ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-127
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Route reference: Part 1 applications posted on 11 May 2012
Additional reference: 2012-123
Ottawa, 15 March 2013
MZ Media Inc.
Georgina Island First Nations Communications
Georgina Island, Ontario
Applications 2012-0548-5 and 2012-0562-5
Use of frequency 102.9 MHz by CFMO-FM Collingwood and technical change for CFGI-FM Georgina Island
The Commission approves an application by MZ Media Inc. to operate CFMO-FM Collingwood at 102.9 MHz. The application was submitted in response to the Commission’s directive set out in Broadcasting Decision 2012-123 to propose the use of a frequency other than 104.9 MHz.
In order to allow CFMO-FM to operate at 102.9 MHz without interference, the Commission also approves an application by Georgina Island First Nations Communications to change the frequency of CFGI-FM Georgina Island from 102.7 MHz to 92.3 MHz.
1. In Broadcasting Decision 2012-123, the Commission approved in part an application by MZ Media Inc. (MZ Media) to operate an English-language commercial specialty FM radio station in Collingwood that would offer a classical music format. In that decision, the Commission indicated that MZ Media must submit, within 90 days of the date of the decision, an amendment to its application proposing the use of an FM frequency other than 104.9 MHz (channel 285B) that is acceptable to the Commission and the Department of Industry (the Department).
2. In response to the Commission’s directive, MZ Media filed an application to operate CFMO-FM Collingwood at 102.9 MHz (channel 275C1) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 9,370 watts (maximum ERP of 23,000 watts) and an effective height of antenna above average terrain (EHAAT) of 255 metres.
3. Frequency 102.9 MHz for CFMO-FM is first adjacent to the frequency 102.7 MHz operated by Georgina Island First Nations Communications (Georgina Island First Nations), licensee of CFGI-FM. If MZ Media’s application were approved, there would be significant interference between the two. With this in mind, MZ Media entered into an agreement with Georgina Island First Nations, whereby MZ Media agreed to supply CFGI-FM with new transmitting equipment, refurbish its transmitting antenna and cover the costs related to preparing applications for the Commission and the Department if Georgina Island First Nations changed CFGI-FM’s frequency.
4. As a result, Georgina Island First Nations filed an application to modify the technical parameters of its Type B English- and Native-language radio station CFGI-FM Georgina Island by changing the frequency from 102.7 MHz (channel 274A1) to 92.3 MHz (channel 222A), and by increasing the ERP from 250 to 650 watts (non-directional antenna) and the EHAAT from 19.3 to 24 metres.
5. The Commission received interventions commenting on MZ Media’s application from Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation (Bayshore), the licensee of CHGB-FM Wasaga Beach, and from Corus Entertainment Inc. (Corus), the owner of CKCB-FM Collingwood, to which MZ Media replied. The Commission did not receive any interventions in connection with Georgina Island First Nations’ application. The interventions and MZ Media’s reply can be found on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca under “Public Proceedings.”
6. The interveners submitted that the proposed technical parameters would cover a significantly greater area than what was proposed in the original application. Corus added that MZ Media’s proposed coverage would expand to encompass Wasaga Beach, which would be unfair to Corus. Bayshore and Corus argued that MZ Media’s proposal would increase the population served by approximately 30% from what was originally approved. The interveners further submitted that the expanded coverage proposed by MZ Media would create a competitive imbalance in the Wasaga Beach and Collingwood markets.
7. In light of the above, both interveners subsequently submitted applications for a power increase for their respective stations. They also requested that the Commission defer consideration of MZ Media’s application so that it may consider all three applications concurrently as part of the same public process.
8. MZ Media replied that its station would have little to no impact on the finances or audiences of existing stations. It noted that its proposed technical parameters are not substantially larger than those previously approved by the Commission and that the additional areas covered by the proposed parameters would be subject to interference. It further added that deferring its application in this particular instance would be highly prejudicial to MZ Media.
Commission’s analysis and decisions
9. The Commission notes that it approved in part MZ Media’s application for a broadcasting licence to operate a specialty FM radio station to serve Collingwood. It further notes that MZ Media has complied with the Commission’s directive to submit an amendment to its application within the prescribed deadline. Accordingly, the Commission is of the view that the MZ Media application should be processed solely on the record of its application and independently of other applications received in the context of this proceeding.
