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ARCHIVED -  Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-352

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-352

 

See also: 2007-352-1

Ottawa, 14 September 2007

  Sun TV Company
Toronto, Ottawa and London, Ontario
  Applications 2007-0044-4, 2007-0047-8, 2007-0048-6 and 2007-0049-4,
received 11 January 2007
Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2007-14
9 February 2007
 

CKXT-TV Toronto and CKXT-DT Toronto - Licence amendments

  The Commission approves the applications by Sun TV Company to amend the broadcasting licences for the English-language analog television programming undertaking CKXT-TV Toronto and the English-language transitional digital television programming undertaking CKXT-DT Toronto in order to operate analog rebroadcasting transmitters and transitional digital rebroadcasting transmitters, in Ottawa and London, Ontario.
 

The applications

1.

The Commission received applications by Sun TV Company (Sun TV) to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language analog television programming undertaking CKXT-TV Toronto, Ontario, in order to operate analog rebroadcasting transmitters in Ottawa and London, Ontario. The new analog rebroadcasting transmitter in Ottawa would operate on channel 54C with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 80,000 watts, and the new analog rebroadcasting transmitter in London would operate on channel 26C with an average ERP of 310,000 watts.

2.

The Commission also received applications by Sun TV to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language transitional digital television programming undertaking CKXT-DT Toronto, in order to operate transitional digital rebroadcasting transmitters in Ottawa and London. The new transitional digital rebroadcasting transmitter in Ottawa would operate on channel 62C with an average ERP of 4,600 watts, and the new transitional digital rebroadcasting transmitter in London would operate on channel 19C with an average ERP of 4,300 watts.

3.

Sun TV stated that it would not solicit local advertising revenues in either the Ottawa or London markets.

4.

Sun TV currently operates CKXT-TV with an analog rebroadcasting transmitter in Hamilton. The licensee indicated that the addition of the proposed rebroadcasting transmitters would permit it to compete more effectively for national advertising revenues and would provide viewers in Ottawa and London with access to an additional Canadian viewing choice with a distinctive program schedule.
 

Interventions

5.

The Commission received several interventions in support of these applications, as well as interventions providing general comments from Rogers Cable Communications Inc. (Rogers), Mr. Jon LeBlanc, on behalf of Digital Home Canada, and CanWest MediaWorks Inc. The Commission also received interventions in opposition to these applications, from CHUM Limited1 (CHUM) and from Mr. Michel LaRochelle. The interventions and the replies to the interventions for each of these applications are available at the Commission's Web site at http://www.crtc.gc.ca under "Public Proceedings."
 

Commission's analysis and determinations

6.

After reviewing the applications, the interventions and the licensee's replies to the interventions, the Commission considers that the primary issues arising from these applications relate to: the potential impact that approval of these rebroadcasting transmitters would have on existing stations in the market; the production of local programming and of original Canadian programming; and the location of the Sun TV television signal on analog basic outside of the basic band.
 

Impact on existing stations in the market

7.

CHUM stated that approval of Sun TV's applications would have a negative impact on its existing CITY-TV Toronto station as well as on its Ontario A-channel stations. According to CHUM, the financial impact on the A-channel stations would be significant, since advertising time on those stations is generally bought after advertising time on the other English-language stations is purchased. CHUM also argued that while Sun TV indicated that it is not looking to access local advertising in either Ottawa or London, approval of these applications would direct advertising away from these markets, putting further pressure on the non-network and spot advertising markets. Finally, CHUM noted that since buying decisions are influenced by the performance of a station in Toronto, allowing Sun TV access to the Ottawa and London markets would not improve the performance of CKXT-TV in Toronto, but instead would serve to further depress an already depressed conventional television market.

8.

In its reply to CHUM, Sun TV stated that CHUM's stations would not be negatively affected by the approval of these applications, since any growth at Sun TV from these rebroadcasting transmitters would be absorbed by market growth and would not take any advertising away from existing channels.

9.

The Commission considers that several factors would serve to minimize any potential negative impact on CHUM's stations in Ottawa-Gatineau and in Kitchener-London upon approval of Sun TV's present applications. The Commission notes, for example, that growth in CHUM's revenues from 2006 to 2008 could offset some of the potential impact of the new rebroadcasting transmitters in both Ottawa and London and that most, if not all, of any impact would be offset by growth in the television advertising market over the next eighteen months. The Commission also considers that the amount of impact absorbed by other conventional television stations available in each market, distributed as part of the basic cable package, would reduce any impact on the local CHUM stations. The Commission also notes that Sun TV would not be soliciting local advertising in the Ottawa and London markets and, as such, that the proposed rebroadcasting transmitters would not have a direct negative impact on the local advertising revenues generated by CHUM's A-channel stations in Ottawa and London. Finally, the Commission considers that since Sun TV is currently distributed on digital cable both in Ottawa-Gatineau and in Kitchener-London, the impact that extending the availability of Sun TV to all analog basic cable subscribers would have on the existing CHUM stations would be less than if Sun TV was not currently available in these markets.
 

