CRTC may exempt video-on-demand

The federal broadcast regulator has called for public comment on its proposal that companies engaged in limited video-on-demand trials should be exempt from the regulations of the Broadcasting Act.The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission proposes such companies would not have to...

The federal broadcast regulator has called for public comment on its proposal that companies engaged in limited video-on-demand trials should be exempt from the regulations of the Broadcasting Act.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission proposes such companies would not have to comply with the act if they do not offer trials to more than 5% of the terminals or subscribers in their service areas.

A number of other restrictions also apply.

Video game services

In addition to video-on-demand exemption, the crtc also proposes to exempt video game services from detailed regulation.

The video games channels would have to be distributed through cable tv operators, who would be responsible for the video games content.

Two days after the crtc made its call for public comment, Sega of Canada announced it is prepared to launch an entertainment service for cable subscribers as early as September.

Sega Service would let subscribers download video-game software information into an in-home device that, when connected to a Genesis console, enables the user to play the game.

Sega, which is based in Richmond Hill, Ont., says the service would offer access to more than 50 top-renting Genesis games, plus access to new and unreleased games for preview purposes.

Nintendo of Canada says it has no intention of launching a cable service for its games.

Comments on the proposed exemptions for video on demand and video game services must be received by the crtc by April 22.