Canadian media giant Quebecor is backing down in its battle with regulators over its proposed 24-hour rolling news channel.
Pierre Karl Peladeau, CEO of the Canuck broadcasting conglom, told reporters Tuesday that he will no longer seek "must carry" status for Sun TV News - defusing a tense and often politicised stand-off with the Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
Quebecor has taken two runs at winning a licence for the would-be channel, at first seeking a rare Category 1 licence that would require carriage by all Canuck cable and satellite operators. A second application, still pending, for a Category 2 licence made the unusual request that Sun TV should nonetheless be offered by all distributors.
The channel, known as Fox News North by its critics, is expected to be a right-leaning counterpoint to existing news heavyweights CBC News Network and CTV News Channel.
Shortly after giving a speech in Ottawa, Peladeau reportedly said Quebecor will withdraw the request, instead seeking a garden-variety Category 2 licence that affords no genre protection or guarantees of carriage.
The CRTC is due to begin hearings on the proposed channel on November 19.
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