Local programming and original Canadian programming

10.

CHUM argued that Sun TV's local programming is primarily directed to the interests of Toronto and Hamilton viewers and, therefore, would not reflect the particular needs and interests of viewers in Ottawa and London. CHUM also contended that Sun TV does not produce any original Canadian programming, other than its locally produced programming. Mr. LaRochelle argued that it would be in the interest of all residents of London to deny further use of the television broadcasting spectrum to be used for the retransmission of signals from Toronto, and stated that an active role should be taken to encourage new proposals for local television services to serve the London market.

11.

In its reply to CHUM, Sun TV stated that although its programming provides information and entertainment about and directed to Toronto and Hamilton, it should not be implied that its programming would not be of interest to viewers outside the area. With respect to CHUM's concerns over original Canadian programming, Sun TV stated that since 2004, it has produced in excess of 160 hours of original Canadian programming with Independent Producers through its New Voices and Priority programming funds. In its reply to Mr. LaRochelle, Sun TV noted that its proposal would not act as an impediment to the emergence of local services, given that it would not solicit local advertising in either London or Ottawa.

12.

The Commission is of the view that the approval of the present applications would increase the diversity of programming - including Canadian programming - that would be available to viewers in Ottawa and London. Also, given Sun TV's commitment not to solicit local advertising, approval of the present applications should not inhibit the development of new local services.
 

Location of the Sun TV signal on analog basic outside of the basic band

13.

Rogers noted in its intervention that channel realignments are a major source of customer frustration and dissatisfaction, particularly the realignment of services on basic cable, below the discretionary tiers. However, in regard to the location of the Sun TV television signal on analog basic outside of the basic band, Rogers indicated that it had reached an understanding with Sun TV to negotiate a suitable location.
 

Conclusion

14.

In light of the above, the Commission approves the applications by Sun TV Company to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language analog television programming undertaking CKXT-TV Toronto, Ontario, in order to operate analog rebroadcasting transmitters at Ottawa and London, Ontario, and to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language transitional digital television programming undertaking CKXT-DT Toronto, in order to operate transitional digital rebroadcasting transmitters at Ottawa and London. The new analog rebroadcasting transmitter at Ottawa will operate on channel 54C with an average ERP of 80,000 watts, and the new analog rebroadcasting transmitter at London will operate on channel 26C with an average ERP of 310,000 watts. The new transitional digital rebroadcasting transmitter at Ottawa will operate on channel 62C with an average ERP of 4,600 watts, and the new transitional digital rebroadcasting transmitter at London will operate on channel 19C with an average ERP of 4,300 watts. The licences for CKXT-TV Toronto and CKXT-DT Toronto will be subject to the conditions of licence specified therein, as well as to the following condition of licence:
  • The licensee shall not solicit local advertising in Ottawa and London.

15.

In regard to the use of channel 54C and 62C for the transmission of analog and digital signals, respectively, in Ottawa, the Commission notes that neither channel exists in the post-transition plan (only channels 2 through 51 will be assigned to television) and that the digital television signal would eventually have to be moved. The Commission also notes, however, that the Department of Industry (the Department) would work with the applicant in order to find a suitable digital television channel in the post-transition plan.

16.

In regard to the analog rebroadcasting transmitters in both Ottawa and London, the Commission stated in Broadcasting Public Notice 2007-53 that television licensees will be authorized to broadcast only digital over-the-air signals after 31 August 2011, although exceptions may be made in northern communities and remote communities where analog transmissions will not cause interference. As such, the Commission expects that any existing licences or licence renewals for analog television programming undertakings will only be valid until 31 August 2011.

17.

The Commission reminds the licensee that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, this authority will only be effective when the Department notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met, and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.

18.

The transmitters must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 14 September 2009. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted in writing at least 60 days before that date.
  Secretary General
 

Related documents

 
  • Transfer of effective control of CHUM Limited to CTVglobemedia Inc., Broadcasting Decision CRTC  2007-165, 8 June 2007
 
  • Determinations regarding certain aspects of the regulatory framework for over-the-air television, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2007-53, 17 May 2007
  This decision is to be appended to each licence. It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined in PDF format or in HTML at the following Internet site: www.crtc.gc.ca
  Footnote:
1 In Broadcasting Decision 2007‑165, the Commission approved the transfer of effective control of CHUM Limited to CTVglobemedia Inc. CHUM Limited filed its intervention prior to that transaction. For this reason, the name "CHUM Limited" will be used in this decision.

Date Modified: 2007-09-19