ARCHIVED - Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2001-10-2

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Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2001-10-2

See also: 2001-10, 2001-10-1, 2001-10-3, 2001-10-4, 2001-10-5


Ottawa, 20 September 2001


Further to its Notices of Public Hearing CRTC 2001-10 and 2001-10-1 dated 14 and 18 September 2001 relating to the Public Hearing which will be held on 19 November 2001, at the Mont-Royal Centre, 2200 Mansfield Street, Auditorium Room, Montréal, Quebec, the Commission announces the following:


Correction to Item # 1




Montréal, Chicoutimi, Trois-Rivières, Sherbrooke, Quebec City, Quebec, Hawkesbury, Ontario, Grand Falls, Plaster Rock, Woodstock, Fredericton, New Maryland, Omorocto, Bathurst, New Brunswick and Truro, Nova Scotia
Application Nos. 2001-0811-9; 2001-0812-7; 2001-0813-5; 2001-0932-3; 2001-0933-1; 2001-0934-9; 2001-0935-7; 2001-0936-5; 2001-0937-3


Applications by ASTRAL MEDIA INC. (Astral Media), on behalf of 3903206 Canada inc. (TRI Québec), Telemedia Radio Atlantique Inc. (Telemedia Atlantique) and Radiomedia Inc. (Radiomedia), seeking authority to acquire effective control of those three companies by acquiring all shares held directly or indirectly by Telemedia Radio Inc. (Telemedia).


The transaction involves radio stations and networks operated by Telemedia in Québec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, specifically, the following undertakings:


- the 9 stations operated by Telemedia in Québec, namely, CITÉ-FM Montréal, CFIX-FM Chicoutimi, CHEY-FM Trois-Rivières, CITÉ-FM-1 and its transmitter CITÉ-FM-2 Sherbrooke, CIMF-FM Hull and its transmitter CIMF-FM-1 Hawkesbury (Ontario), CITF-FM Quebec City, CHLN Trois-Rivières, CHLT Sherbrooke, all French-language, and CKTS Sherbrooke, which broadcasts in English. The transaction also involves the transitional digital radio station CITÉ-FM Montréal, as well as the Radio Rock Détente network Montréal and the CHLN/CKSM radio network Trois-Rivières/Shawinigan;


- the 6 English-language stations that Telemedia Atlantique operates in New Brunswick, namely, CIKX-FM Grand Falls and its transmitter CJCJ-FM-2 Plaster Rock, CJCJ-FM Woodstock, CFXY-FM Fredericton, CIBX-FM Fredericton, CKHJ Fredericton and its transmitters CKHJ-FM-1 New Maryland and CKHJ-FM-2 Omorocto, CKBC Bathurst and CKHJ/CJCJ-FM (Woodstock) radio network. The transaction also involves radio stations in Nova Scotia, namely, CKTY-FM Truro and CKTO-FM Truro.


In addition, the transaction includes Telemedia's 50% interest in Radiomedia. The Commission notes that following the transaction, Astral Media would directly or indirectly own 100% of Radiomedia. As a result, Astral Media would also acquire the effective control of the French-language stations CKAC (Montréal) and CHRC (Québec). The Commission notes that Radiomedia also operates the transitional digital radio (TDR) station CKAC (Montréal), and Radiomedia's French-language information network, Réseau des Expos and Réseau des Canadiens.


Furthermore, once the transaction is completed, Astral Media wishes to proceed with a corporate reorganisation that would transfer Telemedia Atlantique from TRI Quebec as well as Radiomedia (50%) to Astral Radio Group Inc. (Astral Radio).


Astral Media also wishes the authority to wind up Radiomedia into Astral Radio. Therefore, Astral Media requests that Astral Radio be granted new licences under the same terms and conditions following the transfer of the following licences: CKAC Montreal, CHRC Québec, the TDR station CKAC Montreal, Radiomedia French-language information network, Réseau des Expos and Réseau du hockey des Canadiens.


The above applications involve several aspects of the broadcasting industry because of the resulting multiple ownership. The Commission notes that Astral Media operates mostly in the broadcasting and advertising sectors. In the broadcasting industry, Astral Media is a major presence in the radio sector, with 14 AM and FM stations in all major markets in Quebec. Astral Media is also a major player in specialty, pay and pay-per-view television services, and its mainly French-language services make it an important player in Quebec television.


The Commission notes that, following the transaction, Astral Media would also become an important radio operator in the Maritimes, namely in New Brunswick and in Nova Scotia.


With the proposed transaction, Astral Media would be first in Quebec in terms of number of radio stations and revenues, and its presence in the broadcasting industry would grow significantly. That growth could raise a number of issues regarding concentration of ownership, particularly in radio. The proposed transaction could also raise issues such as:


The diversity of voices in Quebec


The proposed creation of the largest French-language radio player could reduce the diversity of voices available in Quebec. The Commission intends to examine the use of safeguards it may deem appropriate to ensure plurality of voices.


The potential market dominance arising from the transaction


Astral Media could be in a dominant position in the Quebec market with respect to advertising and French-language music distribution. Also, in some regions, Astral Media could become the sole source of local programming.


Consequently, the Commission intends to examine the potential adverse effects on the radio broadcasting system or the public, for example, whether the transaction would adversely affect other radio and television broadcasters in Quebec and hinder their ability to meet their regulatory obligations. To minimize potential adverse effects the Commission could examine the possibility of imposing specific conditions of licence addressing programming, suspensive approval conditions, and the possibility of a requirement for divestiture of business(es).


Common ownership


The Quebec region presents a particular situation. Currently, Astral Média, directly or indirectly, owns 100% of two radio stations (CHIK-FM and CFOM-FM) and has a 50% interest in another (CHRC). Astral Media would acquire another station (CITF-FM) as well as the other 50% of CHRC. According to the Commission's policy on common ownership, in markets with fewer than eight commercial stations operating in a given language such as in the Quebec region, an owner may be permitted to own or control as many as three stations operating in that language, with a maximum of two stations in any one frequency band.


If the transaction were approved, Astral Media would contravene the policy (Astral Media would own 4 stations in a market with fewer than 8 stations, three of them on the FM band). The Commission notes that to address the situation, Astral Media has committed to divest itself of station CFOM-FM. The Commission may examine Astral Media's commitment as well as other possibilities the Commission may deem appropriate.


In order to facilitate examination of this application by interested parties the Commission has prepared a study of the radio market in Quebec. (État du marché radiophonique au Québec, août 2001), which has been placed on the public file.


Applicant's address:

2100 Ste-Catherine St. West
Office 1000
Montréal, Quebec
H3H 2T3
Fax: 514-925-7707


Examination of applications:

267 Racine Street East
Chicoutimi, Quebec

150 Edmonton Street
Hull, Quebec

Astral Radio Group Inc.
1717 René-Lévesque Boulevard East
Office 120
Montréal, Quebec

1411 Peel Street
Office 600
Montréal, Quebec

925 St-Louis Road
Office 360
Québec, Quebec

2136 Sainte-Foy Road
Ste-Foy, Quebec

4020 de Portland Boulevard
Sherbrooke, Quebec

1500 Royale Boulevard
Office 260
Trois-Rivière, Quebec

176 Main Street
Bathurst, New Brunswick

206 Rookwood Avenue
Fredericton, New Brunswick

408A Broadway Boulevard
Grand Falls, New Brunswick

131 Queen Street
Unit 1
Woodstock, New-Brunswick

187 Industrial Avenue
Truro, Nova Scotia


This document is available in alternative format upon request and may also be examined at the following Internet site:


Secretary General

Date Modified: 2001-09-20

Date modified: