It was hard not to blow my coffee through my nose this morning when BCE CEO George Cope expressed his "shock" that the CRTC turned down his company's bid to acquire Astral Media.
He claims sucking another great Canadian company into the BCE vortex was "essential" to mount a domestic response to the "over-the-top" contenders who are picking off subscribers.
As Barack Obama said the other night: "Could you please repeat that?"
I just signed up for Netflix and I've literally stopped watching television on Rogers, another one of the conglomerates that are gouging Canadian pocketbooks with their huge fees for cable and premium networks. Right now, I'm paying as much to Rogers as I pay to Hydro for my electricity. For what? So I can watch Honey Boo Boo and Cake Boss?
On Netflix, I have been able to connect with some of the great shows made over the last few years. Last week, it was Damages, this week it's Freaks and Geeks. I can get this terrific programming for eight bucks a month AND I don't have to watch Rogers commercials on its so-called ON DEMAND station.
Hey BCE. Hey Rogers. Suck it.
I look forward to the day when I can get my television entertainment at a reasonable price and I don't have to pay extra for all the damned specialty channels. BCE, Rogers, Corus and Shaw have been picking our pockets for way too long. Apple wants in? Come right ahead. Microsoft. Welcome.
BCE, don't let the door hit your big ass as it waddles into the wilderness.
These huge companies are constantly crying foul. Big babies. They cobble up radio and television stations as well as newspapers left and right. Then they lay off so many staff, the average Canadian newsroom is starting to look like the RCMP outpost at Hay River. They don't invest. They downsize and rationalize. They buy up American shows for the price of a Big Mac and they serve them up to us as filet mignon.
They also lie. Take Corus which bought The Learning Network, getting a licence claiming they would provide educational fare for the masses. What did Corus do with the Learning Network? They turned it into the Oprah Winfrey Network. When the CRTC threatened to yank their licence, their response was that Iyanla Van Zant and Oprah's Life Class were actual learning opportunities.
Give me a fucking break.
As a Canadian taxpayer, I applaud the CRTC for not caving into the big swinging dicks. We need more competition in this country not less.
As for BCE I have one thing to say. Maybe it's time we changed the channel.