ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 96-92

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CRTC 96-92

Ottawa, 29 March 1996
Standard Radio Inc.
St. Catharines, Ontario - 941927600
Increase in ethnic programming level for CKTB - Denied
Following Public Notice CRTC 1995-178 dated 18 October 1995, the Commission denies the application to amend the broadcasting licence for CKTB St. Catharines that would have allowed the licensee to broadcast a minimum weekly ethnic programming level of 25% up to a maximum of 40%. The licensee is currently authorized to broadcast a weekly maximum of 15% ethnic programming.
In assessing this application, the Commission has taken into consideration the views expressed by the six interveners opposing this application and the licensee's replies thereto. The interveners include licensees of four Toronto area ethnic radio stations: CJMR 1320 Radio Limited (licensee of CJMR Mississauga), Radio 1540 Limited (licensee of CHIN and CHIN-FM Toronto), CIRC Radio Inc. (licensee of CIRV-FM Toronto) and CKMW Radio Ltd. (licensee of CIAO Brampton). Interventions in opposition were also submitted by the Canadian Association of Ethnic (Radio) Broadcasters, and by a producer of Toronto area South Asian radio ethnic programs, Geetmala Live Shows.
The interveners' concerns focused mainly on the impact of the proposed amend- ment on existing Toronto area ethnic stations in view of the applicant's assertions that approximately 75% of CKTB's ethnic programming revenues and 85% of its potential ethnic audience would come from the Toronto market. In response, the applicant submitted that the interveners had failed to provide any evidence demonstrating potential nega- tive impact to existing Toronto area ethnic broadcasters.
The Commission has recognized, on two separate occasions, the potential nega- tive impact on Toronto-area broadcasters of any additional South Asian programming, when it denied applications by two Toronto SCMO services (Decisions CRTC 91-639 and 94-226). The licensee has not presented any evidence that would warrant a change in the Commission's position in this regard.
Moreover, the Commission considers that this proposal to provide additional South Asian programming mainly to the Toronto area is not consistent with the station's authorized mandate to serve St. Catharines. In this regard, the Commission's Ethnic Broadcasting Policy outlines that "In evaluating broadcast proposals to provide ethnic programming, the Commission will carefully examine the demographics of the community to be served". In its application, the applicant has stated that in terms of its listening audience, less than 5% of its local central market area is made up of South Asian groups. Despite these groups' minimal presence in the market, however, approximately 90% of CKTB's proposed ethnic programming would be targeted to the South Asian population. In the Commission's view, approval of this proposal would have strengthened the position of a St. Catharines station at the expense of Toronto area ethnic broadcasters, in particular CJMR Mississauga. In light of all of the above, the Commission has denied this application.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General
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