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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 95-416

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Decision

Ottawa, 7 July 1995
Decision CRTC 95-416
Cable Atlantic Inc.
St. John's, Mount Pearl and surrounding areas; and Corner Brook, Newfoundland - 941649600- 941646200
Licence renewals
Following a Public Hearing in Halifax beginning on 4 April 1995, the Commission renews the Class 1 licences held by Cable Atlantic Inc., for the cable distribution undertakings serving St. John's, Mount Pearl and surrounding areas, and Corner Brook, from 1 September 1995 to 31 August 2002.
The operation of these undertakings is regulated pursuant to Parts I and II of the Cable Television Regulations, 1986 (the regulations) and the licences will be subject to the conditions in effect under the current licences, as well as to those conditions specified in this decision and in the licences to be issued.
In addition to the services required or authorized to be distributed pursuant to the applicable sections of the regulations, the licensee is authorized, by condition of licence, to continue to distribute, at its option, WXYZ-TV (ABC), WDIV-TV (NBC) and WTVS (PBS) Detroit, Michigan, received via satellite from CANCOM, as part of the basic service of each undertaking.
In its renewal applications, the licensee had originally proposed to continue to distribute on each undertaking the signal of WJBK-TV Detroit, received via satellite from CANCOM. This station, however, is no longer a CBS affiliate and is no longer distributed by CANCOM. Instead, CANCOM has been authorized to carry WTOL-TV (CBS) Toledo, Ohio (Decision CRTC 94-847 dated 28 November 1994). In order to reflect that change, the licensee requested that its renewal applications be modified. The Commission accepts that modification and, accordingly, hereby authorizes the licensee, by condition of licence, to distribute, at its option, the signal of WTOL-TV, received via satellite from CANCOM, as part of the basic service of each undertaking.
The licensee is also authorized, by condition of licence, to continue to distribute the programming service of the Atlantic Satellite Network (ASN), received via satellite, provided that it is distributed on an unrestricted channel of the basic service of each undertaking.
With respect to the St. John's and Mount Pearl undertaking, consistent with Decision CRTC 90-773 dated 21 August 1990, it remains a condition of licence that the ASN service be distributed in accordance with the terms of an agreement between ASN and Newfoundland Television Broadcasting Limited (NTV), whereby commercial messages that are likely to have a negative impact on NTV be deleted from the ASN service distributed in St. John's and Mount Pearl.
With respect to the Corner Brook system, the licensee is authorized to continue to distribute, at its option, without advertising material, the special programming service consisting of pay television promotional material.
The Commission reaffirms the particular importance it attaches to the development of community programming. In response to a request by the Commission at the hearing, the licensee submitted revised projections of its proposed expenditures on community programming for the new licence term. The Commission notes that the licensee will increase its expenditures on community programming during the new licence term. The Commission encourages the licensee to continue its efforts to develop community programs that reflect community interests and concerns.
NTV, licensee of CJON-TV St. John's and its transmitters serving communities across Newfoundland and Labrador, submitted an intervention requesting, among other things, that the Commission require Cable Atlantic Inc. to cease the distribution of the distant signals CITV-TV Edmonton and CHCH-TV Hamilton on all of its Class 1 and Class 2 cable undertakings.
In response, Cable Atlantic Inc. referred to a survey conducted on its behalf by Market Insights, indicating, among other things, that a significant number of subscribers might drop their subscription to the high penetration discretionary tier if CITV-TV or CHCH-TV were removed. At the hearing, Cable Atlantic Inc. also outlined the results of research conducted on its behalf by Target Marketing & Communications to review statistics on viewership in the St. John's and Mount Pearl and Corner Brook markets prepared by the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement for 1991 to 1994. This research indicated, among other things, that in most cases where the same programs are carried by both NTV and either CITV-TV or CHCH-TV, NTV's audiences for these programs have increased over the period 1992-1994.
Having evaluated Cable Atlantic Inc.'s applications, NTV's intervention and the presentations of the parties at the hearing, the Commission considers that the weight of evidence supports the conclusion that the continued distribution of CITV-TV and CHCH-TV would result in little harm to the St. John's and Mount Pearl and Corner Brook markets.
As another matter, NTV also requested in its intervention that, to ensure the best quality signal possible for viewers of its television service, the Commission require Cable Atlantic Inc. to distribute NTV's signal via satellite, whenever satellite-delivery provides a better signal than that received over-the-air. At the hearing, Cable Atlantic Inc. responded to the intervener's concerns by making a commitment to receive NTV's signal by satellite in various locations served by its cable undertakings. The Commission requires Cable Atlantic Inc. to submit a report, within three months of the date of this decision, outlining its plans to implement its commitment in this regard.
In Public Notice CRTC 1992-59 dated 1 September 1992 and entitled "Implementation of an Employment Equity Policy", the Commission announced that the employment equity practices of broadcasters would be subject to examination by the Commission. At the hearing, the licensee made a commitment to submit to the Commission, by 30 June 1995, a report on its progress in implementing employment equity within its organization. Subsequent to the hearing, the licensee requested an extension to the deadline for submitting the report. The licensee made a commitment to submit the report by 15 August 1995.
The Commission acknowledges the concerns expressed in the intervention submitted in opposition to these applications, and is satisfied with the licensee's response thereto.
The Commission also acknowledges the intervention submitted in support of these applications.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General