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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 97-39

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Decision

Ottawa, 31 January 1997
Decision CRTC 97-39
Vancouver Television Inc.
Vancouver, British Columbia - 199607876
CanWest Television Inc.
Victoria and Courtenay, British Columbia - 199601121
CHUM Limited
Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia - 199607868
Craig Broadcast Systems Inc., on behalf of a company to be incorporated
Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia - 199607884
Rogers Broadcasting Limited
Vancouver, British Columbia - 952030500
Application by Vancouver Television Inc. proposing a new, independent, English-language television service in Vancouver - Approved; four other competing applications - Denied
Following a Public Hearing commencing 23 September 1996 in Vancouver, the Commission approves the application by Vancouver Television Inc. (VTI) for a broadcasting licence to carry on a new, independent, English-language (television) programming undertaking to serve Vancouver.
The other applications noted above are denied for the reasons set out later in this decision.
Subject to the requirements of this decision, the Commission will issue a broadcasting licence to VTI to carry on a new television programming undertaking at Vancouver, operating on channel 42C with an effective radiated power of 726,000 watts.
The licence will expire 31 August 2002, and will be 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 construction of the undertaking is completed and it is prepared to commence operation.
The licence shall not be issued if this undertaking is not in operation within 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 periods of time as are approved in writing by the Commission. The licensee shall advise the Commission in writing once it is prepared to commence operation.
Background
a) The applicants
Five applicants sought licences at the Vancouver hearing to carry on new television programming undertakings in British Columbia. The successful applicant, VTI, is owned equally by Electrohome Limited (Electrohome) and BBS Saskatchewan Incorporated (BBS Sask). Electrohome is effectively controlled by the Pollock family; BBS Sask is effectively controlled by the Eaton family through Baton Broadcasting Incorporated (BBI) and Eaton's of Canada Limited.
In Decision CRTC 96-251 dated 21 June 1996, the Commission approved applications involving a series of transactions and corporate reorganizations, including those relating to implementation of a Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) between BBI and Electrohome concerning the operation of certain television interests in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Under the SAA, BBI votes Electrohome's 14.28% interest in CTV Television Network Ltd. (CTV), in addition to its own 28.56% voting interest in CTV.
The various television undertakings now falling under the umbrella of the SAA, together with those not affected by the SAA, but owned either by Electrohome or, indirectly, by BBI through BBS Ontario Incorporated, have a potential reach of approximately 63% of Canada's English-language television market. The proposed television undertaking in Vancouver will expand the combined potential reach of stations under the ownership of BBI and Electrohome to approximately 76% of all Anglophone television viewers in Canada. This level matches very closely the potential reach of television stations now under the ownership of CanWest Television Inc. (CanWest) and those owned by WIC Television Ltd. (WIC). BBI is also the owner or controlling shareholder of two companies recently licensed to carry on new specialty television services and holds an indirect minority interest in a third such company.
CanWest is the licensee of the independent television station CKVU-TV Vancouver and its transmitter CKVU-TV-1 Courtenay. The company is ultimately controlled by Mr. I. A. Asper of Winnipeg through CanWest Global Communications Corp. (CanWest Global). In addition to its television holdings in British Columbia, CanWest holds indirect control of television undertakings in Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. CanWest applied at the Vancouver hearing for a broadcasting licence to carry on a second conventional English-language independent television programming undertaking in British Columbia, to be located at Victoria, with a second transmitter at Courtenay.
CHUM Limited (CHUM) is effectively controlled by Allan Waters of Toronto. CHUM owns CITY-TV Toronto, CKVR-TV Barrie, the Atlantic regional satellite network programming undertaking ASN, CJCH-TV Halifax, and three other English-language television undertakings in the Maritimes. CHUM also exercises effective control of undertakings providing educational television services in Calgary and Edmonton, owns numerous radio stations across Canada, and either holds licences for, controls, or has significant ownership interests in, eight specialty television services.
