Concentration of media ownership in Canada

Concentration of media owner ship happens when only a small number of companies control the vast majority of the media including the different media like the television, newspaper etc. In Canada there are only a small number of companies that own all of the media including magazines, TV channels, radio, newspaper and other media. Apart from these few companies there are a small number of community based broadcasters only. Some of the diverse media are owned by the companies such as the bell, Quebecor, Shaw, Rogers and the government owned Canadian broadcasting corporation. These companies have gone through a series of changes in the time period between 1990 and 2005. Some of the smaller companies have been bought by bigger companies and some companies grew more through the use of mergers and acquisitions. This can be seen in the independent newspaper ownership which was 18% in 1990 and was reduced to 1% in 2005.the osprey, city TV, CHUM limited were all taken over in the period by the prominent companies controlling the market. Thus the expansion of said companies further concentrated the media ownership in Canada.
In Canada it is an issue as the small number of companies owning different media tends to make the news quality lower and the issue of lack of news diversity rises. In Canada the population is comparatively small so there is the media consolidation is allowed to sometimes because the smaller population could not support the multiple television stations competing for revenues in advertisements. So the same company owning multiple channels is a trend in Canada. This type of media ownership was commonplace in smaller markets in 1990s but in that time it was changed by allowing same company to own multiple channels in the larger markets of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. These steps have been a folly according to different specialists. Most of the channels operating today in the market of Canada are owned by national media conglomerates and most of the channels are operated and maintained by the different associate companies of the media companies. These acquisitions have been very shady and many suspect foul play regarding these acquisitions and takeovers. In the case of newspapers that are owned by the television companies which does not account for all of the newspapers but certainly covers most of them there are government restrictions. The operations of the television channels and the operations of the newspaper can only be merged to a certain degree. They need to be separate in some degree to retain their own individuality and variety of the news. In radio a company is restricted to owning three channels in the same market. There is also the stipulation that only two of the channels might be of the same broadcast band.
There is strict law regarding foreign ownership of media in the Canadian market. Any Canadian media company in the market cannot have more than 20% of foreign ownership. This makes sure that the current small companies operating in the Canadian market that suffer from financial viability are not bought and operated by the foreign companies that can quickly make use of the current condition of the market to become a force in the industry. If the foreign companies gain a foothold in the industry then many of the local companies of the sector will be taken over in time or they might form collaborations to take over the market as the company with foreign funding will have more than significant advantage over the other national competitors.


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