Fox Sports 1 and 2 are in the same category as ESPN and NBC Sports Network. They're not allowed to be directly distributed in Canada, and it is extremely unlikely that they will be any time soon.
They can sell some of their programming to Canadian channels. They can own a minority percentage of a Canadian channel, as ESPN does with TSN -- I think it was 20% last I heard.
I suppose they could conceivably apply for a licence for a channel to be named Fox Sports 1 in Canada, but only if they owned a similar small percentage while the rest was Canadian owned, and it would have to meet other licensing requirements that would presumably include a minimum amount of Canadian content. It could not just be distributing the U.S. channel's signal directly to Canadians 100% of the time.
The purpose of the rules is to ensure that Canada has its own channels that don't just get run out of business in our own country by foreign competition.
As I understand it, the U.S. (and other "non-Canadian") cable channels that are allowed to be distributed in Canada do not need to apply for a licence, but must apply and be approved, along with a Canadian distributer wanting to carry them, to be added to the list of approved non-Canadian channels.
This means they must demonstrate that they are not in direct competition with any Canadian channel. Speed was approved in 1997 because there was no Canadian motorsports channel. If the channel changes its programming format and becomes direct competition to a Canadian channel, it can be deleted. As far as I know, Fox has made no effort to get FS1 distributed in Canada, likely understanding it's just not allowed.
The closest channel on the list to be something like that would probably be the CBS Sports channel. But that was approved when it was CBS College Sports, and I believe it still largely maintains that format despite dropping the word "college" from its name. If it changes to become more of a mainstream general sports channel like FS1, NBCSN, and ESPN, I assume the Canadian channels like TSN and Sportsnet would likely ask that it be deleted.
Well described, thanks. My understanding is that Specialty channels are much easier to get approval for, as Speed did. With those, after satisfying the fact that the specialty being carried doesn't conflict with a Canadian channel, then the key is to have carriers on board to show the channel once it gets approved. This is where I take issue with the lack of communication by the major carriers to their customers about the specifics of their future plans and attempted plans.
I was hoping with yesterdays anouncement by TSN that they are going to 5 channels that there would be some mention of motorsports programming being added. they mentioned every sport known to man yesterday except motorsports being added to their line up. figures.
Also , coworker says he has Shaw Direct and they still have Speed and he hasnt been told anything about lossing it anytime soon.
Alot of it, likely comes with when the lisence expires for them getting the channel.
Each company (rogers, bell, etc), when they pay for the rights for a channel, they pay get it for 1, 2, 5 whatever years.
When these contracts run out.. they need to go and re negotiate and pay for them again.
(this is where you can get big hoohaa happen like with AMC, where when the contract was up, amc was aking for ALOT more $$ the next time).
Likely then, the station chooses to then NOT renew.
Could be, that SHAWs contract is still not up yet..
To be fair, I can understand them not wanting to tell us about their private business negotiations. They only have to tell us a month ahead of time if a channel is going to be dropped. For all we know, perhaps they actually did talk to Motors TV and/or the Speed Channel from Australia and were unable to work out a deal satisfactory to both sides. Or maybe there were technical problems about providing a separate feed for Canada. Maybe they considered starting their own new motorsports channel and came to the conclusion that it was not financially feasible. We don't know and they don't have to tell us.
But I agree that what Bell and particularly Rogers did and said (or saying nothing for many months last year, even when we asked) does not look good, like they weren't paying attention and just don't care. In January of this year, when Rogers announced they were dropping Speed and not replacing it with another motorsports channel, Norris McDonald wrote, "I’ll tell you here and now that it’s for no other reason than the guy (or woman) in charge doesn’t like auto racing." If that's true, then the person in charge should be fired for letting their own strange attitude get in the way of business decisions.
I assume the potential number of subscribers for a motorsports channel is not in the same league as TSN, but since Speedvision/Speed was here (and still is, I suppose) since 1997 means there must be enough to justify such a channel, particularly if there is a fishing channel and other presumably narrowly focused niche channels. Look at the price people pay for Sportsnet World and that new beIN Sports channel. I have no way of knowing for sure, but I think there must be enough of us who would be willing to pay that much for a worthwhile motorsports channel like the two I mentioned. It doesn't make any sense that the attitude of someone in charge at Rogers or Bell would be "I don't want your money because I don't like racing".
I don't watch fishing, golf, or most of the hundreds of other channels offered, but if I was in charge of making the decisions at Rogers I don't think it would cause me get rid of those channels if they made money.
You have to consider that before its final demise on Rogers, Speed was a watered-down version of what it was just a year before. Wind Tunnel was gone. WRC nowhere to be found. Most of the meat had been replaced by a collection of reality shows. Let's hope that this is not what Rogers thinks would serve as a replacement motorsports channel.
I would also agree that there is no American motorsports channel that is any where near being as good as Motors TV.
The Speed channel Fox is still sending to Canada is not worthwhile, and Discovery Velocity and MavTV have very little actual racing from what I can see from the schedules on their websites and what is mentioned on their wikipedia pages.
The Speed channel from Australia would appear to be largely similar to Motors TV in its programming, and if Motors TV is now available in HD, I think there would be little to choose between the two of them. I think sometimes there may be some events that are seen on EuroSport in Europe and thus not on Motors TV, while they may be seen on the Australian Speed channel. But then if one of these channels would become available here in Canada, presumably it would be a separate feed that would occasionally be showing different programming here. I think Motors TV already does that for some different countries in Europe.
My fear is that the people in charge at Rogers, Bell, etc., don't care and don't pay attention enough to understand any of this, and just automatically follow whatever happens in the U.S. thinking that any U.S. channel must be more suitable for Canadian viewers (assuming they were even aware of the other non-American channels). I have nothing against any of those American channels I mentioned and maybe there are some who would be interested in their car-collector and automotive type of shows, but they are not motorsports channels.
I have been keeping my eye what has going on. Over on the Telus forum there is a man claiming that Global and Fox are working together to bring a Canadianized version of Fox Sports 1/2 to us called Fox Sports Canada. He even gave a launch date of Sept.17th I have contacted Global and the CRTC to find out if this true. If it is and I hope so since I haven't seen a truck race or qualfying/practice since Martinsville this should solve all of our current problems with NASCAR coverage and help out our 2 wheel Canadian fans. Fingers Crossed
Chris a Canadian NASCAR fan
That sounds encouraging, provided it is free to customers who previously received Speed, and not an extra cost item. I would not appreciate Rogers taking Speed away from me and then trying to sell an equivalent channel back to me.