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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 86-184

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Decision

Ottawa, 6 March 1986
Decision CRTC 86-184
Greater Winnipeg Cablevision Limited
Part of Winnipeg, Manitoba - 852162700
Following a Public Hearing in Winnipeg on 3 December 1985, the Commission approves in part the application by Greater Winnipeg Cablevision Limited (Greater Winnipeg) to change the authorized distribution of the television service for the broadcasting receiving undertaking serving part of Winnipeg.
The Commission approves the deletion of KXJB-TV (CBS) Valley City and KTHI-TV (NBC) Fargo, North Dakota; and the addition of WJBK-TV (CBS) and WDIV (NBC) Detroit, Michigan, received via satellite from the Canadian Satellite Communications Inc. (CANCOM) network.
The Commission also approves the request by the applicant for a licence amendment by deleting the condition relating to its use of a back-up head-end location at Drayton, North Dakota for the provision of KXJB-TV and KTHI-TV.
In Decision CRTC 86-183, the Commission authorized Winnipeg Videon Incorporated and six other cable television licensees in Southern Manitoba to replace the CBS and NBC signals from North Dakota by the Detroit signals of these networks distributed by CANCOM. In the present case, as in the case of the other applications, the Commission is satisfied, based on the evidence submitted, that replacement of the North Dakota CBS and NBC signals by CANCOM services is justified on technical grounds and will improve the reliability and quality of service provided to subscribers.
Unlike the other Manitoba cable licensees, Greater Winnipeg has also requested authority to delete the distribution of WDAZ-TV (ABC) Devil's Lake and KGFE (PBS) Grand Forks, North Dakota; and to replace these signals with those of WXYZ-TV (ABC) and WTVS (PBS) Detroit, distributed by CANCOM. This part of the application is denied.
The Commission has considered the documentation submitted by the applicant and the assessment provided by the Department of Communications regarding the technical quality of the ABC and PBS signals from North Dakota. It has also examined the survey submitted by the applicant on the views of Winnipeg cable subscribers with respect to these signals. In the Commission's view, while the evidence clearly supports the replacement of the North Dakota NBC and CBS signals by CANCOM services, the applicant failed to make any similar compelling argument to justify its request to replace the ABC and PBS signals.
In reaching its decision to deny the replacement of KGFE and WDAZ-TV by the CANCOM Detroit signals, the Commission has also taken into account the interventions submitted by the City of Winnipeg, the Government of Manitoba, and by more than 300 other interested groups and individuals, requesting that the signals of certain North Dakota stations, particularly that of KGFE (PBS), be retained on cable. Many of these interveners stressed the community of interest that exists between residents of Manitoba and North Dakota, and noted the financial support extended to KGFE by Manitobans. Some interveners expressed the view that the programming broadcast by these two stations is of greater relevance to Manitoba cable subscribers than programming originating in Detroit. In this context, the Commission acknowledges the views expressed in the interventions submitted by the owners of the North Dekota stations KGFE and WDAZ-TV.
The Commission also acknowledges the interventions submitted by the CTV Television Network Ltd. (CTV), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and others regarding the importation by Canadian satellite of distant U.S. signals. In the Commission's view, the concerns of these interveners have already been addressed by the Commission in previous decisions, including Decision CRTC 83-126 which authorized CANCOM to carry the 3+1 U.S. signals and Decision CRTC 84-915 which approved applications by cable television licensees in Saskatchewan to distribute these signals in place of those received from North Dakota.
The Commission notes that CTV's concerns are further addressed in Decision CRTC 86-183.
Greater Winnipeg applied to amend its licence by increasing the maximum monthly subscriber fee from $6.35 to $6.90 to cover the costs of providing the four CANCOM services proposed in its application. In light of the Commission's decision to approve the distribution of only two of the four services, this part of the application is approved in part. The Commission approves, in principle, an increase to cover the direct pass-through charges to be paid by the licensee to CANCOM for the exhibition of the two CANCOM signals. The Commission requests the applicant to submit a new agreement with CANCOM specifying the exact amount of these costs for the Commission's review. The Commission also reminds the applicant that authority to charge the pass-through fees will only be effective at such time as the CANCOM signals are provided to subscribers and is subject to the further requirement that only the actual pass-through fees paid to CANCOM are charged to subscribers.
The Commission has also taken note of the views expressed in the intervention by the Government of Manitoba regarding CANCOM's fee structure.
Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General