10. The Commission has examined the realistic contours of CFMO-FM and finds that although the proposed coverage exceeds that approved in the original licensing decision, CFMO-FM will not reach any new markets using the proposed frequency.
11. The Commission further notes that Bayshore’s estimate of the population that would be served under the proposed frequency disregards signal degradation due to interference. In fact, much of the new population that would be served is located in Orillia and Innisfil, where the signal would be impaired by interference from CKLH-FM Hamilton and MZ Media’s own station, CFMX-FM Cobourg. Moreover, the Commission already approved in part MZ Media’s application with a coverage that included Collingwood, Meaford and Wasaga Beach in its primary contour.
12. The Commission previously considered the potential impact of CFMO-FM on local stations operating in the area in Broadcasting Decision 2012-123. The Commission noted that due to the limited revenues projected, its niche classical format and its limited amount of split-feed programming, CFMO-FM would not have an undue negative impact on any of those stations. The Commission is of the view that these mitigating factors remain.
13. In light of all of the above, the Commission is of the view that the technical parameters proposed by MZ Media would not cover a significantly greater area than what was initially proposed in its application to operate an FM station in Collingwood, and would not have an undue negative impact on existing radio stations in Collingwood and Wasaga Beach.
14. Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by MZ Media Inc. to operate the English-language commercial specialty radio programming undertaking CFMO-FM Collingwood at 102.9 MHz (channel 275C1) with an average ERP of 9,370 watts (maximum ERP of 23,000 watts) and an EHAAT of 255 metres.
15. The Commission reminds MZ Media that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, no licence may be issued until the Department notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.
16. Furthermore, the Commission will only issue a licence for this undertaking once MZ Media has informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations. The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 15 March 2015. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted at least 60 days before this date.
CFGI-FM Georgina Island
17. The Commission notes that CFGI-FM currently operates on the first adjacent frequency 102.7 MHz and would therefore be subject to interference from 102.9 MHz., CFMO-FM’s new frequency As such, the Commission considers that there is a compelling technical need for the proposed change. It further notes that approval of the proposed parameters would slightly increase the station’s coverage area and would therefore not have any impact on existing stations operating in that market.
18. Consequently, the Commission also approves the application by Georgina Island First Nations Communications to modify the technical parameters for the Type B English- and Native-language radio programming undertaking CFGI-FM Georgina Island by changing the frequency from 102.7 MHz (channel 274A1) to 92.3 MHz (channel 222A), and by increasing the ERP from 250 to 650 watts (non-directional antenna) and the EHAAT from 19.3 to 24 metres.
19. The Commission reminds Georgina Island First Nations that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, this authority will only be effective when the Department notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.
20. Section 9(2) of the Radio Regulations, 1986 provides that on or before 30 November of each year, a licensee shall submit to the Commission a statement of accounts, on the annual return of the broadcasting licensee form, for the broadcast year ending the previous 31 August.
21. The Commission notes that Georgina Island First Nations did not file its annual return for the 2007-2008 broadcast year. In addition, its annual returns for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 broadcast years were filed without the required financial statements. The Commission notes, however, that the licensee has not had the opportunity to comment on this apparent non-compliance in the context of this application.
22. In Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2011-347, the Commission announced a revised approach for dealing with non-compliance by radio stations. In particular, when considering applications for licence amendments, the Commission will no longer automatically deny the amendment, but will take into consideration the quantity, recurrence and seriousness of the non-compliance, as well as the relationship between the application for an amendment and any instance of non-compliance.
23. The Commission advises Georgina Island First Nations that its apparent non-compliance will be considered at the time of the renewal of its licence, at which time the Commission will review the circumstances that led to the non-compliance in question, the licensee’s arguments and the measures taken to rectify the situation.
- Licensing of new radio stations to serve Shelburne and Collingwood, Ontario, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-123, 29 February 2012
- Revised approach to non-compliance by radio stations, Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2011-347, 26 May 2011
*This decision is to be appended to each licence.
- Date modified: