ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 99-461

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Ottawa, 14 October 1999
Decision CRTC 99-461
Fairchild Radio (Vancouver FM) Ltd.
Vancouver, British Columbia - 199807848
Application processed by
Public Notice CRTC 1999-43
dated 11 March 1999
The Commission denies the application to amend the broadcasting licence for CHKG-FM Vancouver. The licensee had proposed to delete the condition of licence requiring that it not broadcast any ethnic programs directed to the Chinese community during the 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. period on weekdays. Instead, the licensee proposed adding a condition of licence requiring that it not broadcast any ethnic programs directed to the Chinese community in the Cantonese dialect between 6:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on weekdays. The licensee intended to broadcast programming in the Mandarin dialect during this time period.
1. Following a competitive process, the Commission awarded the licensee a new FM licence to offer an ethnic radio service in Vancouver targeted predominantly to the Chinese community (Decision CRTC 96-288). In granting this FM licence, the Commission recognized that the Vancouver ethnic radio market was already served by the licensee's own CJVB and its competitor CHMB that drew most of its revenues from its programs targeted to the Chinese community during the daytime weekday periods. Recognizing CHMB's reliance on this source of revenue, the licensee made a commitment to restrict the broadcast of programming directed to the Chinese community to the period after 3 p.m. on weekdays. The Commission stated that it viewed this commitment as "significant" and imposed it as a condition of licence. This condition satisfied the Commission's concern regarding the potential negative impact that licensing the new ethnic service might have on CHMB while enabling the licensee to schedule programming to the underserved non-Chinese cultural groups from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.
The present application
2. The applicant proposed this amendment so that it could schedule programming in Mandarin during CHKG-FM's morning and midday periods. It cited the growth of the Mandarin-speaking population in Vancouver as the reason for its application.
3. Mainstream Broadcasting Corporation, (Mainstream), licensee of CHMB, submitted an opposing intervention claiming that approval of this application would have a negative impact on CHMB. The intervener stated that CHMB draws 90% to 95% of its total advertising revenues from the Chinese community, including as a primary source, the 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekday period.
4. The licensee responded that approval of the application is critical to its ability to continue to fulfil its mandate to serve the diverse ethnic communities of Vancouver. In its view, the revenues generated by CHMB's Cantonese programming would not be significantly affected by the amendment.
The Commission's decision
5. The licensee's commitment to restrict the broadcast of programming directed to the Chinese community to after 3:00 p.m. as well as its commitment to schedule programming directed to non-Chinese cultural groups during the 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. period Monday to Friday were key elements in the Commission's decision to award the licensee an FM licence in 1996. In the absence of compelling circumstances suggesting otherwise, the Commission expects licensees to fulfil commitments made in the context of the awarding of a licence, including those imposed as a condition of licence. The Commission is not convinced that such circumstances exist in this case. Moreover, the Commission is concerned that the new Mandarin programming could result in the current day-time weekday programming to non-Chinese ethnic communities being displaced to lower audience periods. The Commission also notes that CHMB's revenues have declined since CHKG-FM began operation. In light of all of the foregoing, the Commission has denied the licensee's request to amend its licence.
6. The Commission notes that the licensee may broadcast programming in the Mandarin dialect on its AM station, CJVB, during the day on weekdays.
Related CRTC documents
" Decision CRTC 96-288 dated 29 July 1996
" Public Notice CRTC 1999-117 dated 16 July 1999 - Ethnic broadcasting policy
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