ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 99-183

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Ottawa, 16 July 1999

Decision CRTC 99-183

Shaw Cablesystems Ltd.

Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, Crossfield, Strathmore and Chestermere Lake, Alberta- 199805131

3 May 1999 Public Hearing
in Vancouver

New regional cable distribution undertaking

1.  The Commission approves the application by Shaw Cablesystems Ltd. (Shaw) for a licence to carry on a regional cable distribution undertaking to serve Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, Crossfield, Strathmore and Chestermere Lake. Upon surrender of the current licences, the Commission will issue a Class 1 licence expiring 31 August 2005.

2.  The operation of this undertaking will be regulated pursuant to the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations (the regulations) and the licence will be subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.


3.  The purpose of this application is to replace the four separate licences under which Shaw provides service to the Calgary area with a single regional licence. According to the applicant, a single licence would allow Shaw to charge a standard rate for all subscribers, regardless of their location in the system, and would decrease the company's administrative burden.

4.  The applicant further indicated that the operations of the four systems are already rationalized to a high degree since the systems are fully interconnected, offer identical channel lineups, and customer and technical services are centralized.

5.  The Commission set out its overall approach to regional licences for broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs) in Public Notice CRTC 1997-25. According to this notice, both new entrants and existing distributors may submit applications for a licence to serve a territory consisting of more than one market area. The Commission indicated that no separate class of licence would be created for this purpose. Rather, an applicant would generally be issued a Class 1 licence, and any exceptions to the Class 1 regulatory requirements that may be deemed appropriate for specific markets within the regional territory would be addressed by way of conditions of licence. The Commission did not address how it would establish the basic rate for a new regional licence in a case where the regional licence would include two or more previously licensed systems.

Rates for basic service

6.  The applicant proposed that all subscribers be subject to a uniform basic service rate of $17.18 per month. The change to one consistent rate would be "revenue neutral" for the licensee since the overall revenue generated from basic service subscribers would be the same as the revenue Shaw currently earns from the four systems that would be amalgamated under this proposal.

7.  The proposed basic monthly service rate would result in a rate decrease for subscribers to three of the existing Shaw systems but would result in an increase for subscribers in the area served by one of the existing systems. Specifically, subscribers in Cochrane/Airdrie and Chestermere/Strathmore would see a $2.49 reduction to their basic monthly service rate. Subscribers in Crossfield would see their current basic monthly service rate reduced by $1.07. Subscribers in Calgary South would enjoy a $0.40 reduction to their current monthly rate for basic service.

8.  On the other hand, subscribers in Calgary North would see their rate for basic service increase by $0.42 per month. The Commission notes, however, that this amount is within the amount that would have been permitted under the criteria set out in the regulations for a rate increase based on economic need.

9.  Therefore, given that the proposed rate would be revenue neutral to the licensee, and that the increase for subscribers to the former Calgary North system can be justified on the basis of economic need, the Commission approves a unified basic service rate of $17.18 per month for subscribers to the new regional system. This new unified rate will be subject to any increase filed under section 54 of the regulations.

Conditions of licence and authorizations

10.  In addition to the services required or authorized to be distributed pursuant to the applicable sections of the regulations, the licensee is authorized, by condition of licence, to distribute, at its option, as part of its basic service:

·  CKRD-TV (CBC) Red Deer. The Commission notes that the licensee will receive this signal via microwave.

·  KXLY-TV (ABC), KREM-TV (CBS), KSPS-TV (PBS), KHQ-TV (NBC), KAYU-TV (FOX). The Commission notes that the licensee will receive these signals via satellite.

11.  Further, the Commission authorizes the licensee to distribute, at its option, the audio programming services of KMBI-FM, KXLY-FM, KISC-FM, KDRK-FM, KEZE-FM and KZUU-FM Spokane, Washington. The Commission notes that the licensee will receive these signals via satellite.

12.  The Commission also authorizes the licensee to distribute, at its option, the audio signals of The Arts and Entertainment Network and The Nashville Network, as part of the basic service.

13.  The Commission notes that, because it is a Canadian service, no approval is necessary for the licensee to implement its proposal to carry the audio signal of Country Music Television on the basic service.

14.  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.

15.  The licensee is relieved, by condition of licence, from the requirement to distribute priority signal CITV-TV-1 (IND) Red Deer, as part of the basic service.

16.  The licensee is authorized, by condition of licence, to insert, at its option, 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 local 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.

17.  The licensee is authorized to distribute, at its option, replays of Canadian programs broadcast by CICT-TV Calgary. No advertising, other than that contained in the programs that are being rebroadcast, may be distributed.

18.  The Commission authorizes the licensee to distribute, at its option, and without advertising material, special programming services consisting of pay television promotional material, children's programming, City of Calgary Information Guide, and religious programs.

19.  The licensee is authorized to distribute, at its option the special programming service consisting of ethnic and multicultural programs.

20.  It is a condition of licence that the licensee shall not distribute as part of this ethnic special programming service any commercial message other than sponsorship credits combining no more than the logo, name, address, the telephone number and the type of activity or profession of the sponsor. The sponsorship credits may contain sound and/or visual images, whether moving or fixed. The sponsorship credits shall have no purpose other than to acknowledge, in a concise and direct manner, the sponsor's contribution and shall at no time constitute a detailed description or promotional device.

212.  The Commission reminds the licence that no paid public service announcements may be distributed as part of this ethnic service, other than those whose content conforms to the above-stated description of a sponsorship credit.

22.  It is a condition of licence that, for community programming and any other programming of a service that it originates, the licensee 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.

23.  The Commission notes that this licensee 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.

24.  The Commission acknowledges the intervention submitted in support of this application.

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:

Secretary general

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