ARCHIVED - Public Notice CRTC 2001-27

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Public Notice CRTC 2001-27


See also: 2001-27-1

Ottawa, 19 February 2001


Contents of the public file for upcoming TV group renewal hearings - Commission's determination pursuant to consideration of comments received in response to Public Notices CRTC 2001-5 and 2001-5-1 




Television renewal applications are scheduled for consideration at two upcoming public hearings. Applications to renew the network and Montréal licences held by the TVA television group will be heard at a public hearing beginning 26 March 2001 in Montréal. Renewal applications for the licences held by the CTV and Global television groups will be heard at a public hearing beginning 17 April 2001 in Hull.


In Public Notice CRTC 2001-5, the Commission expressed the view that, in order to foster open and informed public discussion, it might be appropriate to make certain information concerning each of these television groups available to the public. Specifically, the Commission proposed that the following information be placed on the public files for the above-noted proceedings:


· a comparison of viewing levels to Canadian and foreign programming by program category for each group for each of the years 1997 to 1999. The categories to be included would be News and Other Information, Sports, Drama/Comedy, Music/Dance and Variety, and Other.


· the total revenues for each group for each of the years 1997 to 2000.


· Canadian programming expenditure data for each group for the years 1997 to 2000. The expenditure data would be subdivided by the same program categories as those noted in the first bullet listed above.


· current data regarding the actual and potential audience reach of each television group.


The Commission invited interested parties to comment on this proposal.


Comments received


The Commission received a total of 286 comments in response to Public Notices CRTC 2001-5 and 2001-5-1. All but two of the submissions received were in support of the Commission's proposal. Some of these submissions suggested placing more financial, viewing and/or scheduling information on the public files than was contemplated in the Commission's proposal.


The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) and Global Television Network (Global) opposed the Commission's proposal. Their concerns related primarily to the release of the Canadian programming expenditure data. They raised the issues of confidentiality and potential competitive harm. Global and the CAB also argued that the release of the data would be inconsistent with the Commission's new TV policy. Under this policy, minimum Canadian programming expenditure requirements are generally no longer imposed as conditions of licence or expectations on television licensees.


In their submissions, the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations and ATW Management Communications requested, among other things, that information relating to the efforts of licensees to reflect cultural diversity be placed on the public files. The Commission notes that licensees are already requested to provide this type of information under Section 4 of the television licence renewal application form, and that this information is routinely made available to the public as part of the public hearing process.




The Commission has the authority under the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987 to collect the financial information it requires from television licensees in order to fulfil its mandate under the Broadcasting Act. The Commission currently makes public the annual return data on individual cable, pay and specialty licensees.


In its deliberations concerning whether to make public the data described in PNs 2001-5 and 2001-5-1, the Commission has considered the increased consolidation that has occurred within the conventional television industry, and the resulting concentration of influence in the hands of a relatively small number of large broadcasting industry groups.


Further, although conditions of licence regarding Canadian programming expenditures are not generally imposed under the Commission's new television policy, such data will provide an indication as to how the Commission's new policy is working over the next licence term. Public access to the data will also allow for a more informed public discussion on the wide range of issues facing the industry.


The Commission also notes that, since only aggregate data for large multi-station ownership groups would be released, any potential competitive harm would be minimized. Information relating to individual stations operating in specific markets would remain confidential.


The Commission's determination


The Commission has decided, by majority vote, to place the information described in PNs 2001-5 and 2001-5-1 on the public files of the upcoming television ownership group renewals. It has further decided that the following, additional information will also be placed on the public files:


· expenditure data on closed captioning by group and program category for the years 1997 to 2000; and


· Canadian programming expenditures, broken down into the following categories: in-house production, programming acquired from affiliated production companies, programming acquired from independent production companies, network origination, programming acquired from other stations; and the CTCPF credit.


Data that is specific to the large broadcasting industry groups, including the data that the Commission has decided to place on the public files for the upcoming renewal hearings, will also be made available on an annual basis through the "Broadcasting Policy Monitoring Report." 


Secretary General


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

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