Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fox Sports World Canada still blowing chunks

March 30, 2006


Taking deep breaths ... still tilting at windmills ... my head hasn’t exploded yet, but give it time. This is going to be long. It will probably bore you. You’ve been warned!

Last month I made a formal complaint to the Canadian Radio & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) against broadcaster Fox Sports World Canada and "parent" Global Communications.

The CRTC has now responded to my complaint. Or rather, they wiped their arse with it.

16 March 2006

Mr. Fisher:

Thank you for taking the time to contact the CRTC.

While your concerns are appreciated, they do not appear to raise any regulatory issues which we might further pursue on your behalf. Please allow me to explain.

First of all, Fox Sports World's condition of licence does not say how much or what percentage of a particular sport it must provide. It simply states that this service may only draw its programming from the named sports. If Fox Sports World then chooses to devote most of its total programming to one of those sports, that is a business decision of theirs alone in which the CRTC would not interfere. Here is a link to the licence amendment to which you refer:

Furthermore, we do not have regulations pertaining to false and misleading advertising. Please contact the Competition Bureau of Industry Canada:

You may also wish to contact the Better Business Bureau in your area.
I hope you find this information useful.


Forrest Greene
CRTC Client Services

1-877-249-2782 / télécopieur/facsimile (819) 994-0218
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes / Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission / Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
Gouvernement du Canada / Government of Canada

Okay, so Fox Sports World Canada can make bogus advertising claims, fail to live up to the mandate of their license, rip off subscribers, repeatedly blow off customer queries, and the CRTC doesn't see a problem. They are fine with a Stepford Station -- a robotic automated network staffed by a computer that grabs cheap programming from elsewhere, produces NONE of it's own content, and has no employees that answers customer enquiries -- that makes bald-faced LIES on their application amendment.

In other words, this governmental regulatory commission regulates nothing. They are a matador that waves through and greenlights weasels backed with fat wallets. *Sigh* ... I have taken the CRTC recommendation and now complained to the Competition Bureau of Industry Canada. Details...


Our file number R457223

Dear Mr. Fisher :

Thank you for the information you provided to the Competition Bureau concerning Global Television Network Inc.

The Bureau administers and enforces the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act. Information brought to our attention about possible contraventions under any of the four statutes is critical to helping us ensure that our Canadian marketplace is fair and competitive. We do not, however, have the authority to obtain reimbursement or to settle any contractual dispute between two or more parties on behalf of a complainant.
We have a wide range of education, compliance and enforcement tools we can use to deal with false or misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices, as well as labelling, packaging and marking contraventions.

The Bureau resolves issues brought to its attention by using a variety of means such as issuing public alerts to educate consumers about certain marketing practices. It also contacts parties directly to encourage voluntary compliance with its laws. The Bureau may also seek legal action. It refers criminal matters under any of the four statutes to the Attorney General of Canada for possible prosecution. Non-criminal matters under the Competition Act may be referred to the Competition Tribunal or other civil courts for decision.

It is important to note that the Bureau conducts its investigations in private. As a consequence, complainants will be contacted if there is a need for additional information but cannot be provided with reports on the status of their complaint. Doing so would involve shifting resources away from ongoing investigative work. We would, however, invite you to visit our Web site, to access public case developments and general information about our programs and activities.

Thank you again for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention. Your assistance is very much appreciated.

Yours truly,
Complaint and Information Specialist
Information Centre

A response to this complaint is pending.

It is curious to note that since my complaint, Fox Sports World Canada has since seen fit to add some rugby – or rather, a version of rugby that is not played in Canada – to their schedule. That game is called Rugby League. Nobody in Canada plays it. And next-to-nobody in North America knows the rules.

Now, full disclosure, I kinda like Rugby League – even if there’s negligible international competition and Canada doesn’t play the sport and the scrums they pack down are unmitigated farces.

On this week’s schedule FSWC features Manly vs. Cronulla. That's the sound of one hand clapping.

I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but when 99% of Canadians hear the word "rugby" what's foremost in their heads is the game of Rugby Union. And when FSWC advertises their service as featuring “the best rugby from around the world” with video clips of Christian Cullen and Pita Alatini, they'll have to excuse those of us who accept the obvious and infer from that they are advertising the sport of Rugby Union – i.e. the sport that has a national program and profile in Canada and the United States.

Baiting us with Union and switching to League is a sham.

It is like a network advertising NFL, but replacing it with CFL.

It’s like offering us NCAA basketball and snatching it away without any mention and presuming CIAU is an acceptable replacement.

Would any sane person tune in to Hockey Night in Canada and accept a field hockey game? Well, that’s the sort of slop FSWC is serving.

Rugby fans in Canada and the United States, right now your options are limited. Try these:

The Score in Canada is showing the ½-hour IRB program Total Rugby on Sunday morning. Let them know you appreciate their service.

MediaZone’s Rugby Channel shows live rugby union online for a fee. Check them out.

And lastly, take a look at Aussie Torrents. The games aren’t live and there is no advance schedule. But the gang there turns around video-files of rugby tests and pro matches from around the world as well as archival material into bit-torrent in days, and it’s free. The files are huge and downloads sometimes sluggish, and you might need a tech-savvy friend to hold your hand while getting a grasp of the technology, but it’s an invaluable service and well worth it.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home