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Omni files application for new national television channel

Omni Television of Toronto has filed an application with the CRTC to operate a new national multilingual and multicultural television channel to be called OMNI Regional. The service would consist of four regional feeds. Three would carry programming from Omni's existing local stations in the Pacific region, the prairies and eastern Canada, while the fourth would carry French-language programming from Montreal-based International Channel/Canal International. If approved, the new channel would have priority access to basic television packages. Local Omni stations in Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver would continue to operate as free over-the-air channels, as would ICI's local station in Montreal.

"We believe our application offers a win-win solution," said Colette Watson, vice-president of broadcast and television operations at Rogers Media, the parent company of Omni. "Canadians get low-cost access to quality news and information programming in their language of comfort no matter where they live, and OMNI and its community and production partners get a stable revenue source that we can use to build a strong and relevant voice for ethnic audiences in Canada."

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