ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-668
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Route reference: 2012-10
Ottawa, 6 December 2012
Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Canada Inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media Calgary Radio Partnership
Application 2010-1383-8, received 18 August 2010
CKCE-FM Calgary – Licence amendment
The Commission approves in part an application to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language commercial radio station CKCE-FM Calgary in order to provide it with more flexibility as regards its contributions to Canadian talent development, now known as Canadian content development. The new condition of licence is set out in the conclusion to this decision.
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 Calgary Radio Partnership (Bell), to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CKCE-FM Calgary in order to provide it with more flexibility as regards its contributions to Canadian talent development (CTD), now known as Canadian content development (CCD). The Commission did not receive any interventions regarding this application.
2. Specifically, Bell requested that its condition of licence relating to CTD set out in Broadcasting Decision 2006-324, which requires it to contribute $640,000 each year to specific CTD initiatives, be replaced by the following:
In addition to the required basic annual contribution to Canadian content development (CCD) set out in section 15 of the Radio Regulations, 1986, the licensee shall, for the remainder of its licence term, make an annual contribution of $640,000 to the promotion and development of Canadian content.
Of this amount, the licensee shall allocate 20% to FACTOR, as required by Commercial Radio Policy 2006, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-158, 15 December 2006 (Broadcasting Public Notice 2006-158).
The remainder of the licensee’s CCD contribution shall be allocated to parties and initiatives fulfilling the definition of eligible initiatives set out in paragraph 108 of Broadcasting Public Notice 2006-158.
3. In support of its application, the licensee noted that it had found it challenging to spend the exact amount set out in its current condition of licence on the Emerging Indie CD Series initiative, as this required it to expend more money than was realistically needed. As such, Bell proposed to direct more money to the current Calgary Café Series initiative. Bell noted that although it was seeking more flexibility with respect to these two initiatives, other than increasing the amount to FACTOR, it did not intend to reallocate any of its other CTD/CCD contributions. Bell further noted that the proposed amendment would have no impact on the overall amount of CTD/CCD spending over the licence term.
Commission’s analysis and decisions
4. In Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2012-10, the Commission noted that the licensee may have failed to comply with its condition of licence relating to contributions to certain CTD/CCD initiatives for the 2006-2007 to 2009-2010 broadcast years.
5. As indicated above, Bell submitted that it had found it challenging to spend the exact amount required by condition of licence on the Emerging Indie CD Series initiative. Additionally, the licensee noted that it had adopted a “CTD-Year” period that ran from April to April to coincide with its station launch in April 2007. The licensee indicated that it was not until the Commission published Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2009-251 that it understood that it was to pro-rate its CTD payments over the broadcast year rather than the “CTD-Year” that it had adopted.
6. The Commission recognizes Bell’s efforts to deal with its CTD/CCD expenditure shortfalls as they relate to the specific initiatives set out in its condition of licence. In Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2011-347, the Commission announced a revised approach to dealing with radio stations found in non-compliance. In particular, the Commission noted that each instance of non-compliance would be evaluated in light of such factors as the quantity, recurrence and seriousness of the non-compliance. The Commission also noted that it would consider the circumstances leading to the non-compliance, the licensee’s arguments and the measures taken to rectify the situation. The Commission is of the view that the non-compliance in this case is related to the way the condition of licence was interpreted by the licensee.
7. Further, the Commission notes that over the last few years it has adopted a new approach to the way in which it sets out conditions of licence related to CCD. Conditions of licence now generally specify only the total annual CCD amount that must be expended, not the specific eligible initiatives that the licensee must support. This approach ensures that the licensee expends the required total amount, while taking into account the circumstances that may lead to changes to the individual eligible initiatives. In light of this new approach, the Commission has determined the following with respect to Bell’s compliance with its overall CTD/CCD obligations for each broadcast year, as of the end of the 2009-2010 broadcast year:
|Broadcast year||Required total contribution||Total contribution paid||Amount|
|$266,667||$61,212||- $205,455 |
8. The Commission further notes that CKCE-FM launched in April 2007. As noted in Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2009-251, when a station launches part way through a broadcast year, the Commission generally requires the licensee to pro-rate its annual CTD/CCD contribution that is over and above that required under the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations) for that year. Specifically, the Commission expects that the remainder of the over-and-above contribution from the first broadcast year be paid in full by the end of the seventh consecutive year of the licence term. In light of this, the Commission notes that in addition to the $47,161 shortfall identified above, $373,333 for the remaining seven months of the 2006-2007 broadcast year remains to be allocated.
