon. As I suggested to UU4077, they much prefer to do things under the radar.

Anonymous said...

I suspect they were banking on Harper putting the screws on CRTC to force the big networks to carry SNN. Someone claimed that even if each of the 10M cable subscribers were to pay $0.25, SNN would have made 30M. Some people at SNN would have made a pile of money.

Unfortunately for SNN, they had not figured on PKP joining the Separatists. Once that happened, Closet Leader's own rabid base would likely have bitten his head off if CRTC had ruled in favour of mandatory carriage.

Thus Steve the Opportunist, likely threw his SNN buddies under the bus.

Owen Gray said...

Throwing former buddies under the bus has been what Harper does most frequently, Anon.

The Mound of Sound said...

Sun News never had a hope of getting legislated access to Canada's cable content providers' line up. Had they I had plans to source funding for Liberal and NDP channels to likewise be cable subscriber funded. How could the CRTC refuse especially as they would likely lose a court challenge if they tried. Just imagine, Rabble TV. Awesome, eh?

Owen Gray said...

Seems to me there's a parable here about the dangers of tunnel vision, Mound.

Unfortunately, those with it don't know they have it.

Anonymous said...

I see the CON influence more frequently on CBC. This appears via budget cuts and through incrementalism. When you observe that convicted felon appearing as a frequent commentator with Amanda Lang something is not right. If Steve Fonyo lost his Order of Canada, so should have Conrad Black.

Owen Gray said...

Conrad Black was stripped of his Order of Canada, Anon. Nevertheless, he has better connections than Fonyo.

e.a.f. said...

yes it cost 200 people their jobs and harper's continued war mongering is going to cost this country way more.

Owen Gray said...

Agreed, e.a.f. The Debt Buster keeps running up the tab.

mogs moglio said...

Hopefully Owen this will also be the death of EZ' [Ezra Levant's] rants about Ethical Oil and the greatest prime minister since the stone age eh?

EZ is the worst Alberta Red Neck I have ever I mean ever ever seen or heard.

He most definitively does not represent the view of most Albertans. But he does a good job of jaw jacking the oil industry and the self named "Harper government"...

But he is so wrong. And Anon 8:36 crazy church? You meant backwards zealots I think. They are so secretive you have to swear on their tainted bibles to get in the door. Go figure...

Owen Gray said...

Something tells me that Ezra will pop up somewhere else, Mogs -- unfortunately.

mogs moglio said...

I hope you are wrong Owen and EZ no longer gets a platform as trained seal...