ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 87-200

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Ottawa, 24 March 1987
Decision CRTC 87-200
Table of Contents
(i) Information
(ii) Sports
(iii) Music and Entertainment, including Drama
(iv) Children's Programs
(i) Sex-role Stereotyping
(ii) Violence
(iii) Reflection of Ethnic Minorities
(iv) Captioning for the Hearing-impaired
(v) Summary
(i) Network and Station Sales Time
(ii) Productions by Regional Affiliates
(iii) Independent Productions
(iv) Development of an Orderly Market
(v) Network Program Development Fund
(vi) Six-month Averaging
Following a Public Hearing in the National Capital Region commencing 17 November 1986, the Commission renews the English-language television network licence of the CTV TELEVISION NETWORK LIMITED from l October 1987 to 31 August 1992, subject to the conditions of licence specified in this decision (see Appendix) and in the licence to be issued.
The Commission's public hearing relating to the CTV Television Network was the last of the Commission's major licence renewal hearings in the autumn of 1986, following those relating to Global Communications Limited, the Ontario Educational Communications Authority, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The hearing provided a unique opportunity to review the performance of a major component of the Canadian broadcasting system and to explore its strategies and plans for the future.
The CTV Television Network, which celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in October 1986, is an important element in the Canadian broadcasting system. CTV's program schedule is available to approximately 99% of English-speaking television households in Canada. Despite the growing competition from alternative sources of television programming in recent years, the CTV network and its affiliates retain their dominant ranking, attracting 27.1% of all viewing of English-language television in the fall of 1986. This performance is largely attributable to the substantial volume of attractive programs, both Canadian and non-Canadian, the network is now scheduling.
In turn, the network's audience ratings have permitted the CTV network and its affiliates to increase their share of television revenues and profits (before interest and tax) to nearly 50% of those of the entire private sector. The success of the CTV network's operations has enabled its affiliates to rank among the largest and most successful television stations in Canada. For example, six of the network's affiliates are among the ten most profitable stations in Canada. Together with CTV's unique blend of programming expertise, the affiliates' financial success offers considerable scope to enrich the Canadian broadcasting system.
The Commission has reviewed the network's past performance and proposed Promise of Performance for the next five years, and wishes to acknowledge the spirit of cordiality which characterized the network's relations with the Commission during the public hearing process.
The decision to renew CTV's licence for five years is predicated upon expectations and conditions of licence which increase over the term of the licence. These expectations and conditions of licence are based on CTV's commitments, are consistent with the network's resources and potential and will result in a substantial improvement in the network's service. The expectations and conditions of licence represent substantial increases over those of the past and are described below.
The last public hearing relating to the renewal of the CTV network's licence occurred in February 1979. This hearing resulted in Decision CRTC 79-453 of 3 August 1979 which renewed the network's licence for three years from 1 October 1979 to 30 September 1982. In three subsequent decisions, Decision CRTC 81-460 of 22 July 1981, Decision CRTC 84-265 of 14 March 1984 and Decision CRTC 85-214 of 19 April 1985, for administrative reasons, the Commission renewed the licence issued to the network for short terms expiring 30 September 1984, 30 September 1985 and 30 September 1987, respectively.
On 7 March 1986 the Commission advised the CTV Television Network of a public hearing tentatively scheduled for November 1986 in respect of its licence renewal and requested the network to file information relating to this renewal by 31 May 1986. The deadline for filing this information was later extended to 30 June 1986 at the request of the network. With its 7 March letter to the network, the Commission enclosed a list of questions concerning various aspects of CTV's operations. These questions were designed to provide the network with an opportunity to submit a detailed explanation of its achievements, as well as its objectives and plans for the future. CTV's answers to these questions served as its application for a network licence renewal for the period commencing l October 1987.
In its letter of 7 March, the Commission said the following:
The public hearing will provide an opportunity to review the network's past performance in relation to its mandate and the resources at its disposal. The hearing will also provide the Commission with an opportunity to discuss CTV's role in the broadcasting environment of the coming decade. The Commission is particularly interested in CTV's broadcast strategy for the years 1987-1992 in light of changing conditions in the communications environment, increasing competition, as well as recent and future developments in the Canadian broadcasting industry.
The Commission announced its intention to hold a public hearing beginning 17 November 1986 to consider the renewal of the network licence (Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 1986-68 of 18 September 1986). This notice identified important elements in Decision CRTC 79-453, Decision CRTC 85-214 and the network's application.
The notice also announced the Commission's intention to review the performance of the network since Decision CRTC 79-453. These and other issues were discussed at a three-and-a-half-day hearing that began on 17 November 1986. The major issues under discussion at the hearing are indicated herein.
In response to its Notice of Public Hearing 1986-68, the Commission received a total of 37 written interventions from a variety of interested parties. Thirteen of these interveners appeared at the public hearing to make presentations in person. These presentations are summarized below.
The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), the Canadian Film and Television Association (CFTA), and the Association of Canadian Film and Television Producers (ACFTP) all complimented CTV senior management on their support for quality Canadian programs and their professional relations with independent artists and producers. However, all three organizations also expressed their concern that CTV had failed to meet the expectations of both the Canadian public and the program production industry with regard to the production and broadcasting of original Canadian drama, variety and children's programming. They believed the CTV network was unable to obtain from its affiliates the resources required to produce or acquire a sufficient volume of Canadian programs. Both ACTRA and the CFTA recommended a short-term licence renewal in order to provide time for a thorough investigation and analysis by the Commission of the structure of the CTV network and its cost-sharing arrangements.
The Council of Canadians also proposed a short-term licence renewal and an undertaking by the Commission to revoke the licence if the network failed to meet rigorous requirements with respect to the broadcasting of Canadian drama, children's and entertainment programming generally.
Thirteen of the written interventions came from independent production companies and all were supportive of CTV's licence renewal. Two of these, Alliance Entertainment Corporation and John McGreevy Productions, appeared at the hearing to compliment CTV management on its support of Canadian producers, particularly with regard to drama and documentary programming.
Hearing-impaired viewers were represented by the Ontario Closed Captioned Consumers (OCCC) and the Canadian Captioning Development Agency (CCDA). Both organizations complimented CTV on the work it has done to improve the quality and quantity of captioned programming. The OCCC recommended a number of ways in which CTV could improve its service to the hearing-impaired and the CCDA proposed an additional Canadian content credit for closed-captioned programming.
The Ukrainian Canadian Committee, Ontario Council, presented a brief criticizing CTV's response to its concerns regarding the series Peter Ustinov's Russia. The Commission has considered this intervention as well as that of the producer of the program, John McGreevy Productions, in considerable detail. The Commission's conclusions on this issue are described in section 8 of this decision.
The Consumers Association of Canada (CAC) made a strong appeal for the removal of Canadian content requirements as they apply to private broadcasters. The CAC believes that consumers would benefit from increased choice in television programming if private broadcasters were free to respond to the demands of the market and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation alone was required to produce and broadcast Canadian programming.
The issue of sex-role stereotyping on CTV was addressed by MediaWatch, ACTRA, and Lynn McDonald, M.P. All three interveners criticized the network for its lack of progress in this area and recommended conditions of licence requiring CTV to maintain minimum standards with regard to the portrayal of women. MediaWatch also emphasized the importance of a commitment from the network with respect to the production, funding, acquisition and broadcast of creative work by women. Ms. McDonald also criticized CTV for the excessive levels of violence in its programming.
Finally, the National Capital Alliance on Race Relations (NCARR) pointed out in its brief that CTV staffing and programming practices fail to reflect the ethnic and racial make-up of contemporary Canadian society. The NCARR proposed a variety of means by which CTV could improve in this area and requested that the Commission ensure progress through a condition of licence.
The Commission wishes to acknowledge the contribution of all interveners to the renewal proceeding. The interveners helped to focus the discussion at the hearing, provided CTV with an opportunity to clarify its position on a number of issues, and assisted the Commission in its assessment of the past performance and future plans of the network.
In its letter to CTV of 7 March 1986, the Commission indicated the public hearing would provide the Commission with an opportunity to discuss CTV's role in the broadcasting environment of the coming years. Again, in Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 1986-68, the Commission indicated its intention to discuss:
the network's strategic planning, with particular attention to the network's positioning in respect of other conventional television services, specialty and pay television services, and alternative sources of home entertainment;
the role of the network and its plans and strategies as to how best to contribute to the objectives of the Broadcasting Act in the broadcasting environment of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
In response to these and other questions, CTV described its long-term objectives as "continuing to provide the national program service that is the most viewed of all choices available" and "maintaining its leadership as Canada's most successful advertising-supported broadcasting service".
At the public hearing, Mr. Ray Peters, Chairman of the network's Executive Committee, identified the priorities and objectives of the CTV network as being the general upgrading of programming, a reduction in the network's debt load, and a write-off of the network's feature film inventory.
But in response to questioning from the Chairman of the Commission, the Chairman of the network's Board of Directors said "we really have, in the very busy period immediately preceding this hearing, not had an opportunity for the Board to give careful consideration to the longer term". The network's representative went on to confirm that the Board of Directors would, as recommended by a Woods Gordon discussion paper commissioned by the Board, be undertaking detailed long-term planning in the immediate future.
The Woods Gordon discussion paper recommended that network management assume responsibility for developing and updating on an annual basis a strategic plan. The plan would focus on the long-range strategic positioning of the network relative to competing services, rather than on long run financial projections.
The Commission wishes to express its considerable disappointment with the network's failure to respond adequately at the hearing to the Commission's questions regarding long-term strategies and objectives. The Canadian broadcasting system is undergoing important changes and the CTV network is a major player in these developments. Furthermore, CTV's own affiliates will be appearing before the Commission in the autumn of 1987 to renew their licences and they too require clear indications as to the network's intentions. The Commission is therefore surprised at the network's apparent failure to formulate long-term plans.
The Commission requires the best possible advice regarding the future of the broadcasting system from those in a position to provide it. Without detailed information and opinion from the principals involved, the Commission's role in the development of a dynamic broadcasting system is made more difficult.
In consequence, notwithstanding CTV's 10 March 1987 summary report to the Commission pursuant to the November 1986 public hearing, the Commission expects to receive no later than 31 August 1988, a comprehensive statement of CTV's long-term strategies and objectives. The Commission will then schedule a meeting with the network to discuss this statement.
Decision CRTC 79-453 contained the following statement:
The Commission recognizes that since substantial increases in Canadian program expenditures could necessitate changes in the cost-sharing formulae of the network, if not a complete change in the present cooperative financial structure, CTV should undertake without delay a fundamental review of the structure of the network and the cost-sharing arrangements and report its progress in due course.
In its opening presentation at the 17 November Public Hearing, the network summarized the results of its review as follows:
In reviewing the structure and cost and revenue sharing arrangement between the network and its affiliates, the Directors have agreed to the introduction of a new financial procedure which eliminates the need for special assessments and which introduces new methods of expensing feature film titles and stripping properties...
In addition, the Directors have reduced the number of Board meetings, re-activitated the Executive Committee and increased the representation and functions of the Programming Sub-Committee. These changes will effect a streamlining of advice and counsel provided to management to bring about an improvement in the structural arrangement between CTV and its affiliates.
The Commission acknowledges the changes in network structure discussed in the network's application, including those adopted from the Woods Gordon reports submitted with the application, and the changes discussed at the public hearing. In particular, the Commission notes the network's Board of Directors is now authorized to make on-going decisions concerning the funding of the network without further consulting the network's affiliates, and that this authority may be delegated by the Board to the Executive Committee on specific issues.
The network has agreed to submit a copy of a revised affiliation agreement which is in keeping with the changes indicated at the hearing and in this Decision. This agreement should be received by the Commission by 31 August 1987.
As noted above, the Commission has in the past expressed a concern that the CTV network's structure and cost-sharing arrangements could inhibit the network's ability to produce and acquire Canadian programs to the extent required.
However, as indicated below, CTV intends to increase significantly its Canadian program expenditures. The Commission notes that CTV's revised financial projections, as presented at the hearing on 19 November 1986, forecast the following total annual costs for Canadian programs in Network Sales Time:
1987-88 $68,393,700
1988-89 $74,512,700
1989-90 $80,244,000
1990-91 $86,499,000
1991-92 $93,312,300
These costs were based upon the network's programming commitments as identified at the hearing.
At the hearing, CTV also indicated that the purpose of the changes in network structure and in cost-sharing arrangements is to ensure that any shortfall in revenues required to meet expected expenditures would be assumed by network affiliates.
In consequence, the Commission requires as a condition of licence, that CTV undertake, at a minimum, the following expenditures in respect of Canadian programs in Network Sales Time in each year of the licence term:
1987-88 $68.4 million
1988-89 $74.5 million
1989-90 $80.2 million
1990-91 $86.5 million
1991-92 $93.3 million
The foregoing minimum dollar expenditures do not include the costs of the additional hours of Canadian drama programs that CTV is required to broadcast, by condition of licence, in section 5 of this decision. The Commission therefore requires as a condition of licence that, in each of the years 1990-91 and 1991-92, CTV surpass the foregoing levels of annual expenditures by the amount of the costs of the additional hours of Canadian drama programs required by this decision over and above those indicated in the revised Promise of Performance.
During the five years between 1981-82 and 1985-86, CTV expended approximately $230.2 million on Canadian programs. The foregoing conditions of licence would require total expenditures on Canadian programs over the five years 1987-88 to 1991-92 of at least $403.0 million. This requirement represents an increase of 75.1 % by comparison with the five-year period ending in 1985-86.
The Commission is satisfied that the changes in network structure, and in the cost-sharing arrangements between the network and its affiliates, as described at the hearing, together with the foregoing conditions of licence, will permit the requisite increase in the quantity and diversity of Canadian programs aired by the network.
(i) Information
The Commission wishes to commend CTV for maintaining the high standards of its news and public affairs programming. Such popular and professionally-produced programs as the CTV National News, Canada AM and W5 continue to provide Canadian viewers with timely information and analysis of Canadian and world events from a Canadian perspective. The Commission believes that alternative sources of Canadian news and public affairs programming are an essential element of a balanced broadcasting system in a democratic society. The Commission notes CTV's commitment in its revised Promise of Performance assuring the Commission that "present levels of service [are] to be maintained throughout the term of licence." The Commission strongly expects the network to honour this commitment in all respects, since it relates to one of the fundamental roles of a national television network.
At the public hearing, the Commission pointed out that CTV has no full-time network news correspondent in the province of Newfoundland. The Commission believes that it is important for a national network to have full-time news correspondents in each province. Consequently, the Commission strongly expects that CTV will retain all of its domestic news bureaux and a full complement of news correspondents, and will establish a full-time network news correspondent in Newfoundland during the new licence term.
With regard to international news services, the Commission notes that CTV maintains foreign bureaux in Washington, London, Beijing and Jerusalem. While the Commission is aware of the high cost of maintaining foreign correspondents, it also considers that Canadian broadcasters should maintain their existing foreign correspondents and where possible reduce their dependence on foreign news services in order to provide viewers with a Canadian perspective on important international issues. The Commission therefore strongly expects CTV to retain all of its existing news bureaux and where possible to expand its team of foreign correspondents during the coming licence term.
(ii) Sports
CTV has traditionally provided Canadian viewers with a wide variety of Canadian and international sports programming, both professional and amateur. The Commission wishes to commend the network for the quality and variety of its sports programming and expects that the network will continue to reflect this important aspect of our national life. The Commission notes that much of the production of CTV sports programming is carried out by the network's affiliates. This has encouraged many affiliates to upgrade their production facilities and has provided Canadian viewers with the important opportunity to witness various regional sports activities.
The Commission also notes CTV's commitment to broadcast the Canada Cup hockey series in 1987/88, in addition to at least 104 hours per year of the regularly scheduled Wide World of Sports.
The Commission also wishes to commend CTV for the scale of its participation in the coverage of the 1988 Winter Olympics to take place in Calgary. CTV and Le Réseau de télévision TVA Inc. will provide English-and French-language coverage across Canada. As host broadcaster, CTV will be responsible for covering all of the events and associated activities as well as providing an international feed for foreign broadcasters. Coverage of this event will also involve the participation of affiliates and permit them to acquire international experience and exposure, as well as provide them with a unique opportunity to acquire and amortize state-of-the-art equipment and mobile facilities. The Commission is confident that CTV's role in the televising of the Calgary Olympics will be a credit to Canadian expertise in sports programming.
(iii) Music and Entertainment, including Drama
The contribution of CTV to the development of entertainment programming was of considerable concern to the Commission at the 1979 licence renewal hearing. In Decision CRTC 79-453, the Commission emphasized that CTV had not achieved results in the area of distinctive Canadian entertainment programming, particularly drama, comparable to its successful performance in information and sports programming.
