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Sun News makes final pitch to CRTC

By Charles-Antoine Gagnon, QMI Agency

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GATINEAU, Que. — Mandatory carriage or bust: That was Sun News' message to the CRTC hearings, where a panel is mulling whether the news station can be carried on all basic cable packages.

Sun News Network VP Kory Teneycke told the CRTC hearings Thursday that anything less than the requested mandatory distribution through Canadian cable companies would be a "death sentence" for the Quebecor Media news channel.

In a final pitch, Teneycke stressed to the CRTC that the station has exceeded all the necessary conditions set out by the ruling body for the mandatory carriage requirement, including its contribution to Canadian culture and news.

"As we speak, Sun News has five reporters and three camera crews covering the B.C. provincial election campaign," Teneycke said. "For someone living in Ontario or Nova Scotia or for someone living in B.C., to be able to access in-depth political coverage of the B.C. provincial election on a daily basis is exceptional. It is exceptional because no other all-news network is doing that."

Sun News went to air in the spring of 2011. The network has approximately 150 employees across the country.

It's lost about $17 million each year since its launch.

While it has been picked up by some cable companies as part of their speciality channel lists, others such as Telus and MTS Allstream in Manitoba do not offer Sun News to their customers.

The CRTC is expected to announce its decision this summer.



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