ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 87-576

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Ottawa, 20 July 1987
Decision CRTC 87-576
Radio de la Baie Ltée Bathurst and Dalhousie/Campbellton, New Brunswick - 863206900 - 863207700
Radio Péninsule Inc. Inkerman, New Brunswick - 863358800La Compagnie de Radiodiffusion Beausoleil Ltée Bathurst and Tracadie, New Brunswick - 862489200 - 862483500
At a Public Hearing in Bathurst on 12 May 1987, the Commission considered proposals presented by the three applicants mentioned above for licences to operate new French-language FM radio services in northeastern New Brunswick. Radio de la Baie Ltée (Radio de la Baie) and La Compagnie de Radiodiffusion Beausoleil Ltée (Radiodiffusion Beausoleil) each proposed to operate regional commercial FM stations in Bathurst and to establish a rebroadcaster. Radio de la Baie's proposed stations would serve the counties of Gloucester and Restigouche and part of the county of Northumberland, while those proposed by Radiodiffusion Beausoleil would serve the counties of Gloucester and Restigouche in New Brunswick and Bonaventure County in Quebec. Radio Péninsule Inc. (Radio Péninsule) proposed to operate a community FM station that would serve primarily the county of Gloucester, particularly the French-speaking population of the Acadian peninsula. The Commission also noted that Radio de la Baie and Radio Péninsule both proposed the use of the 97.1 MHz frequency. All three applications were therefore competitive in terms of the markets to be served, and two of them were also competitive on technical grounds.
Following a call for applications issued in March 1984, at a Public Hearing on 5 November 1984 in Rimouski, Quebec, the Commission considered four competing applications to establish a new Frenchlanguage commercial FM station to serve the Baie des Chaleurs region of the province of Quebec and northeastern New Brunswick. In Decision CRTC 85-12 dated 8 January 1985, the Commission denied the four applications that had been submitted, pointing out in particular that the advertising revenue available in these regions was very limited and that the capacity of this market to support a new radio station had not been clearly established. The Commission added:
Although the Commission considers it premature at this time to authorize new FM stations in the Baie de Chaleurs area given the limited resources of the area and the delicate balance of the market, it acknowledges the urgent need of the Acadian community in northeastern New Brunswick for a regional French-language FM station to provide this region with more adequate services. This requirement was clearly outlined at the hearing by the interveners. In this regard, the Commission encourages the licensees and interested parties to consult with each other and to rationalize their efforts with a view to finding other suitable alternatives for the provision of such service.
Subsequently, in the context of a Public Hearing held in Moncton, New Brunswick on 6 May 1986, the parties involved were asked to keep the Commission informed of new developments. The Société des Acadiens du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB) emphasized the Acadian community's urgent need for radio services and suggested that a community FM station would effectively meet this need, and could possibly complement a commercial radio service.
In a joint presentation the four licensees authorized to serve northeastern New Brunswick, namely Radio Acadie Ltée, licensee of CJVA Caraquet and one of the original applicants; Bathurst Broadcasting Company Limited (now Radio Atlantic (CKBC) Ltd.), licensee of CKBC Bathurst; Restigouche Broadcasting Company Limited (now CKNB Broadcasting Limited), licensee of CKNB Campbellton -- all three of which are shareholders in Radio de la Baie --and CFAN Broadcasting Company Limited, licensee of CFAN Newcastle, noted that they had considered a number of options for introducing a regional FM service but that a definitive solution had yet to be found.
Télévision de la Baie des Chaleurs Inc., licensee of CHAU-TV Carleton, Quebec, and Radio Nord-Est Ltée, which were also among the original applicants, agreed that a French-language FM service in northeastern New-Brunswick was a top priority. They stated that they had formed a new company, Radiodiffusion Beausoleil, and that an application for a licence was being drafted.
In Decision CRTC 86-665 dated 9 July 1986, the Commission, in denying the application to operate an Englishlanguage FM radio undertaking at Chatham, described the positions of the parties involved and encouraged them to continue their consultations. The CRTC reminded them that any proposal resulting from this process should be viable and that the programming should be specifically directed to the residents of northeastern New Brunswick. The Commission also indicated that the proposal should take into account the potential impact on the services offered by existing licensees.
The Market
Northeastern New Brunswick has the highest concentration of Francophones outside the province of Quebec, with approximately 90,000 persons of Acadian origin out of a total population of about 120,000. The proportion of French-speaking people varies according to area: Francophones make up almost 60% of the population of the Campbellton region and approximately 70% of the population in the Bathurst area; the highest percentage of Francophones, approximately 90%, is to be found in the Acadian peninsula. If Bonaventure county in Quebec, which is also primarily Francophone, is included, the total population of the entire area is approximately 170,000.
The region is currently served by four commercial AM stations, two English-language (CKNB Campbellton and CKBC Bathurst) and two Frenchlanguage (CJVA Caraquet and CHNC New Carlisle, Quebec), a French-language community FM station originating in the province of Quebec, CIEU-FM Carleton, and the rebroadcasting stations of the French- and English-language AM services of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Moncton.
