OTTAWA, July 16, 2001 ( – After years of wrangling with federal regulators in Canada, the Catholic television station, Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), has finally received approval to be broadcast in Canada. On Friday the Canada Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released its decision allowing EWTN. The CRTC had turned down the Catholic station in previous years, while allowing the playboy channel and other pornographic fare.

CRTC spokesperson Denis Carmel told LifeSite that previous decisions against EWTN were based on not allowing “single-faith” programming. That decision changed, said Carmel, with a larger market of channels available and the assurance that there would be a “single-faith” Canadian channel available.

The CRTC permission however, does not ensure that Canadian cable subscribers will have access to EWTN. The final decision lies in the hands of Canada’s cable companies, the two largest of which are Shaw and Rogers. The companies must decide to include EWTN in an extra package of stations to which their customers must subscribe, in addition to their regular cable service. LifeSite has learned that the best way to encourage cable companies to include a new station is for subscribers to include the request for the specific station with their bill payments – since the companies listen most to their customers.

The permission granted for EWTN to be viewed in Canada had numerous stipulations. The first condition notes that the permission is not permanent but that the list (which currently includes EWTN), when reissued, will only permit those channels on the new list. However, Carmel assured LifeSite that “services are not pulled out without cause.”

EWTN was approved, not as part of the regular cable lineup but as a digital channel, thus requiring cable customers to specifically request an extra grouping of specialty channels – one of which would be EWTN. Carmel described the reason for this stipulation saying that the CRTC did not want Canadians exposed to single-faith programming without specifically requesting it. “It’s exactly like the playboy channel,” said Carmel, “we would not want children tuning in” unless such programming was specifically requested.

See the CRTC notice allowing EWTN: