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January 2019


Backers of Proposed Ethnic Television Service Issue Final Response to CRTC


Plan Would Reinvent Multi-Language Broadcasting in Canada

Markham, Ontario–(Newsfile Corp. – January 16, 2019) – Ethnic Channels Group (ECG), the Canadian broadcaster and television distributer behind a new multiethnic television service called Voices, yesterday submitted their final response as part of the CRTC’s licencing process. The CRTC is reviewing eight applications for a single mandatory-carriage broadcast licence for a national multi-lingual, multi-ethnic television service.

Voices would use existing broadcasting technology to send programming in ten languages, via simultaneous translation, in its first year. That number will grow to 25 by year four.

“This is proven technology and the architecture is in place, in Canada, today,” says Hari Srinivas, Presented of ECG. “It’s been used in India for years. There is no question it will work here too, and Canadian viewers will benefit.”

“Our competitors are questioning our proposal because it goes so much further than anything in the market today – and anything they’re proposing for their own potential services,” says Slava Levin, ECG’s Chief Executive Officer. “They can’t question that ours is the better service, so they’re questioning how we will implement it. And as we’ve proven, those arguments don’t stand up.”

ECG’s response restated that Voices will use the full capabilities of existing digital technology to provide coverage of multiple third-language communities simultaneously. This differentiates Voices from the current ethnic service, which gives more time and better scheduling to some languages, while very little time to others. The letter to the CRTC also points out that EGC has extensive experience in ethnic media in Canada and around the world, serving more third-language programming than any other broadcaster in Canada today. That is in addition to producing programming in 16 languages from their Markham studio and headquarters.

Finally, ECG notes that they are a company of entrepreneurs who have come from around the world and deeply understand the immigrant experience. “Canada needs Voices,” says Srinivas. “It addresses Canada’s diversity and it will help meet the need for news and information programming for all Canadians.”

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Jason Kinnear