Access to Programs on TV that are not Canadian

Priority for Canadian TV services

Canada needs a strong and diverse broadcasting system. The CRTC works to ensure that Canadians have access to high-quality, diverse Canadian programming. There are two parts to achieving this goal:

CRTC rules ensure that most of the programming services offered by cable and satellite companies are Canadian. You therefore have access to a lot of Canadian services. However, there are also many different non-Canadian services available in Canada, from the U.S. and other countries.

Why are some non-Canadian services available in Canada and not others?

All non-Canadian services must be authorized before they can be distributed in Canada. For a service to be authorized, a Canadian sponsor (for example, a distributor, programming service or industry organization) makes a formal request to the CRTC. The CRTC won’t authorize non-Canadian English- and French-language services if they compete with Canadian pay and specialty services. This helps to ensure that Canadian services have priority.

How can I find out if a non-Canadian service can be distributed in Canada?

When the CRTC decides to authorize non-Canadian programming service for distribution, it adds the service to a list called the Revised list of non-Canadian programming services authorized for distribution.

Distributors have the option of making any of the services on the lists available to their customers, but not all the services on the lists are distributed by every distributor. If your distributor does not offer a particular service you would like to receive, you can call them and express your interest.

Third-language general interest services

The Commission has a fairly relaxed approach to authorizing third-language non-Canadian services, but these services must be packaged with Canadian third-language services. The idea is to expand the choices available to third-language ethnic communities in Canada, while at the same time ensuring maximum exposure for Canadian services.

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