Aboriginal TV network proposed for Canada

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HULL, Quebec--Canada could have a new national aboriginal television net work late next year, something the ser vice's backers say would be a world first. Television Northern Canada has appeared before Canada's broadcast regulator to apply to launch the non-profit Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, citing "a strong market" for aboriginal programming.

Cable television subscribers would pay an extra 10 cents a month for the service, which would be supported by advertising. It's expected the regulatory Canadian Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission will rule on the application in early 1999.

Behind the bid is the Television Northern Canada broadcast consortium that services Canada's remote North; its 15 members include the Northwest Territories government, Canadian satellite provider Telesat and the northern arm of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Canada's national public broadcaster. "No other country in the world has such a communications vehicle to help build a bridge between its aboriginal people and the rest of its citizens," consortium chairman Abraham Tagalik says of the proposal.

Copyright December 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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