ARCHIVED -  Public Notice CRTC 1986-110

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Public Notice

Ottawa, 13 May 1986

Public Notice CRTC 1986-110


The Commission has recently received an application for a pay-per-view television service. In Public Notice CRTC 1984-140 dated 11 June 1984, entitled Applications for Pay-Per-View Television Services, the Commission indicated that it was not yet prepared to hear such applications because pay television had only been in operation for a short time:

 Under the circumstances, the Commission considers that the introduction of another model of pay television at this time would be premature and would only add to the uncertainties which now beset the industry.

Furthermore, as stated by the Chairman of the Commission in April 1985 at the Canadian Cable Television Association Convention, the Commission reiterates:

 Pay-per-view should not deflect the energy and interest of the industry away from the major challenges of ensuring the success of existing services. We are not convinced that pay-per-view service is such a magic answer; it has had a questionable track record in the U.S. In fact, it is not really working yet. However, at an appropriate time, it is worth exploring with the industry, whether we can map out under which circumstances pay-per-view could be introduced. We surely need more input and discussion on this particular proposal and would welcome your comments in this regard. As part of our ongoing discussion with one another, it might be helpful to set out an agenda, which could perhaps then be discussed at a future public hearing to see just what opportunities exist in this specific and still untapped area.

The Commission continues to be concerned with the stability and growth of Canadian pay television and specialty programming services and the possible impact the implementation of one or more pay-per-view programming services might have on existing discretionary services.

Before proceeding with any application for pay-per-view services, the Commission wishes to receive public comments on the following issues associated with the introduction of such services:

1. The desirability of introducing pay-per-view services into the Canadian broadcasting system at this time.

2. The desirability of introducing pay-per-view services on a national, regional and local stand-alone basis.

3. The potential market for Canadian pay-per-view services, including the market for a French-language per-view service.

4. The Canadian content requirements appropriate to such services.

5. The availability of Canadian programming for a pay-per-view service with copies of any studies which quantify the available product.

6. The structure of a pay-per-view service that would maximize the investment in and production of Canadian programming.

7. The types of programming which should be distributed on a pay-per-view service.

8. Concern has been expressed about the potential impact a pay-per-view service could have on existing licensees. Various suggestions to reduce the impact, including a linkage requirement specifying concurrent purchase of a Canadian pay television service, have been proposed. Should such requirements be adopted and, if so, in what form? The Commission would wish to receive a copy of any impact studies used in the preparation of such proposals.

9. In view of the experience with pay-per-view systems, the Commission would wish to receive information about the availability of appropriate technology for pay-per-view systems and the desirability of utilizing cable plant which is capable of full two-way operation.

Written comments should be submitted no later than 15 August 1986 to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2.

Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General

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