The Commission is now satisfied that CTV has met, and even exceeded, the requirements of the condition of licence relating to original new Canadian drama imposed in 1979. These requirements included the presentation of 26 hours of original new Canadian drama during the 1980/81 broadcasting year, and 39 hours of original new Canadian drama during the 1981/82 season. However, the Commission is disappointed that its expectation regarding the telecasting of Canadian drama in peak viewing periods (defined in Decision CRTC 79-453 as the hours between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.) has not been fulfilled.
CTV, both in its application and during the hearing, made the argument that the scheduling of Canadian drama programming should not be "artificially imposed". It suggested that the largest audiences for family viewing may be available during the early evening hours and that many Canadian dramas would have difficulty competing for audiences against the most popular U.S. shows which are scheduled in such peak viewing hours.
The Commission recognizes that some dramatic series designed for youth or family audiences are appropriately scheduled before 8 p.m. However, the Commission reiterates its belief that it is the responsibility of the CTV network to develop and broadcast high-quality Canadian drama that is competitive with the best that is available from non-Canadian sources. Such drama programming should generally be scheduled when the largest numbers of viewers are available, that is, after 8:00 p.m.
In its application, the CTV network proposed to increase its regularly-scheduled Canadian drama programming by one half-hour per week, in addition to the one and a half hours already present in its 1985/86 schedule. The proposed increase would have raised the volume of regularly- scheduled Canadian drama in the 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. period to two hours per week for each year of the new licence period. This commitment was, however, qualified by the applicant insofar as "the broadcasting environment does not change to such a degree that would significantly reduce the resources and capabilities of the industry."
At the hearing, the network acknowledged that this commitment for the new licence term does not represent an increase in Canadian drama over its 1986/87 levels. Under questioning, CTV announced that it had committed to the co-production and broadcast of a major new television series, Mount Royal, which would result in an increase of regularly-scheduled Canadian drama broadcast between 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. to 2.5 hours per week in 1987/88, and 3 hours per week in 1988/89 and in each subsequent year of the new licence term. CTV also committed to schedule two of these hours after 8:00 p.m.
CTV's revised Promise of Performance, submitted at the hearing, refers explicitly to Network Sales Time, which is that portion of the schedule where the network collects the associated advertising revenues. The revised Promise of Performance represents a significant increase in the proposed number of hours of drama programming in comparison with the Promise of Performance submitted prior to the hearing. However, the Commission continues to believe that this falls considerably short of the network's potential.
Accordingly, the Commission requires, as a condition of licence, that CTV broadcast during Network Sales Time the following average number of hours per week of regularly-scheduled Canadian drama in each year of the licence term:
1987/88 2.5 hours per week 1988/89 3.0 hours per week 1989/90 3.0 hours per week 1990/91 4.0 hours per week 1991/92 4.5 hours per week
The Commission also requires, as a condition of licence, that in each year of the licence term no more than one hour per week of the above-mentioned hours of regularly-scheduled Canadian drama be broadcast before 8:00 p.m.
The Commission expects these programs to reflect high production standards in order to be attractive to a wide Canadian audience.
Finally, the Commission expects that the proportion of original hours to repeats of regularly-scheduled Canadian drama programming will remain above the 70% level attained during the 1981/86 period.
In addition to regularly-scheduled drama series, during the past several years CTV has broadcast a number of high-quality Canadian dramatic features, mini-series and limited series. Programs such as The Bay Boy, Sword of Gideon and Peter Ustinov's Russia demonstrate an increasing recognition by the network of the production values available in such Canadian-produced specials.
In keeping with the network's proposal, the Commission expects that CTV will broadcast a minimum of 34 hours of Canadian dramatic features, mini-series and limited series, in addition to its regularly-scheduled programming, in each year of the new licence term. The Commission requires, as a condition of licence, that at least 24 hours of Canadian dramatic features, mini-series and limited series be broadcast in the Network Sales Time portion of the CTV schedule in each year of the new licence term.
In Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 1986-68, the Commission announced its intention to discuss with the network the issue of "the promotion and development of Canadian talent through the broadcasting of Canadian television programs by the network, with particular attention to the exposure of new musical talent."
At the hearing, the Chairman of the Commission asked whether CTV and its affiliates might get involved in a national music talent search, including contests, and whether the network would undertake to study this possibility, culminating in a major music talent event. Mr. Peters, Chairman of the network's Executive Committee, replied that he felt very strongly about the idea and that the Chairman was "preaching to the converted", though he had not formally consulted the Board on this issue. However, network representatives made no specific commitments in this respect, beyond stating the Board of Directors' intention to consider the possibility of developing a national music talent search program series at a future board meeting. In correspondence subsequent to the hearing, the network informed the Commission that "CTV is developing the concept of an annual national country awards program with BCTV."
The Commission believes that CTV is not currently providing for the national exposure of new Canadian talent in a systematic way. Although the Commission concurs with the view that affiliates have an important role to play in the search for new Canadian talent, there is also a need for the kind of national exposure provided by a national network. Consequently, the Commission expects the network to provide a report no later than 31 August 1987, concerning its specific plans (including numbers of hours) for the development and promotion of new Canadian musical talent through regularly-scheduled programs and specials. In addition, the Commission requires, as a condition of licence, that the network broadcast programs providing a minimum of six hours per year of exposure for new Canadian musical talent, beginning no later than 1988/89. This exposure is expected to increase in subsequent years.
Furthermore, this emphasis on the development and promotion of new talent should not be accomplished at the expense of the exposure of experienced performers. Rather, the Commission expects the network to increase opportunities for the showcasing of experienced Canadian performers as well.
