ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-744

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Route reference: 2010-468

Ottawa, 7 October 2010

CTV Television Inc.
Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; Moncton and Saint John, New Brunswick; Montréal, Quebec; Ottawa, Toronto, Kitchener, Sudbury, Timmins, North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert and Yorkton, Saskatchewan; Calgary, Lethbridge and Edmonton, Alberta; Vancouver, British Columbia

Application 2010-0880-6, received 26 May 2010

CTV stations – Licence amendments

The Commission denies an application by CTVglobemedia Inc., on behalf of its wholly owned subsidiary CTV Television Inc., to reduce the overall minimum level of Canadian programming broadcast by its conventional television stations from 60% to 55%.

The application

1. The Commission received an application by CTVglobemedia Inc., on behalf of its wholly owned subsidiary CTV Television Inc. (CTV), to amend the broadcasting licences of its television programming undertakings CJCH-TV Halifax, CJCB-TV Sydney, CKCW-TV Moncton, CKLT-TV Saint John, CFCF-TV Montréal, CJOH-TV Ottawa, CFTO-TV Toronto, CFTO-DT Toronto, CKCO-TV Kitchener, CICI-TV Sudbury, CITO-TV Timmins, CKNY-TV North Bay, CHBX-TV Sault Ste. Marie, CKY-TV Winnipeg, CFQC-TV Saskatoon, CKCK-TV Regina, CIPA-TV Prince Albert, CICC-TV Yorkton, CFCN-TV Calgary, CFCN-DT Calgary, CFCN-TV-5 Lethbridge, CFRN-TV Edmonton, CIVT-TV Vancouver, CIVT-DT Vancouver and the satellite to cable Programming undertaking known as the Atlantic Satellite Network (collectively, the CTV stations).

2. Specifically, CTV requested relief from the requirement set out in section 4(6) of the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987 that a television licensee shall devote not less than 60% of the broadcast year to the broadcasting of Canadian programs. Instead the licensee proposed to adhere to the following condition of licence:

As an exception to section 4(6) of the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987, the licensee shall devote not less than 55% of the broadcast year to the broadcasting of Canadian programs.

3. CTV submitted that this amendment was consistent with the policy framework set out in A group-based approach to the licensing of private television services, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-167, 22 March 2010 (the Policy). The applicant stated that it is unlikely that the proposed change would result in a reduction in the amount of Canadian programming being produced, given that most of the programs that would be replaced by foreign content would already have had multiple runs on conventional television.


4. The Commission received interventions opposing and commenting on the CTV application from parties that included:

5. Opposing interveners argued that the approach set out in the Policy was comprehensive and intended to come into effect on 1 September 2011. They submitted that CTV was seeking only to implement one aspect of the Policy – a reduction in the overall level of Canadian programming – without assuming other aspects, such as a minimum level of spending on Canadian programming. They further argued that the Policy is not intended to apply to particular broadcast services in isolation from their corporate groups.

6. Opposing interveners also argued that CTV had failed to provide sufficient grounds for approval of its application.

7. anwest and QMI stated that, if the Commission were to approve the flexibility for which CTV has applied prior to 1 September 2011, it should also afford the same flexibility to other competing broadcasters.

Applicant’s reply

8. In reply, CTV argued that the Commission’s original intent was to have the elements of the Policy in place by 2010 but that implementation had been delayed by a court challenge. CTV stated that it required more flexibility in scheduling programs in order to improve its profitability so that it could continue to provide a valued service to viewers. CTV submitted that both Canwest and QMI were free to file their own applications for regulatory relief if they so desired.

Commission’s analysis and determinations

9. The Commission is of the view that the approach set out in the Policy is comprehensive and meant for implementation with the group renewals of the large television broadcasters. It does not consider that it would be appropriate to implement the Policy on a piecemeal basis, for example by approving a reduction in Canadian programming without imposing expenditure requirements, as set out in the Policy. It is also of the view that it would be unfair to implement aspects of the Policy for some licensees without similar action for competitors.

10. The Commission further notes that CTV did not provide evidence of the financial necessity required to make the proposed changes a year in advance of their anticipated effective date.

11. For these reasons, the Commission denies the application by CTVglobemedia, on behalf of its subsidiary CTV Television Inc., to reduce the overall minimum level of Canadian programming that must be broadcast by the CTV stations from 60% to 55%.

Secretary General

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