CRTC Approves Canadian Version of Current TV

Current TV--a cable/satellite interactive TV channel that was founded by former vice president, Al Gore, and his business partner, Joel Hyatt, and that features short-form informational programs, dubbed "pods," around 30% of which are contributed by viewers via its Web site (note: the channel also invites viewers to help determine its programming schedule by voting for video submissions on its site)--is one step closer to launching in Canada (note: versions of the channel have previously launched in the UK and Italy). Current Media Canada, a joint venture 20%-owned by Current TV's parent company, Current Media, and 80%-owned by Canadian broadcaster, CBC, last week received a broadcasting license (for an English-language national channel) from Canadian communications regulator, the CRTC. Among other things, the license stipulates that 35% of the Canadian Current TV channel's user-generated content must be sourced from Canada, and that no more than 15% of its programming must be music videos. The channel, which is slated to launch at the end of this year or early next year, must now secure approval from the Canadian government's Treasury Board: that approval process is expected to begin in the fall.

North America