TV News/Promotion | Blood and Water’s Steph Song on OMNI Regional proposal

OMNI posted four videos, one of them featuring Blood and Water actress Steph Song, on August 8, 2016. Rogers Media plans to reorganize its OMNI television system as OMNI Regional, a national ethnic program service with four regional feeds.

Under the proposed reorganization, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) places OMNI under a 9(1)(h) distribution order, earning OMNI mandatory carriage as part of a basic cable package. One of OMNI Regional’s chief selling points is the restoration of Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi and Italian newscasts. OMNI’s local ethnic newscasts were cancelled in 2015 as part of a larger Rogers Media cost-cutting measure, replaced by cheaper current affairs programs.

OMNI currently exists as two channels in Toronto (CFMT d/b/a OMNI.1, CJMT d/b/a OMNI.2), and one channel each in Calgary (CJCO), Edmonton (CJEO), and Vancouver (CHNM). International Channel/Canal International (ICI) in Montreal also has access to OMNI programming through a funding deal with Rogers. ICI Quebec is one of the four feeds included in the OMNI Regional proposal.

Gloryosky likes that Rogers Media drums up support for OMNI Regional. It’s the 9(1)(h) order that might do the OMNI Regional proposal in. Rogers Media needs to convince the CRTC that there is a genuine need for a national ethnic program service, and that Rogers Media doesn’t use OMNI as an overflow service for City like in the past (see: Fox ratings darling Empire making its first Canadian television appearance on OMNI). Hopefully Rogers Media has an alternate plan for OMNI Television in case the CRTC denies OMNI a 9(1)(h) order, rather than discontinue OMNI and/or sell it to interested buyers.