ARCHIVED - Decision CRTC 2000-738

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. Archived Decisions, Notices and Orders (DNOs) remain in effect except to the extent they are amended or reversed by the Commission, a court, or the government. The text of archived information has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Changes to DNOs are published as “dashes” to the original DNO number. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.


Decision CRTC 2000-738


Ottawa, 14 December 2000


David Cobb (OBCI)



14 August 2000 Public Hearing

National Capital Region


New regional pay-per-view service


On 24 November 2000, the Commission made a decision to issue a licence for a new regional English-language pay-per-view (PPV) service to be known as "Breakaway." The Commission noted at that time that reasons, terms and conditions of the new licence would follow at a later date. The Commission's general approach to licensing new PPV services is set out in Public Notice CRTC 2000-172 of today's date.


The Commission clarifies that Breakaway is approved as a regional English-language terrestrial and direct-to-home (DTH) PPV service. The service will be available to customers of broadcasting distribution undertakings living in British Columbia and Alberta.


The service will be owned by Breakaway Holdco, a company owned by the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames hockey clubs. Programming will consist solely of NHL hockey games involving the Canucks, Oilers or Flames that are not being carried by other Canadian conventional or specialty television broadcasters. Breakaway indicated that it would close caption 90% of its programming by the end of the licence term. The Commission expects the licensee to fulfill this commitment.


The licence will be subject to the terms and conditions set out in the appendix to this decision, as well as those specified in the licence to be issued. The Commission notes the interventions received with respect to this application and is satisfied with the applicant's response to them.


Related CRTC document


  • Public Notice CRTC 2000-172: Introductory statement to Decisions CRTC 2000-733 to 2000-738 – Licensing of new video-on-demand and pay-per-view services



Secretary General



This decision is to be appended to the licence. It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined at the following Internet site:


Appendix to Decision CRTC 2000-738


Terms and conditions of licence for the regional pay-per-view service operated by David Cobb, OBCI to be known as "Breakaway"


Terms of licence


A licence will be issued and effective when the licensee confirms in writing that it is ready to begin operation. This must take place within 12 months of today's date. Any request for an extension to that deadline requires Commission approval and must be made in writing within that period.


This authority will only be effective and the Commission will only issue the licence when the applicant has clearly demonstrated that it is a "qualified corporation" as defined in the Direction to the CRTC (Ineligibility of non-Canadians) and is eligible to hold a licence. Consequently, the applicant is required to file all relative incorporation documents (certificate and articles, by-laws, etc.), copies of the programming supply agreement; unanimous Shareholders' Agreement, management agreement or any other pertinent agreement, for review and approval by the Commission.


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 (PN 1992-59).


The licence will expire on 31 August 2007.


Conditions of licence


  1. The licensee will carry on a regional English-language pay-per-view service to be delivered for reception by broadcasting distribution undertakings using digital technology to customers in British Columbia and Alberta. The service will offer programming dedicated exclusively to NHL games involving the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and/or Calgary Flames Hockey Clubs acquired by the licensee through arrangements with the licensee's shareholders and shall be drawn exclusively from category 6(a) (professional sports) as set out in Schedule 1 of the Pay Television Regulations, 1990.


  • The licensee shall ensure that its agreements with operators of licensed or exempt distribution undertakings provide that, during any broadcast year, at least 30% of the programs made available to subscribers of Breakaway's pay-per-view service are Canadian.


  • During the period from the commencement of operations of the service to 31 August of that broadcast year, the licensee's performance with respect to its commitment regarding Canadian content will be assessed on a pro-rata basis.


  • The licensee shall not enter into an affiliation agreement with the licensee of a distribution undertaking unless the agreement incorporates a prohibition against the linkage of the licensee's pay-per-view service with any non-Canadian discretionary service.


  • The licensee shall contribute at least 5% of its annual gross revenues derived from its pay-per-view broadcasting activities to Canadian production funds administered independently of the licensee to support the development of Canadian programming.


  • The licensee shall adhere to the Pay Television Regulations, 1990.


  • The licensee shall adhere to the Pay television and pay-per-view programming code regarding violence, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.


  • The licensee shall adhere to the guidelines on gender portrayal set out in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Sex-role portrayal code for television and radio programming, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission. The application of the foregoing condition of licence will be suspended as long as the licensee is a member in good standing of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
Date modified: