Types of TV broadcasters

At the CRTC we recognize the services of different types of broadcasters, including the following.

9(1)(h) services

These are services that benefit from a mandatory distribution order under section 9(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act. The Commission requires the mandatory distribution of these services because the programming they offer is important for achieving certain objectives of the Act.

Over-the-air services

Many stations are available over-the-air (OTA). Those stations typically included a significant amount of local programming.

Community television

Community programming channels are generally operated either by over-the-air (OTA) stations or by terrestrial broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDU), such as cable companies.

Community television is a service that offers:

For more information, see Community television policy.

Discretionary services

Discretionary services are those services other than conventional television stations that are not available over-the-air (OTA). Subscribers have the option to have those stations as part of their broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDU) offerings. For example:

Ethnic and third-language programming

An ethnic service devotes at least 60 per cent of its programming in the broadcast week to ethnic programs. Ethnic programs are programs in any language that are specifically directed toward any culturally or racially distinct group other than Aboriginal Canadians or groups from France or the British Isles.

A third-language specialty service devotes at least 90% of its programming in the broadcast week to material broadcast in a language other than English, French, or a language of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada.

For more information, see Ethnic broadcasting policy.

On demand services

On-demand services are available from service providers, such as cable or satellite companies, and are increasingly becoming available over the Internet. Such services offered by BDUs allow subscribers to choose the programs they want to watch.

Religious television

A service that is licensed to focus on offering religious programming.

For more information, see Religious broadcasting policy.

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