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Route reference: 2010-12
Ottawa, 8 June 2010
Radio Port-Cartier inc.
Application 2009-1678-6, received 14 December 2009
CIPC-FM Port-Cartier – technical amendment
The Commission denies an application by Radio Port-Cartier inc. to change the authorized contours of the radio station CIPC-FM Port-Cartier.
1. The Commission received an application by Radio Port-Cartier inc. (Radio Port-Cartier) to increase the authorized contours of the radio programming undertaking CIPC-FM Port-Cartier, Quebec by increasing the average effective radiated power (ERP) from 18,766 watts to 41,687 watts (maximum ERP from 45,016 to 100,000 watts). All other technical parameters would remain unchanged.
2. The licensee stated that the purpose of the amendment is to improve the quality of the station’s signal.
3. The Commission received two interventions opposing the application from Radio Sept-Îles inc. (Radio Sept-Îles) and CHLC-FM Baie-Comeau (CHLC-FM), to which the licensee responded. The interventions and the applicant’s reply are available for consultation on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca under “Public Proceedings.”
4. Radio Sept-Îles noted that Radio Port-Cartier had previously submitted a similar application to increase the ERP of CIPC-FM in January 2007. It also noted that the requested increase is unfounded because the reception problem is in Port-Cartier and the proposed technical solution for resolving it is inadequate. Radio Sept-Îles was of the view that the application is simply a thinly veiled business strategy, rather than an attempt to solve the signal reception problem in Port-Cartier. Radio Sept-Îles’ engineering and technical advisors submitted that there are at least two solutions that could resolve CIPC-FM’s reception quality in Port-Cartier, and that those solutions would not jeopardize the financial stability of the other two stations in the region.
5. CHLC-FM stated that it is very familiar with the market in question and that CIPC-FM’s reception in Port-Cartier is excellent. It indicated that a BBM survey demonstrated clearly that the station’s current signal is received very well in its market, since CIPC-FM holds the majority of the audience in the extended Sept-Îles-Port-Cartier market. CHLC-FM considered that is it essential to inquire which audience (or market) CIPC-FM now actually wants to reach. It was particularly concerned that the requested power increase would cover the market of its station in Baie-Comeau and that for the past few years it has lost several regional and national advertising accounts to more powerful stations on the South Shore.
6. In response to the comments by Radio Sept-Îles and CHLC-FM, the applicant noted that the station went from circular polarization to horizontal polarization. This resulted in combining the vertical and horizontal power and transmitting it using a single polarization in order to improve building penetration through better reflection off the mountains that adversely affect reception without significantly increasing the power. It also noted that this is the only way to effectively reach homes in Port-Cartier and surrounding areas, given the geographical situation. In response to statements by Radio Sept-Îles that there are two other solutions for resolving the reception problem, the applicant stated that it would have liked the engineers to outline these solutions, even briefly. The applicant submitted that Baie-Comeau could never be reached from its site, given the mountain range in Godbout.
7. As to the results of the BBM surveys, Radio Port-Cartier indicated that they reflect the good work on the air by the station’s staff to properly serve the station’s listeners and the community within its service area.
Commission’s analysis and determinations
8. The Commission’s analysis reveals that the licensee has failed to comply with its condition of licence regarding contributions to Canadian content development (CCD) for the 2008 broadcast year. CIPC-FM’s licence is subject to a condition of licence, set out in CIPC-FM Port-Cartier, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-395, 30 October 2007, requiring the licensee to pay 60% of its basic contribution to FACTOR or MUSICACTION. Although the basic amount was paid in its entirety in 2008, the Commission notes that the 60% portion that should be paid to MUSICACTION was not respected.
9. The Commission further notes that Radio Port-Cartier has failed to comply with section 15(2) of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations) for 2009. Under section 15(2) of the Regulations, a licensee authorized to operate a commercial radio station must contribute an amount based on its total annual revenues to eligible CCD initiatives. The Commission notes that Radio Port-Cartier made only 50% of its CCD contributions for 2009. The Commission therefore expects the remaining amount to be paid by 31 August 2010.
10. The Commission’s general practice is to deny licence amendments requested by applicants that are in non-compliance with their regulatory obligations. Given CIPC-FM’s non-compliance with its CCD contribution requirements, the Commission does not consider that a departure from this practice is warranted in this case.
11. Accordingly, the Commission denies the application by Radio Port-Cartier inc. to increase the authorized contours of the of radio programming undertaking CIPC-FM Port-Cartier.
*This decision is to be attached to the licence.