Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-518

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Route reference: Part 1 application posted on 11 January 2012

Ottawa, 26 September 2012

Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Canada Inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media Ottawa Radio Partnership
Ottawa, Ontario

Application 2012-0014-6

CFRA Ottawa – Technical change

The Commission approves an application by Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Canada Inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media Ottawa Radio Partnership, to modify the technical parameters for the English-language commercial radio station CFRA Ottawa, Ontario.

The application

1.    The Commission received an application by Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Canada Inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media Ottawa Radio Partnership (Bell Media), to modify the technical parameters for the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CFRA Ottawa by increasing its night-time power from 10 to 30 kW and by modifying its antenna pattern, resulting in changes to its authorized contours. All other technical parameters would remain unchanged.

2.    The licensee stated that the power increase would improve its service to listeners in the Ottawa and Seaway Valleys who presently experience signal loss, particularly during the winter months when night-time parameters are employed for longer periods.

3.    The Commission received over one hundred interventions in support of this application and one intervention to withdraw its original support from a listener on a matter not pertinent to the context of this application.

Commission’s analysis and decision

4.    Bell Media indicated that it is currently required to reduce CFRA’s night-time power from 50 to 10 kW in order to comply with Industry Canada’s rules that prevent interference with the potential night-time service areas of stations proposing to use allotments at 580 kHz, namely Antigonish, Nova Scotia; Thunder Bay, Ontario and Baie-Comeau, Quebec. The Commission notes that these frequencies were previously used by CJFX Antigonish, CKPR Thunder Bay and CHLC Baie-Comeau, all of which have converted to the FM band and have ceased operating at 580 kHz.

5.    After examining the application in light of applicable regulations and policies, the Commission considers that the issue it must address is whether there is a technical need for the requested technical change.

6.    Bell Media stated that they have received numerous complaints from listeners of signal loss, especially during winter months, when night-time technical parametres are employed for longer periods of time. The Commission considers that the proposed power increase would improve the station’s night-time service within its licensed area.

7.    Given that the technical change would result in a relatively modest increase in listenership and that it applies solely to night-time operating hours, the Commission considers that the proposed power increase would not generate significant incremental revenues for the station and would therefore not have any undue impact on existing stations in the market. Moreover, the Commission notes that it did not receive any interventions in opposition to this application from any of the existing stations.

Conclusion

8.    In light of the above, the Commission approves the application by Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Canada Inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media Ottawa Radio Partnership, to modify the technical parameters for the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CFRA Ottawa by increasing its night-time power from 10 to 30 kW and by modifying its antenna pattern.

9.    The Commission reminds the licensee that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, this authority will only be effective when the Department of Industry notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.

Secretary General

*This decision is to be appended to the licence.