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Videotron parent Quebecor ordered to share on-demand content

Fri, 01/28/2011 - 7:25am
Mike Robuck

Earlier this week, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which is Canada's broadcast regulator, ruled that Quebecor Media had to share its on-demand programming with rival companies.

Quebecor Media's TVA Group was providing exclusive access to Videotron, which is also owned by Quebecor Media. In June, Videotron launched its TV Everywhere website, illicoweb.tv, which included online content from TVA Group. Videotron also offers TVA shows from its traditional on-demand platform.

The same month, Bell Canada and Telus Corp. filed complaints with CRTC that said Videotron had an unfair advantage by being able to offer exclusive programming from TVA Group that wasn't available to them.

After the CRTC's decision on Wednesday, Quebecor has to allow Bell Canada and Telus access to TVA on-demand content immediately, with a deadline to negotiate those rights by Feb. 25.

"Given the emerging role of VOD in the [TV distribution] business model and the popularity of TVA's programming in Quebec, it would be difficult for a new [cable, satellite or Internet protocol TV provider] seeking to penetrate the Quebec market to attract subscribers if it cannot offer TVA programs on its VOD service," according to the CRTC's decision.

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