Ottawa, 25 April 1996
Decision CRTC 96-118
Montréal, Quebec -950796300
SCMO channel to distribute ethnic programming - Denied
Following Public Notice CRTC 1995-153, dated 14 September 1995, the Commission denies the application submitted by Mount-Royal Broadcasting Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the radio programming undertaking CFQR-FM Montréal, by adding a condition of licence authorizing the use of a Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operations (SCMO) channel for the purpose of distributing 168 hours per week of ethnic programming that would be in the Portuguese language at least 98% of the time. The applicant proposed that the programming would be provided by Radio Clube CIJM inc.
In assessing this application, the Commission has considered the views expressed in the opposing interventions submitted by Radio Centre-Ville Saint-Louis inc., licensee of CINQ-FM Montréal, CFMB Limited, licensee of CFMB Montréal, CTEQ Télévision inc. (CTEQ), licensee of the Montréal ethnic television service, and an independent producer of a Portuguese television program broadcast on CTEQ, Télévision Portuguaise de Montréal.
The interveners expressed the concern that approval would lead to increased fragmentation of an already limited pool of advertising dollars directed towards existing broadcasters of Portuguese-language programs and consequently, negatively affect their financial viability. In reply, the proposed operator, Radio Clube CIJM inc., argued that the proposed SCMO service is "a viable alternative" to conventional ethnic radio stations and will not be competing in the same market.
The Commission's policy regarding services using Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operation channels of FM stations is set out in CRTC Public Notice 1989-23 dated 23 March 1989. In its policy guidelines, the Commission indicated that it would monitor the development of SCMO services and would be concerned if such a service were to cause any undue negative impact on existing local broadcasting services.
Although the Commission acknowledges that the proposed SCMO service could enhance the range and availability of Portuguese-language services, it considers that such an SCMO service could have an undue negative effect on existing licensed radio services providing Portuguese -language programming in the Montréal market. Therefore, in accordance with its SCMO policy, the Commission has denied the application.
Allan J. Darling