Craig Broadcast Systems Inc. (CBSI) applied on behalf of a company to be incorporated (Craig). As proposed, Craig would be owned 60% by Mr. A. Stuart Craig of Brandon through CBSI. CBSI is licensee of independent station CHMI-TV Portage la Prairie, CBC affiliate CKX-TV Brandon, and five radio stations in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. It also owns 100% of the company licensed to operate CIRK-FM Edmonton, and 100% of Skycable Inc., licensee of a multipoint distribution system (MDS) undertaking authorized to serve various communities in Manitoba. In Decision CRTC 96-731 dated 1 November 1996, the Commission approved applications by an unincorporated company controlled 60% by CBSI for authority to carry on new English-language (television) programming undertakings at Calgary and Edmonton.
CHUM and Craig each applied for a licence to carry on new conventional English-language television undertakings in Vancouver. As part of their applications, CHUM and Craig also proposed to establish television transmitters at Victoria to rebroadcast their programming to the provincial capital and the southern portion of Vancouver Island.
In the remaining application, Rogers Broadcasting Limited (Rogers) sought authority to acquire the assets of Talentvision TV Ltd. (Talentvision), licensee of the ethnic regional discretionary specialty programming undertaking serving British Columbia, and requested a broadcasting licence to carry on a (multilingual television) programming undertaking at Vancouver.
Rogers is ultimately controlled by Edward S. Rogers through Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI). In addition to its extensive holdings in the Canadian cable television and radio industries, RCI holds indirect minority shareholdings in a regional pay-per-view programming undertaking and two specialty television services. Rogers is, itself, licensee of the multilingual television programming undertaking CFMT-TV Toronto and its transmitters at Ottawa and London.
b) The call for applications
The application by Rogers was filed with the Commission in August 1995. CanWest's application was subsequently received in January 1996. In keeping with its usual procedure, the Commission issued a call for applications from other parties wishing to obtain broadcasting licences to serve Vancouver and/or Victoria (Public Notices CRTC 1996-41 and CRTC 1996-41-1 dated 22 March and 29 April 1996, respectively). The Commission also commissioned a market study by Coopers & Lybrand; the study was received on 12 March 1996 and was placed on the public file.
In its call, the Commission identified a number of issues that should be addressed by applicants. These included the contribution that the proposed services would make to achieving the objectives of the Broadcasting Act and, in particular, to the production of local and regional programming; and the potential impact that the proposed services would have on the revenues of existing television and radio undertakings.
The five applications ultimately filed with the Commission were considered at the Vancouver hearing under procedures that treated the applications as being competitive (although not necessarily mutually exclusive) with each other on marketing grounds.
c) Potential market impact
British Columbia is Canada's third most populous province, and Vancouver is the country's second largest English-language market. Licensed television undertakings whose signals are available over-the-air in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and Victoria include those providing the French- and English-language services of the CBC, and CanWest's English-language independent station CKVU-TV Vancouver. The market is also served by the CTV network affiliates CHAN-TV Vancouver and CHEK-TV Victoria, both licensed to WIC.
There are no licensed undertakings providing over-the-air multilingual television services in Vancouver, although several third-language communities within the region's large ethnic population currently have access, via cable, to the discretionary specialty and pay television services offered by Talentvision and Fairchild Television Ltd., respectively, and to a multicultural channel offered as a special programming service by Rogers Cable T.V. Limited.
An examination of the viewing share captured by U.S. television services reveals Vancouver as somewhat unusual among Canadian television markets. The total viewing share attributable to U.S. services in Vancouver is 31.7%, which is roughly one and a half times greater than the national average. A significant percentage of that viewing share is captured by the U.S. border station KVOS Bellingham, which has developed successful scheduling practices and marketing techniques to maximize the return on programming aimed at the Vancouver market. Estimates on record as part of this proceeding are that between $20 million and $25 million flow to KVOS each year in Canadian advertising. Claims by the applicants regarding the portion of these advertising dollars that their proposed services would repatriate were much discussed at the hearing, as were the strategies they would employ to do so.
