Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2010715

Oct 24, 2010

Application by Bluepoint Investments Inc. for authority to acquire from Saskatchewan Communications Network Corporation (SCN), the assets of SCN, for the purpose of distributing educational programming in Saskatchewan. Application No. 201013797

Mr. Robert A. Morin
Secretary General
Canadian Radio‐television and
Telecommunications Commission
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N2

Dear Mr. Morin

  1. Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is an independent watchdog for Canadian programming in the English‐language audiovisual system, supported by 100,000 Canadians. FRIENDS does not wish to appear at a public hearing should the Commission elect to call one.
  2. FRIENDS supports the application by Bluepoint Investments Inc. to acquire the assets and control of SCN.
  3. As an educational broadcaster, SCN has played an important role in the Saskatchewan broadcasting landscape. We note that Saskatchewan is a province with among the lowest number of originating stations in the country.
  4. When the Saskatchewan government announced its intention to shut down SCN, there was such an outcry across the province that what might arguably have stayed a local story if there had been little support for SCN became a Canada‐wide story, as various citizen groups mobilized in support of SCN.
  5. As there remains no way to lead the Saskatchewan government to reconsider its initial decision, FRIENDS and others have to look forward and identify how educational audiovisual services may continue to be available in the province. In this spirit, we were pleased to witness a process started resulting in the acquisition of SCN by Bluepoint Investments Inc.
  6. SCN has been an important partner to the independent producers in Saskatchewan, not only in terms of exhibition but also as a funding trigger for access to the Canadian Media Fund. We believe, therefore that Bluepoint’s commitment to spend an average of $ 1.7M per year over the licence term on independent Saskatchewan productions as well as an average of $ 1M per year on digital content is substantial and worthwhile.
  7. While we would have preferred SCN to continue as a non‐commercial television service, we recognize that this is no longer possible without an ongoing source of funding and, as a private company, the sale of commercials is the only alternative open to Bluepoint.
  8. We also welcome Bluepoint’s designation as the educational broadcaster for Saskatchewan as well as its ongoing commitment to educational programming – especially children’s educational programming.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Morrison
Ian Morrison

cc: Bluepoint Investments Inc.