ARCHIVED - Decision CRTC 2001-710

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Decision CRTC 2001-710

Ottawa, 22 November 2001

Access Communications Co-operative Limited
Estevan, Weyburn and Yorkton, Saskatchewan 2001-0340-9, 2001-0342-4,

Applications processed by
Public Notice CRTC 2001-94
dated 17 August 2001

The licensee is relieved from the requirement to carry out requests to make simultaneous signal substitution of programming on U.S. superstations carried on its cable system serving Yorkton.


The Commission approves the application to amend the broadcasting licence for the Class 2 cable distribution undertaking serving Yorkton, by relieving the licensee, by condition of licence from the requirement of section 30(3) of the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations to implement simultaneous substitution requests in relation to the programming on U.S. superstations.



Simultaneous substitution occurs when a broadcasting distribution undertaking (BDU) inserts the signal of a local or regional Canadian television station on the channel of a more distant station showing programming that is largely or substantially the same, at the same time. For substitution to take place, the local or regional television station must make a request to the BDU in advance.


The substitution obligations placed on Class 2 BDU licensees are set out section 30(3) of the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations (the regulations). In part, this section states that Class 2 licensees must provide simultaneous substitution for the programming offered by local, privately-owned television stations if the main studio of those stations is:

· located within the licensed area of the BDU licensee; and
· used to produce locally originated programming.


In Public Notice CRTC 2000-132, the Commission clarified that Class 1 and Class 2 BDU licensees must carry out requests for simultaneous substitution of U.S. superstations provided that these stations are available over-the-air in their U.S. markets. At the same time, the Commission indicated that it was prepared to consider favourably applications by Class 2 BDU licensees to be exempted from the requirement to carry out simultaneous substitution requests relating to U.S. superstations where the licensee could demonstrate that implementing such substitutions would result in significant incremental costs outweighing the benefits to be gained in the circumstances.

The applications


Access Communications Co-operative Limited requested relief from the requirement of section 30(3) of the regulations with respect to its Class 2 cable systems serving Estevan, Weyburn and Yorkton, respectively. The Commission notes, however, that Yorkton is the only system that would be subject to the requirement to carry out requests for substitution. While there are two privately-owned local television stations producing local programming in Yorkton (CICC and CKOS), there are no local television stations in Estevan and the one local station in Weyburn rebroadcasts the programming of a Regina station. Accordingly, Access's Class 2 systems serving Estevan and Weyburn do not require an exemption from section 30(3) of the regulations because there are no eligible stations in these markets that could request substitution.


The U.S. superstations distributed on the Yorkton system are offered on a digital basis. According to Access, its digital customer base is minimal with only some 338 subscribers at the present time. Access also indicated that it has not received any requests for substitution from either CICC or CKOS and that the difference in time zones between Yorkton and the U.S. superstations make future requests unlikely. Neither of the local television stations or any other party filed an intervention opposing the application.


Access is owned by a co-operative that operates on a not-for-profit basis. It stated that its Yorkton system is not profitable and claimed that it could not finance the substantial costs (approximately $214,610) needed to equip its facilities to carry out simultaneous substitution requests.


Based on the foregoing, the Commission is satisfied that Access has demonstrated that implementing simultaneous substitution on its cable system serving Yorkton would result in significant incremental costs that would outweigh the benefits to be gained in the circumstances. The Commission has therefore approved Access's application with regard to its Yorkton system.



The Commission acknowledges the intervention submitted by the Canadian Cable Television Association in support of this application.

Related CRTC documents

  •  Public Notice 2001-94-1 - Withdrawal of application 2001-0358-1 by Access Communications Co-operative Limited
  • Public Notice 2000-132 - Simultaneous substitution of programming on U.S. superstations

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: 2001-11-22

Date modified: