two solitudes: Alan Sawyer's views on the media industry

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

CRTC takes hands-off approach to mobile TV

April 13, 2006 - Media In Canada
Top Stories

by Patti Summerfield

The CRTC has ruled that mobile TV services offered by Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless, and Telus Mobility are exempt from regulation under its New Media Exemption Order.

Additionally, the Commission is asking for input from Canadians on its proposal to exempt mobile TV services delivered and accessed over the Internet. This is all very good news for Canadian advertisers and consumers says Nick Barbuto, director of interactive solutions at Cossette Media in Toronto.

"From an advertising perspective, it definitely means more opportunities. I think many advertisers will find unique ways of bringing great content to consumers."

Kevin Hung, supervisor at Starcom Mediavest agrees. He says that the deregulation will allow advertisers who are more willing to push the envelope, the creative freedom to create content that speaks directly to their targets.

For mobile TV and broadband streaming to gain widespread penetration, an advertising model may be what is needed to make it financially accessible to consumers. Right now the cost of streaming broadband content is quite expensive. Barbuto says in hindsight, paying $4 to watch a movie on a cell phone may not be such a good idea at the end of the month since it actually ends up being about $25 with the extra data costs. He also predicts a big increase in micro-content producers.

Barbuto adds, "I think on a bigger trend, this idea of the CRTC making way for technology is going to have huge implications from an advertising perspective. As they continue to rule on these topics, they'll have to readdress VOD and other areas within the media landscape that technology has touched and changed so dramatically. That's going to open up new advertising opportunities right across the board."

Nothing new here, despite the attention this got. This is the same thing the CRTC said a while back. However, what is possibly of interest is the fact that they're leaving the barn door even as the cows are starting to escape. It may be harder for the CRTC to close the door in the future, without stepping in a lot of cow shit in the process!


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