Why Support Us?

OMNI Television plays a vital and unique role within the Canadian media landscape. For over 35 years, we’ve provided a strong and relevant voice for Canadian ethnic and third-language communities through the provision high-quality multicultural and multilingual programming.

We believe OMNI plays a vital role in connecting Canada’s ethnic communities, so we’ve applied for a new national channel that would be included in basic TV packages across the country, giving us a new way to fund our programming. As part of our proposal, we’re committing to bringing back four daily newscasts in Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese and Punjabi seven days a week. This is a win-win for us and the community because we acknowledge how challenged our business model has been in the past due to the drastic decline in advertising revenue, which was our sole source of revenue for some time.

We believe our proposal offers a win-win solution: Canadians get low-cost access to quality news and information programming in their language of comfort no matter where they live, and OMNI and our community and production partners get a stable revenue source that we can use to build a strong and relevant voice for ethnic audiences in Canada.

  • A commitment to bring back four daily newscasts seven days a week in Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese and Punjabi;
  • A commitment to devote 80% of OMNI Regional’s schedule to ethnic programming 50% of the schedule to third-language programming;
  • A commitment to devote 2.5% of OMNI Regional’s annual revenues to ethnic and/or third-language scripted dramas and documentaries;
  • A commitment to maintain local daily current affairs shows in Mandarin, Cantonese and Punjabi languages;
  • A commitment to devote a minimum of 40% of OMNI Regional’s annual revenues to the production of Canadian program. The creation of a national cultural affairs series produced in Alberta that is designed to showcase important cultural and social contributions from Canada’s ethnocultural communities;
  • A commitment to re-establish in-house production in all of the markets served by OMNI’s over-the-air stations; and
  • A commitment to devote a minimum of 40% of OMNI Regional’s annual revenues to the production of Canadian programming;
  • The creation of four regional feeds that comprise the national network will be specifically tailored to ethnic Canadians living in B.C., the Prairies, Eastern Canada and Quebec by including English and French-language ethnic programming as well as third-language programming produced by local independent producers that reside in those regions.

FAQ

Q:

Why are you bringing the newscasts back after stopping them last year?

A: We heard from our community stakeholders, viewers, Parliamentarians and the CRTC about the importance of news and analysis programming to our democracy. We think we’ve found a way to produce both current affairs and news programming and make OMNI Television financially viable.

Q:

Will my TV bill go up?

A: Our research suggests there is broad support amongst Canadians for collectively funding a national multicultural TV service. For those who subscribe to a skinny basic package, like Rogers’ Starter TV package, the price is capped at $25, so there would be no increase in cost.

Q:

Would TV providers have to include OMNI Television in Skinny Basic and Regular Basic?

A: Yes, they would, other than small TV providers exempt from the regulations.

Q:

Will OMNI Television still be free over-the-air/via antenna?

A: Yes! You’ll still be able to receive OMNI Television over-the-air in Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

Q:

Why should Canadians who might not watch OMNI have to pay for it?

A: Consumers are getting more choice through the TV packaging changes that took place in March of this year and that will continue in December. This isn’t about forcing Canadians to pay $5 or $10 on their TV bill for an optional service. This is about meeting one of the principles of our broadcasting system – that all Canadians should see themselves reflected in the programming they receive. There is currently no service included in basic TV packages that reflects our multicultural makeup as a country. And we’re able to do this for 12 cents per month.

Q:

Where will the newscasts be based out of, and what will these news programs look like?

A: There will be four daily, national, 30 minute
newscasts seven days per week, in each of Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese (produced in Toronto with contributions from Vancouver and reporters in
Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton and Victoria) and Punjabi languages (produced in Vancouver with contributions from Toronto and reporters in Victoria, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal).

Q:

Will OMNI Regional be streamed live online?

A: Yes! If approved, we will develop a
“Television Everywhere” model that will allow TV providers to host OMNI’s programming on their own portal at no additional cost and we will develop an
“app” that will be accessible for free to those who want to access OMNI programming online.

Q:

The current OMNI channels broadcast in more than 40 languages.  How many languages will OMNI Regional broadcast in?

A: We commit to offer programming to 20 distinct
ethnic groups in 20 different languages each month on each feed.

Q:

In addition to News, what type of programming will you air on OMNI Regional?  What are your plans for original programming?

