ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-480
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Route reference: 2011-55
Additional reference: 2011-55-2
Ottawa, 10 August 2011
Ethnic Channels Group Limited
Application 2010-1589-2, received 25 October 2010
Public hearing in the National Capital Region
5 April 2011
South Asian News and Information TV – Specialty Category B service
The Commission approves an application for a broadcasting licence to operate a new specialty Category B service.
1. Ethnic Channels Group Limited (ECGL) filed an application for a broadcasting licence to operate South Asian News and Information TV, a national, ethnic specialty Category 2 programming undertaking operating in the English language, that would be devoted to news, information and public affairs programming about or reflecting views from the South Asian continent. The applicant also requested authority to broadcast up to six minutes per hour of local advertising.
2. ECGL is controlled by Slava Levin.
3. The applicant proposed to draw programming from the following program categories set out in Item 6 of Schedule I to the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990, as amended from time to time: 1, 2(a), 2(b), 3, 11, 12, 13 and 14.
4. The applicant indicated that it would accept a condition of licence limiting to 10% of the broadcast month the amount of programming drawn from each of program categories 2(b) and 11.
5. The applicant requested an exception to the closed captioning policy set out in Broadcasting Public Notice 2007-54. It submitted that the proposed target audience for the service would not be sufficiently large to support the additional costs related to closed captioning.
6. The Commission received one intervention in support of the application. The Commission also received one comment from Mr. Ash Sharma to which the applicant replied. The public record for this proceeding can be found on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca under “Public Proceedings.”
7. In his comment, Mr. Sharma stated that there are sufficient English-language services offering news and general information and that instead, the Commission should license an information channel for South Asians who are not fluent in English. With respect to Mr. Sharma’s comment, given the competitive, open-entry approach to licensing Category 2 (Category B) services, the Commission does not consider the impact that a Category 2 service might have on an existing or future Category 2 service.
8. The Commission is satisfied that the application complies with all applicable policies, terms and conditions, including those set out in Public Notice 2000-6, Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-100, and Broadcasting Regulatory Policies 2010-786 and 2010-786-1. Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by Ethnic Channels Group Limited for a broadcasting licence to operate the national, ethnic specialty Category B service operating in the English language, South Asian News and Information TV. The Commission also approves the applicant’s request for authority to broadcast up to six minutes per hour of local advertising. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.
9. With respect to the applicant’s request for an exception to the 100% closed captioning requirement, the Commission is of the view that the applicant did not provide sufficient evidence on the record to support its request for relief. Accordingly, the applicant will be subject to the condition of licence relating to closed captioning set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-786-1.
10. The Commission reminds the applicant that the distribution of this service is subject to the requirements set out in the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations.
Standard conditions of licence, expectations and encouragements for Category B pay and specialty services – Corrected Appendices 1 and 2, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-786-1, 18 July 2011
Amendments to certain Regulations made under the Broadcasting Act to add a new program category “Reality television”, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-401, 30 June 2011
Standard conditions of licence, expectations and encouragements for Category B pay and specialty services, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-786, 25 October 2010
Regulatory frameworks for broadcasting distribution undertakings and discretionary programming services – Regulatory policy, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2008-100, 30 October 2008
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.
Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-480
Terms and conditions of licence for the specialty Category B service South Asian News and Information TV
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 and has provided the Commission with a launch date for the service. The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 48 months from the date of this decision.
The licence will take effect 1 September 2011 and will expire 31 August 2018.
Conditions of licence
1. The licence will be subject to the conditions set out in Standard conditions of licence, expectations and encouragements for Category B pay and specialty services – Corrected Appendices 1 and 2, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-786-1, 18 July 2011, except for condition 7d), which will not apply, and condition 7a), which is replaced by the following:
Except as otherwise provided in subparagraphs b) and c), the licensee shall not broadcast more than twelve (12) minutes of advertising material during each clock hour, no more than six (6) minutes of which may consist of local advertising.
For the purposes of this condition of licence, “local advertising” is advertising that does not fall within the definitions of national and regional advertising, i.e., advertising to persons who provide goods or services in more than one market and/or province.
2. The licensee shall provide a national, ethnic specialty Category B service operating in the English language, devoted to news, information and public affairs programming about or reflecting views from the South Asian continent.
3. The programming shall be drawn exclusively from the following program categories set out in Item 6 of Schedule I to the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990, as amended from time to time:
2 (a) Analysis and interpretation
(b) Long-form documentary
3 Reporting and actualities
11 (a) General entertainment and human interest
(b) Reality television
13 Public service announcements
14 Infomercials, promotional and corporate videos
4. No more than 10% of all programming broadcast during the broadcast month shall be drawn from program category 2(b).
5. No more than 10% of all programming broadcast during the broadcast month shall be drawn from program categories 11(a) and 11(b) combined.
6. The broadcasting undertaking licensed hereby is designated as a Category B service.
For the purposes of the conditions of this licence, including condition of licence 1, broadcast day means the period of up to 18 consecutive hours, beginning each day not earlier than six o’clock in the morning and ending not later than one o’clock in the morning of the following day, as selected by the licensee, or any other period approved by the Commission.
For the purposes of the conditions of this licence, “broadcast month” shall have the same meaning as that set out in the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987.
 In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2011-401, the Commission formally announced that it had amended program category 11 to add a new category 11(b) Reality television. Consistent with this change, the Commission has added an authorization to broadcast programming from both 11(a) General entertainment and human interest and the new 11(b) program category.
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