The Vancouver extended television market (EMA) encompasses Vancouver, much of the Lower Mainland, Victoria and portions of Vancouver Island. Despite the presence of KVOS, Canadian television stations within that market are able to charge higher advertising rates than the national average; collectively, they also enjoy an average PBIT margin of 28%, which is significantly higher than the national average of 15%.
 In the Commission's view, certain of the applicants appear to have overestimated the revenues to be earned through repatriation of audiences from non-Canadian stations and, consequently, may have underestimated the impact on existing local television and radio stations. The Commission notes in this regard that the British Columbia economy is currently experiencing a cyclical slowdown that is likely to temper advertising revenue growth, at least in the short term. Nevertheless, based on the available evidence, including the market's above-average PBIT margin, the Commission is satisfied that the market is strong enough to support a single new entrant without unduly affecting the ability of existing privately-owned television stations to provide high quality service and without threatening the survival of existing radio services.
With these factors and considerations in mind, the Commission proceeded with its examination of the five applications.
Assessment of the applications
Turning first to Rogers' proposal to acquire the assets of Talentvision and to provide an over-the-air multilingual television service in Vancouver, the Commission gave careful consideration to the benefits of this application, including the applicant's plans to provide ethnic programming in approximately 11 new languages, directed to 15 ethnic groups not currently served by Talentvision. The Commission also acknowledges the support for the proposed service expressed in interventions submitted by individuals and groups representing many of Vancouver's diverse ethnic communities.
At the same time, it must be recognized that approval of this proposal would bring little additional diversity to the market, as it would essentially represent the replacement of an existing ethnic service by another such service, albeit one that would be available at no cost to a larger potential audience. In this regard, the Commission notes that, of the ethnic communities now served by Talentvision, the Cantonese-, Mandarin-, Vietnamese- and Korean-speaking communities would see a significant reduction in the number of hours of ethnic programming devoted to them. These language groups are among the largest ethnic communities in the Lower Mainland area. Overall, the ethnic programming to be broadcast on a weekly basis would be almost 29% less than the amount now carried within the Talentvision service. The Commission has also noted the applicant's proposal to schedule a significant amount of popular U.S. programming in prime time.
In light of all of the above, given as well the statement by a representative of Talentvision at the hearing that"...there is no plan to abandon the licence at this time", the application by Rogers is denied.
CanWest was the only applicant proposing to offer local programming directed specifically to residents of Victoria and Vancouver Island. A large number of interventions and petitions were submitted by residents of Vancouver Island expressing support for a new local service, such as that proposed by CanWest. Among the concerns most frequently stated was that, despite the island's steady population growth, there remains only one local service; it was further noted that this situation has not changed in 40 years. Many submissions cited the presence on the island of a vibrant independent production community; others noted the shortage, and consequently, the inordinately high cost, of advertising availabilities within existing services. A persistent theme was that Victoria and Vancouver Island, together, constitute a distinct community, one that differs from the city of Vancouver in several important respects. As stated by one intervener:
 A local perspective is very much needed in Victoria and throughout the Vancouver Island. Seldom do Vancouver Island people see themselves or their lives represented on television. Outside of the daily CHEK news reports on local politics, accidents, fires, or the odd human interest report, Victoria residents are served with no local area programming. Instead, our television delivers a steady stream of programs which show life in Vancouver, Seattle and more distant places.
The Commission acknowledges the clear demand among Vancouver Island residents for a new local service. It also agrees that there is a need for such a service, particularly in the absence of an English-language CBC television station to serve the provincial capital. In the Commission's view, however, the application by CanWest does not present an acceptable remedy to these concerns.
