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ARCHIVED -  Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-124

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  Route reference: 2009-632

Additional reference: 2009-632-2

  Ottawa, 2 March 2010
  Rogers Broadcasting Limited
Across Canada
  Application 2009-1274-2, received 17 September 2009
Public Hearing in the National Capital Region
14 December 2009
 

Rogers' Mainstream Sports Specialty Service – Category 2 specialty service

  The Commission approves an application for a broadcasting licence to operate a new Category 2 specialty programming undertaking.

1.

Rogers Broadcasting Limited (Rogers) filed an application for a broadcasting licence to provide Rogers' Mainstream Sports Specialty Service, a national English-language Category 2 competitive mainstream sports specialty service. Programming would include extensive coverage of NHL hockey games involving Canadian teams, Major League Baseball games as well as Union of European Football Associations soccer and other mainstream sports. There were no interventions to this application.

2.

Rogers is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc., a diversified Canadian communications and media company.

3.

Rogers submitted that its application is in accordance with Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-100 that enables competition between Canadian specialty services operating in the genre of mainstream sports. It requested the standard conditions of licence set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-562.

4.

The proposed new service would offer over 50% of its programming in high definition format with a view of moving towards 90% by the end of its licence term.

5.

The Commission is satisfied that the application complies with the framework set out in Public Notice 2000-6 and amended in Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-100 as well as with all applicable terms and conditions announced in Public Notice 2000-171-1 and in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-562. Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited for a broadcasting licence to operate the national, English-language, Category 2 competitive mainstream sports specialty programming undertaking Rogers' Mainstream Sports Specialty Service. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.
 

Implementation of the Accessibility Policy with respect to competitive Canadian mainstream sports and national news specialty services

6.

The implementation of Broadcasting and Telecom Regulatory Policy 2009-430 (the Accessibility Policy) was originally intended to be accomplished through the imposition of conditions of licence and expectations, where appropriate, at the time of licence renewal for incumbent licensees and as an element of the licensing process for new services. However, in the case of those specialty services operating in the genres of mainstream sports and national news that were opened up to competition among licensed Canadian specialty services in Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-100, the Commission considers it appropriate to establish standardized conditions of licence concerning accessibility of programming. This approach is adopted in order to ensure that the Accessibility Policy is implemented in an equitable and competitively neutral manner for all new and existing services operating in these competitive genres consistent with the Commission's approach for such services as announced in Broadcasting Pubic Notice 2008-100. These conditions and expectations are set out in the appendix of this decision.
 

Captioning of advertising, sponsorship messages and promos

7.

The Commission acknowledges the concerns raised by television broadcasters with respect to the requirement to caption advertising, sponsorship messages and promos as set out in Broadcasting and Telecom Regulatory Policy 2009-430 (the Accessibility Policy). Consequently, the Commission deemed it appropriate to allow some flexibility in this respect and to impose the following condition of licence on new services:
 

The licensee shall ensure that advertising, sponsorship messages and promos in the English and French language are captioned by no later than the fourth year of the licence term.

8.

However, to ensure that existing and new services are treated equitably and in a competitively neutral manner, the Commission expects the licensees of services whose licence renewals will be considered in the next two years to begin assessing how they will meet this requirement. The Commission will consider imposing a condition of licence at their licence renewals that will take into account the time elapsed so that incumbents and new services are granted the same level of flexibility.
 

Reminder

9.

The Commission reminds the applicant that the distribution of this service is subject to the applicable distribution rules set out in Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-100.
  Secretary General
 

Related documents

 
  • Conditions of licence for competitive Canadian specialty services operating in the genres of mainstream sports and national news, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-562, 4 September 2009
 
  • Accessibility of telecommunications and broadcasting services, Broadcasting and Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-430, 21 July 2009
 
  • Regulatory frameworks for broadcasting distribution undertakings and discretionary programming services – Regulatory policy, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2008-100, 30 October 2008
 
  • Introductory statement – Licensing of new digital pay and specialty services – Corrected Appendix 2, Public Notice CRTC 2000-171-1, 6 March 2001
 
  • Licensing framework policy for new digital pay and specialty services, Public Notice CRTC 2000-6, 13 January 2000
  This decision is to be appended to the 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: http://www.crtc.gc.ca.
 

Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-124

 

Terms, conditions of licence, expectations and encouragement for the Category 2 competitive mainstream sports specialty programming undertaking Rogers' Mainstream Sports Specialty Service

 

Terms

  A licence will be issued once the applicant has satisfied the Commission, with supporting documentation, that the following requirements have been met:
 
  • the applicant has entered into a distribution agreement with at least one licensed distributor; and
 
  • the applicant has informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations. The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 36 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 2 March 2013. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted at least 60 days before that date.
  The licence will expire 31 August 2016.
 

Conditions of licence

 

1. The licence will be subject to the conditions set out in Introductory statement – Licensing of new digital pay and specialty services – Corrected Appendix 2, Public Notice CRTC 2000-171-1, 6 March 2001.

 

2. (a) The licensee shall provide a national, English-language Category 2 competitive mainstream sports specialty programming service devoted to extensive coverage of NHL hockey games involving Canadian teams, Major League Baseball games as well as coverage of Union of European Football Associations soccer and other mainstream sports. The licensee may provide multiple feeds.

 

(b) Programming may be drawn from all program categories set out in item 6 of Schedule I of the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990, as amended from time to time.

 

(c) The licensee shall devote no more than 10% of all programming broadcast during the broadcast month to programming from the following categories: 7, 7(d), 7(e), 8(b) and 8(c).

 

3. (a) During each broadcast year, the licensee shall devote not less than 60% of the broadcast day and not less than 50% of the evening broadcast period to Canadian programming.

