ARCHIVED - Decision CRTC 2001-357

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Decision CRTC 2001-357

Ottawa, 18 June 2001

Star Choice Television Network Incorporated
Across Canada 2000-2089-2 

Application processed by Public Notice CRTC 2001-35 dated 7 March 2001

Amendment to condition of licence related to spending on program production


The Commission approves an application by Star Choice Television Network Incorporated (Star Choice), to amend condition #9 of Star Choice's Direct-to-Home (DTH) distribution undertaking licence related to contributions to program production funds.


The existing condition of licence requires the licensee to contribute each year to an existing, independently-administered Canadian program production fund, at least 5% of the annual gross revenues from the preceding year.


Star Choice proposed that it be permitted to allocate up to 20% of its annual contribution to specific elements in the Canadian broadcasting system. The licensee specified that recipients would include the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), other native broadcasters, francophone broadcasters and distance learning enterprises that require external support.


In support of the request, Star Choice stated that its parent company Canadian Satellite Communications Inc. (Cancom) can no longer satisfy the funding requirements of the groups noted above, given the limited growth opportunities of Cancom's SRDU operations, following its acquisition of Star Choice.


Interventions from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) and the Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association (AMPIA) expressed concerns with the amendment proposal. The AMPIA stated that, while funding of APTN and other funds is certainly worthwhile, the approval of the application could set a precedent, resulting in general reductions in funding to independent producers. AMPIA further noted that wide-spread reductions could result in a lack of stability for independently-administered Canadian program production funds.


In its response to the AMPIA, Star Choice indicated that the current recipients of contributions from Star Choice will not be prejudiced in any way. The licensee also expressed the view that approval of this application is unlikely to serve as a precedent for similar applications from other undertakings, since this proposal has been made in response to unique circumstances, including Cancom's acquisition of Star Choice.


The CAB, while expressing support for the proposal, suggested that Star Choice should be subject to a condition of licence requiring the filing of reports on all contributions to Canadian programming other than those made to production funds. In response to that suggestion, Star Choice stated that it is in full agreement with the imposition of such a condition of licence.


The Commission is satisfied with the licensee's responses to the concerns raised, and is convinced that some flexibility in directing the required funding contribution will result in support for undertakings not generally well funded. The Commission therefore approves the amendment application. The existing condition relating to spending is deleted, and replaced with the following condition of licence:

9.(a) Subject to the provisions of 9.(b), the licensee shall, in each year (i.e. the period from 1 September to the following 31 August), contribute to an existing, independently-administered, Canadian program production fund, an amount equal to or greater than 5% of the annual gross revenues earned by its broadcasting activities.

(b) An amount not exceeding 20% of the total contribution referred to in (a) above, may be directed to support Canadian broadcasting undertakings other than existing, independently-administered Canadian program production funds.

(c) The licensee shall remit its contributions in the form of monthly instalments, representing a minimum of 5% of each month's gross revenues, payable within 45 days of the end of the month in question.

(d) All contributions shall be reported to the Commission concurrently with the licensee's annual return.


The Commission also acknowledges and has considered the 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 examined at the following Internet site:

Date Modified: 2001-06-18

Date modified: