ARCHIVED - Public Notice CRTC 2001-66

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Public Notice CRTC 2001-66


See also: 2001-66-1

Ottawa, 7 June 2001


Ownership of analog discretionary services by cable undertakings


Pursuant to its consideration of comments received in response to Public Notice CRTC 2000-165, the Commission announces that it has decided to change its policy with respect to cable ownership of analog pay and specialty programming services. The reasons for this decision will be published at a later date.


The Commission has decided, by majority vote, that cable companies and their related entities will be allowed, as a matter of broadcasting policy, to purchase interests, including controlling interests, in Canadian analog pay and specialty programming services.


The Commission emphasizes, however, that the following principles will apply:

  • All specialty and pay services should be supplied and distributed on fair and equitable terms, including terms related to pricing, packaging, promotion and marketing/promotional costs.
  • Unaffiliated undertakings should be accorded terms and conditions that are no less favourable than those accorded to affiliated undertakings, including terms related to pricing, packaging, promotion and marketing/promotional costs.
  • Any competitively sensitive information relating to a competitive distributor that is obtained by a programming undertaking which is affiliated with another distributor should not be shared with the affiliated distributor.
  • A programming service is entitled to obtain, at its expense and on an annual basis, independently verified subscriber numbers for the service in question to validate the basis for programmer compensation.
  • Where a programming service contributes to the costs of marketing and promotion, it is entitled to obtain, at its expense and on an annual basis, an independently verified accounting in respect of its contributions.


The Commission notes the progress made by the industry in establishing a set of joint principles to guide the digital launch (Public Notice CRTC 2001-57). It encourages the industry to be guided by similar principles for analog services.


The Commission intends to modify its regulations to remove the prior approval requirement that applies in situations where a person licensed to operate a distribution undertaking seeks to purchase, directly or indirectly, more than 10% of a pay or specialty undertaking. [see section 10(4)(d) Specialty Services Regulations, 1990 and section 6(4)(d) Pay Television Regulations, 1990] Other approval and notification thresholds will remain unchanged.


While the Commission is prepared to permit greater cable ownership of analog discretionary services, it will continue to be concerned about maintaining a diversity of voices in the Canadian broadcasting system, and will specifically examine this issue when considering such applications.


The Commission notes that this policy does not alter its licensing regime with respect to digital discretionary television services or its policies with respect to ownership transactions.


Related CRTC documents

  • Public Notice CRTC 2000-165 - Proposed review of the Commission's position regarding ownership of discretionary programming undertakings by cable broadcasting distribution undertakings
  • Public Notice CRTC 2000-165-1 - Extension of deadlines for comments and replies

Secretary General


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