ARCHIVED -  Public Notice CRTC 1997-158

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Public Notice

Ottawa, 30 December 1997
Public Notice CRTC 1997-158
The Commission has received the following application:
Application (199709391) by SPORTSCOPE TELEVISION NETWORK LTD. (Sportscope), licensee of a national English-language specialty service programming undertaking devoted exclusively to sports programming with a particular focus on sports highlights, including video clips, scores and updates (Headline Sports), requesting Commission approval to transfer a total of 682,576.36 of its common shares (the purchased shares), representing a 47.85% voting interest in Sportscope to Shaw Communications Inc. (Shaw).
Pending the Commission's ruling in respect of this application, the purchased shares are being held in trust by Mr. Keith Campbell, as Trustee, under the terms of a Trust Agreement between Mr. Campbell and Shaw that was approved by the Commission on 7July 1997. The Trust arrangement was renewed on 28 November 1997 until 31 March 1998.
Shaw Communications Inc. currently owns and controls 3 licensed specialty television programming services (YTV, Treehouse and Country Music Television) and a licensed pay audio service (DMX Canada (1995) Ltd.). As well, Shaw holds minority interests in 3 licensed specialty television programming undertakings (Teletoon Canada Inc.- 20%; Telelatino Network Inc. - 20% and 1155636 Ontario Inc. "the Comedy Network" - 14.95%).
With respect to Shaw's involvement in distribution undertakings, Shaw is Canada's third largest cable operator serving approximately 1.5 million Canadian households and, following a series of strategic cable system acquisitions and dispositions, approximately 85% of Shaw's cable systems are now concentrated in major urban centres.
Furthermore, the Commission has recently approved the merger of Star Choice Communications Inc. (Star Choice) / Homestar Service Inc. (Decision CRTC 97-677) which provides Shaw with effective control of the Star Choice Direct To Home satellite service. Star Choice estimated in its applications that the DTH service would serve 108,000 subscribers by the end of Year 1 of its business plan growing to 493,000 by the end of Year 5.
Concentration of Ownership
Shaw's ownership position in 7 specialty television programming service undertakings (Sportscope would be the 8th), including YTV, Canada's top specialty service in terms of subscribers (over 7 million subscribers), and in conjunction with its distribution facilities (cable and DTH) may provide Shaw with a competitive advantage in the specialty programming sector.
In consideration of Shaw's level of corporate integration, both vertically and horizontally, the questions of concentration and cross-ownership, potential market power and the possibility of "gate-keeping" are of possible concern in relation to this proposed transaction.
It should be noted that the issue of concentration and cross-ownership has been a long-standing preoccupation of the Commission. This issue was examined over the past years in several transfers of ownership and control, mainly in the cases of MacLean Hunter Limited's acquisition of Selkirk Broadcasting Inc., Rogers Communications Inc.'s acquisition of MacLean Hunter Limited and the recent acquisition by Le Groupe Vidéotron Ltée of CFCF 12 Inc.
Accordingly, the Commission will assess any interventions relating to the concerns expressed above and consider whether it would be in the public interest to permit Shaw to acquire a significant interest in another specialty service (Sportscope).
Examination of application:
Sportscope Television Network Ltd.
1603 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario
L8S 1E6
Shaw Communications Inc.
Suite 900
630-3rd Avenue South West
Calgary, Alberta
·  submit your original written intervention to the Secretary General of the Commission (CRTC, Ottawa, K1A 0N2). A true copy MUST be sent to the applicant and a proof of such sending must accompany the original sent to the Commission;
·  the intervention must be received by the CRTC and by the applicant ON OR BEFORE the deadline date indicated below. The Commission cannot be held responsible for postal delays;
·  your intervention should clearly identify the application and indicate whether you support or oppose the application, or if you propose changes to it, with facts and grounds therefor. In the event that the application is brought to the oral phase of a hearing it would be helpful to the Commission if you provide reasons why your written comments are not sufficient and an appearance is necessary;
 Your intervention will be considered by the Commission, and will form part of the public record of the proceeding without further notification to you, provided the procedure set out above has been followed. You will be contacted only if your submission raises procedural questions.
5  February 1998
 Documents are available:
°  at the local address provided in this notice; and
°  at the following Commission offices:
Central Building
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
1 Promenade du Portage, Room 201
Hull, Quebec K1A 0N2
Tel: (819) 997-2429 - TDD 994-0423
Telecopier: (819) 994-0218
Bank of Commerce Building
Suite 1007
1809 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3K8
Tel: (902) 426-7997 - TDD 426-6997
Telecopier: (902) 426-2721
Place Montréal Trust
1800 McGill College Avenue
Suite 1920
Montréal, Quebec H3A 3J6
Tel: (514) 283-6607 - TDD 283-8316
Telecopier: (514) 283-3689
Kensington Building
Suite 1810
275 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2B3
Tel: (204) 983-6306 - TDD 983-8274
Telecopier: (204) 983-6317
530-580 Hornby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3B6
Tel: (604) 666-2111 - TDD 666-0778
Telecopier: (604) 666-8322
Other CRTC regional offices will also make documents available upon request by interested parties (normal delay: 48 hours).
 This document is available in alternative format upon request.
Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General

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