Manitobans rally to save local TV
Published Monday, May 25, 2009 5:48AM CST
More than 1000 Manitobans from around the province converged on CTV Winnipeg Saturday afternoon.
They rallied at Portage Place to show support their support for local television, and moved to the CTV Winnipeg studio to meet the CTV News team and tour the station.
The event was organized to send viewers one message: Local TV is threatened - and only you can do something to save it.
Organizers passed around a petition asking the federal government to allow CTV to collect fees from cable and satellite producers.
Along with the station's anchors, Winnipeg's mayor and Manitoba's premier were also on hand to lend their support.
"Local news is our news, and we're not going to let anybody take it away from us!" Gary Doer told the crowd.
CTVglobemedia held rallies across the country.
Struggling with declining advertising revenues, the network wants cable and satellite providers to pay them to carry their signal.
But not everyone is convinced local TV is in need of extra help.
Cable giant, Shaw Communications, bought full page ads in the Globe and Mail, and in local newspapers across the country.
They are calling the broadcaster's request for fee for carriage an unfair tax.
Ken Stein a senior VP at Shaw says the request for carriage fee is backwards.
"Our view is that they should be paying us!" he told CTV News.
"We're providing them with this transportation route, this communications route. They receive protection in terms of advertising, and those are all the things that are provided by the cable and satellite companies."
The debate isn't going away.
The hundreds of people who walked through the doors at CTV Winnipeg hope local TV won't go away either.
With a report from CTV's Jon Hendricks
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