Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 96-612

Warning This Web page has been archived on the Web.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. Archived Decisions, Notices and Orders (DNOs) remain in effect except to the extent they are amended or reversed by the Commission, a court, or the government. The text of archived information has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Changes to DNOs are published as “dashes” to the original DNO number. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.

Decision

Ottawa, 4 September 1996
Decision CRTC 96-612
1155637 Ontario Inc.
Across Canada - 199600842
Talk-TV - Approved
Following a Public Hearing held in the National Capital Region beginning on 6 May 1996, the Commission approves, by majority vote, the application by 1155637 Ontario Inc. (the licensee) for a broadcasting licence to carry on a national, English-language programming undertaking (Specialty Television Service) to be known as Talk-TV.
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).
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.
In Public Notice CRTC 1996-120, the Commission outlined a licensing approach that grouped English-language services into two categories. The Access Rules will apply to the second group of services, to which Talk-TV belongs, at the earliest of the following: the deployment of digital technology by the distributor, or 1 September 1999. The service of this programming undertaking must, by condition of licence, be in operation within 36 months of the date 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
1155637 Ontario Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Baton Broadcasting Incorporated (Baton). For its part, Baton is one of Canada's largest operators of private television stations. It is indirectly controlled by members of the Eaton family.
Programming
Nature of Service
The licensee will offer a 24-hour-a-day, specialty television service devoted to talk programs. The programs broadcast on the proposed service will explore a wide range of topics, including social trends, relationships, daily news events, technology and controversial issues facing Canadian society.
As described by the licensee, and as set out as a condition of licence in the appendix to this decision, all the programs offered by Talk-TV will be drawn exclusively from program categories 11 (Human Interest) and 2 (Analysis and interpretation) as defined in the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990.
The schedule will consist of a 12- hour programming block that will be repeated once. Included in the schedule will be 5 hours daily of interactive programming that will give viewers the opportunity to participate in the on-air discussions through live television hook-ups, telephone, fax or Internet.
Canadian Content
The Commission notes the licensee's commitment that 68% of Talk-TV's original and repeat programs distributed during the broadcast day, averaged over the broadcast year, will be Canadian. The licensee also made a commitment that, during the evening broadcast period, 71% of Talk-TV's programs will be Canadian. The Commission requires the licensee to adhere to these commitments by condition of licence.
Canadian Programming Expenditures
Consistent with the approach set out in Public Notice CRTC 1996-120 and as discussed with the licensee at the hearing, by condition of licence, the licensee shall, in the broadcast year following its first year of operation and in each subsequent broadcast year, devote to expenditures on Canadian programs at least 36% of the previous year's gross revenues derived from the operation of this service. Some flexibility in the accounting of these expenditures is provided for in the conditions of licence on Canadian programming expenditures attached to this decision.
Advertising
Consistent with the licensee's commitments, it is a condition of licence that all paid advertising material distributed on Talk-TV shall be national paid advertising, and shall be restricted to 12 minutes per hour, with some flexibility for the placements of advertising material in longer programs.
Independent Program Production
As its contribution to the independent program production sector, the licensee made a commitment to contribute $50,000 each year to concept and script development. The Commission expects the licensee to make this annual contribution available to independent producers. In addition, the Commission expects that BBS Production Inc., a subsidiary of Baton, will not have access to this funding.
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, the licensee indicated that it has developed its own policy in this regard. The Commission notes the licensee's statement in the application that "active recruitment searches will be conducted to ensure all members of the designated groups are represented. This will be particularly critical for our hiring of on-air talent to ensure that the program hosts portray all groups." The Commission encourages the licensee to implement this commitment and will review its performance in implementing employment equity practices at the time of licence renewal.
Closed Captioning
In accordance with the policy announced in Public Notice CRTC 1996-120, the Commission requires the licensee to close caption not less than 90% of all programming over the broadcast day by the end of the licence term.
Conclusion
