Intervention, observation ou réponse de l'intimé / Intervention, comment or answer by respondent

Date reçu / Date Arrived: 2020-01-11

Numéro de processus public / Public Process Number: 2019-379
Numéro d'intervention / Intervention Number: 2978
Demande(s) / Application(s): 2019-0279-2, 2019-0280-0, 2019-0281-7, 2019-0282-5
Cas / Case: 282598

Demande à comparaître à l'audience publique / Request to appear at the public hearing: Oui/Yes
Intimé / Respondent: Non/No

Commentaire / Comment

My name is Geoff Tebbutt, and I am the Owner of The Antenna Guys in Toronto, ON. We have been installing HD TV Antennas since 2010 throughout Southern Ontario - from Windsor to Belleville, Newmarket to Niagara - but mostly in the Greater Toronto Area where we have installed over 1000 Antennas for FREE Over The Air Television.
In September 2014, I came to Ottawa to testify in the CRTC - Let's Talk TV Hearings. Bell and Rogers wanted to shut down their over the air transmitters, and I opposed that move on behalf of the Antenna users in Canada. To my recollection, Bell and Rogers had armies of lawyers pleading their case, and I was just one man with an antenna.
Jean-Pierre Blais - the Chairman of the CRTC at the time, asked me several pointed questions and seemed to really appreciate my input. A few months later, he called me to ask to borrow a few antennas for the announcement of their findings in London, ON - where we were operating at the time. Strange how he never called Bell or Rogers to provide a backdrop for the TV Cameras. Oh, right - They LOST!! Davey beat Goliath.

I was very impressed with the process last time - the voices of Canadians were heard, loud and clear and the commission acted on their wishes. I wish to help with the new Hearings on the future role of the CBC in the Canadian Television Broadcasting Industry - and I would be very willing to travel to Ottawa to testify on behalf of Canadian Antenna Users once again.

My major thought on CBC Television Broadcasting can be summed up in one hyphenated word - sub-channels. With Digital Over The Air Broadcasting it is possible to broadcast several streams or sub-channels of programming at the same time. Almost all of the US-based broadcasters employ this to give Canadian TV viewers within 80 miles of a medium sized city in America a chance to see much more varied programming for free.

Currently, I do not know of one Canadian broadcaster who delivers more than one stream - even though all of the Broadcast Networks in Canada have the ability to do so, have sufficient programming to do so, and the CRTC has no rules against it. The problem is most of the Broadcast Networks are now owned by these large BDUs - who, as evidenced by their desire to shut down OTA transmitters in 2014 - will probably never broadcast sub-channels unless forced to do so by Regulation or Competition. The chances of the CRTC Regulating them to broadcast sub-channels in the near future are pretty low as I see it.

However, the chances of compelling the CBC to broadcast sub-channels on all of their digital transmitters throughout Canada is VERY possible. In order to not lose viewership Over The Air to the CBC - the other BDUs in the country may well be forced to match pace with the CBC in order to not lose eyes on their commercials - which were supposed to pay for broadcasting before cable fees arrived.

Many people in Canada cannot afford the $30 - $150 per month cost to watch TV, and if they do not live close to an American City, they do not have as many viewing options as say a person in Toronto, where we receive over half of our 35 watchable channels from Buffalo, NY and area. Many Canadians are forced to pay for expensive Internet service to stream programs on-line if they wish to be entertained.

The CRTC, through the CBC has a chance to help out those poorer Canadians, and maybe force some of the CBC's competitors to give a little bit back to their viewership that have made these Giant Companies quite wealthy. Even if they did not follow the CBC's lead, Canadians all over the country would benefit immensely from CBC broadcasting sub-channels.

The CBC would not have to spend one cent on producing new content. Yes, converting all transmitters to broadcast sub-channels will cost a certain amount of money - but nowhere near what Canadian TV watchers are forced to pay to watch CBC's additional programming on-line. Currently the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has several streams of programming that could put on sub-channels tomorrow:
CBC Newsworld
CBC Documentaries
CBC Sports
CBC Kids
CBC Oldies (I'd love to see The Beachcombers or Friendly Giant again)
CBC Radio One
CBC Radio Two

If the above list were available to everyone in Canada who had an antenna, I would be willing to bet that CBC would become the number one watched station in many Communities that are currently under-served by broadcasters, and are forced to watch on Cable, Satellite, or On-line. People do not enjoy paying so much money to these Giant Corporations - Bell, Rogers, Shaw, et al. - just to watch TV. The CBC could help to change that landscape drastically. Maybe the CBC would not make as much money as they do by streaming their programming - but If I am not mistaken - accessibility of CBC for ALL Canadians is a much higher priority than Profit for this Crown Corporation.
As I stated earlier, I am quite willing to come to Ottawa again to help ensure that ordinary Canadians are not screwed over. I even applied to be a Commissionaire with the CRTC a couple of years ago. This is a subject near and dear to my heart, and I actually know what I'm talking about.

Raisons pour comparaitre / Reasons for appearance
When I appear at the CRTC hearings, I plan to discuss my experience over the past 10+ years installing HD TV Antennas to over 1000 clients in Southern Ontario. As well I will speak about the sub-channels currently being broadcast in the US by all major American Broadcasters. As with my last appearance before the CRTC, I will bring a sample of an Antenna for the Commission to see, to better understand what we are dealing with. The current antennas are quite small and cute, unlike the giant 10 foot long antennas of our Grandfathers. This industry has changed immensely over the last 10 years, and I am one of the most knowledgable and experienced people in Canada on the subject.
I believe my written comments are not enough for the Commission, especially after my last appearance before them, when Jean-Pierre Blais (and other commissionaires) asked me very relevant questions that were not in my written comments. My answers helped them to come to their wise decisions in some small way, I'm sure.

Copie envoyée au demandeur et à tout autre intimé si applicable / Copy sent to applicant and to any respondent if applicable: Oui/Yes

Information du client / Client information

Nom / Name: Geoff Tebbutt
Titre / Title: Owner
Au nom de la compagnie / On behalf of company: The Antenna Guys
Adresse courriel / E-mail address:
Adresse postale / Address: 77 Thirty Seventh St., Toronto, ON, Canada
Code postal / Postal code: M8W 3L7
Téléphone / Telephone: 647-812-4143
Facsimilé / Fax: