ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 96-168

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Ottawa, 30 May 1996
Decision CRTC 96-168
Canadian Satellite Communications Inc. (Cancom)
Across Canada - 951143700
Addition of radio signals
Following Public Notice CRTC 1995-210 dated 8 December 1995, the Commission approves, by majority vote, the application to amend the broadcasting licence to carry on a multiple channel television and radio broadcasting distribution undertaking, by adding the following 19 radio signals to its currently authorized package of 10 radio signals, for a total of 29 signals:
 CKOI-FM Montréal
 CKVL Montréal
 CFGL-FM Montréal
 CBF-FM Montréal
 CBF Montréal
 CING-FM Burlington
 CFMX-FM Cobourg
 CILQ-FM Toronto
 CISS-FM Toronto
 CHIN Toronto
 CHIN-FM Toronto
 CHOG Toronto
 CJRT-FM Toronto
 CJCA Edmonton
 CFUN Vancouver
 CKNW Vancouver
 CBU-FM Vancouver
 CJJR-FM Vancouver
 CISL Richmond
The Commission notes that Cancom is currently authorized to distribute the following radio services:
 CKAC Montréal
 CITE-FM Montréal
 CHFI-FM Toronto
 CIRK-FM Edmonton
 CISN-FM Edmonton
 CFMI-FM Vancouver
 CKNM-FM Yellowknife
 CKRW Whitehorse
 CHON-FM Whitehorse
 VOCM St. John's
The Commission notes that Cancom will no longer offer these signals free of charge. The radio signals authorized herein will be included in the complete radio package offered for a fee of $0.10 per subscriber per month.
The Association des câblodistributeurs du Québec inc. (ACQ) submitted an intervention supporting the application by Cancom provided that undertakings which currently receive Cancom's radio signals free of charge and do not want to receive the additional signals be permitted to continue receiving the same signals free of charge. The ACQ also noted that the package of 19 new services includes only 5 French-language radio signals and therefore, would not appeal to subscribers of cable distribution undertakings in Quebec. The ACQ therefore requested that undertakings be permitted to receive, on a discretionary basis, only the French-language component of the new radio signals package with a reduction in the $0.10 per subscriber fee proportionate with the number of services received.
In its reply to this intervention, Cancom indicated that it does not agree with the first condition proposed by ACQ. It noted that distribution undertakings have been receiving Cancom's radio signals free of charge for two main reasons: firstly, there has been no significant incremental cost incurred in distributing the radio signals (under analog transmission technology, the radio signals have been distributed using excess capacity (subcarriers) on the satellite transponders employed by Cancom to distribute its video signals); secondly, Cancom stated that it did not have the practical ability to charge for its radio signals since they were distributed in an unscrambled analog form. In fact, Cancom noted that it was not aware of the carriage levels of its current radio services. Cancom indicated that, effective 1 January 1996, all of its television signals are being distributed in a digital format. Cancom noted that the use of digital video compression leaves no "excess" subcarriers available for the transmission of radio signals. As a result, all of the current radio signals are being transmitted in a digital format using space segment capacity purchased from Telesat Canada for this purpose.
With respect to the second condition proposed by ACQ, the Commission notes that, in its reply, Cancom proposes to levy a reduced charge of $0.05 per subscriber per month to undertakings that wish to receive and distribute only French-language signals.
The Commission is satisfied with the licensee's reply to the ACQ's intervention and accordingly, expects Cancom to adhere to its proposal to levy a charge of only $0.05 per subscriber per month to undertakings that wish to receive and distribute only French-language signals.
The Commission notes that with the addition of the signals approved in this application, there will be a total of 7 French-language radio signals available. The Commission further notes that Cancom is considering applying for an additional French-language radio signal in the near future, and that this signal would be included in the package of French-language radio signals for the same total fee of $0.05 per subscriber.
The Commission also acknowledges an opposing intervention submitted by Arctic Radio (1982) Limited, licensee of local AM stations in Thompson, The Pas and Flin Flon, Manitoba. The intervener stated that in "small market radio, they already have a hard time competing without the addition of signals" such as those proposed in Cancom's application. In its reply, Cancom reiterates the statement made in its application, that the proposed expansion of its existing services would have practically no impact on the advertising revenues and audience size of local stations. The Commission is satisfied with Cancom's reply to this intervention.
This decision is to be appended to the licence.
 Allan J. Darling
 Secretary General

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