ARCHIVED - Decision CRTC 2001-706

This page has been archived on the Web

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 CRTC 2001-706

Ottawa, 20 November 2001

Astral Radio inc.
Across Canada 2001-0541-2

Application processed by
Public Notice CRTC 2001-91
dated 8 August 2001

Licence amendment for Canal Z


The Commission approves, by majority vote, the application to amend the broadcasting licence for the French-language specialty television service known as Canal Z, by changing the condition of licence relating to Canadian content which reads as follows:

2. In each broadcast year, the licensee shall devote to the distribution of Canadian programs not less than 60% of the broadcast day and not less than 50% of the evening broadcast period.


This condition will be replaced by the following condition of licence:

2 a) In the first and second broadcast year, the licensee shall devote to the distribution of Canadian programs not less than 60% of the broadcast day and not less than 50% of the evening broadcast period;
b) Effective 1 September 2001 and in each subsequent broadcast year, the licensee shall devote to the distribution of Canadian programs not less than 50% of the broadcast day and not less than 40% of the evening broadcast period;
c) In each broadcast year, effective in year three, the licensee shall distribute no less than 104 hours of original first-run Canadian French-language programs.


The licensee pointed out that its proposal stemmed from the distinctive character of its programming, which focuses on science, technology, computers and video games. Because this type of programming quickly becomes out-of-date, all rebroadcasts and repeat programming must be broadcast within a short period of time, resulting in a very high repeat factor. The licensee considers that approval of its application will enable it to continue to allocate average hourly budgets consistent with its original first-run Canadian programs without having to significantly increase the repeat factor for these programs. The licensee also emphasized that it would fully meet its requirements for Canadian programming expenditures, as stipulated by condition of licence in Decision CRTC 99-110.


The application was accompanied by a letter of support from the Association des producteurs de films et de télévision du Québec (APFTQ). The Association's support was based on the fact that the licensee has devoted the full amount earmarked for Canadian programming expenditures over the first two years of operation of its service, as well as its commitment to continue to meet its obligation in this regard. Supporting interventions were also filed by two independent producers: Productions Pixcom inc. and Zone3 inc.


The Commission considers that approval of this application will contribute to increasing the overall quality of Canal Z's service as well as its attractiveness to viewers. Approval will result in a lower repeat factor for Canadian programming and thus contribute to reducing the perception that Canadian programming services are largely composed of repeat programs. In addition, the licensee's requirements for expenditures on Canadian programming will not be affected. The Commission has also considered the licensee's new commitment to broadcast no less than 104 hours of original first-run Canadian French-language programming in each broadcast year, effective 1 September 2001. The new condition of licence set out above requires the licensee to abide by this commitment.


In its evaluation of this application, the Commission has also taken into account the difficult circumstances surrounding Canal Z's launch in January 2000 and the negative impact these circumstances have had on the licensee's business plan, particularly in view of the changing marketing approach for this tier.


The Commission notes that the approval granted herein only applies to Canal Z's current licence term, which expires 31 August 2005. At the time of Canal Z's next licence renewal, the Commission intends to examine whether the reduced required percentages of Canadian content are still appropriate.

Related CRTC document

Decision 99-110 - Approval of a new French-language specialty television service called "Canal Z, aux limites du savoir"

Secretary General

This decision is to be appended to the licence. It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined at the following Internet site:

Date Modified: 2001-11-20

Date modified: