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ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-183

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Route reference: 2010-84

Ottawa, 14 March 2011

1760791 Ontario Inc.
Mississauga, Ontario

Application 2009-1736-2, received 28 December 2009

CINA Mississauga – Technical change

The Commission approves an application by 1760791 Ontario Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the commercial ethnic radio station CINA Mississauga by changing the authorized contours by increasing the transmitter power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts day time.

Introduction

1.      The Commission received an application by 1760791 Ontario Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence of the commercial ethnic radio programming undertaking CINA Mississauga. The licensee proposed to change CINA’s authorized contours by increasing the day time transmitter power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts. The night-time power would remain at 680 watts and all other technical parameters would remain unchanged.

2.      The licensee submitted that the proposed change would significantly improve CINA’s daytime coverage in Mississauga, resulting in a better quality signal to listeners located in the western and south western parts of its licensed area who are currently experiencing poor reception. The licensee is also concerned that listenership will continue to erode if the signal quality is not consistent throughout its principal listening area.

3.      The Commission received numerous interventions in support of this application. It also received interventions opposing the application from Michael Caine, President CJMR, on the behalf of CJMR producers; Michel Mathieu on the behalf of Communication Média Évangélique and Radio Shalom; The Canadian Association of Ethnic Broadcasters; Evanov Radio Group and Canadian Multicultural Radio. The licensee replied to each of the interventions. The complete record of this proceeding is available on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca under “Public Proceedings.”

Interventions

4.      Those supporting the application were of the view that the proposed amendment would correct the signal problems that CINA has experienced since going on air. They submitted that CINA’s programming has become the voice of the Indian community.

5.      Opposing interveners submitted that approval of the application would result in a change of CINA’s status from a low-power station to a regular power, protected station. As a result, CINA’s reach would expand so that it would cover all of the Greater Toronto Area. Opposing interveners also submitted that the applicant has not provided any technical evidence to support its argument that it cannot adequately reach the market it is licensed to serve. They further considered that, if application were approved, CINA would no longer have limited commercial potential, which was one of the reasons that the Commission granted it a radio licence without issuing a call for applications.

6.      Michel Mathieu expressed concern that a phenomenon known as “critical hours,” which consists of sky wave interference occurring approximately one hour before sunset and one hour after sunrise, could potentially cause interference with the signal of CJRS – Radio Shalom, which operates on the same frequency (1650 kHz) in Montréal. Michel Mathieu suggested that CINA’s transmitter site be relocated to minimize interference to Radio Shalom and to maintain the station’s current service levels.

Commission’s analysis and determinations

7.      After examining the application in light of applicable regulations and policies and taking into consideration the interventions received and the licensee’s replies to the interventions, the Commission considers that the issues to be addressed in its determinations are the following:

  • Is the proposed technical change necessary for CINA to adequately serve its licensed area?

  • Would approval of the application have a negative impact on other radio stations?

Is the proposed technical change necessary for CINA to adequately serve its licensed area?

8.      When a licensee files an application to change its authorized technical parameters, the Commission expects it to present compelling economic or technical evidence that its existing technical parameters are not adequate to provide service as originally proposed. In evaluating such applications, the Commission also considers the impact that the proposed technical change would have on the radio market in question.

9.      The Commission considers that the proposed amendment would allow the licensee to improve the quality of its AM signal in the Mississauga area. AM stations’ signals are subject to interference, particularly in urban centers where they can be affected by static interference caused by electronic devices, metal buildings, computers, fluorescent bulbs, etc. The applicant stated that, due to signal deficiencies in certain directions from the transmitter site, the strength of CINA’s signal has not been sufficient to penetrate the outer walls of the majority of homes recently built in the area. The Credit River Valley appears to be the cause of the dramatic drop-off in the signal level where the height of the land drops to a lower level than the transmitter site.

10.  AM signal propagation is also disturbed by tall buildings constructed with metal frames; a problem that is particularly severe for stations operating at the higher end of the AM band.

11.  The Commission is of the view that the most appropriate option to remedy the situation would be to increase the transmitter power. Modifying the antenna pattern or moving the transmitter site are also possible, but would be very expensive since such solutions could require erecting additional towers or purchasing land.

12.  In addition, the Department of Industry has recently informed the Commission that it has imposed specific conditions in the technical comments (TA). One condition is to switch the day-time power from 5,000 to 1,000 watts 90 minutes before local sunset to maintain the current protection of CJRS Montréal. The Commission considers that this responds adequately to the concerns raised by Michel Mathieu in his intervention.

13.  In conclusion, the Commission is satisfied that the proposed technical amendment is an appropriate way to improve CINA’s signal within in its primary contours.

Would approval of the application have a negative impact on other radio stations?

14.  Approval of the proposed amendment would result in a significant increase to the population within the station’s coverage contours. However, as an ethnic station, CINA targets its programming primarily to specific ethnic communities located within its principal marketing area. The Commission notes that the expanded 15 mV/m contour proposed by CINA does not fully encompass the city of Mississauga and that the cities of Toronto and Brampton will remain largely outside of the proposed 15 mV/m contour.

15.  CINA estimated that, following approval of the application, its revenues in the first year would increase by $50,000 over the projections made for the corresponding year in its original application. By 2015, CINA expects these incremental revenues to increase to $125,000 over those estimated in its original application. The Toronto Central Market, as defined by BBM Canada, includes Mississauga. Although some impact could be felt by ethnic stations operating in the Toronto Central market, the Commission notes that the projected additional revenues represent less than one percent of the aggregate revenues of the nine ethnic stations operating in the market. The Commission also considers that the potential impact would likely be spread out across these stations, with no undue impact on any one station.

16.  Accordingly, the Commission is of the view that approval of CINA’s application would not result in an undue negative impact on the radio stations currently operating in the Toronto Central BBM market.

Conclusion

17.  In light of the above, the Commission approves the application by 1760791 Ontario Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence of the commercial ethnic radio programming undertaking CINA Mississauga by changing CINA’s authorized contours by increasing the day time transmitter power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts.

*This decision is to be appended to the licence.