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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 4, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE September Will govern industry for years to come Decisions awaited on cable TV development ROTARY INDO SEPT. 5-6- LETHBRIDGE EXHS 2 SHOWS DAILY 1 P.M. and P.M. Judging at a.m. each morning. SHOW I IITION PAVILION ss ADA TICKETS Reserve Seats Rush Seats Miss Blair Lancaster will be opening the show on Friday and Saturday on uehaif of the Big Brothers of Lethbridge and Dis- trict. Special (Family Rates Rush Seats per family. ROY REGISTER RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA The Lethbridge Community College Eques- trian Team will be the intermission feature attraction with their square dancing on horseback. By JAMES NELSON OTTAWA (CP) Political, administrative and judicial decisions are expected this fall that will govern develop- ment of the community an- tenna television (CATV) in- dustry for years to come. Commonly called cablevi- sion, the distribution of tele- vision programs by cable to viewers who subscribe on a- monthly or annual basis has rapidly become a major money-making enterprise. Governments seek an increas- ing piece of the action through licences and administrative control. Latest official statistics show that 2.3 million sub- scribers paid million for cable TV services in the year ended Aug. 31, 1973. That was an increase of 25 per cent in subscribers and 32 per cent in revenues from the previous year. But while the industry con- tinues to grow and holds promise of new electronic marvels for the home, it is beset by controversy at fed- eral and provincial levels of government and in the courts. At the federal level, the Ca- nadian Radio-Television Com- mission (CRTC) exercises control over licensing of com- panies, determining their ser- vice areas and deciding what TV broadcast channels they carry. It also looks at their financial statements and controls the rates they may charge subscribers. The CRTC, headed by Chairman Pierre Juneau, ex- ercises this power under the Broadcasting Act on the as- sumption that cablevision is an extension of the broad- casting system, which is a federal constitutional respon- sibility. But some provinces, notably Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, question this assumption. Quebec and Ontario want a say in the li- censing while Manitoba and Saskatchewan seek control of the actual cables themselves, through their provincially- owned telephone systems. The subject has been de- bated at federal-provincial conferences of commu- nications ministers, but it ap- pears the disputes will only be resolved in constitutional dis- cussions between Prime Minister Trudeau and the pro- vincial premiers. The subject was left in the air when the July 8 federal general election was called. It is one of the subjects the fed- eral government has to sort out from competing issues for further discussions, possibly this fall. Manitoba proposed last spr- ing that the Manitoba Telephone System (MTS) take over cables in that province as current contracts between the privately-owned cablevision companies and the MTS ex- pire in the next five years. FOUGHT BY COMPANIES The Canadian Cable Tele- vision Association representing the majority of cablevision owners and oper- ators, sees the Manitoba pro- posal as sounding the death knell of private enterprise in the field and opening the way to provincial censorship of cablevision programming. The Canadian Association of FDDD UTHWASH VALUES MILD CHEESE CRACKERS BLACK DIAMOND 12oz.pkg MEDIUM CHEESE COFFEE MATE INSTANT CHOCOLATE CRISCQ OIL BLACK DIAMOND 12oz.pkg. 2il15 ASSORTED COOKIES CATELL: MACARONI CKEE-'i 7% oz DARES KING SIZE 28 oz. FOODS FROZEN WAFFLES PANCAKE SYRUP VINEGAR CANADA WHITE 128 oz. RITZ CRACKERS CREST TOOTHPASTE DRINKS AMntAppM. Orapw, VISKING SMOKED PICNIC ib........................................... f SAUSAGE Skinless, Ib. PORK CHOPS End Cuts, Ib........... LEG ROAST BONELESS BEEF !c GROUND BEEF Lean, ib. APPLES Macintosh Canada Fcncf, Ib. GRAPES Ribier California, ib...... PRUNE PLUMS B.C. Canada Domestic it JL 23C CELERY Calif Canada No. ibo White Foods Broadcasters repre- senting the industry that pro- duces the programs carried by cablevision systems, sup- ports the CCTA. A major test case in the Federal Court of Canada is be- ing prepared and may come up for trial late this fall. It arises from the CRTC's proposal that when cablevi- sion companies pick up United States programs to distribute them in Canada, they should delete American advertising messages and substitute Canadian material. The CRTC defends this pro- posal on grounds that too many Canadian advertising dollars go across the border to be spent on American TV, which is then fed back to Ca- nadian subscribers. Rogers Cable TV Ltd., one of the firms serving the big Toronto market, introduced commercial deletion and sub- stitution with approval of the CRTC. But three Buffalo, N.Y., TV stations, outlets for American networks, launched a suit for damages and for violation of copyright and trade mark laws. The CRTC has applied to the court to be a co-defendant in the suit. The commission has not yet ruled firmly on the com- mercial deletion and substitu- tion proposal and probably will not until the court action has been resolved. There is another to be made by Finance Minis- ter John Turner and Revenue Minister Robert which the commercial policy of cablevision operations may hinge. The objective of the CRTC is to encourage advertisers to spend their money in Canada, rather than on U.S. television. A proposal is being studied by the finance and revenue de- partments to disallow for tax purposes, as an expense of do- ing business, any ex- penditures on American ad- vertising. A decision on this point is not likely at least until Mr. Turner presents his budget to the first session of the new Parliament opening Sept. 30. Cablevision enables sub- scribers to obtain better TV service in areas where direct broadcast signals are weak and to receive programs from stations beyond range of nor- mal rooftop antennas. It is spreading rapidly into areas far removed from the U.S. border and the heavy population areas of southern Quebec, Ontario and B.C. But the farther cablevision systems spread from the ma- jor broadcast outlets, the more complicated is the ques- tion of microwave relay net- works. The CRTC is working on network grid planning to serve the more remote areas and minimize economic diffi- culties. These plans, if accepted by the cable TV operators and other regulatory bodies, may make it possible to work more quickly to serve more of the country. Meanwhile, ways are being worked out by which the cab- levision companies will con- tribute to the cost of pro- gramming now born by the television broadcast stations. SOME PAY VOLUNTARILY In the earlier days of cable- vision, cable companies sim- ply picked up TV" signals off the air and fed them to their subscribers. Lately some cable companies have recog- nized they owe something to the producers of the shows. Two voluntary payment plans have been approved by the CRTC, in Halifax and in Kamloops, B.C. As these be- come effective this fall, the CRTC will watch how suc- cessful they are. The prece- dents might be followed in other parts of the country. The Canadian Broadcasting League, an association of viewers and listeners with a long history of dedication to public broadcasting, has com- plained that the CRTC allows the cablevision companies ex- cessive profits. The CRTC denies this. "This is a regulated in- Mr. Juneau has said. "You can't make excessive profits and get away with si." TREND REVERSED PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. Password O News Urt's Make A Deal 09 Eye Bet B Vatic O nays