Over 20 years ago, Ted Rogers was using flag-waving and “threats” from big foreign firms to make galloping media concentration look unavoidable.
“Canada should not have to wait any longer to deploy a viable, national multi-platform solution, backed by a company with the resources to compete against well-funded global competitors.” – George Cope, Bell CEO, as quoted in the Financial Post (Sept 14).
“If you coddle companies at home by allowing them to exploit Canadian consumers in order to be big on the world stage, you have done your own people a disservice … If that’s the way that a deal comes in, wrapping itself in the flag, I’m skeptical about the real efficiencies that are pushing the deal.” — Melanie Aitken, outgoing head of the Competition Bureau, as quoted in the Globe and Mail (Sept 21).
“[T]he media economy in Canada is actually the eighth largest in the world. In 1998, it accounted for 2.6 percent of the global media economy; it accounted for over three percent in 2010, all of which casts doubt on the notion that Canada’s ‘small media market’ requires ‘big media’ to compete.” — Dwayne Winseck, communications prof, Carleton University; principle investigator, Canadian Media Concentration Research Project (CMCRP).
In this 4th and final part of our discussion with Dwayne, we concentrate on the state of TV. TV turns out to have played a long-standing role in helping the conglomerates push their concentration agenda – starting back in the early 1990s, when Ted Rogers warned of the dire consequences of allowing American “death star” (aka direct-to-home) TV satellites to swamp Canadian viewers with un-Canadian programming. Plus ça change…