ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 99-514

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Decision CRTC 99-514

  Ottawa, 30 November 1999
  Open Learning Agency
Burnaby, British Columbia - 199901807
  4 May 1999 Public Hearing in Vancouver
  Three-year licence renewal for the Knowledge Network
  1. The Commission renews, from 1 March 2000 to 28 February 2003, the broadcasting licence issued to the Open Learning Agency (OLA) for the Knowledge Network, the non-commercial satellite-to-cable programming undertaking broadcasting educational programming to serve British Columbia. The licence will be subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
  2. The Commission has renewed the licence for three years because it wishes to assess at an early date the licensee's compliance with the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987 (the regulations).
  3. OLA was first licensed pursuant to Decision CRTC 92-684. The decision noted the licensee's commitment to adhere to the requirements of the regulations by devoting at least 60% of the broadcast year and at least 50% of the evening broadcast period to the broadcast of Canadian programs. The Commission called OLA to the hearing held beginning 4 May 1999 in Vancouver to discuss its apparent failure to abide by this commitment during each year of the current licence term.
  Canadian content
  4. The licensee's Canadian content performance during the current licence term was as follows:
Year Broadcast day Evening broadcast period
1992-1993 56.4% 41.2%
1993-1994 53.2% 41.4%
1994-1995 50.6% 37.3%
1995-1996 59.4% 44.2%
1996-1997 52.7% 43.5%
1997-1998 52.8% 49.9%
  The licensee cited shortfalls in its budget as the main reason for its failure to fulfill its commitment to Canadian content.
  5. At the hearing, the licensee acknowledged that "we have not delivered a schedule comprised of 60% Canadian programming overall or 50% in the evening broadcast period" during the course of the entire licence term. For the new licence term, the licensee agreed to adhere to the requirements of the regulations by condition of licence. It also stated:

Clearly, the issue of delivering a 60/50 schedule is paramount. We accept this and therefore wish to state unequivocally that we will broadcast 50 per cent Canadian content in our evening broadcast period and provide 60 per cent Canadian programming overall for the proposed term of our renewed licence.

  6. To meet the required level of Canadian content during the new licence term, the licensee indicated that it will divert funding to the acquisition of available Canadian programming. The licensee also stated that, in acquiring Canadian programs, it will continue to emphasize partnerships and sponsorships with other educational broadcasters and seek other sponsorships and underwriting for these programs. In addition, the licensee will offer more repeats of Canadian programs.
  Logging procedures
  7. During the current licence term, the licensee also experienced serious problems with its logging procedures. Logging inaccuracies hampered the licensee's attempts to track its performance regarding Canadian content. The licensee indicated that it has worked closely with Commission staff to solve the problem. It assured the Commission that it will provide accurate logs during the new licence term.
  Closed captioning
  8. Decision CRTC 92-684 noted OLA's undertaking to acquire the closed-captioned versions of programs whenever possible as a service to the deaf and the hearing-impaired. In its licence renewal application, the licensee stated that "our level of captioning falls below our goals at the present time." It also made a commitment to increase the level of closed captioning of the programs broadcast on its service during the new licence term.
  9. The Commission encourages the licensee to close caption at least 40% of all programming during the broadcast day by the end of the licence term. The Commission encourages the licensee to consult with institutions and agencies that serve the deaf and hard of hearing as well as members of the deaf and hard of hearing community to ensure that the service's closed captioning is of high quality.
  Conditions of licence
  10. By condition of licence, the licensee must:

. adhere to the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987;


. 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.

  Other matters
  11. 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.
  12. The Commission acknowledges the 104 interventions submitted in support of this application.
  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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