 

(b) The levels set out in subsection 3.(a) shall be met on each feed offered by the service.

 

4. In accordance with the Commission's position on Canadian programming expenditures as set out in New Flexibility With Regard to Canadian Program Expenditures by Canadian Television Stations, Public Notice CRTC 1992-28, 8 April 1992, in The reporting of Canadian programming expenditures, Public Notice CRTC 1993-98, 22 June 1993, and in Additional clarification regarding the reporting of Canadian programming expenditures, Public Notice CRTC 1993-174, 10 December 1993, as may be amended from time to time:

 

(a) In each broadcast year of the licence term following the first year of operation, the licensee shall expend on the acquisition of and/or investment in Canadian programs a minimum of 50% of the gross revenues derived from the operation of this service during the previous broadcast year.

 

(b) In each broadcast year of the licence term following the first year of operation, excluding the final year, the licensee may expend an amount on Canadian programs that is up to five percent (5%) less than the minimum required expenditure for that year calculated in accordance with this condition; in such a case, the licensee shall expend in the next broadcast year of the licence term, in addition to the minimum required expenditure for that year, the full amount of the previous year's under-expenditure.

 

(c) In each broadcast year of the licence term following the first year of operation, where the licensee expends an amount on Canadian programs that is greater than the minimum required expenditure for that year calculated in accordance with this condition, the licensee may deduct:

 

i) from the minimum required expenditure for the following year of the licence term, an amount not exceeding the amount of the previous year's over-expenditure; and

 

ii) from the minimum required expenditure for any subsequent broadcast year of the licence term, an amount not exceeding the difference between the over-expenditure and any amount deducted under (i) above.

 

(d) Notwithstanding subsections 4. (b) and 4. (c), during the licence term, the licensee shall expend on Canadian programs, at a minimum, the total of the minimum required expenditures calculated in accordance with this condition of licence.

 

5. (a) Subject to subsections 5.(b) and 5.(c), the licensee shall not distribute more than 12 minutes of advertising material during each clock hour.

 

(b) Where a program occupies time in two or more consecutive clock hours, the licensee may exceed the maximum number of minutes of advertising material allowed in those clock hours if the average number of minutes of advertising material in the clock hours occupied by the program does not exceed the maximum number of minutes that would otherwise be allowed per clock hour.

 

(c) In addition to the 12 minutes of advertising material referred to in subsection 5.(a), the licensee may broadcast partisan political advertising during an election period.

 

(d) The licensee shall not distribute any advertising material other than national paid advertising.

 

6. The licensee shall caption 100% of its English-language and French-language programs over the broadcast day, consistent with the approach set out in A new policy with respect to closed captioning, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2007-54, 17 May 2007.

 

7. In accordance with Accessibility of telecommunications and broadcasting services, Broadcasting and Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-430, 21 July 2009, the licensee shall:

 
  • ensure that advertising, sponsorship messages and promos in the English and French language are captioned by no later than the fourth year of the licence term.
 
  • adhere to the quality standards on closed captioning developed by the television industry's working groups, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission; and
 
  • have a monitoring system in place to ensure that, for any signal that is closed captioned, the correct signal is captioned, the captioning is included in its broadcast signal, and this captioning reaches, in its original form, the distributor of that signal. "Original form" means, at a minimum, that the captioning provided by the licensee reaches the distributor unaltered, whether it is passed through in analog or in digital, including in high definition.
 

8. The licensee shall provide audio description for all the key elements of information programs, including news programming.

For the purposes of this condition of licence, "audio description" refers to announcers reading aloud the textual and graphic information that is displayed on the screen during information programs.

 

9. The licensee shall adhere to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Equitable Portrayal Code, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission. However, the application of the foregoing condition of licence will be suspended if the licensee is a member in good standing of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.

 

10. The licensee shall adhere to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.

 

11. The licensee shall adhere to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' CAB Violence Code, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission. However, the application of the foregoing condition of licence will be suspended if the licensee is a member in good standing of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.

 

12. In order to ensure that the licensee complies at all times with the Direction to the CRTC (Ineligibility of non-Canadians), P.C. 1997-486, 8 April 1997, as amended by P.C. 1998-1268, 15 July 1998, the licensee shall file, for the Commission's prior review, a copy of any programming supply agreement and/or licence trademark agreement it intends to enter into with a non-Canadian party.

 

13. Where the licensee broadcasts religious programming as defined in Religious Broadcasting Policy, Public Notice CRTC 1993-78, 3 June 1993, the licensee shall adhere to the guidelines set out in sections III.B.2.a) and IV of that public notice with respect to the provision of balance and ethics in religious programming, as amended from time to time.

  For the purposes of these conditions:
  "broadcast day" and "clock hour" shall have the same meaning as those set out in the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987;
  "broadcast month" means the total number of hours devoted by the licensee to broadcasting during the aggregate of the broadcast days in a month; and
  "broadcast year" means the total number of hours devoted by the licensee to broadcasting during the aggregate of the broadcasting months in a 12-month period, beginning on 1 September in any year.
 

Expectations

  When captions are available, the Commission expects the licensee to provide viewers with a closed captioned version of all programming aired during the overnight period.
  The Commission expects the licensee to acquire and make available described versions of programming, where possible.
  In regard to described programming, the Commission expects the licensee to:
 
  • display a standard described video logo and air an audio announcement indicating the presence of described video before the broadcast of each described program; and
 
  • make information available regarding the described programs that it will broadcast.
 

Encouragement

  The Commission encourages the licensee to display the standard described video logo and air the audio announcement indicating the presence of described video following each commercial break.