The Commission notes with regard to the financial status of CKBC and CJVA that both stations reported an average operating profit of 18% between 1981 and 1986, while the industry average for the same period was 12%. With regard to CKNB, whose administrative costs are proportionally higher, and to CHNC, the Commission notes that although they were far less profitable than the industry average, they nevertheless managed to realize a small operating profit in each of the last four years. Moreover, community radio station CIEUFM, which came on the air in 1984, has realized an operating profit since 1985. During the period from 1981 to 1985, revenue growth in the radio industry in the province of New Brunswick was 10%, while the national average stood at 5%.
Audience profiles for these stations since 1977 indicate high listener loyalty to their respective local stations over the years. CKNB currently claims 70% of the available listeners in the Campbellton area, while CKBC attracts nearly 60% of the listeners in the Bathurst area and CJVA approximately 50% in the Acadian peninsula. However, the audience of the English-language stations has increased considerably over the past three years. In Restigouche County, CKNB's audience share rose from 58% to 70%; in Gloucester County, which includes the Acadian peninsula, CKBC has increased its share from 28% to 51%, while CJVA's declined from 50% to 36% and CHNC's from 13% to 7%.
According to the information submitted in the applications and at the hearing, including the market studies conducted by the applicants, a new regional French-language FM station in northeastern New Brunswick would generate its revenue primarily from advertisers who do not currently use radio or from those who use other print and electronic media. In addition, the new station would benefit from the growth of the radio advertising market which would result from the establishment of a new station and, to some extent, it would capture part of the advertising revenue of radio stations currently operating in the market. Because the station would be directed to a francophone audience primarily composed of the residents of northeastern New Brunswick, it appears that the greatest impact would be on CJVA, followed by the English-language stations who stand to lose some of their francophone audience and, to a lesser degree, by the Quebec French-language stations, CHNC and CIEU-FM.
The Commission has assessed the various proposals before it in the context of its long-term efforts to improve broadcasting service in the Baie des Chaleurs region and in northeastern New Brunswick. It has also taken into account the large number of interventions submitted in support of improving French-language broadcasting services in this region. The Commission was particularly impressed by the strong support Acadian associations and organizations have shown for Radio Péninsule's proposed community FM station and the concrete assistance these groups have promised to provide.
In light of the above and based on the evidence on file, the Commission has decided to approve two of the proposals, that of Radio de la Baie Ltée to operate a new FM station in Bathurst and a rebroadcasting station in Dalhousie/Campbellton, and that of Radio Péninsule Inc. to operate a community FM station in Inkerman to serve the Acadian peninsula.
The applications submitted by the Compagnie de Radiodiffusion Beausoleil Ltée are, therefore, denied.
The Commission sees no point in considering other applications of this type in the near future unless it can clearly be demonstrated that significant changes have occurred in the northeastern New Brunswick market and that unexploited sources of revenue are available.
Radio de la Baie Ltée
The Commission approves Radio de la Baie Ltée's applications to operate a French-language FM radio transmitting undertaking in Bathurst as well as a rebroadcasting station in Dalhousie/ Campbellton on the 102.7 MHz frequency (channel 274), with an effective radiated pwer of 10,000 watts. The Commission will issue licences expiring 31 August 1991, subject to the conditions of licence specified in this decision and in the licences to be issued.
As pointed out earlier, the 97.1 MHz frequency (channel 246) proposed by Radio de la Baie in Bathurst was also proposed by Radio Péninsule for its station in Inkerman. Because of this conflict, the Commission has examined the various technical solutions available to both applicants and has concluded that it would not be possible for Radio Péninsule to select another frequency for its proposed station in Inkerman and still provide coverage to the whole of the proposed service area. Such a change is, however, possible for Radio de la Baie at its proposed site in Allardville. The Commission notes that according to the Department of Communications' (DOC) FM Allotment Plan the 97.1 MHz frequency (channel 246B) is presently alloted to Caraquet. A station using this frequency in Inkerman can provide service to the Caraquet area, which would not be possible if this frequency were to be shifted to Bathurst.
The Commission therefore encourages Radio de la Baie to examine, in consultation with DOC and Commission staff, other available technical sulutions in order that it may serve Bathurst and the surrounding area with a contour similar to the one proposed in its application, and the applicant is requested to submit an application to amend the technical parameters of its proposal within three months of the date of this decision. The Commission will consider such an application expeditiously.
In accordance with paragraph 22(1)(b) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission will only issue the licence for the Bathurst station and the authority granted herein may only be implemented, at such time as written notification is received from the DOC that it will issue a Technical Construction and Operating Certificate.
It is a condition of each licence that construction of the stations be completed and that they be in operation within twelve months of the date of receipt of written notification from the DOC that it will issue Technical Construction and Operating Certificate or such further period as the Commission may, upon receipt of a request for extension before the expiry of the said twelve months, deem appropriate under the circumstances.
It is a condition of licence that the licensee adhere to the CAB selfregulatory guidelines on sex-role stereotyping, as amended from time to time and accepted by the Commission.
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