We have applied for a new fully national channel that would give all Canadians basic access to multicultural/multilingual TV. This change would allow us to continue to provide programming to over 40 different ethnic groups in over 40 different languages and bring back our third-language newscasts in Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Punjabi.
We need your help! Please show your support for Canadian ethnic and third-language programming by adding your voice to our campaign and/or by sending a letter of support to the CRTC using our simple form below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vice-President of Television and Broadcast Operations, Rogers Media
Premier of New Brunswick
Mayor of Pickering
CEO, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce
Mayor of Oshawa
Deputy Mayor of Vaughan
CEO, Heritage Saskatchewan
Cultural Diversity Coordinator, Cultural Division, Recreation, City of Calgary & OMNI Advisory Council Member
Founder-Executive Producer/Filmmaker, Host/TV Producer/Director/Writer, HotBizMedia Inc. & OMNI Advisory Council Member
CEO, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. & OMNI Advisory Council Member
finance professional, Founder and past President of Rajasthan Association of North America (Calgary) (RANA Calgary) & OMNI Advisory Council Member
YRDSB Trustee, Markham Wards 2, 3 & 6
Publisher of www.chinatowncalgary.com, Director, Calgary Dragon Boat Society, Vice President, Sien Lok Society of Calgary
CEO, DIVERSEcity & OMNI Advisory Council Member
Founder, WebFriendly & OMNI Advisory Council Member
Councillor & Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, and Vancouver City Councillor
Director of Intercultural Understanding Strategy Development, University of British Columbia & OMNI Advisory Council Member
Executive Director, Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI) Calgary
TV & Documentary Producer, WebVideoAssociates.com
CEO, 3+ Corporation
DComm Associate Professor, Chair Journalism; Broadcast Media Studies, Faculty of Communication Studies, Mount Royal University
President, Liefa Communications, Realworld Pictures
President, India Canada Association of Saskatchewan
General Manager, SaskCulture Inc.
Executive Director, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan
Executive Director, Saskatchewan Organization for Heritage Languages (SOHL)
Chair, Toronto Catholic District School Board
MPP, Parkdale, High Park
MPP, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie, Critic for Transportation
President, Wilbert Lai CPA Professional Corporation, Advisor, Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs & OMNI Advisory Council Member
Member of Provincial Parliament for Windsor-Tecumseh
Mayor of Markham
Executive Director Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival
Mayor of Vaughan
Peel District School Board Trustee
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