ARCHIVED - Broadcasting - Commission Letter - CTV Acquisition

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Ottawa, 7 June 2004

SENT BY FAX: (416) 332-4580

Mr. Paul Sparkes
Senior Vice-President
Corporate and Public Affairs
Bell Globemedia
9 Channel Nine Court
Scarborough, Ontario
M1S 4B5

Re: Annual BCE-CTV Benefits Report Pursuant to Decision CRTC 2000-747

Dear Mr. Sparkes:

This is to advise that the Commission accepts CTV Inc.'s Year 3 BCE-CTV Benefits Report for the 2002/2003 Broadcast Year, filed 15 December 2003 pursuant to Transfer of effective control of CTV Inc. to BCE Inc., Decision CRTC 2000-747, 7 December 2000.

The Commission notes that CTV has addressed the concern regarding the rate at which the $230 million dollar commitment was being expended, expressed in the 6 May 2003 Commission letter accepting CTV's Year 2 Report. To date, 36.94% of the commitment has been expended, leaving 63.06% to be expended over the next four years, which is reasonable.

As part of the assessment of the Year 3 Report, the Commission reviewed the categorization of certain episodes of Canadian Idol as Music and Dance (category 8A). The Commission determined that those episodes did not meet the definition of category 8A as they did not meet the requirement that the program be comprised of more than 50% music and/or dance. However, given the "performance - critique" concept of the program and the importance to the concept of the inter-relationship between the various program components, the Commission determined that those episodes could meet the definition of Variety (category 9).

In this regard, apart from the musical performances, it was deemed that the critiques of the performers by the judges, the interactions between the judges themselves, and the interaction between the judges, host and performers is as much of a draw for viewers as the musical performers and as such they can be considered as performances of "mixed character." This being the case, these episodes meet the "Variety" criterion of more than 50% performances of a mixed character.

As part of its overall deliberations in arriving at the Variety category, and the eligibility of the episodes as priority programming, the Commission also took the following into consideration:

The program, as a series, meets the spirit and the objectives of priority programming, outlined in paragraphs 31 and 33 of Public Notice CRTC 1999-97;

The program is a vehicle for the discovery and development of young and new Canadian amateur musical talent; and

The program showcases, on a national stage, talent from various regions of Canada.

With these considerations in mind, including its recognition as priority programming, the Commission considers it important that the focus of Canadian Idol be on showcasing the individual performances of the contestants themselves. In this regard then, the Commission expects Canadian Idol to strive to ensure that at least half of the running time of each episode be devoted to the performers and their actual musical performances.

The report will be placed on the Commission website and CTV's public examination file.

Yours sincerely,

Diane Rhéaume
Secretary General

Date Modified: 2004-06-07

Date modified: