Plan Would Reinvent Multi-Language Broadcasting in Canada
January 14, 2019 | Website

(MARKHAM, ONTARIO) - Ethnic Channels Group (ECG), the Canadian broadcaster and television distributor behind a new multi-ethnic 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 multilingual, multi-ethnic television service.

Voices would use existing broadcasting technology to broadcast programming in ten languages, 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, President 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 services, which places some third-language programs in primetime and others in off-hours. The letter to the CRTC also points out that ECG 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."