OLN looks to laugh it up

Rogers is looking to loosen the licence of its outdoorsy cable channel by bringing in more comedy and sports...

Rogers is looking to loosen the licence of its outdoorsy cable channel by bringing in more comedy and sports. The company has filed a request with the CRTC to rework the licence of Outdoor Life Network, looking to add both ‘stick and ball’ sports and comedy — including sitcoms, sketch, improv and stand-up — its list of acceptable categories.

Under the terms of its current licence, issued in 2004, OLN is allowed to air certain types of shows from the broad ‘drama and comedy’ category, including dramatic series and MOWs, though such programming cannot add up to more than 5% of its broadcast year.

Rogers wants the limit raised to 25%, and for its Cancon requirements in this area to be removed.

Further, the broadcaster wants the CRTC to lift its restriction against coverage of stick and ball sports, allowing OLN to air hockey, baseball, football, golf, and the like — fields from which OLN remained barred after it was allowed to expand into pro sports coverage in 2004.

Rogers says the move will make OLN ‘a more well-rounded programming offering that responds to the expectations of its viewers,’ according to a CRTC brief released on Monday. Comments to the CRTC are due by April 6.