(iv) Children's Programs
In Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 1986-68, the Commission reminded CTV of a statement in the Commission's 1979 licence renewal decision indicating the network would be expected to give more emphasis to the development of programs for children. The Commission's decision also said that suitable children's programs are needed for both weekday and weekend scheduling.
At the hearing, Mr. Murray Chercover, President of the network, described the efforts undertaken over the last licence term to meet the needs of young audiences. The weekday pre-schooler program, Romper Room, has been re-scheduled from 6:00 a.m. to the more appropriate 9:00 a.m. position. In addition, over the past few years, the network has provided a ninety-minute block of quality, Canadian-produced children's programs in its Saturday morning schedule. Mr. Chercover described these programs as being pro-social, non-violent, interactive, and targeted primarily at the six to twelve age group. He indicated these programs will continue to be produced as at present by affiliates in the regions. All of the above-mentioned programs have been scheduled in Station Sales Time up to now.
At the hearing, Mr. Chercover announced that, commencing with the reporting year 1987/88, the Saturday morning block of children's programs would be transferred to Network Sales Time. The network also committed to increase this block from ninety minutes to two hours in the fall of 1987 with the addition of a new children's series to be produced by CFCF-TV Montreal. Combined with the weekly Romper Room series, the total weekly broadcast of children's programs will increase from four to four-and-a-half hours.
At the hearing, the network was questioned regarding the feasibility of expanding its scheduling of children's programs to include Sunday mornings, and weekdays after school, both periods offering high viewing potential for programs targeted to young audiences. Network representatives pointed out that these periods are not part of the network schedule and therefore programming responsibility rests with the affiliates. In consequence, the Commission intends to review the efforts made by each affiliate to provide relevant programs for young audiences during Sunday mornings and the weekday 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. period at the affiliates' autumn 1987 licence renewal hearings.
In response to questions regarding the availability of programs for young people aged twelve to seventeen, CTV indicated it would review this issue and introduce relevant programs, possibly in the 1989/90 season. The Commission expects CTV to undertake such a review and to submit a report to the Commission no later than 31 August 1988, together with a plan to broadcast relevant programs beginning no later than 1989/90.
CTV noted that it provides a regular menu of family-oriented programs, such as The Campbells and New Wilderness, in the early evening hours to enlighten and entertain Canadian youth. CTV has also included a number of seasonal specials in its schedules, including such notable Canadian animated programs as The Bestest Present and Rumplestiltskin.
At the hearing, Mr. Chercover announced that the network would be acquiring a two-hour children's Christmas special entitled Cinderella, to be produced in Vancouver and scheduled in the 1987/88 season. In addition, the network indicated its intention to broadcast eleven new children's specials during the evening hours over the course of the licence term.
The Commission commends CTV for its commitments at the hearing and expects the network to adhere to all of the commitments made in its revised Promise of Performance with respect to the increased development of children's and youth programming. The Commission is hopeful the network will exceed these commitments over the licence term.
An important part of the discussion at the hearing was devoted to CTV's approach to social issues. These issues include concerns about sex-role stereotyping, violence, the reflection of Canada's ethnic, racial, and linguistic minorities and captioning for the hearing impaired. Interveners who commented on such issues generally felt that CTV's programming requires adjustments if these concerns are to be fully addressed. As a result of the hearing process and an evaluation of the performance of the network over the past licence term, the Commission agrees with this assessment.
At the hearing, representatives of the network indicated CTV's commitment to improve its performance with respect to social issues and described their participation in industry-wide efforts to develop a more effective response, but they failed to demonstrate the leadership that befits the role and responsibilities of a national network. Notwithstanding CTV's 10 March 1987 preliminary report to the Commission pursuant to the November 1986 public hearing, the Commission believes the resources available to the network, including those of affiliates from across the country, are sufficient to allow the network to develop a more forward-looking approach. The Commission therefore expects CTV to further address these issues as indicated below.
(i) Sex-Role Stereotyping
On the issue of sex-role stereotyping, interveners, particularly ACTRA, MediaWatch and Lynn McDonald, M.P., expressed the view that CTV's programming does not accurately present a realistic portrayal of women in Canadian society. The Commission notes two studies: "Gender Portrayal in CTV News and Information Programming", commissioned from ERIN Research by ACTRA and submitted at the hearing; and "The Portrayal of Sex Roles on Canadian and U.S. Television", by Tannis MacBeth Williams, Dereen Baron, Susana Phillips, Lisa Travis and Darryl Jackson of the University of British Columbia, an August 1986 research paper referred to by Ms. McDonald and MediaWatch. These studies indicate that CTV's programming performance could be improved. The Commission concurs with this view.
The above interveners generally argued that a more realistic portrayal of women, reflecting their role in contemporary society, requires an increased involvement by women in programming decision-making at all levels, including senior management. The Commission notes CTV's commitment to file with the Commission copies of its reports pursuant to the Employment Equity Act.
The Commission expects the CTV network to increase its efforts towards the elimination of sex-role stereotyping and imposes the following condition of licence: that CTV adhere to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' self-regulatory guidelines on sex-role stereotyping, as amended from time to time and accepted by the Commission.
(ii) Violence
Violence in television programming is a source of increasing public concern. The Commission notes CTV's commitment not to broadcast programs containing gratuitous violence, and to schedule programs containing violent or adult themes consistent with plot and character development after 9:00 p.m. It also notes that CTV collaborated with the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) concerning the development of an industry code on violence. The code has now been adopted by the CAB, and CTV has committed to adhere to the provisions of the code.