9. As set out in Broadcasting Decision 2006-324, the licensee is to make direct expenditures on the development of Canadian talent of at least $4.48 million over seven consecutive years. As of the end of the 2009-2010 broadcast year, the licensee has contributed $2,139,506. Therefore, the total remaining contribution for the licence term, including the shortfalls and pro-rated contribution noted above, amounts to $2,340,494.
10. The Commission finds that Bell’s proposal generally reflects the Commission’s new approach, as well as the commitments made by the licensee when originally licensed.
11. The Commission considers that it is appropriate to impose a condition of licence that allows Bell to satisfy its total seven-year CTD/CCD financial commitment based on the amounts still outstanding as set out above. It is also of the view that it would be appropriate to provide Bell with additional flexibility concerning the specific initiatives to which it contributes. However, given that Bell’s contributions were imposed during a competitive process and that its stated intention is to contribute to specific initiatives as detailed in the present application, the Commission expects Bell to meet its total commitments to the individual initiatives proposed whenever possible.
12. Accordingly, the Commission approves in part the application by Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Canada Inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media Calgary Radio Partnership, to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CKCE-FM. Specifically, the Commission replaces the licensee’s current condition of licence relating to CTD contributions with the following condition of licence:
The licensee shall contribute, over the 2010-2011, 2011-2012, and 2012-2013 broadcast years, a total amount of $2,340,494 to the promotion and development of Canadian content, to be allocated as follows:
- for the 2010-2011 broadcast year, a minimum contribution of $640,000;
- for the 2011-2012 broadcast year, a minimum contribution of $640,000; and
- for the 2012-2013 broadcast year, a minimum contribution of $640,000.
The licensee shall contribute, by 30 April 2014, to coincide with the end of its first seven consecutive broadcast years of operation, a total amount of $420,494 which includes:
- $373,333 remaining pro-rated amount of Canadian content development contribution for the 2006-2007 broadcast year; and
- $47,161 shortfall calculated from the 2006-2007 to 2009-2010 broadcast years.
Of these amounts, the licensee shall allocate at least 20% per broadcast year to FACTOR. The remainder of this additional CCD contribution shall be allocated to parties and initiatives fulfilling the definition of eligible initiatives set out in paragraph 108 of Commercial Radio Policy 2006, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-158, 15 December 2006.
13. The Commission reminds the licensee that it must adhere to the requirements relating to contributions to CCD set out in section 15 of the Regulations, as amended from time to time.
14. The Commission also reminds the licensee that any development initiatives that have not been allocated to specific parties by condition of licence must be allocated to the support, promotion, training and development of Canadian musical and spoken word talent, including journalists. Parties and initiatives eligible for CCD funding are identified in paragraph 108 of Broadcasting Public Notice 2006-158.
15. The Commission recognizes that the application included a proposed condition of licence that was submitted during the 2009-2010 broadcast year, which ended 31 August 2010. Additionally, the Commission notes that Bell’s current licence is set to expire on 31 August 2013. Due to the timing of the release of this decision, the Commission grants flexibility to the licensee in regard to its CCD payment plans for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 broadcast years. Accordingly, any CCD shortfalls for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 broadcast years must be paid within 90 days of the date of this decision.
16. The Commission will explore any non-compliance issues at the time of the station’s licence renewal.
- Notice of application received, Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-10, 10 January 2012
- Revised approach to non-compliance by radio stations, Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2011-347, 26 May 2011
- Clarifications regarding Canadian content development contributions made by commercial radio stations, Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2009-251, 5 May 2009
- Commercial Radio Policy 2006, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-158, 15 December 2006
- Hot Adult Contemporary FM radio station in Calgary, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-324, 2 August 2006
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
- Date modified: