RAI wins entry to Canuck airwaves

World Brief

Italian pubcaster RAI has won its long battle to air in Canada, opening the door for other foreign services.

The Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said Friday it will allow cable and satellite to carry RAI Intl., reversing last summer’s decision, which led to protests from Canada’s large Italian population and calls from several federal cabinet ministers for the CRTC to change its policy.

In December, the CRTC unveiled a new policy on third-language (non-English, non-French) services, essentially guaranteeing them automatic approval for entry. In the past, the regulator refused any foreign TV services that would compete against Canadian-owned third-language stations. It turned down RAI because the Canadian multilingual service Telelatino Network had a lot of RAI programming on its schedule.

The CRTC also ruled anyone who subscribes to RAI in Canada would also have to subscribe to Telelatino.

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