ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 96-634

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Ottawa, 17 September 1996
Decision CRTC 96-634
Communication du Versant Nord (CISM FM) inc.
Montréal, Quebec - 950777300
Approval of an SCMO service in the Arabic language
Following Public Notice CRTC 1995-148 dated 29 August 1995, the Commission approves the application by Communication du Versant Nord (CISM FM) inc. to amend the broadcasting licence of the radio programming undertaking CISM-FM Montréal, by adding a condition of licence authorizing the licensee to use a Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operations (SCMO) channel for the purpose of distributing the programming of Radio Moyen Orient (9015-2018 Québec inc.) at the rate of 168 hours per week. The broadcasting language will be Arabic in its various dialects, including Lebanese, Egyptian and Armenian.
In assessing the application, the Commission took into account the support for the proposed service demonstrated by the Arabic-speaking community. The Commission also took into account the arguments outlined in the opposing interventions filed by CFMB Limited (CFMB), licensee of the Montréal ethnic radio service, CFMB, the Montréal ethnic television service, CTEQ Télévision inc. (CTEQ) and by V.T. Productions Inc. - La Voix du Liban (V.T. Productions), an independent producer, for CTEQ, of programs aimed at the Arabic-speaking community.
CTEQ and V.T. Productions expressed concern that approval of the application would lead to increased fragmentation of the already limited advertising market and cause undue negative impact on existing local broadcasting services. For its part, CFMB stated that "it can be argued that in this case an Arabic-language service on SCMO will not cause CFMB undue financial harm, but at the same time it should be stressed that it would make no sense for CFMB to continue presenting a schedule of Arabic language".
In reply, the applicant argued that there would be no impact on existing services as "the majority of advertisers that will be targeted (ethnic businesses) do not form part of the client base of the existing stations". The applicant referred to a survey it conducted which revealed that respondents were interested in the proposed service and that their needs were not being met by the services that were currently available.
The Commission is of the view that any loss of revenue caused by the new service will be minimal and will not jeopardize the viability or profitability of existing broadcasting services. The Commission considers that there are few services available to the Arabic-speaking community at the present time and that the proposed service will enhance the range and availability of Arabic-language programming in the Montréal area.
The Commission expects the applicant to adhere to the guidelines set out in Appendix A to Public Notice CRTC 1989-23 dated 23 March 1989 entitled "Services Using the Vertical Blanking Interval (Television) or Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operation (FM) ".
This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General

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