Web hopes to give Canada 'best of' world pix

MONTREAL – Canuck pubcaster the CBC has asked federal broadcast regulator the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to lift the ban stopping it from airing Hollywood blockbusters.

CBC argues it needs to show high-quality films from Hollywood and elsewhere to fulfill its mandate of showcasing the best film and TV production from around the world.

“Canadian content has a pride-of-place on our schedule, and 90% of our peak-time broadcast schedule is all-Canadian,” CBC spokesman Jason MacDonald said. “But we also have to show Canadians the best of the world, and that should include films like ‘The English Patient’, ‘Life Is Beautiful’ and ‘Chocolat.’ These films won’t be shown on other Canadian networks.”

The ban was introduced when the commission renewed the licenses for CBC’s English and French networks in January 2000.

It bars the CBC from airing non-Canadian films that were big hits in North America. Ban is set to come into effect in September as the regulator gave the networks three years to use up pics already purchased from the studios.

The CRTC has not announced when it will rule on the CBC application to reverse the rule.

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