If you have nothing to do today, you might want to watch the live CRTC hearing that’s going on today. Netflix is in front of the broadcast regulator today and in an interesting twist, it’s become very heated, passive aggressive & telling. The big hint that this hearing is going sideways is that the CRTC is ordering Netflix to disclose Canadian content numbers and project spending by 5 PM Monday. The CRTC clearly doesn’t want them in Canada which doesn’t come as a shock given that the CRTC is made up of ex-Canadian telco execs. The funny thing is, that Netflix doesn’t have a broadcast license from the CRTC, so I am not sure what they will do if Netflix doesn’t comply. Perhaps someone can clarify that for me.
I’m not sure what Netflix did to deserve this, but If I were Netflix I’d be tempted to shut down the Canadian service today just out of spite. They’re clearly not welcome.
UPDATE: The live stream from the hearing is over. Michael Geist has documented what happened here. In short, the CRTC implicitly threatened to regulate the company by taking away Netflix’s ability to rely on the new media exception if it did not cooperate with its orders. This is a perfect example as to why the CRTC needs to disappear.