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Ottawa, 8 April, 2009
Our File No.: 8622-C151-200905102
Ms. Susan Wheeler
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
Ms. Alyson J. Townsend
President and CEO
Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc.
Re: Dispute between Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc. (CCSA) and Rogers Sportsnet Inc. (Rogers) – Confidentiality of documents
On 2 April, 2009, the Commission received detailed memorandums from Rogers and CCSA in the matter referenced above. The Commission notes that abridged and unabridged versions of the memorandums were provided.
In its 2 April 2009 submission, Rogers stated it remains highly concerned about the need to maintain confidentiality with respect to all aspects of the proceeding, including in particular the rates negotiated for its services. Rogers stated that disclosure of any detail will result in direct financial harm to Rogers by impairing its ability to negotiate and/or finalize agreements in accordance with normal commercial practices. Furthermore, Rogers argued that any CCSA or Rogers documents containing terms and conditions of offer or outlining any aspect of the history of the negotiations may provide other parties with information and insights that can assist them in their future negotiations with Rogers.
On 3 April, 2009, the Commission received a response letter from CCSA stating that it concurs with Rogers that rates and related commercial and contractual terms should be maintained in confidence, as the harm to the parties and the industry that would result from disclosure of such information would outweigh the public interest in such disclosure. CCSA however stated that it does not agree with Rogers that disclosure of facts concerning the conduct of the parties in negotiation and throughout the dispute resolution process will result in comparable harm. CCSA submitted that with respect to such facts, the public interest in disclosure outweighs any harm that would accrue to the parties therefrom.
Rogers replied to CCSA on 6 April 2009 to clarify some of the allegations made by CCSA in its 3 April 2009 response.
In light of the above, and after weighing the public interest in disclosure against the potential harm to the parties, if any, likely to result from such disclosure, the Commission considers that it is in the public interest to disclose the information that has been put on the record of this proceeding from the date of the process letter dated 18 March 2009 to the subsequent Commission process letter of 31 March 2009.
The Commission also considers that, on a preliminary basis, it is in the public interest to disclose only the abridged versions of the detailed memorandums filed by Rogers and CCSA on 2 April 2009 as well as the letter from CCSA dated 3 April 2009 and the letter from Rogers dated 6 April 2009. Should they wish to, each party has until 14 April 2009 at 5:00 p.m. (ET) to make representations to the Commission clearly stating why it considers that the disclosure of this information would be harmful to them and how this harm outweighs the public interest in disclosure. If it chooses to do so, each party has until 15 April 2009 at 5:00 p.m. (ET) to reply to the other party’s representations.
Original signed by
Robert. A. Morin
CC: G. Lylyk, CRTC,
Ken Engelhart, Vice President Regulatory Law, RCI
Aivy Reinfelds, VP Television Development and Distribution, RSN
Tony Viner, President, RSN,
Doug Beeforth, President, RSN
Chris Edwards, VP Corporate & Regulatory, CCSA