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Wednesday, May 04, 2011 

Hmmm .... Is Sun TV Having Trouble Paying Its Bills?

"MONTREAL - Sun News Network, dubbed "Fox News North," is no longer being carried on Bell Satellite TV across Canada due to a fee dispute, according to both Bell and Sun News owner Quebecor Inc..

But just who is responsible for the development is hotly disputed by both sides. The all-news and talk channel was launched by Quebecor (TSX:QBR.B) last month but disappeared from Bell's Satellite TV lineup on Tuesday. [...] "But the price being asked is quite excessive – it’s in line with what would usually be quoted for a well-established and popular channel."

"We’ve indicated our willingness to negotiate, made a realistic counter-proposal and asked them to respond. We haven’t heard back – other than through the media," he said.

Meanwhile, Sun News remains available on Fibe TV in Toronto where it is operating as an over-the-air local station that must be carried locally.

But Fibe TV, Bell's Internet protocol TV service, was only rolled out last fall in neighbourhoods in Toronto and Montreal and would potentially have a smaller pool of viewers for Sun TV than would Bell Satellite.

The Quebecor venture launched April 18 after months of buzz about what was being dubbed "Fox News North."

There were reports the new channel had an estimated 37,000 viewers across Canada tune in for its initial half-hour, when it hit the airwaves with what it called "hard news and straight talk.''

Since then there have been suggestions that audiences have declined sharply."

Winnipeg Free Press

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