Shaw Media wants to launch Global News channel
Brad Shaw, right, CEO of Shaw Communications, talks with his brother Jim Shaw before addressing the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. (Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
David Friend, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, July 4, 2014 12:55PM EDT
TORONTO -- Shaw Media is making plans to launch a national TV news channel called Global News 1.
In filings to the CRTC, the media division of Shaw Communications (TSX:SJR.B), which operates Global Television, says it wants to launch a "hybrid local/national" English-language channel.
A brief outline of the plans were included in Shaw's submission to the broadcast regulator as part of the CRTC's formal consultation on the evolution of the broadcasting system.
The news channel would fall under "Category C" guidelines, which covers all-news channels like the CBC News Network, CTV News Channel, RDI and the Sun News Network.
If successful, it would mean cable and satellite companies would have to offer their customers the option of subscribing to the new Global service, but it would not be a mandatory part of basic service.
While Shaw didn't outline exactly how its proposed news channel would operate, it's likely Shaw would tap into the assets of numerous local TV stations it owns across the country. Shaw also operates a regional news channel in British Columbia called Global News BC 1.
The application would be for "a service that will expand and diversify the amount of news and information-related programming in the Canadian broadcasting system," Shaw told the CRTC.
"There is no specialty news service that currently provides such a service in this country, namely the provision of uniquely local reflection."
A spokeswoman for the broadcaster declined to discuss the plans until after the licence application is finalized.
Last week, the CRTC wrapped up a formal interventions process on the future of Canadian television, which collected comments from Canadians and the industry. Topics ranged from the so-called pick-and-pay model for cable television to the future of local television.
Shaw suggested that the CRTC should "introduce minimum thresholds to ensure that only truly national news services benefit from must-carry privileges."
The list of requirements it believes the regulator should enforce include reporters located in at least nine of the 13 provinces and territories, at least 16 hours per day of original news coverage, and overseas reporting assets telling stories from a Canadian perspective.
"In addition to imposing these requirements on new services, at licence renewals, the Commission should consider whether existing services meet these criteria," Shaw suggested to the regulator.
Sun News Network has been criticized by some outsiders for its limited on-the-ground reporting, heavy editorializing of news coverage and repackaging of content from international news outlets.