Canadian Broadcast Lobby Group Closes
OTTAWA: Following a seemingly insurmountable
impasse among its television and cable members, the Canadian Association of
Broadcasters (CAB) is shuttering.
Chairman Elmer Hildebrand told
the CBC that the group has decided to close down by June 1, 2010.
Hildebrand, who is also president and CEO of radio
broadcaster Golden West Broadcasting, said he hopes to form a new organization
in the future that represents only radio broadcasters.
The CAB (also known in francophone Canada as Association Canadienne des Radiodiffuseurs) was founded in 1926 and has lobbied the
Canadian government on behalf of the Canadian radio and television industry.
The dispute between cable operators and television
broadcasters centers on demands from broadcasters for a fee to carry broadcast
signals across satellite and cable systems. The issue has simmered for a while,
but came to a head in December.
Broadcasters have argued that without additional
funds, such as from retransmission, local programming will have to be reduced.
Cable and satellite operators have cast the fee as a tax, and have complained
to regulators that broadcasters are airing biased coverage of the issue.