For example, while the 75 hours 30 minutes per week of Canadian programming proposed by CanWest is fully nine hours more than the amount offered by any other applicant, more than 40% of those hours, and more than 50% of the station's schedule overall, would consist of programs also included within the CKVU-TV schedule, but aired at different times. This ability to "time-shift" programming is no doubt of significant attraction to CanWest, as it would provide the applicant a second advertising window, much of it in lucrative prime time, to amortize the costs of its programming. In comparison with VTI, CHUM and Craig, however, the Commission considers that CanWest would add very little by way of diversity to what is already available in the Vancouver EMA, apart from the proposed local programming directed to Vancouver Island viewers. Moreover, unlike VTI, CHUM or Craig, the applicant would not represent a new television voice in the market.
Central to the Commission's concern is that approval of CanWest's application would provide that company with ownership of two English-language television undertakings whose services would both be broadly available in the Vancouver extended market. This would be contrary to the Commission's long-established policy against the common ownership of two undertakings in the same class, operating in the same language and serving the same market.
The Commission notes in this regard that the sites chosen by CanWest for its proposed transmission facilities are the same as those used by its existing station CKVU-TV Vancouver and its transmitter CKVU-TV-1 Courtenay, namely Saturna Island (midway between Vancouver and Victoria) and a site approximately 10 km south of Courtenay. The coverage of the proposed transmitters would have substantially duplicated that provided by the existing CKVU-TV and CKVU-TV-1 facilities.
At the hearing, CanWest argued that its application:
 ...provides the Commission, finally, with a legitimate opportunity, by virtue of the overwhelming demand for [our proposed service], to address what we see as the unfair competitive imbalance which exists with the CHAN/CHEK dual licence ownership in this market.
The Commission does not dispute that WIC's ownership of both the Vancouver and Victoria CTV affiliates places the company in a particularly strong competitive position in the market. This was acknowledged by the Commission most recently in Decision CRTC 95-99 renewing the licences of the two stations, at which time the Commission also emphasized the substantial responsibilities attached to WIC's dual ownership of CHAN-TV and CHEK-TV.
In 1992, the Commission gave consideration to requiring WIC's owner, WIC Western International Communications Ltd. (WIC Western), to divest itself of one of the two stations as a condition of approval of an application by WIC Western to purchase CHCH-TV Hamilton. Ultimately, however, in Decision CRTC 92-821, the Commission decided to allow a continuation of the policy exception on the grounds, in part, that divestiture of CHEK-TV would have "...a measurable impact on CHAN-TV's profitability that could reduce [WIC Western's] capacity to expend on local or acquired Canadian production and its ability to maintain its system of transmitters throughout the province's interior."
The Commission went on to emphasize that its determination represented "... the continuation of an exception to, and should not be interpreted as signalling any departure from, its general policy prohibition against the common ownership of two television stations broadcasting in the same language in the same market."
The Commission is concerned that approval of CanWest's application, as filed, would convert the policy exception it has permitted in the case of the Vancouver television market into a virtual rule in that market. Such a decision could lead any future applicant seeking a licence for an undertaking providing a new, conventional television service in the Vancouver area to expect the same concessions as those proposed by CanWest for itself concerning the operation of two stations in the same market and the opportunities to time-shift programming. Moreover, in the Commission's view, the historical rationale supporting WIC's ownership of television stations in each of Vancouver and Victoria does not apply in the case of CanWest. Nor do the applicant's arguments concerning what it has described as an unfair competitive imbalance accruing to WIC through its ownership of both CHAN-TV and CHEK-TV persuade the Commission that a departure from its ownership policy is warranted in the circumstances. In addition, as noted later in this decision, the Commission is confident that the need for a local Vancouver Island service can be met through means that would avoid the shortcomings of CanWest's application.
Accordingly, and for the other reasons noted above, the application by CanWest is denied.
The Commission examined the three remaining applications by VTI, CHUM and Craig, bearing in mind its call for proposed services capable of making a significant contribution to achieving the objectives of the Broadcasting Act and, in particular, to the production of local and regional programming.