A: We will fund Canadian original independent productions that involve ethnic and/or third-language producers, like Blood & Water, a Chinese and English crime drama series we recently produced with Breakthrough Entertainment.

Thank You!

This summer, we called on Canadians to show support for expanding OMNI

Television into a new fully-national multilingual channel.  We’re excited to say that

Canadians across the country responded to our call, and in record numbers!

 

Thanks to the ongoing backing of communities across the country, OMNI received an

overwhelming response – close to 4,000 individual letters of support from community

leaders, organizations, government officials, and viewers like you.

 

Although an important phase of the campaign has ended, our efforts are not over. We’re

continuing on with our initiatives to reinforce the need, and Canada’s wish, to have a

national channel that caters to ethnic communities and third-language Canadians as we

journey towards our official hearings with the CRTC this November.

 

We still have a long road ahead of us, but right now we would like to take a moment to

thank every person who spoke to us at community and public events, visited our

website, signed their letters of support, or shared a post on social media.

 

Thank you from everyone at OMNI Television.

 

Sincerely,

 

Colette Watson

Vice-President of Television and Broadcast Operations, Rogers Media

Our Supporters

Brian Gallant

Premier of New Brunswick

Dave Ryan

Mayor of Pickering

Rod Loyola

MLA, Edmonton-Ellerslie

Krista Ross

CEO, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce

John Henry

Mayor of Oshawa

Michael DiBiase

Deputy Mayor of Vaughan

Ingrid Cazakoff

CEO, Heritage Saskatchewan

Slawa Gruszczynska

Cultural Diversity Coordinator, Cultural Division, Recreation, City of Calgary & OMNI Advisory Council Member

Judy Gabriel

Founder-Executive Producer/Filmmaker, Host/TV Producer/Director/Writer, HotBizMedia Inc. & OMNI Advisory Council Member

Queenie Choo

CEO, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. & OMNI Advisory Council Member

Yogesh Paliwal

finance professional, Founder and past President of Rajasthan Association of North America (Calgary) (RANA Calgary) & OMNI Advisory Council Member

Billy Pang

YRDSB Trustee, Markham Wards 2, 3 & 6

Danny Ng

Publisher of www.chinatowncalgary.com, Director, Calgary Dragon Boat Society, Vice President, Sien Lok Society of Calgary

Neelam Sahota

CEO, DIVERSEcity & OMNI Advisory Council Member

Matt Astifan

Founder, WebFriendly & OMNI Advisory Council Member

Kerry Jang

Councillor & Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, and Vancouver City Councillor

Alden Habacon

Director of Intercultural Understanding Strategy Development, University of British Columbia & OMNI Advisory Council Member

Malik Muradov

Executive Director, Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI) Calgary

Richard M. Landau

TV & Documentary Producer, WebVideoAssociates.com

Eric Mourant

CEO, 3+ Corporation

Brad Clark

DComm Associate Professor, Chair Journalism; Broadcast Media Studies, Faculty of Communication Studies, Mount Royal University

Marcus Kolga

President, Liefa Communications, Realworld Pictures

Nish Prasad

President, India Canada Association of Saskatchewan

Rose Gilks

General Manager, SaskCulture Inc.

Rhonda Rosenberg

Executive Director, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan

Tamara Ruzic

Executive Director, Saskatchewan Organization for Heritage Languages (SOHL)

Angela Kennedy

Chair, Toronto Catholic District School Board

Cheri DiNovo

MPP, Parkdale, High Park

Wayne Gates

MPP, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie, Critic for Transportation

Wilbert Lai

President, Wilbert Lai CPA Professional Corporation, Advisor, Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs & OMNI Advisory Council Member

Percy Hatfield

Member of Provincial Parliament for Windsor-Tecumseh

Catherine Fife

MPP Kitchener-Waterloo

Frank Scarpitti

Mayor of Markham

Louanne Chan

Executive Director Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival

Maurizio Bevilacqua

Mayor of Vaughan

Harkirat Singh

Peel District School Board Trustee

Show your Support

Show your support by posting this message on social media!

I #SupportOMNITV multicultural content for all Canadians & the return of ethnic newscasts @OMNITelevision @CRTCeng

I support OMNI Television’s proposal to give all Canadians multicultural TV and bring back ethnic newscasts!

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