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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 96-597

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Decision

Ottawa, 4 September 1996
Decision CRTC 96-597
CTV Television Network Ltd.
Across Canada - 199600669
CTV N1, Headline News - Approved
Following a Public Hearing beginning on 6 May 1996 in the National Capital Region, the Commission approves the application by CTV Television Network Ltd. (CTV; the licensee) for a broadcasting licence to carry on a national English-language programming undertaking (Specialty Television Service). The new service will be known as CTV N1.
This service will be available via satellite to all broadcasting distribution undertakings across the country. In the case of those distribution undertakings that are subject to the Commission's distribution and linkage requirements, it will be available on a modified dual status basis, as explained in Public Notice CRTC 1996-120, which introduces this and other decisions released today, and in accordance with the provisions set out in the distribution and linkage public notice also issued today (Public Notice CRTC 1996-121). As proposed by CTV N1, and by condition of licence, the authorized maximum monthly wholesale rate shall be 8.5 cents per subscriber, in cases where CTV N1 is distributed as part of the basic service.
The Commission will issue a licence expiring 31 August 2003, subject to the conditions specified in the appendix to this decision and in the licence to be issued.
Since the Access Rules have immediate application to CTV N1, the service of the programming undertaking must, by condition of licence, be in operation within 12 months of this decision unless the service provider, prior to the expiry of this period, applies for and receives an extension of time within which to commence operations.
Ownership
CTV is Canada's only private national television network and is owned by a number of its affiliates. As a consequence of Decision CRTC 96-251, voting rights in respect of the largest block of the company's shares (42.9%) is exercized by Baton Broadcasting Incorporated, which is also one of Canada's largest operators of private television stations.
Programming
Nature of service
As proposed, the licensee will provide a national English-language specialty service, in which 100% of the programs shall be devoted to the following categories set out in item 6 of Schedule I to the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990: 1 (News), and 3 (Reporting and actualities). A condition of licence requiring CTV N1 to preserve the nature of the service, including its "headline news" format, as described above, is set out in the appendix to this decision.
CTV N1 will provide viewers across the country with news, weather and sports reports, as well as business, consumer and lifestyle information; the service will be based on a 15-minute wheel that will be continuously updated 24 hours a day. The licensee will not engage in any long form programming.
In its application and at the hearing, the licensee indicated that it will enter into an agreement with Télé-Métropole inc., licensee of "Le Canal Nouvelles" (LCN). LCN is a new specialty service also licensed today to provide a headline news service operating in the French language. The two licensees will exchange news footage for distribtion on their respective services. The Commission further notes the licensee's commitment to expand its co-operative agreement with Television Northern Canada, and its plans to open new foreign bureaus in Tokyo and Mexico City.
Canadian content
CTV N1 committed to devote fully 100% of the broadcast year to the exhibition of Canadian programs. A condition of licence requiring adherence to this commitment is contained in the appendix to this decision.
The Commission notes the licensee's further commitment, put forward as part of its proposed independent production stimulus, to expend a minimum of $4.7 million over the licence term in support of Canadian freelancers and the independent production sector.
The Commission notes the licensee's commitments regarding the Internet, in particular its "Light House" and "SchoolSite" initiatives.
Canadian programming expenditures
Given that the programming on the service will be 100% Canadian, the Commission considers that it is unnecessary to impose a condition of licence in respect of minimum expenditure requirements for Canadian programs. Nevertheless, the Commission expects the licensee to devote adequate resources to its programming initiatives, as outlined in its application.
Advertising
Consistent with the licensee's commitments, it is a condition of licence that all paid advertising material distributed on CTV N1 shall be national paid advertising, and shall be restricted to 12 minutes per clock hour.
Other Matters
Employment equity
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. In its application, CTV N1 indicated that it would fully incorporate the CTV Employment Equity policy and plans into CTV N1. The Commission encourages CTV N1 to consider equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources. In particular, the Commission encourages CTV N1 to promote equitable representation in on-air staff positions and in voice-overs of station-produced commercial messages. The Commission will review CTV N1's performance in implementing its Employment Equity practices at the time of licence renewal.
Closed captioning
In accordance with the commitment contained in the application, the Commission requires CTV N1 to provide closed captioning throughout 100% of the broadcast day in each year of the licence term.
Conclusion
The Commission is satisfied that this new service, owned and operated by CTV and enhanced through synergies with that network's news department and with other broadcasters such as Télé-Métropole inc. and Television Northern Canada, will benefit the broadcasting system. It will contribute to diversity by providing viewers at all times of the day with a service that, through its format and continuously-updated scheduling, will be totally differentiated from CBC Newsworld, and will offer a viable and attractive Canadian alternative to similar foreign services. The Commission notes in this regard that CTV N1 is confident that it will be successful in repatriating viewers from such foreign services, and has therefore not requested that CNN or CNN Headline News be removed from the lists of eligible satellite services.
The Commission acknowledges and has considered the interventions submitted with respect to this application.
This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General
APPENDIX / ANNEXE
Conditions of licence for CTV N1
1. (a) The licensee shall provide a national English-language specialty service and shall draw its programs exclusively from category 1 (News) and category 3 (Reporting and actualities), as set out in item 6 of Schedule I of the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990.
(b) The licensee shall maintain a "headline news" format as described in its application, presented in a continuously-updated fifteen minute wheel.
2. The licensee shall devote the entire broadcast year to the distribution of Canadian programs.
3. (a) Subject to subsection (b), the licensee shall not distribute more than twelve (12) minutes of advertising material during each clock hour.
(b) In addition to the twelve (12) minutes of advertising material referred to in subsection (a), the licensee may distribute, during each clock hour, a maximum of 30 seconds of additional advertising material that consists of unpaid public service announcements.
(c) The licensee shall not distribute any paid advertising material other than national paid advertising.
4. From the date of commencement of service, the licensee shall charge each exhibitor of this service a maximum wholesale rate of 8.5 cents per subscriber per month, where the service is carried as part of the basic service.
5. This undertaking shall be in operation within twelve (12) months of the date of this decision, or, where the licensee applies to the Commission within this period and satisfies the Commission that it cannot complete implementation before the expiry of this period and that an extension is in the public interest, within such further period of time as is approved in writing by the Commission.
6. The licensee shall adhere to the guidelines on gender portrayal set out in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB's) "Sex-Role Portrayal Code for Television and Radio Programming", as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
7. The licensee shall adhere to the provisions of the "Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children", published by the CAB, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
8. The licensee shall adhere to the guidelines on the depiction of violence in television programming set out in the CAB's "Voluntary Code Regarding Violence in Television Programming", as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
For the purpose of these conditions of licence, the terms "broadcast day", "broadcast year", "evening broadcast period" and "clock hour" shall have the same meaning as those set out in the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987; and "national paid advertising" shall mean advertising material as defined in the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990 and that is purchased at a national rate and receives national distribution on the service.