The Commission also examined the contributions that each applicant would make to the delivery of new, independently-produced entertainment programming choices to viewers in the Vancouver market, and on a national basis as well.
The Commission notes in this regard that the conditions of licence and expectations set out in its licensing and renewal decisions in recent years have increasingly focused on contributions to the production and consistent scheduling of original Canadian television programming in the categories of drama, music and variety (categories 7, 8 and 9). A further Commission preoccupation, one closely linked to the above, has been to encourage the growth of a strong independent production industry in all regions of Canada, having the capability to create programs in these categories that reflect the regions to themselves in an adequate manner, but also having sufficient quality and interest to ensure their broadcast in Canada's other regions.
VTI, CHUM and Craig presented the Commission with three excellent proposals from which to choose. Each responded fully to the Commission's call for applications that, through the production of programs providing local reflection, would serve to further the objectives of the Act. Not unexpectedly, each of these applications revealed various strengths and weaknesses in comparison with the other two. Nevertheless, the local and regional programming plans of each of the three applicants were more than adequate. In the Commission's view, any one of these three applicants could have been licensed on this basis.
All three applicants also made substantial commitments to expenditures on, and the exhibition of, new Canadian programming in the under-represented categories, including that acquired from independent producers.
In deciding to license VTI, the Commission has taken into account a number of factors, including the applicant's greater commitments with respect to spending on local news, and to the scheduling, over the broadcast day, of Canadian programming in categories 7, 8 and 9. Of considerable importance to the Commission is the fact that the commitments made in the context of this application by BBI and Electrohome, as a corporate group, both in respect of expenditures on independently-produced programming in categories 7, 8 and 9, and expenditures on Canadian programming overall, are significantly greater than those of the other two applicants and their respective owners.
BBI and Electrohome also own or control television stations in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta. As noted earlier, the stations controlled by this corporate group have a potential reach of approximately 63% of all English-language television viewers in Canada. In the context of the VTI application, BBI and Electrohome made commitments to fund the production of new Canadian programming, including new drama series, through allocations from the budgets of these other stations outside of British Columbia. This funding is in addition to that set out in VTI's budget. BBI and Electrohome also made commitments to the exhibition of these programs on the stations under their control.
These and other commitments by VTI and BBI/Electrohome are examined in detail in the following section of this decision. On balance, the Commission is convinced that the applicant's plans for a new local programming service, coupled with the contributions that VTI will make to the delivery of new, independently-produced Canadian entertainment choices for viewers in the Vancouver market, and the undertaking by BBI/Electrohome to give this programming the widest possible exhibition on BBI/Electrohome stations elsewhere across Canada, warrant approval of this application.
In particular, the Commission is satisfied that the licensing of VTI will have the greatest possible positive impact on the Canadian independent production industry, particularly in British Columbia. The Commission also considers that providing the BBI/Electrohome group with a potential reach roughly equal to the potential reach of television stations owned by CanWest Global and by WIC will ensure that these commitments are met, by enabling BBI/Electrohome to amortize, in an efficient manner, the costs of purchasing the national rights for its proposed Canadian drama programming.
VTI's program plans and commitments
a) Local reflection
On 24 March 1995, the Commission issued Public Notice CRTC 1995-48 in conjunction with the release of decisions renewing the licences of privately-owned, English-language television stations in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. In that public notice, the Commission reiterated the importance of the principle of local reflection and reminded television licensees that they have a special responsibility to serve the public within the particular geographic areas they are licensed to serve
As part of its contribution to local reflection, VTI has committed to provide a minimum total of 21 hours per broadcast week of first-play local programming on the new Vancouver station, including 12 hours 30 minutes of first-play local news. The Commission notes the applicant's plans to hire a multilingual news staff to report on Vancouver's ethnic communities, and to establish a total of six storefront community bureaus. The community bureaus will include one in Victoria to cover news in that city and at the provincial legislature.
