Dauphin, Canada

TV CMT Country Videos

By Cassandra Szklarski


Canadian musicians say C-M-T Canada's decision to stop playing music videos will hobble a homegrown country scene already struggling to compete against slicker, better promoted U-S rivals. 

The Corus-owned specialty channel stopped airing videos Sunday, as it officially shifted programming entirely toward sitcoms, reality shows, movies and special events. 

The move isn't sitting well with musicians including Dean Brody and Tim Hicks, who say they've lost a powerful platform to get their music out. 

Brody says it will leave a big hole. 

He says it was a big part of him becoming successful in this country. 

Hicks called CMT ``integral'' to his career, noting that a fund associated with the channel helped pay for 10 of his music videos, which gave him national exposure. 

Back when the Canadian arm of Country Music Television debuted in 1994, it was meant to showcase country music videos and homegrown artists _ in fact, its licence required at least 90 per cent of its programming be country music videos. 

That changed in 2001, when the obligation dropped to 70 per cent, and again in 2006, when it dropped to 50 per cent. 

The condition remained that C-M-T Canada invest in creating original homegrown T-V content. 

Last year, Corus Media won a bid to eliminate its obligation entirely as it sought greater flexibility to create and acquire programs. 



(The Canadian Press)