Media Beat: August 02, 2019

By David Farrell

CRTC to launch internet customers’ bill of rights

Starting Jan. 31 of 2020, the regulator has mandated ISPs provide users with comprehensible contracts spelling out details about bundles, promotions and time-limited discounts, bill shock protection, through notifications, and quick outs for customers to cancel a contract within 45 days, without paying early cancellation fees if the contract differs from the offer.

Rogers exec Scott Moore leads NBA LeBron James’ Uninterrupted launch here

Basketball star LeBron James is expanding his media company Uninterrupted to Canada, with former Rogers Sportsnet president Scott Moore at its helm. This will be the company’s first international expansion since it launched in the U.S. in 2015. Moore will lead business operations and development as well as brand partnerships for the company in Canada, a company release states.


BCE reports strong Q2 financials

BCE Inc. reported strong financial and subscriber results for the second quarter as it saw a surge at its discount wireless brand Lucky Mobile.

The company also got a boost from its media division, where it posted record TV broadcast numbers for the Toronto Raptors’ NBA championship run and the final seasons of Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory.

Overall Profit at BCE was up 8.2 per cent to $817M and revenue increased by 2.5 per cent to $5.93B. – Christine Dobby, The Globe and Mail

THC, slushies, pirate radio and the cannabis-driven boom in a Mohawk community

The transmission tower for the station — Real Peoples Radio — stands over a small shack that was once the second cannabis store to open in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, located about 200 kilometres east of Toronto. That shack is now the broadcasting studio for a pirate radio station that lives on the edge of the radio dial, and also streams online.

The station is one of many offshoots from a cannabis-infused economic boom in this Mohawk community of 2,100, nestled on the shores of the Bay of Quinte, between Belleville and Kingston, and just a short drive from Prince Edward County, a growing tourism hotspot. – Jorge Barrera, CBC News


After 47 years, 630 CHED legend Bruce Bowie announces his retirement

On Thursday morning, Edmonton radio legend Bruce Bowie announced that, after 47 years behind the mic, he will be retiring at the end of August.

“After listening to 630 CHED for years, I thought it was beyond my reach. Somehow, I wound up spending 21 years of my life here,” Bowie said. “I feel like I was embraced by the Edmonton listeners from the start and will be forever grateful. This city has been good to me.” – Kirby Bourne, Global News

Broadcasters sue non-profit that streams free US network television

The major broadcasting companies including NBCUniversal, Fox Corp., CBS Corp. and ABC have filed a lawsuit against a nonprofit backed by AT&T that runs a service that allows users in some cities to stream television networks for free.

Locast, operated by the Sports Fans Coalition, allows users in 13 cities including Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago to watch some television networks for free. Reuters reported Wednesday that the networks have filed suit arguing that the nonprofit is a front for AT&T to avoid distribution fees by streaming their content without consent. – Jim Bowden, The Hill

The L.A. Times’ disappointing digital numbers show the game’s not just about drawing in subscribers — it’s about keeping them

The mainstream American newspaper paywall — which dates to 2011, when The New York Times put up its metered version — has gone through a series of evolutions. Pricing, which started high in some markets, has mostly settled at about $10 a month or $100 a year. The number of stories free to non-subscribers has dropped — from 20 at the Times’ launch in 2011 to 10 to 5, even as low as 2 (or 0!) in some markets.


But once you get all those subscribers signed up, you’ve got to prove yourself worthy of their money, over and over again. Churn has always been an issue for newspapers, but it’s even more of one in a world of constant competition for subscription dollars. – Joshua Benton, Nieman Lab


British army deploys ‘social media warfare’ division to fight Russia

The U.K.'s new special cyber operations unit, 6 Division (6 Div), will move beyond the typical cyber capabilities within the military sphere into full-blown social media "information warfare." And here the primary adversary is Russia, which has turned the dark art of peddling fake news and political propaganda across major social media platforms into a national security strategy. – Zak Doffman, Forbes

Alexa tempts radio listeners to leave BBC for commercial stations

The long-term trend towards favouring commercial radio has been exacerbated by the popularity of smart speakers in British homes, which are prompting people previously loyal to a single station to try niche digital-only outlets.

The most recent figures released by Rajar (Radio Joint Audience Research) show the BBC’s combined share of UK radio listening fell below 50% in the three months between April and June, breaking a symbolic barrier. The corporation’s radio stations had already been overtaken by the commercial sector in terms of the overall number of people listening in a given week. – Jim Waterson, The Guardian


Gill McCall, A pioneer of local radio broadcasting in Cariboo, BC, has passed away at age 83.

McCall joined the original ownership group of Cariboo Broadcasters at CKCQ in Quesnel in 1958 shortly after the station went on the air. He quickly became Program Director, and after 13 years bought a share of the station, and later became Manager, while continuing on-air. – Pat Matthews, MyCaribooNow

Buju Banton

Buju Banton


Legendary Jamaican Artist Buju Banton Coming To Toronto On North American Arena Tour

The show will come as part of the reggae artist's first U.S. tour in 13 years. Don Toliver and Snotty Nose Rez Kids have also revealed upcoming Canadian dates.

A legendary Jamaican artist is making a major return to Canada.

Grammy-winning reggae and dancehall musician Buju Banton will perform at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on October 13, for his first Canadian show in over fifteen years.

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