However, discussion at the hearing indicated that CTV must assume a more proactive and responsible role. On the subject of the impact of television violence, CTV was unable to articulate a clear position or philosophy.
The Commission is aware that the possible relationship between television violence and human behaviour is a complex issue, but there are a number of studies which make a case for some concern. At the hearing, network management stated that it endeavoured to apprise itself of all research studies on the issue, but that it did not have the resources to undertake original research. The Commission believes the network should be willing to participate as an associate in the funding of original research, should appropriate occasions arise. In any case, the network could make better use of existing and emerging research to develop a more comprehensive approach to this issue.
(iii) Reflection of Ethnic Minorities
One of the most significant features of Canada relates to the multiracial, multilingual, and multicultural characteristics of its people. Interveners, particularly ACTRA and The National Capital Alliance on Race Relations (NCARR), expressed the view that CTV programming does not adequately reflect these characteristics. A statement by the NCARR describes the impact of this situation on minority groups:
We are here simply to point out that what we see on the television screens, when our sets are tuned to CTV, makes us feel as if we are in a foreign land, not one in which we are participating citizens.
The Commission is concerned by this assessment and urges CTV to recognize the changing demographic reality of Canada and the concerns of ethnic and cultural minorities. CTV's mainstream programming should portray ethnic minorities in a more equitable manner, accurately reflecting their rightful place in Canadian society.
(iv) Captioning for the Hearing-Impaired
During the 1985/86 broadcast season, CTV scheduled more than 672 hours of closed captioned programming. This represents an average of about 13 hours per week. The vast majority of such telecasts were presented during Network Sales Time.
The Commission commends the network's efforts to make television accessible to deaf and hearing-impaired Canadians. CTV was the first private broadcaster in Canada to provide closed captioned programs for hearing-impaired viewers.
As proposed in CTV's revised Promise of Performance, the Commission expects the CTV network to increase the volume of closed captioned Canadian programming by two hours per week and to caption (real time) the CTV News, Saturday and Sunday editions, beginning in the 1987/88 season. As in-house capacity becomes available, CTV will also caption Canadian news specials. The network has specifically committed to increase the closed captioning of special and national event programs, such as provincial and federal elections or political conventions.
In addition, CTV agreed at the public hearing to install immediately a telephone device for the deaf (TDD) to permit better communications between the network and deaf viewers.
The Commission commends CTV for its commitments and expects CTV to continue to improve its service to the hearing-impaired and to make every effort to surpass its commitments on this issue.
(v) Summary
In summation, the Commission reiterates its concern with CTV's overall approach to social issues. The Commission expects the Board of Directors and senior management of the network to give serious consideration to the network's policies and practices with respect to social issues, including the mechanisms and resources allocated to monitoring developments and working with special interest groups and concerned viewers.
CTV's 10 March 1987 summary report to the Commission pursuant to the November 1986 public hearing notwithstanding, the Commission expects the network to file a report and action plan relating to social issues, including, but not limited to, each of the issues identified above, no later than 31 August 1987. The Commission will then meet with representatives of the Board of Directors and network management to discuss this report and action plan. If the progress achieved by that time is not satisfactory, the Commission will request reports on this issue from the network for public disclosure on an annual basis.
(i) Network and Station Sales Time
In its revised Promise of Performance, the network committed to provide a program service totalling 64 hours and 50 minutes per week.
Of this total, 38 hours and 20 minutes will be in Network Sales Time, with the associated advertising revenues accruing to the network, and 26 hours and 30 minutes will be in Station Sales Time, with the associated advertising revenues channelled to the affiliates. The network's licence is renewed on the basis of its commitments with respect to programs associated with Network Sales Time, as well as the conditions of licence and expections contained herein, but the commitments in respect of Station Sales Time have also been considered.
The network is expected to identify all of its Network Sales programs in the logs submitted to the Commission pursuant to the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987.
With respect to Station Sales Time, the Commission expects that the network will henceforth be directly reimbursed, not only for direct program expenses, but also for all of the indirect expenses incurred by the network acting as a buying agency for its affiliates. The Commission notes that the network also acquires some programs for its affiliates that are broadcast outside of both Network and Station Sales Time, and likewise expects the network to be reimbursed accordingly.
(ii) Productions by Regional Affiliates
The Commission commends the CTV network for broadcasting regionally-produced programs such as Question Period from Ottawa and Wide World of Sports with segments from most of the CTV affiliate stations. The Commission also notes the network's efforts to showcase regionally-produced children's programs such as Paul Hann & Friends from Edmonton, Let's Go from Winnipeg, You Can't Do That on Television from Ottawa and Romper Room and Friends from Kitchener.
At the public hearing, the network outlined two projects which relate to the regional programming issue: the series Mount Royal and a half-hour children's program to be produced in Montreal. Mount Royal is a drama series consisting of at least 15 one-hour episodes for the year 1987/88. The series will be broadcast between 8:00 p.m. and ll:00 p.m. The half-hour children's program will be produced by CFCF-TV, the CTV affiliate in Montreal, and will be scheduled in the Saturday morning children's programming block. The program is in addition to the other children's programs from Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Toronto.
Following discussion at the hearing, the licensee filed a policy document with the Commission entitled "Procedures in the Acquisition of Regional Programming". Although this document sets out certain criteria for the acquisition of regional affiliate programs by the network, the Commission expects CTV to identify more clearly its network programming requirements regarding regional productions for the licence term, and to communicate these requirements to its affiliates and to the Commission. Owing to the quality of programs produced by network affiliates, and the importance of encouraging this activity, the Commission expects the network to file an annual progress report by 31 August on the issue of regional programming.
