ARCHIVED - Decision CRTC 2001-539

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Decision CRTC 2001-539

Ottawa, 31 August 2001

S.S.TV Inc.
Across Canada 2001-0236-9

Application processed by
Public Notice CRTC 2001-55
dated 25 May 2001

Amendments to S.S.TV's conditions of licence pertaining to the nature of the service and the broadcast of advertising material


The Commission approves the application by S.S.TV Inc. (formerly identified in Commission documents as Ravinder Singh Pannu, on behalf of a company to be incorporated) for amendments to the licence for the Category 2 specialty television service known as S.S.TV.


In Decision CRTC 2000-648 dated 14 December 2000, the Commission authorized the applicant to provide a national ethnic Category 2 specialty television service that is:

.dedicated to programming that focuses on Punjabi religious teachings and religion; music, dance and video based on Punjabi culture; and news and information concerning East Indian countries and Punjabi communities in Canada.


In that decision, and in Appendix 2 to Public Notice CRTC 2000-171* that accompanied publication of it and other decisions on new specialty service applications, the Commission set out the conditions of licence that would govern the service. Among other things, the Commission stated that the service must consist of programming in Punjabi, Hindi and English languages, in the following proportions: Punjabi - no less than 50%; and Hindi and English - no more than 25% each.


Further, the Commission specified that the programming must be drawn exclusively from the following categories, as set out in Schedule I to the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990:

1 News
4 Religion
5a Formal education and pre-school
5b Informal education/recreation and leisure
8b Music video clips
11 General entertainment and human interest
13 Public service announcements


The Commission also stated that the licensee shall not broadcast any paid advertising material other than national paid advertising.


In its current application, S.S.TV has requested that its nature of service licence condition be amended through the addition of the following categories to the list of those from which programming may be drawn:

7a On-going dramatic series
7c Specials, mini-series and made-for-TV feature films
7d Theatrical feature films aired on TV
7g Other drama, and
8c Music Video programs


S.S.TV indicated that, with approval of this amendment, between 20% and 30% of its proposed service would consist of movies.


S.S.TV requested that its conditions of licence be further altered to permit the broadcast of local and regional advertising, as well as national paid advertising.

Interventions and reply


The Commission received three interventions expressing opposition to the licence amendments requested by S.S.TV. Among other things, the interveners are concerned that the amendments will shift the programming service away from the religious and educational focus described in the original application to one centred primarily on entertainment programming. They argued that this would be unfair, not just to supporters of the original licence application, but to existing program providers whose services are directed to audiences that S.S.TV also seeks to serve.


In responding to the interventions, S.S.TV emphasized that its proposed licence amendments are solely for the purpose of enabling it to "better serve its targeted, specialized audience." It noted that its service will operate predominantly in Punjabi, whereas Punbabi-language programming constitutes only 5% of the existing specialty service known as Asian Television Network (ATN). ATN is licensed to a subsidiary of Asian Television International Limited (one of the interveners). S.S.TV added that "the movies and drama [S.S.TV] intends to show would be cultural, family-oriented and religious in nature", and would thus be dissimilar to, and not competitive with, the existing ATN service.

Commission's determination


The Commission acknowledges that the requested amendment to S.S.TV's condition of licence concerning the nature of its service constitutes a substantial change. In the Commission's view, however, because of the relatively small amount of Punjabi-language programming offered by ATN, the amendment will not bring the service into direct competition with ATN's existing specialty service.


At the same time, the amendment will place S.S.TV's proposed service in direct competition with two other Category 2 specialty services authorized late last year. These are the Punjabi Channel, to be licensed to South Asian Television Network International Limited (the subsidiary of Asian Television International Limited referred to above), and Rang Punjabi, to be licensed to I. T. Productions Ltd. Punjabi language programming will make up 100% and a minimum of 90%, respectively, of these services. The Commission notes, however, that competition between Category 2 specialty services is wholly consistent with its policy concerning such services.


Accordingly, the Commission deletes paragraph b) of the condition of licence set out in Decision CRTC 2000-648 pertaining to S.S.TV's nature of service, and replaces it with the following:

b) The programming must be drawn exclusively from the following categories, as set out in Schedule 1 to the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990: 1, 4, 5a, 5b, 7a 7c, 7d, 7g, 8b, 8c, 11 and 13.


With regard to the broadcast of local and regional advertising, the Commission notes that it has permitted the broadcast of a limited amount of local and regional advertising by other national ethnic Category 2 specialty services. Consistent with this approach, the Commission hereby stipulates that condition of licence 4, as set out in Appendix 2 of Public Notice CRTC 2000-171*, shall not apply to this licensee. Instead, the Commission imposes the following condition of licence:

a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs b), and c), the licensee shall not distribute more than 12 minutes of advertising material during each clock hour, no more than 6 minutes of which may consist of local or regional advertising.
b) Where a program occupies time in two or more consecutive clock hours, the licensee may exceed the maximum number of minutes of advertising material allowed in those clock hours if the average number of minutes of advertising material in the clock hours occupied by the program does not exceed the maximum number of minutes that would otherwise be allowed per clock hour.
c) In addition to the twelve minutes of advertising material referred to in subparagraph a), the licensee may broadcast partisan political advertising during an election period.

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:

*As corrected by Public Notice CRTC 2001-171-1

Date Modified: 2001-08-31

Date modified: