ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 99-495

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Decision CRTC 99-495

  Ottawa, 17 November 1999
  Saskatchewan Communications Network Corporation
Regina, Saskatchewan – 199811055
  Application processed by Public Notice CRTC 1999-85 dated 18 May 1999
  Licence renewal
  1. The Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the non-commercial satellite to cable programming undertaking issued to Saskatchewan Communications Network Corporation (SCN) for the purpose of distributing educational programming, from 1 December 1999 to 31 August 2006, subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
  2. By condition of licence, the licensee must adhere to the requirements of the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987 (the regulations).
  3. In Decision CRTC 95-641 which last renewed SCN’s licence, the Commission granted the licensee a four-year term because of its failure to adhere to requirements of the regulations regarding the level of Canadian content. The regulations require the licensee to devote not less than 60% of the broadcast year and not less than 50% of the evening broadcast period (6 p.m. to midnight) to Canadian programs.
  4. During the current licence term, the level of Canadian programming broadcast by the licensee has increased significantly. In the 1997–1998 broadcast year, the licensee broadcast a Canadian content level of 67.16% during the daytime and 62.98% during the evening broadcast period. The Commission is satisfied that the licensee has generally complied with the requirements of the regulations.
  5. Decision CRTC 96-641 noted SCN’s plans to initiate a digital compression system that would allow for the broadcast of closed-captioned programming at any time. The Commission expected the licensee to implement this system as soon as possible.
  6. As part of its licence renewal application, SCN confirmed that the system began operation in August 1996. However, SCN also noted that it does not produce any of its own programming and, because of its cycle for pre-licensing and acquiring programming, new closed-captioned programming is only now starting to become available. SCN projected that 90% of its programming would be closed captioned by the seventh year of the new licence term. The Commission encourages SCN to meet the goal of 90% closed captioning by the end of the third year of the new licence term in line with the applicant's current commitment.
  7. In response to Public Notice CRTC 1998-44 in which the Commission called for comments on a review of its policies relating to private television, SCN on its own and as a member of the Association for Tele-Education in Canada expressed concern about the loss of funding for regional production. SCN reiterated this concern in its licence renewal application, particularly as it relates to the licensee’s financial ability to acquire regional information and documentary programming. In Public Notice CRTC 1999-97 that sets out the Commission’s new policy framework for Canadian television, the Commission, established regionally-produced programming and long-form documentary programs as priority programs for larger station groups. The Commission is hopeful that this will increase the number of programs of this type that become available to SCN.
  8. By condition of licence, the licensee must:

· adhere to the guidelines on gender portrayal set out in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Sex-Role Portrayal Code for Television and Radio Programming, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission; and


· adhere to the guidelines on the depiction of violence in television programming set out in the CAB’s Voluntary Code Regarding Violence in Television Programming, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.

  9. In Public Notice CRTC 1992-59 dated 1 September 1992 and entitled Implementation of an Employment Equity Policy, the Commission announced that the employment equity practices of broadcasters would be subject to examination by the Commission. In this regard, the Commission encourages the licensee to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
  10. The Commission acknowledges the eight interventions submitted in support of this application. While supporting SCN’s licence renewal, Cable Regina and Shaw Communications Inc. expressed concern that the application suggested the possibility of introducing a subscriber fee for the service. SCN responded that it is not requesting any changes to the terms and conditions of its licence. The Commission is satisfied with SCN’s response.
  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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