Consistent with its policy approach for closed captioning announced in Public Notice CRTC 1995-48, the Commission requires the licensee, by the end of the licence term, to caption all local news programming, including live segments, using either real-time captioning or another method capable of captioning live programming, and further requires the licensee to close caption at least 90% of all programming during the broadcast day by the end of the licence term.
Among the other local programs proposed by the applicant are such titles as: "Vancouver Speaks Out" a public affairs-type broadcast; "Youth Chronicles" produced by local communications students; "New Worlds" featuring the cultural experiences of new Canadians; "Applause", a variety program featuring local performers; "Pacific Profiles", featuring local Vancouver personalities; and "First Story", offering the stories and arts of the First Nations people of Vancouver.
The Commission notes these plans and expects the applicant to adhere to its commitment to broadcast, at a minimum, an average of 12 hours 30 minutes of first-play local news during each broadcast week, throughout the licence term. It expects the applicant to further reflect local interests and concerns by broadcasting an average of 8 hours 30 minutes per week of first-play local programming in categories other than news.
b)  Exhibition of programming in under-represented categories
Consistent with the applicant's commitments, and in accordance with the Commission's policy announced in Public Notice CRTC 1995-48, it is a condition of licence that the licensee broadcast during the evening broadcast period, as a minimum weekly average, 7 hours of Canadian drama, music or variety programming (categories 7, 8 and 9) in each broadcast year of the licence term.
c) Expenditures on Canadian programming
In response to questioning at the hearing, the applicant also stated that it would be willing to adhere to a condition of licence that would govern its expenditures on Canadian programming. Specifically, it agreed to abide by a formula whereby its minimum expenditures on Canadian programming over the course of the licence term would be tied to the percentage arrived at by dividing the seven-year total amount of Canadian programming expenditures projected in its application by the total amount of advertising revenues it has projected over that same period.
Accordingly, it is a condition of licence that the licensee expend on Canadian programming, over the course of the licence term, a minimum of 35% of the total advertising revenues earned by the licensee during that period.
d)  Support for the Canadian independent production industry
The above-noted commitments relating to the exhibition of, and expenditures on, Canadian programming, are specific to the proposed Vancouver station. In the context of this application and in their capacity as licensees or owners of television stations elsewhere in Canada, BBI and Electrohome made a number of further commitments directed to the support of the Canadian independent production industry, and independent producers in British Columbia in particular.
BBI/Electrohome committed to acquire from arm's length Canadian producers, a minimum of 121 hours per year of original Canadian programming, including 95 hours of such programming commissioned from independent producers in British Columbia. The Commission understands that the vast preponderance of this programming will be in the under-represented categories, and requires BBI/Electrohome to adhere to this commitment.
Similarly, the Commission requires BBI/Electrohome to adhere to the further commitment to expend a minimum of $53 million over seven years on licence fees paid to independent Canadian producers for the production of programming in the under-represented categories 7, 8 and 9. According to information contained in the application, approximately one half of this amount will be devoted to programs acquired from independent producers in British Columbia.
The Commission places particular importance on the commitment by BBI/Electrohome to commission and broadcast two, new, hour-long, independently-produced Canadian drama series. Episodes will be aired each week in prime time on BBI/Electrohome stations across Canada. One of the series, encompassing 13 original episodes, will be purchased from an independent producer based in British Columbia. The applicant expects that these two new series, alone, will trigger production expenditures of approximately $140 million over seven years.
As a further commitment, VTI will commission production of "The Storytellers", a development series to be aired across the BBI/Electrohome system and consisting of 20 half-hour dramas produced by new independent producers in British Columbia.
The Commission also notes the commitment to broadcast, in prime time, on BBI and Electrohome's stations in Alberta, Saskatchewan and in Vancouver, a limited series of family dramas to be acquired from independent producers in western Canada; a minimum of 50% of the stories is to come from British Columbia. The applicant will also commission a new, half-hour children's program by an independent producer in British Columbia, representing an expenditure of $1.8 million over seven years.