In approving this application, the Commission is satisfied that the introduction of Talk-TV will contribute to the overall diversity of programming services available to viewers across Canada.
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 Talk-TV
1. (a) The licensee shall provide a national English-language specialty service that is devoted to talk programming providing viewers with the opportunity to participate through telephone, fax or Internet, as well as live television hook-ups, in discussion and debate about topics and issues that interest and affect all Canadians.
(b) The licensee shall draw programs exclusively from category 2 (Analysis and interpretation) and from category 11 (Human interest) as set out in item 6 of Schedule 1 of the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990.
2. The licensee shall devote to the distribution of Canadian programs not less than 68% of the broadcast day averaged over the broadcast year and not less than 71% of the evening broadcast period.
3. In accordance with the Commission's position on Canadian programming expenditures as set out in Public Notices CRTC 1992-28, 1993-93 and 1993-174:
(a) In the broadcast year following the first year of operation, and in each subsequent broadcast year, the licensee shall expend on Canadian programs not less than 36% of the previous broadcast year's gross revenues derived from the operation of this service.
(b) In the broadcast year following its first year of operation, and in each subsequent broadcast year, excluding the final year, the licensee may expend an amount on Canadian programs that is up to five percent (5%) less than the minimum required expenditure for that year calculated in accordance with this condition; in such case, the licensee shall expend in the next broadcast year, of the licence term, in addition to the minimum required expenditure for that year, the full amount of the previous year's underexpenditure.
(c) In the broadcast year following the first year of operation, and in each subsequent broadcast year where the licensee expends an amount on Canadian programs that is greater than the minimum required expenditure for that year calculated in accordance with this condition, the licensee may deduct:
(i) from the minimum required expenditure for the next broadcast year of the licence term, an amount not exceeding the amount of the previous broadcast year's overexpenditure; and
(ii) from the minimum required expenditure for any subsequent broadcast year of the licence term, an amount not exceeding the difference between the overexpenditure and any amount deducted under (i) above;
(d) Notwithstanding the above, during the licence term, the licensee shall expend on Canadian programs, at a minimum, the total of the minimum required expenditures calculated in accordance with the licensee's condition of licence.
4. (a) Subject to subsection b) and d), the licensee shall not distribute more than twelve (12) minutes of advertising material during each clock hour.
(b) In addition to the twelve 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.
(d) Where a program occupies time in two or more consecutive clock hours, the licensee may exceed the maximum number of minutes of advertising material allowed in those clock hours if the average number of minutes of advertising material in the clock hours occupied by the program does not exceed the maximum number of minutes that would otherwise be allowed per clock hour.
5. The licensee may require access to distribution undertakings in accordance with the Access Rules contained in Public Notice CRTC 1996-60 at the earliest of the following:
(a) such time as the distribution undertaking makes use of digital technology for the delivery of programming to subscribers; or
(b) 1 September 1999.
6. This undertaking shall be in operation within thirty-six (36) 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.
7. The licensee shall adhere to the guidelines on gender portrayal set out in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) "Sex-Role Portrayal Code for Television and Radio Programming", as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
8. The licensee shall adhere to the provisions of the CAB's "Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children", as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
9. 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 year", "evening broadcast period" and "clock hour" shall have the same meaning as those set out in the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987; "broadcast day" shall mean the period of 24 hours beginning at 12:00 midnight; "first year of operation" shall mean the first broadcast year in which the licensee is in operation for a period exceeding 90 days, excluding any free trial period; 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.
Dissent of Commissioner Andrée Wylie
Commissioner Andrée Wylie dissents from this and from all of the other decisions issued today in respect of applications for licences to carry on new English-language specialty television programming undertakings whose services fall within the second category, namely those to whom the Access Rules will apply at the earliest of the following: the deployment of digital technology by the distributor, or 1 September 1999. The rationale underlying the Commissioner's dissent is presented at the conclusion of Public Notice CRTC 1996-120.