ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 99-102

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Decision CRTC 99-102

Ottawa, 7 May 1999
Shaw Cablesystems Ltd.
Chilliwack, British Columbia – 199812194
26 March 1999 Public Hearing
National Capital Region
Acquisition of assets
1. The Commission approves the application by Shaw Cablesystems Ltd. (Shaw) for authority to acquire the assets of the cable distribution undertaking serving Chilliwack from Cogeco Cable Systems Inc. (Cogeco), and for a broadcasting licence to continue the operation of this undertaking.
2. The Commission will issue a Class 1 licence to Shaw expiring 31 August 2000 (the current expiry date) upon surrender of the current licence. The operation of this undertaking will be regulated pursuant to Parts 1 and 2 of the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations (the regulations).The authority granted herein is subject to the same conditions specified in this decision as well as to any other condition that may be specified in the licence to be issued.
3. The purchase price relating to this transaction is $37,600,000, subject to adjustments. Based on the evidence filed with the application, the Commission has no concerns with respect to the availability or the adequacy of the required financing.
4. The Commission reminds the purchaser of its longstanding policy that subscribers should not be required to pay higher fees merely because the ownership or control of a cable television system has changed hands.
5. In addition to the services required or authorized to be distributed pursuant to the applicable sections of the regulations, the licensee is authorized to distribute, at its option, KING-TV (NBC) Seattle, Washington, as part of the basic service.
6. The licensee may receive any authorized signals over the air, or from any licensed or exempted Canadian broadcasting distribution undertaking authorized to provide signals to other broadcasting distribution undertakings. The Commission notes that the licensee will receive the above-noted signal by microwave.
Conditions of licence
7. By condition of licence, the licensee:

· is relieved of the requirement of section 25 of the regulations that it distribute the programs of CBUFT-6 Chilliwack on an unrestricted channel. Should the quality of the signal deteriorate significantly, the Commission expects the licensee to undertake immediate corrective action including, if necessary, the distribution of the service on another channel;

· is authorized to distribute, at its option, and without commercial messages, pay television promotional material as a special programming service;

· is authorized to originate a video games service as a special programming service, offered on a discretionary basis, subject to the conditions listed in Decision CRTC 95-591 dated 24 August 1995;

· may, at its option, insert certain promotional material as a substitute for the "local availabilities" (i.e. non-Canadian advertising material) of non-Canadian satellite services. At least 75% of these local availabilities must be made available for use by licensed Canadian programming services for the promotion of their respective services, for the promotion of the community channel and for unpaid Canadian public service announcements. A maximum of 25% of the commercial availabilities may be made available for the promotion of discretionary programming services and packages, customer service information, channel realignments, cable FM service and additional cable outlets; and

· for community programming and any other programming of a service that it originates, the licensee must adhere to the guidelines on the depiction of violence in television programming set out in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Voluntary Code Regarding Violence in Television Programming, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.

Employment equity
8. The Commission notes that Shaw is subject to the Employment Equity Act that came into effect on 24 October 1996 (1996 EEA), and therefore files reports concerning employment equity with Human Resources Development Canada. As a result of a consequential amendment to the Broadcasting Act, the Commission no longer has the authority to apply its employment equity policy to any undertaking that is subject to the 1996 EEA.
9. C.H.E.S. Community Media Education Society submitted an intervention supporting this application subject to the condition that Shaw not change Cocego’s current community access policies for the community channel. In response, Shaw stated that it is committed to providing "an excellent local community programming service with volunteer participation and increased access for many community groups".
Secretary General
This decision is to be appended to the licence. It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be viewed at the following Internet site:
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