Timothy M. Denton

Success Through Understanding Technology

Timothy Denton's Blog

Commentary and insights on policy issues in telecommunications and the Internet.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that has been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login

PKP speaks in Ottawa

Posted by on in Industry News
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Print

Pierre Karl Péladeau, owner and head of Videotron, spoke at the Canadian Club lunch yesterday (Monday April 8, 2019) at the Chateau Laurier. He was unusually charming. The two thrusts of his speech were that

·       Internet-based services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime were cutting into the revenues available for Canadian televisual productions, and

  •        Bell services in Quebec collect much higher royalties per head than  does Videotron, assisted both by CRTC actions and its indifference. 

It was an honest discussion of the predicament that Canadian broadcasters face, as he sees them. I do not know how to solve these problems because I do not have a formula for dealing with the technical obsolescence of broadcasting. I can think of ways to ease the passage of Canadian video producers into the Internet age, and PKP and I might find large areas of agreement. But I am unable to conceive a way of getting the Internet to behave like a broadcasting distribution undertaking, or any persuasive reason to try to. Nor do I have the authority to solve problems of unfairness that arise purely by previous actions and inactions within the confines of the regulatorium. (Other people are paid for fixing them now).

As he observed, the gist of the issue is that a huge regulatory burden has been placed on a particular technical distribution system for televisual entertainment, and a new one is beating it on price and quality, and hence in public acceptance. To me it is obvious that trying to place the same burdens on the new distribution technology is as futile as holding back the tide by administrative fiat. Such as, for instance, declaring the Internet to be a broadcast distribution undertaking. Other people are persuaded this can be made to happen.

M. Péladeau managed to speak entertainingly and informatively for the better part of an hour without mentioning the I-word, as I recall. I surmise that, for people inside the Canadian broadcasting system, the Internet may be the Great Unmentionable. It would be bad manners to discuss it seriously, sort of like discussing President Trump at a dinner party as if he were a rational actor and not an emissary of Satan: just not done.

He made a reasoned effort to show the audience that the model on which his revenues depend is in free-fall. What I did not hear – though it is not his job to be an apostle of the Internet – were any proposals for adaptation.


Trackback URL for this blog entry.

Timothy Denton is a lawyer by training who practices principally in telecommunications and Internet policy and domain name issues, with a strong concentration on explaining what the technology is and what it means.


  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Sunday, 17 January 2021
You are here: Home Timothy Denton's Blog PKP speaks in Ottawa