Quebecor has officially withdrawn their request for cable and satellite services to be required to offer their highly publicized proposed service, Sun TV News. It seems likely that the company has finally realized the irony behind a right-wing news network seeking regulatory intervention to ensure its success.
For months, Quebecor has been trying to gain special exemptions for Sun TV News to ensure that all all cable and satellite companies would pay to carry the station and offer it to subscribers. The company claims that they wish to gain special treatment for the right-wing news network to be to gain the footing needed to inject new life into Canadian broadcast journalism. It seems much more likely that they simply want to to establish guaranteed income for the station in order to offset the $50.3 million deficit left behind by Sun TV, a severely mismanaged local service. The fact that the station was incapable of profitability despite catering the massive markets of Toronto and Hamilton suggests severe mismanagement of the service on the part of Quebecor.
Nonetheless, the company has opted to quiet all of this controversy by carrying the burden of the dept and launching Sun TV News with a standard Category 2 license, which providers have the option to not carry. The wild speculation that the service will operate as a clone of Fox News should logically quiet down now that they’ll be forced to cater to a broader audience rather than the relatively limited viewership that would be able to support such a format. Of course, in reality it is unlikely that this criticism will subside.