The Canadian federal government is going ahead with a planned review of its commercial radio regulations, despite an earlier call by domestic broadcasters for a delay amid the pending arrival of U.S.

TORONTO (The Hollywood Reporter) -- The Canadian federal government is going ahead with a planned review of its commercial radio regulations, despite an earlier call by domestic broadcasters for a delay amid the pending arrival of U.S. satellite radio services here.

In a letter sent Nov. 4 to the Canadian Assn. of Broadcasters, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission told major private broadcasters that a radio policy review "is timely and that any further delay would not be advisable, especially given the many technological and other changes taking place and the impacts they may have on the radio and music sectors."

In a Sept. 20 letter, CAB executives asked the CRTC to delay its policy review by 24-36 months until the impact of Sirius and XM Satellite Radio Holdings entering the Canadian market later this year could be measured.

"In the commission's (CRTC) view, a policy review will, amongst other things, provide an opportunity to discuss the most effective Canadian content and Canadian talent development measures in support of Canadian music and artists," the regulator told broadcasters.

"In addition, the Commission considers that it is the appropriate time to ensure that all regulatory, commercial and technological options are explored in order to facilitate radio's successful transition to digital transmission and reception," it added.
Canadian broadcasters this summer were unsuccessful in stopping Sirius and XM from launching Canadianized satellite radio services on grounds that they were saddled with far less stringent homegrown content quotas.

Plans of Sirius and XM to launch here in early 2006 with only a 10% domestic content quota -- while conventional radio stations retain a 35% content quota -- is expected to radically change the rules governing commercial radio in Canada.

The CRTC said it will issues dates and parameters shortly for its upcoming commercial radio policy review.