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ARCHIVED -  Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-696

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-696

  Ottawa, 21 December 2006
  Radio Matagami
Matagami and Chibougamau, Quebec
  Application 2006-0880-5
Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-99
3 August 2006

CHEF-FM Matagami - New transmitter at Chibougamau

The Commission denies an application to amend the broadcasting licence for the Type A French-language community radio programming undertaking CHEF-FM Matagami in order to operate a transmitter at Chibougamau.

The application

1. The Commission received an application from Radio Matagami to amend the broadcasting licence for the Type A French-language community radio programming undertaking CHEF-FM Matagami in order to operate a transmitter at Chibougamau.
2. The new transmitter would operate on frequency 96.9 MHz (channel 245 LP) with an effective radiated power of 37 watts.
3. The licensee proposes to add a low-power FM transmitter at Chibougamau to broadcast the programming of CHEF-FM Matagami in order to serve the entire population in the Jamésie.1


4 The Commission received one intervention in support of the application from the Conférence régionale des élus de la Baie-James (CRÉBJ), and one opposing intervention submitted by Groupe Radio Antenne 6 inc. (Antenne 6).
5. Antenne 6 is the licensee of CJMD Chibougamau and its transmitter CFED at Chapais. It stated that it had obtained the Commission's authorization in August 2005 to convert its station to the FM band. According to Antenne 6, the new station (CKXO-FM Chibougamau), which will replace CJMD/CFED, should be in operation soon; it also added, however, that it would be obliged to reconsider this project in a context where a competing radio station could appear and take a share of the advertising market.
6. Antenne 6 submitted that the licensee would try different means to attract revenue in the local Chibougamau market in order to self-finance at least the operating costs of its transmitter.
7. Antenne 6 was of the view that this application for a low-power rebroadcasting transmitter at Chibougamau was only one of the steps in the applicant's project to achieve its original project of obtaining a licence in order to operate a community radio station at Chibougamau.

Applicant's reply

8. According to Radio Matagami, all the arguments presented by Antenne 6 were based on assumptions. Radio Matagami was of the view that only the facts should be considered, regardless of assumptions or past projects that had been abandoned.
9. Radio Matagami maintained that its basic objective was to offer service for the population in a region that is sparsely served by communications. The applicant claimed that it was urgent for the development of the greater Jamésie region that all citizens have access to complete information about their region, and that they have means of communication to allow them to discuss local and regional issues in order to better participate in the development of their community.
10. Furthermore, Radio Matagami felt that adding a condition of licence prohibiting it from seeking any local on-air advertising in the Chibougamau market would not be reasonable. According to Radio Matagami, this would set a dangerous precedent that could cause harm to all advertisers. It added that, to maintain fairness, all stations that could be received in any form in the Chibougamau market would have to be subject to the same condition of licence.

Commission's analysis and determinations

11. In assessing this application, the Commission has carefully considered the viewpoints of the licensee and the interveners.
12. The Commission notes the concerns raised by Antenne 6 regarding the negative impact on the advertising market in Chibougamau that could result from operation of the transmitter proposed by Radio Matagami. The Commission also notes the refusal of Radio Matagami to accept a condition of licence that would prohibit it from seeking any local advertising in the Chibougamau market.
13. The Commission considers that adding a competitor to the current limited radio advertising market in Chibougamau could compromise station CJMD's conversion to FM.
14. In light of the above, the Commission denies the application by Radio Matagami to amend the broadcasting licence for the Type A French-language community radio programming undertaking CHEF-FM Matagami in order to operate a transmitter at Chibougamau.
  Secretary General
  This decision is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined in PDF format or in HTML at the following Internet site:
1The Jamésie (or James Bay region) includes the Municipality of Baie-James, four towns (Chapais, Chibougamau, Lebel-sur-Quévillon and Matagami), seven of the eight Cree villages in the Cree Regional Authority and one Aboriginal community (Oujé-Bougoumou). 

Date Modified: 2006-12-21