Commission allows ads on VOD platform

But not on local avails of non-Canadian channels

TORONTO -- Looking to ease Canadian broadcast woes, the country's TV regulator has OK'd advertising on VOD services.

But the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission turned thumbs down to selling advertising on local avails of non-Canadian channels.

Amid a continuing Canadian industry fight over retransmission fees, the CRTC called on cable operators and broadcasters to negotiate on how to start selling advertising on the VOD platform.

"The Commission considers that advertising should be permitted on the VOD platform in order to offset the costs of acquiring VOD rights to programming and to help create a viable business model for VOD," the regulator ruled.

But the CRTC stayed the hands of cable operators looking to sell ads on local avails, which will remain promotional vehicles for local programming and services.

"The Commission is concerned that the proposed change in policy with respect to local availabilities could lead to a reduction in the revenues of conventional television stations at a time when they are operating under severe financial constraints," the CRTC said, siding with local broadcaster concerns.