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Market Metrics study submitted to CRTC

January 10, 2007 — A study prepared by Market Metrics on behalf of Shaw Cable was submitted to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for use in preparing the CRTC’s report examining the future facing Canadian television broadcasters.

The CRTC is the public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada, and is currently conducting reviews of its regulatory frameworks for radio, television and broadcasting distribution with a focus on the impact of technological change.

In the Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-72, the CRTC called for comments regarding how “the evolution of audio-visual technologies is profoundly changing how Canadians, communicate, express themselves, and interact with various media bringing with it important economic and social implications and leading to a new communications and media environment.”

Included in Shaw Cable’s submission, our report was one of 52 from consumer groups, broadcasters, distributors and industry associations. This information was then used by the CRTC to inform the Government of Canada‚Äôs policy determinations regarding the future of broadcasting in Canada.

The CRTC’s subsequent report, called “The Future Environment Facing the Canadian Broadasting System”, was released on December 14, 2006. In their report, the CRTC acknowledged our study by stating “Market Metrics identified five enabling technologies, which have emerged since the year 2000 and are now being used by unregulated new entrants to offer services that compete with the Canadian broadcasting system.”

The CRTC further agreed with the findings of our study and stated that “… all of these technologies will continue to improve rapidly. In addition to these technological advancements, new types of competitors and new business models that compete with traditional broadcasting distribution undertakings will be aided by the increased availability of new technologies, and the increasing familiarity and comfort of Canadians with the use of technology.”

The CRTC report concluded that any negative impact from shifting media consumption patterns has been marginal to date since Canadians still consume the vast majority of programming through regulated broadcasting undertakings. However, the report notes that younger Canadians in particular are increasingly accessing programming through unregulated electronic platforms, and that new audio-visual technologies will have an increasing effect on broadcasting undertakings over time. The possibility of public policy action being required within the next 3-7 years is suggested.

The CRTC’s complete report, as well as public submissions, is available electronically from their website at: www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/NEWS/RELEASES/2006/r061214.htm [1]