The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

18 May 2005

Canadian Fox News Hassles Continue

FOX News And Porn?

Cable Operator: Can't Have One Without The Other

Why do FOX News and Canada seem to go together like oil and water?

First, the Liberal Party-led Canadian government worked tirelessly to ensure the American FOX News Channel remained banned from the country's cable systems, for as long as possible.

At one time, there were even plans for a FOX News Canada channel (WOW, what a great idea), but they were scrapped in 2003 by News Corporation.

After that, the company devoted its energy to fighting the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's (CRTC) ban on the US cable channel.

Finally, the ban was lifted, to the consternation of some Canadian liberals, who even tried to claim there was no such FOX prohibition in the first place (though some seemed to be confusing FOX affiliates from Seattle, Detroit, Buffalo, etc., which have always been on Canadian cable systems, with the FOX News Channel).

If it hadn't been for the firestorm that erupted after the CRTC welcomed al-Jazeera to Canadian lineups in May 2004, FOX might still be prohibited in the country.

Now, just when you might think the last chapter had been written on this frustrating tale of Canadian government censorship, a new reality emerges: that several months later, it isn't exactly easy to sign up for the channel, especially from one Ontario cable company.

Ontario Tory political activist and blogger Brent Colbert, who has been an important background source for the Radio Equalizer's Canadian coverage, reports on a disturbing situation he encountered when signing up for a channel package with Cogeco Cable.

Colbert says he signed up for a plan which included the FOX News Channel as an a la carte selection, because it doesn't appear in the company's basic lineups. At the storefront location, he was assured he could add FOX News to his order in this way.

Then, Colbert got a surprise:

Later that day, I got a message from the CSR that Fox News was not available as a stand alone option, but had to be purchased as part of a package which includes SEXTV.

If they wish to bundle adult themed programming in a package, that’s fine, but why would Fox News be paired up with a network that shows soft-core pornography?

To the Radio Equalizer, this sounds like an attempt to reduce the availability of the FOX News Channel. After all, how many families (a key FOX demographic) would order this?

A check of the company's offerings shows PBS, CBS, ABC and NBC as part of a basic cable lineup. The second tier "Variety Pack" includes CNN and CNBC.

FOX News Channel is never mentioned on their site, meaning a customer would have to know to request a package that included it.

Colbert wants his Canadian readers to write to the cable company to express dismay over the forced FOX-porn combination, while on the American side, I've contacted FOX and will let you know when I receive a response.

I can't imagine FOX would want their cable news channel bundled with a porn channel lineup.

Evening Update:
FOX News spoke to Colbert about the situation. Here's his update.


  • The newsbabes make it worthwhile :-).

    But then again, I don't particularly care for either CNN or Fox News.

    By Blogger Josef, at 18 May, 2005 01:26  

  • I've seen a couple stories about Girls Gone Wild aired by Fox. They kept replaying the video of the Girls lifting their shirts (with the offending parts fuzzed out of course) over and over and over. A few more stories like that and maybe pairing Fox News with SexTV isn't that far fetched. I mean, after all, I doubt I'd ever have known what GGW was if not for FN. Thank you very little for that piece of "news" Fox.
    That said, Fox News Sunday and Brit Hume are pretty good IMHO,

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18 May, 2005 02:16  

  • I don't mean to come off as a prude but I just find it strange that every other speciality channel can be ordered as a stand alone option except Fox News. It is either an effort to prop up unpopular networks by bundling it with the very popular FNC or designed to limit the number of people that would agree to pay more for that one network.

    I'm just about to post an update to say that Cogeco has offered me 3 free months of the FNC bundle with a promise to review the options within that time frame. They claim that the phones have been ringing alot in the last 24 hours asking about this issue. I say don't stop till they change the options.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18 May, 2005 16:40  

  • Damn glad to see that someone on the North American continent has some common sense.

    Pat Myckok

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18 May, 2005 18:14  

  • Just put up an undate on the story at my site

    By Blogger Brent Colbert, at 22 September, 2005 16:46  

  • You need to understand that with the addition of Fox News, you will become subject to its twist on the news. It isn't news in the traditional sense but it is propaganda based mainly on the intentions of the Fox News moneymen. Fox News played a very critical role in bringing America into the war in Iraq. It often crosses the fine line between news and propaganda. A previous writer mentioned Fox News and the Girls Gone Wild segments aired on its affiliates. If you check Fox News correspondents backgrounds, many are not schooled in journalism. And the women they have on the air are definitely not there for the intellects. I wonder if anyone has ever loooked into their hiring practices. The women are all nice looking and the men look like dried up toad republicans. Sean Hannity doesnt have a journalism degree, he is another of the commentators who are benefiting from the Fox model of distributing hate. In American, Fox news is where our element of the racist right has gone....Fox News is very obliging in satisfying this segment of societies need for a mouthpiece.
    All I can say, is don't do it!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 16 September, 2008 12:27  

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