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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 96-616

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Decision

Ottawa, 4 September 1996
Decision CRTC 96-616
Peter Maniatakos, on behalf of a company to be incorporated
Ontario - 199600891
New Greek-language regional specialty service - Approved
Following a Public Hearing held in the National Capital Region beginning on 6 May 1996, the Commission approves the application by Peter Maniatakos, on behalf of a company to be incorporated, for a broadcasting licence to carry on a regional (Ontario) ethnic programming undertaking (Specialty Television Service). The new service will be known as Odyssey.
As explained in Public Notice CRTC 1996-120 which introduces this and other decisions issued today, and in accordance with the provisions set out in the distribution and linkage notice also issued today (Public Notice CRTC 1996-121), the service will be provided exclusively as a discretionary service, and will be distributed in Ontario at the discretion of broadcasting distribution undertakings. In the case of those distribution undertakings that are subject to the Commission's distribution and linkage requirements, such distribution shall be in accordance with those requirements. The Commission notes that, since there is no distribution market in which 10% or more of the total population is of Greek origin, Odyssey will not have any guaranteed access to distribution undertakings under the Commission's Access Rules.
The applicant intends to deliver the service to head ends via fibre optic cable. Although the applicant does not rule out the use of satellite facilities to deliver the service to distribution undertakings, it does not expect that this method of delivery will be used extensively. The signal will also be available for distribution to Ontario residents by licensed direct-to-home (DTH) distribution undertakings.
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.
This authority will only be effective and the licence will only be issued at such time as the Commission receives documentation establishing that an eligible Canadian corporation has been incorporated in accordance with the application in all material respects and that it may be issued a licence.
As agreed to by the applicant at the hearing, the service of the 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 and receives an extension of time within which to commence operations.
Ownership
As proposed, the company to be incorporated will have five shareholders, with Mr. Peter Maniatakos holding 45% of the voting interests. Mr. Maniatakos will also serve as President and Chairperson of the company. Control will reside with the company's four-member Board of Directors; should a vote by Directors be evenly split on any issue, Mr. Maniatakos will have a casting vote.
Mr. Maniatakos is a well-known businessman in Toronto's Greek-Canadian community and, for many years, has produced the "Memories of Greece" television program for distribution in Toronto and southern Ontario on CITY-TV, CFMT-TV Toronto, and CHCH-TV Hamilton as well as on cable systems operated by Rogers. Since 1966, Mr. Maniatakos has also served as President of CHCR, which provides a Greek-language audio service for distribution on cable in the Toronto area.
Programming
Nature of service
As noted above, Odyssey will offer a regional specialty television programming service available on a discretionary basis for carriage by terrestrial and DTH distribution undertakings solely in Ontario. The service will have the Greek-language communities of Ontario as its target audience. On an exceptional basis during its news, public affairs or youth programming, the applicant may distribute brief segments of programming in English to accommodate interviews and other segments where the speaker is unable to converse in Greek. No such English-language segments shall constitute more than 20% of any given program, and all such segments shall be accompanied by a summary of the discourse in Greek. Except as qualified above, the broadcast day shall be devoted entirely to Type A programs, as defined in Schedule II to the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990, in the Greek language.
A condition of licence requiring Odyssey to preserve the nature of the service, as described above, is set out in the appendix to this decision.
The Commission notes the applicant's confirmation at the hearing that it will pre-screen all acquired programming, and that no programming, including programming received via satellite, will go directly to air.
Canadian content
At the public hearing, the Commission questioned the applicant about the levels it proposed for the exhibition of Canadian programs and is satisfied that the commitments are appropriate for the nature of the service proposed.
Odyssey has committed to devote not less than 16% of the broadcast year, and of the evening broadcast period, to the distribution of Canadian programs. The applicant shall adhere to these commitments by condition of licence, as set out in the appendix to this decision.
The Commission notes Odyssey's commitment at the public hearing to increase its exhibition of Canadian programs to 22% of the broadcast year by the seventh year of operation.
Canadian programming expenditures
Consistent with the approach outlined by the Commission in Public Notice CRTC 1996-120 with respect to requirements for Canadian programming expenditures, and as discussed with the applicant at the hearing, it is a condition of licence that Odyssey expend on Canadian programs, in the broadcast year following the first year of operation, and in each subsequent broadcast year, a minimum of 27% of the gross revenues derived from the operation of the service in the previous year. Some flexibility in the accounting of these expenditures is provided for in the conditions of licence attached to this decision.
Advertising
Consistent with the applicant's plans, Odyssey may distribute a maximum of eight minutes of advertising material, plus a maximum of 30 seconds of unpaid public service announcements, in each clock hour of the broadcast day, with some flexibility for the placement of advertising material in longer programs. A condition of licence to this effect is set out in the appendix to this decision.
Other Matters
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 this regard, the Commission encourages the licensee to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
The Commission notes the applicant's plans to install a TDD system within two months of commencing operations to serve the needs of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Odyssey also confirmed that the films produced in Greece, that it will acquire for distribution, will often have English-language subtitles, and that, if finances permit, it will close caption at least one hour per week of its own local production by the seventh year of operation.
Conclusion
The Commission is satisfied that Odyssey will bring added diversity to the Canadian broadcasting system through its service that will be targeted to the currently underserved Greek-language communities in Ontario. The Commission is further satisfied that approval of this application is consistent with its ethnic broadcasting policy.
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 Odyssey
1. (a) The licensee shall provide a regional (Ontario) specialty service, having as its target audience the Greek communities of Ontario. Subject to subsection b), Odyssey shall draw 100% of its programs from TYPE A programs as defined in Schedule II of the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990, in the Greek language.
(b) On an exceptional basis during its news, public affairs or youth programs, the licensee may distribute brief segments in the English language to accommodate interviews and other segments from persons unable to converse in Greek. All such non-Greek language inserts are to be accompanied by a summary in the Greek language and shall not constitute more than 20% of any given program.
2. The licensee shall devote to the exhibition of Canadian programs not less than 16% of the broadcast year, and not less than 16% 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 a minimum of 27% of the gross revenues derived from the operation of the service in the previous broadcast year.
(b) In the broadcast year following the 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, 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 paragraphs (b) and (c) 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 this condition of licence.
4.(a) Subject to subsections (b) and (c), the licensee shall not distribute more than eight (8) minutes of advertising material during each clock hour.
(b) In addition to the eight 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) 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. 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 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) "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 CAB's "Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children", 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, the terms "broadcast day", "broadcast month", "broadcast year", "clock hour" and "evening broadcast period" shall have the same meanings as those set out in the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987; and "first year of operation" shall mean the first broadcast year in which the applicant is in operation for a period exceeding ninety (90) days, excluding any free preview period.