The Commission commends the network for its achievements to date and expects the CTV network to use its regional links to develop and showcase more regional productions, in particular those resulting from initiatives by affiliate stations.
(iii) Independent Productions
Independent program producers are a vital creative Canadian resource. The Commission notes that the CTV network has increased its acquisitions from Canadian independent producers, particularly since the commencement of Telefilm Canada's Broadcast Program Development Fund in July 1983. Since that time, CTV has been associated with projects involving more than $30 million of the Broadcast Fund and total production budgets of some $107 million. In 1985/86, for example, independent producers (unrelated to CTV affiliates) received 77% of the amount paid by the network for Canadian programs, other than news and sports. The Commission expects this trend to continue and that the increased production of Canadian drama required by condition of licence in this decision will provide increased opportunities for CTV to work with the Canadian independent production industry.
With regard to the licence fees paid by CTV to independent producers, the Commission expects CTV to ensure they are set at equitable levels in order to encourage continued growth of the independent production industry and to strengthen CTV's ability to air high quality Canadian programs of benefit to Canadians.
(iv) Development of an Orderly Market
A written intervention by First Choice Communications Corporation (First Choice), the licensee of a general interest pay television network, raised the issue of ensuring an orderly marketplace for Canadian producers who wish to secure a pay-television "window" for programs prior to their release on conventional television. The intervention noted that relative to some other conventional broadcasters, CTV has generally been more co-operative with producers in making provision for such a window. First Choice stated, however, that the length of the window has been an issue of contention and asked the Commission to apply a condition of licence so that CTV cannot preclude a pay television window at least equivalent to that afforded to non-Canadian productions aired by the network.
The Commission considers that the issue raised by First Choice relates to program rights, a matter the Commission generally prefers to leave to the contracting parties concerned. Nevertheless, in the interest of the orderly development of a market for Canadian programs, and in order to maximize the benefits of funding available from sources such as Telefilm Canada, the Commission encourages CTV to co-operate with all the general interest pay television licensees in the matter of program development and related financial participation. The Commission intends to monitor CTV's efforts to respond to the Commission's concerns in this regard.
(v) Network Program Development Fund
During the Public Hearing, discussion took place with regard to the status of CTV's Canadian Program Development Fund. This fund was established in 1972 and currently provides for the development of new Canadian programming in the categories of drama, variety, children's programming and documentaries. The discussion at the hearing revealed some lack of clarity in the definition of development expenses as they relate to the fund, how CTV administers the fund, and the means by which independent producers and writers can access the fund. CTV made it clear, however, that it intends to continue to make development funds available and that it recognizes the importance of having a "development attitude".
The Commission considers that it is critically important to develop new Canadian talent in the television production industry. All Canadian broadcasters, particularly networks with their considerable resources, must share in this responsibility if the Canadian broadcasting system is to achieve the high levels of Canadian programming expected of it. With this in mind, the Commission expects CTV to maintain its program development fund. In the absence of clear network administrative procedures and with the benefit of the discussion at the hearing, the Commission considers it appropriate to reiterate the general guidelines discussed at the hearing with regard to the objectives, definition and administration of the fund.
The objective of the fund should be to ensure that CTV continuously invests in the script and concept development phases of Canadian entertainment and documentary projects. Emphasis should be placed upon providing "seed" money to less experienced writers, directors and producers in order to encourage the development of innovative projects and Canadian creative talent.
The definition of script and concept development should be restricted to those expenses incurred prior to the commencement of pre-production before the financing of the project is in place.
The fund should provide a minimum of $500,000 per year and the Commission should be given a clear indication of how the fund will be administered and how to access the fund.
Finally, the Commission expects CTV to submit an annual report by 31 August of each year describing the projects which have received support from the fund, their current status, the amounts allocated to each project, and the general areas in which expenses were incurred.
(vi) Six-month Averaging
The network has committed itself to adhering to the Commission's policy with respect to the six-month averaging of Canadian content. The Commission expects this commitment to be fulfilled.
Of the programming provided by the network in Station Sales Time, the Commission notes that Canadian content represents more than 60% of the total volume of hours provided during the broadcast year. The Commission expects this practice to continue.
As noted earlier in this decision, the Ukrainian Canadian Committee, Ontario Council (UCC) appeared at the hearing to discuss the content of the CTV series, Peter Ustinov's Russia. UCC requested that the Commission impose a condition of licence upon CTV requiring the network to provide sufficient air-time for the UCC to respond to the alleged inaccuracies in the original broadcast.
The Commission has two concerns with respect to the process undertaken by CTV in response to this complaint.
First, the Commission believes that CTV's delay of over four months in replying to the original letter of complaint is inexcusable. All broadcasters have an obligation to respond promptly to viewers' concerns. As a result, the Commission reiterates its statement in Decision CRTC 79-453 resulting from an intervention by the Anglican Church of Canada:
In public affairs programs the Commission recognizes that adequate provision for balance and opportunity for the expression of differing views on matters of public concern continues to be a difficult problem. However, the intervention revealed that CTV should develop suitable mechanisms to deal with complaints of this nature. CTV is reminded that it is in the broadcasters' own interest to ensure that proper response is given to complaints about the treatment of an individual or group in any of its programs.
Second, the Commission feels that CTV did not provide UCC with sufficient detail to support its claim that the network's entire broadcast schedule fulfills the requirements of section 3(d) of the Broadcasting Act.
This failure to respond adequately to an aggrieved portion of CTV's audience is unfortunately consistent with the network's overall approach to social issues, as indicated at the hearing and discussed above. The Commission expects the network to ensure that future complaints are handled with more care and sensitivity.
With respect to UCC's request that CTV provide for air-time to rebut certain aspects of Peter Ustinov's Russia, the Commission notes that it does not order broadcasting licensees to broadcast specific programs or to accept programs from a particular source.
