ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-249
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Reference: Part 1 application posted on 16 September 2014
Ottawa, 11 June 2015
Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.
CKVX-FM Kindersley – Technical changes
The Commission approves the application by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. to change the authorized contours of the low-power, English-language commercial radio station CKVX-FM Kindersley. Consequently, the station’s class will change from low-power unprotected to protected Class C.
As a result of these changes, local listeners will see an increase in the quality of the station’s signal, and listeners living in nearby communities connected to Kindersley will now be able to receive its programming.
- Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. (Golden West) filed an application to change the authorized contours of the low-power, English-language commercial radio station CKVX-FM Kindersley, Saskatchewan, by increasing the effective radiated power (ERP) from 50 to 100,000 watts, by increasing the effective height of antenna above average terrain (EHAAT) from 27 to 341.2 metres, and by moving the transmitter from Kindersley to Stranraer, Saskatchewan. As a result of these changes, the station’s class would change from low-power unprotected to protected Class C.
- Golden West stated that CKVX-FM is the only local FM radio service in Kindersley. It submitted that the proposed technical changes are required in order for the station to better serve the community of Kindersley, as well as residents in nearby communities, given that they are historically, geographically and psychologically part of the Kindersley trading area.
- The Commission received an intervention in opposition to the application from Harvard Broadcasting Inc. (Harvard), licensee of the English-language commercial radio station CFWD-FM Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Golden West replied to the intervention. The public record for this application can be found on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca or by using the application number provided above.
Commission’s analysis and decisions
- After examining the public record for this application in light of applicable regulations and policies, the Commission considers that the issues to be addressed are the following:
- whether the licensee has demonstrated a compelling economic need justifying the proposed technical changes;
- whether approval of the proposed technical changes would result in an undue negative financial impact on other radio stations; and
- whether approval of the application would compromise the integrity of the Commission’s licensing process.
Compelling economic need justifying the proposed technical changes
- When a licensee files an application to change a station’s authorized contours, the Commission expects it to demonstrate a compelling technical or economic need justifying the proposed technical change. In light of this expectation and of the information provided in the application, the Commission has examined the economic need for Golden West’s proposed technical changes.
- Golden West stated that the proposed technical changes are necessary for the ongoing financial viability of the station. The licensee submitted that numerous businesses in Kindersley have expressed reluctance to advertise with CKVX-FM, by reducing their advertising or by simply refusing to advertise on the station, given that the station’s signal does not reach the outlying areas of Kindersley.
- The Commission acknowledges the challenges that CKVX-FM has faced in generating revenues since its inception. In the Commission’s view, the proposed technical changes would allow Golden West to address CKVX-FM’s financial challenges and current limited growth potential, thereby benefiting the station’s long-term viability. It therefore finds that the licensee has demonstrated a compelling economic need justifying the proposed technical changes.
Impact on other radio stations
- In its intervention, Harvard stated that the secondary contour proposed for CKVX-FM would significantly overlap those of radio stations currently broadcasting from Saskatoon, and would therefore bring CKVX-FM’s signal to the doorstep of the Saskatoon radio market.
- In reply, Golden West stated that the overlap between the proposed secondary contour of CKVX-FM and the secondary contour of CFWD-FM would be minor. The licensee argued that the proposed technical changes should go unnoticed by Saskatoon’s broadcasters since the primary or secondary contours proposed for CKVX-FM would not penetrate Saskatoon and would not touch any part of the Saskatoon Census Metropolitan Area.
- The Commission notes that the proposed primary contour would not intersect that of any currently operating radio station, and would have limited overlap with secondary contours from stations in Saskatoon and North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Further, the overlap between the secondary contour proposed for CKVX-FM and the secondary contour for CFWD-FM would represent a minimal proportion of the total population reached by the latter, which the Commission considers not significant enough to result in an undue negative financial impact on CFWD-FM. Given that the proposed technical changes would not allow CKVX-FM to enter either market, it could not position itself as either a North Battleford or Saskatoon radio station.
- In regard to programming, CKVX-FM currently operates under an Adult Contemporary/Hit Radio format catering to adults 18 to 49 years of age. The licensee did not propose any changes to its current programming format, and did not propose to broadcast any additional local spoken word content that would specifically target residents outside of Kindersley.
- In addition, according to the financial projections submitted with the application, approval of the proposed technical changes would result in limited incremental revenues for the station. Finally, no interventions opposing the application were received from licensees of radio stations in North Battleford.
- In light of the above, the Commission finds that the proposed technical changes would not result in an undue negative financial impact on other radio stations.
Integrity of the Commission’s licensing process
- In its intervention, Harvard submitted that the proposed power increase is excessive and goes well beyond the need established in the application. In its view, the licensee’s objective could be accomplished with a more moderate increase in power that would not approach Saskatoon through the “back door.” In reply, Golden West denied that it was attempting a “back-door” entry into the Saskatoon radio market, stating that it would not be possible given the distance between Kindersley and Saskatoon.
- When a radio licensee applies for amendments that would change a station’s status from unprotected to protected, the Commission is concerned that the licensee may be attempting to enter a market on a protected basis without having to compete with other applicants (i.e., through the “back door”). It therefore considers whether the proposal would trigger a call for competitive applications if it formed part of an application for a new station.
- The Commission set out its policy on the issuance of calls for radio applications in Broadcasting Public Notice 2006-159. In that notice, the Commission stated that it would not necessarily issue a call when considering proposals with very little or no commercial potential or impact. It would, however, generally issue a call when an applicant proposes to use the last frequency available in the market.Footnote 1
- In the present case, Golden West would continue to operate CKVX-FM at 104.9 MHz. Moreover, a number of other radio frequencies are available for use in and around Kindersley. Approval of the present application would therefore not preclude others from applying for broadcasting licences to operate a radio station in that community.
- Further, as noted above, Golden West’s goal is to improve the service provided to Kindersley and neighbouring communities by CKVX-FM, the only radio station licensed to serve Kindersley. The licensee has not proposed any programming or format changes that would target audiences outside its service area or that would alter the fundamental nature of the service.
- Finally, the Commission did not receive any interventions in opposition by others who may be interested in operating a radio station to serve Kindersley.
- In light of the above, the Commission finds that approval of the application would not compromise the integrity of its licensing process.
- In light of all of the above, the Commission approves the application by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. to change the authorized contours of the low-power, English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CKVX-FM Kindersley, Saskatchewan, by increasing the ERP from 50 to 100,000 watts (thereby changing the station’s class from low-power unprotected to protected Class C), by increasing the EHAAT from 27 to 341.2 metres, and by moving the transmitter from Kindersley to Stranraer, Saskatchewan. As a result of these changes, local listeners will see an increase in the quality of the CKVX-FM’s signal, and listeners living in nearby communities connected to Kindersley will now be able to receive the station’s programming.
- 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.
- A targeted policy review of the commercial radio sector, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2014-554, 28 October 2014
- Revised policy concerning the issuance of calls for radio applications and a new process for applications to serve small markets, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-159, 15 December 2006
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
- Footnote 1
In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2014-554, the Commission set out a new process for low-power radio stations so as to safeguard the integrity of its licensing process and ensure these stations provide the service originally proposed. Specifically, when licensees of these stations wish to increase the power of their stations to protected status, they are now required to file an application for a new broadcasting licence. However, since the present application was filed prior to the implementation of the revised approach, it has been considered by the Commission as a technical changes application consistent with the processing of this type of application under the Commission’s previous approach.
- Date modified: