I'm of two minds on CRTC mandatory carriage hearings

As I read The Wire Report and Michael Geist's blog reporting on the CRTC's mandatory distribution hearings, I am of two minds.

On one hand I've intervened in front of the CRTC in the past to state that I believe that broadcasters have to choose between mandatory carriage and fee for carriage, with the CRTC never granting both. The only channels that should be mandatory on BDU's (cable, satellite) are those which have no carriage fees. The CRTC may mandate that the channels be offered in an a-la-carte fashion, but never part of the basic package.

On the other hand, I think increasing the price to the point that more people disconnect from BDU's can only be a good thing in the long run.

If the legacy "broadcast" industry wants to put itself out of business, who are we to stand in their way? The CRTC should simply allow that industry to shoot itself in the head, at the same time keeping appropriate minimal regulation on the competition. Services like Netflix already has far more Canadian Content than the broadcasters, and there are many policies that could be put into place to encourage and protect (from the incumbents) modern alternatives.

Our household hasn't been a subscriber to a BDU for quite some time now, and are able to direct our entertainment dollars to better content through subscriptions to Netflix and DVD purchases. I believe this will encourage improvements in content creation, allowing better content to be funded rather than the status quo of the funding going to those who can best navigate the antiquated subsidy system. Even when we watch a show via a broadcasters website we are providing more useful statistics to advertisers, which as the broadcasting sector modernizes will be recognized for the improvement it is over legacy broadcasting and BDU's.

The question for the CRTC will be between doing what is best for Canadians in the shorter-term by rejecting mandatory carriage (and rolling back legacy mandatory carriage of any channel requesting Fee-for-carriage), or helping Canadians move to the competition and allowing the BDU's to more quickly disappear.