In recent months, the Commission has renewed the television broadcasting licences of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Global Communications Limited and TVOntario for a period of five years. In view of the Promise of Performance developed during the 17 November 1986 hearing, as well as the commitments made by CTV at the hearing, and considering the conditions of licence and expectations identified in this decision, the Commission has renewed the broadcasting licence of the CTV Television Network Limited from 1 October 1987 to 31 August 1992.
One of the Commission's main concerns prior to the hearing was the apparent unwillingness of the CTV affiliates to modify the network's structure and cost-sharing arrangements. This has resulted in a limited and unsatisfactory contribution to improvements in the Canadian portion of the network's program service.
The changes in the network's structure and cost-sharing arrangements announced at the hearing were endorsed by CTV's officers and by both the Chairman of the Board and the Chairman of the Executive Committee. They should eliminate existing structural and financial obstacles, provide for needed long-term planning and budgeting of network operations, and ensure the appropriate delegation of authority to the Board of Directors or the Executive Committee. The flexibility of the new arrangements will allow management to meet the commitments of the revised Promise of Performance filed as a result of the hearing. These changes, together with the network's selection of a "general upgrading of programming" as its top priority, augur well for the contribution of the network to the Canadian broadcasting system over the next five years.
The foregoing structural changes and new financial arrangements together with the commitments made at the hearing testify to a change in the network's attitude. Without this, the results of the network's application for a five year licence renewal would have been different.
The Commission is satisfied the conditions of licence, as well as the Commission's expectations based upon CTV's unequivocal commitments, will ensure a substantial improvement in the quality, attractiveness and diversity of the network programs offered to Canadians. The allocation of funds required by this decision will help CTV to achieve excellence in Canadian drama and children's programs, and in other under-represented program categories, as well as in its national news and public affairs programs.
The program service provided by the network plays an important role in CTV affiliates' schedules. Though less voluminous than the 88 hours per week of programming that is provided by the CBC's English-language network to its stations, the CTV network's 64 hours and 50 minutes of total program service will provide a considerable portion of the affiliates' most popular programs. It is therefore imperative that CTV's network service benefit from the collective resources of its affiliates and deliver programming in those specific program categories that are generally underrepresented in the affiliates' schedules. This is a necessary undertaking for a healthy, popular, and innovative network.
Increasing the quality and diversity of Canadian programs available through the broadcasting system continues to be of the highest priority for the Commission. The Commission believes the CTV network has a vital role to play in attaining this objective.
The network has demonstrated over the years that it is capable of developing and broadcasting high quality information and sports programming. In recent years, the Commission has been encouraged to see a genuine commitment on the part of the network to the production of quality Canadian entertainment programming. The audience share of U.S. programs appears to have reached a peak and CTV now recognises that the airing of quality Canadian programs provides the best strategy to achieve further audience growth.
Notwithstanding the Commission's endorsement of CTV's new approach concerning Canadian entertainment programs, the Commission does have serious concerns with respect to the network's approach to social issues. These include concerns relating to sex-role stereotyping, violence and the reflection of ethnic, cultural, and linguistic minorities. In consequence, the Commission has requested a full report and action plan covering each of these issues, to be submitted by 31 August 1987. The Commission expects the network to approach this issue with an open spirit and is confident the requirements of this decision will translate into concrete action.
The Commission has also requested separate and distinct reports from the network in respect of CTV's long-term strategies and objectives, its plans for the development of new Canadian musical talent, and its plans for the broadcasting of programs for young people aged twelve to seventeen.
The expectations and conditions of licence contained in this decision are designed to ensure that CTV realizes its full potential in the increasingly dynamic and complex broadcasting environment of the 1990s. The Commission is confident that, in fulfilling the terms of its new licence, CTV will demonstrate to Canadian viewers the extent to which it is a vital and entertaining medium for Canadian stories, Canadian history and Canadian culture generally. In this way, CTV is capable of contributing in a unique and essential way to the development of the Canadian broadcasting system.
Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General
The broadcasting licence of the CTV TELEVISION NETWORK LIMITED for the licence term 1 October 1987 to 31 August 1992 will be subject to the following conditions of licence and to others stipulated in the licence to be issued.
It is a condition of licence:
1. a) that CTV undertake, at a minimum, the following expenditures in respect of Canadian programs in Network Sales Time in each year of the licence term:
1987-88 $68.4 million 1988-89 $74.5 million 1889-90 $80.2 million 1990-91 $86.5 million 1991-92 $93.3 million
b) that, in each of the years 1990-91 and 1991-92, CTV surpass the foregoing levels of annual expenditures by the amount of the costs of the additional hours of Canadian drama programs required by this decision over and above those indicated in the revised Promise of Performance;
2. that CTV broadcast during Network Sales Time the following average number of hours per week of regularly-scheduled Canadian drama in each year of the licence term:
1987-88 2.5 hours per week
1988-89 3.0 hours per week
1989-90 3.0 hours per week
1990-91 4.0 hours per week
1991-92 4.5 hours per week
and, that in each year of the licence term no more than one hour per week of the above-mentioned hours of regularly-scheduled Canadian drama be broadcast before 8:00 p.m.;
3. that at least 24 hours of Canadian dramatic features, mini-series and limited series be broadcast in the Network Sales Time portion of the CTV schedule in each year of the new licence term;
4. that the network broadcast programs providing a minimum of six hours per year of exposure for new Canadian musical talent, beginning no later than 1988/89;
5. that CTV adhere to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' self-regulatory guidelines on sex-role stereotyping, as amended from time to time and accepted by the Commission.

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