ARCHIVED -  Public Notice CRTC 1986-270

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Public Notice

Ottawa, 29 September 1986
Public Notice CRTC 1986-270
For related documents: see Public Notices CRTC 1983-18 dated 31 January 1983, 1983-264 dated 24 November 1983; 1984-110 dated 9 May 1984; 1984-194 dated 26 July 1984; 1984-247 dated 10 October 1984; 1985-82 dated 25 April 1985; 1985-225 dated 4 October 1985; 1986-178 dated 23 July 1986.
In Public Notice CRTC 1986-178 of 23 July 1986, the Commission proposed to amend the Television Broadcasting Regulations so as to retain the twelve-month reporting requirement and require, by condition of licence, a six-month approach only where necessary. This would allow the Commission to acknowledge the improved performance of many licensees, while at the same time obliging any poorly performing licensee to improve its performance by attaching an appropriate condition at the time of licence renewal.
In accordance with the provisions of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission invited interested parties to submit written comments on the proposed amendment. This amendment was addressed separately from the Proposed Regulations Respecting Television Broadcasting (Public Notice CRTC 1986-176) also issued on 23 July 1986, in order to ensure implementation of the amendment prior to 1 October 1986. The deadline for comments was 22 August 1986.
In response to Public Notice CRTC 1986-178, the Commission received comments from Newfoundland Television (NTV), CKVR-TV Barrie, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Educational Communications Authority (TV Ontario), the Canadian Film and Television Association (CFTA), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (the CBC), the CTV Television Network Ltd. and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.
Of these, six indicated support for the proposed amendment while two, the CFTA and the CBC, expressed opposition.
Prior to issuing Public Notice CRTC 1986-178, the Commission analysed the level of Canadian content provided by a number of television licensees. The analysis examines the Canadian content performance of 26 privately-owned television stations of different sizes from across the country, including the largest stations in Canada, with respect to the three six-month reporting periods ending 31 March 1986.
On the basis of this analysis, it is evident there has been a significant increase in the proportion of Canadian content aired during the 1985/86 winter season (October 1985 to March 1986) by comparison with the 1984/85 winter season (October 1984 to March 1985).
Of the 26 stations analysed, 15 stations increased their Canadian content performance during the full broadcast day, six stations maintained or very nearly maintained their Canadian content performance. Although five stations diminished their performance from one winter season to the next, three of these continued to meet the overall Canadian content full broadcast day requirement for the six months under consideration.
With respect to the evening hours, the analysis revealed that 18 of the 26 stations increased their Canadian content performance, four stations very nearly maintained their performance, and only four diminished their levels from one winter season to the next. Of the latter, all four continued to meet the over all evening hours Canadian content requirement for the six months under consideration.
Based on this information and on the views expressed in the comments pursuant to Public Notice CRTC 1986-178, the Commission herein announces that it has amended the Television Broadcasting Regulations as set out in the appendix to this notice. On the recommendation of the Executive Committee, these amendments were approved by the Commission on 22 August 1986, registered on 27 August 1986 and published in the Canada Gazette, Part II on 17 September 1986 (SOR/86-923).
Fernand Bélisle Secretary General
Dissenting Opinion of Commissioner M. Coupal
I could not disagree more with the change of heart which the Commission demonstrating in this case. After certain major broadcasters had abused the Canadian content policy by dumping Canadian programs into the summer months and reserving the prime winter months for increased foreign programs, they were finally told to clean up their act and schedule Canadian content equitably throughout the year. The Commission amended the television regulations accordingly so that, in future, broadcasters would be required to report Canadian content levels on a six-month basis rather than annually.
In the opinion of the Commission, the amended regulation, which was never implemented, is no longer necessary as some of the broadcasters have demonstrated that, under the pressure the impending six-month reporting period, they could successfully schedule Canadian programs so that they were more evenly aired throughout the entire broadcast year. The Commission decision, which required the industry through regulation to follow the letter and spirit of the Broadcasting Act, was challenged by the broadcasters and the regulation governing the reporting of Canadian content was once again amended to to a twelve month reporting period on the understanding that the scheduling of Canadian content supposedly would be even throughout the year - but who is to say?
It is very interesting to recall that when this regulation was initially implemented it required Canadian content reporting on a monthly basis. Later it was adjusted to a quarterly basis, and then changed to an annual basis.

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