In the area of documentary programming, the applicant undertook to develop and fund, in conjunction with other BBI/Electrohome stations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, 13 documentaries per year; half of these programs will be produced by independent producers based in British Columbia. The documentaries will also be made available to stations across the BBI/Electrohome system.
The Commission notes the commitment by BBI/Electrohome to ensure that, over seven years, a minimum total of $28 million in new funding flows to the independent production industry in British Columbia in respect of the new drama, children's and documentary programming described above.
VTI made a further commitment to expend $175,000 per year for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a British Columbia program development office that will facilitate access to the proposed station by independent producers. The office will be staffed by a senior, Vancouver-based development executive with a mandate to make decisions and respond quickly to local producers regarding their proposals. The applicant also made a commitment to an annual expenditure of $200,000 for script and concept development.
Service to Vancouver Island
Earlier in this decision, the Commission acknowledged the concerns of interveners regarding the need for a second local television service targeted specifically to viewers in Victoria and on Vancouver Island. Although the Commission was not satisfied that CanWest's proposal offered an acceptable response to these concerns, it is confident that the need for local service can be met through means that would avoid the shortcomings of CanWest's application.
For example, one concern was that CanWest's proposed technical facilities would have effectively duplicated the coverage now achieved by CKVU-TV and CKVU-TV-1. A related concern was with respect to the amount of programming that, although time-shifted, would have been common to the schedule proposed by CanWest for its Victoria and Vancouver Island service and the CKVU-TV program schedule.
The Commission notes in this regard the following statement by VTI, in response to CanWest's intervention at the hearing:
 ...by placing Vancouver clearly within the Grade "A" contour, [CanWest's] application creates more problems than it solves. Beyond a true Island service, this is a second CanWest Vancouver service and, as such, should be rejected.
 With careful design, it is possible to restrict a service's over-the-air coverage and mandatory cable carriage to the geography of Vancouver Island. If we are licensed, we undertake not to oppose an application for such a service, should one come forward. Should this not happen in the near future, we would undertake to come forward ourselves with an application to serve the people of the Island who have so clearly and eloquently expressed their needs.
The Commission is encouraged by VTI's undertaking. It would expect VTI, or any other applicant coming forward with a proposal to serve Victoria and Vancouver Island, to be mindful of the Commission's concerns noted above.
Other matters
The licensee shall, by condition of licence, 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 accepted by the Commission. The application of the foregoing condition of licence will be suspended as long as the licensee is a member in good standing of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC).
The licensee shall, by condition of licence, 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 accepted by the Commission. The application of the foregoing condition of licence will be suspended as long as the licensee is a member in good standing of the CBSC.
The licensee shall, by condition of licence, adhere to the provisions of the CAB's "Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children", as amended from time to time and accepted by the Commission.
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 acknowledges, and has considered, the many interventions submitted with respect to the applications proposing new television services in British Columbia, heard at the 23 September 1996 Public Hearing in Vancouver.
This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General
Appendix to Decision CRTC 97-39
Conditions of licence for Vancouver Television Inc.
1.  The licensee shall broadcast during the evening broadcast period, as a minimum weekly average, 7 hours of Canadian drama, music or variety programming (categories 7, 8 and 9) in each broadcast year of the licence term.
2.  The licensee shall expend on Canadian programming, over the course of the licence term, a minimum of 35% of the total advertising revenues earned by the licensee during that period.
 For the purpose of this condition, "expend on Canadian programming" shall have the same meaning as that set out in Public Notices CRTC 1993-93 and 1993-174 dated 22 June and 10 December 1993, respectively.
3.  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 accepted by the Commission. The application of the foregoing condition of licence will be suspended as long as the licensee is a member in good standing of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC).
4.  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 accepted by the Commission. The application of the foregoing condition of licence will be suspended as long as the licensee is a member in good standing of the CBSC.
5.  The licensee shall adhere to the provisions of the CAB's "Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children", as amended from time to time and accepted by the Commission.