CAB soon to be no more

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters will cease to exist as of 1 June 2010, a casualty of infighting amongst the major Television and Cable operators.

This should come as no surprise to those who have been watching this situation unfold over the past few months and it was clear there was an  impasse between TV operators like CTV and Canwest who couldn’t find a common ground with cable companies like Rogers Communications  which have broadcasting assets.

Chairman Elmer Hildebrand says the organization, which represents Canadian radio and television broadcasters, has decided close this June. Hildebrand has been trying since December to help the CAB find common ground between broadcasters and cable operators, who have been forcing increasingly different views on the industry.

Both Canwest and CTV have been pushing for a tax on cable operators like Rogers for carrying over-the-air television signals, an approach that has created a major rift between the two sides.

“In its place, he says, will rise a national association comprised of radio members”  says Hildebrand . “Documents relating to the formal dissolution will be forwarded to members in due course.”

The goal is to have a new association in place by 1 June. Regional associations — British Columbia, Western, Ontario and Atlantic — are not affected by this decision, although for some, membership was contingent on a station being a member of CAB.

Meantime the Canadian Broadcast Standards council was quick to send out the following notice

To all CBSC members:

You may have received the e-mail from the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters advising that the CAB will cease operations effective June 2010.

The purpose of this e-mail is to advise you that the CBSC will continue from today on to provide its customary services to members without interruption.  The CBSC will in due course be sending out invoices for its membership fees directly to you.  We will provide you with all necessary information as soon as possible regarding these arrangements.

If you have any questions, please contact either:

Ron Cohen – ron.cohen@cbsc.ca or 613-233-4607 x14

John MacNab – jmacnab@cbsc.ca or 613-233-4607 x11