The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ruled in favour of innovation by dismissing a complaint which stated that Rogers Media was granting undue preference to its subscribers by providing them with exclusive content through its online service GamePlus.
To encourage creative ways of presenting content and the creation of compelling content for digital media, including Internet and mobile video services, the CRTC allows companies to offer exclusive content to their subscribers, as long as it is not created mainly for traditional television.
The CRTC considers that the programming available on GamePlus is essentially produced for distribution on digital media. As such, it can be offered exclusively and does not constitute an undue preference in favour of Rogers subscribers. In the CRTC’s view, Rogers is in compliance with the established rules.
GameCentre Live is a service operated by Rogers to which all Canadians can subscribe to to access National Hockey League games online. GamePlus is a complementary service to GameCentre Live, available online only, and offered exclusively to Rogers subscribers. GamePlus provides access to bonus content, such as replays not available on the traditional television broadcast, exclusive analysis and interviews, and different camera angles.
The CRTC recently issued several decisions related to the Let’s Talk TV conversation, and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. The new regulatory framework taking shape is focused on the future, and fosters the creation of content for digital media platforms.