Big Ten net heads north

CRTC approves Shaw bid

TORONTO -- Canadian cable operator Shaw Communications has secured regulatory approval to bring Fox's Big Ten Network to Canada as a digital channel.

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission approved the bid from Calgary-based Shaw to add the U.S.-based sports channel to domestic cable and satellite TV schedules.

The TV regulator said that Big Ten Network, which airs U.S. collegiate sports, was a "niche" service, and thus will not compete directly with existing Canadian sports channels. The CRTC bars U.S. and other foreign channels from the Canadian airwaves if they are seen to compete directly with existing domestic TV channels.