ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-403

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-403

Ottawa, 5 December 2002

Network Television International Inc.
Across Canada

Application 2001-1422-3
Public Hearing in the National Capital Region
6 May 2002

ITBC Television Canada - Category 2 specialty service

In this decision, the Commission approves the operation of a new Category 2 specialty television service.

The application


The Commission received an application by Network Television International Inc. (Network Television) for a broadcasting licence to operate an ethnic Category 21 specialty television service to be known as ITBC Television Canada.


The applicant proposed a general interest specialty service targeting the Tamil-speaking community.



Tamil Vision Inc., licensee of Tamil Channel, a national ethnic Category 2 specialty service, filed an intervention opposing this application. The intervener pointed out that Network Television currently owns a Category 2 digital pay television service targeting the Tamil community and expressed concern that the proposed service would be essentially the same as the existing one. While acknowledging that the Commission's digital licensing framework allows for the licensing of multiple services with similar or identical formats, Tamil Vision Inc. alleged that the application was a transparent attempt by the applicant to obtain a specialty licence to duplicate its services.

The applicant's reply


In response, Network Television stated that the proposed service would not duplicate the existing one. The applicant pointed out that the application was for a specialty service licence, while the one it currently holds is a pay television licence. Network Television also noted that its pay television service differs from the proposed service in the breakdown of the programming, Canadian content and advertising. The applicant added that if the proposed application were approved, it would only operate the new service.

The Commission's analysis and conclusion


In Licensing framework policy for new digital pay and specialty services, Public Notice CRTC 2000-6, 13 January 2000 (the licensing framework), the Commission implemented a competitive, open-entry approach to licensing Category 2 services. While the Commission seeks to ensure that newly licensed Category 2 services do not compete directly with any existing pay or analog specialty television service or with any new Category 1 service, it does not consider the impact that a new Category 2 service might have on an existing Category 2 service.


Based on its examination of this application, the Commission considers that Network Television's proposal complies fully with the licensing framework for the licensing of Category 2 services. The Commission is satisfied that this application is in conformity with all applicable terms and conditions announced in Introductory statement - Licensing of new digital pay and specialty services - Corrected Appendix 2, Public Notice CRTC 2000-171-1, 6 March 2001 (Public Notice 2000-171-1). The Commission approves the application by Network Television for a licence to operate the ITBC Television Canada programming service.

Conditions of licence


The licence will expire 31 August 2009, and will be subject to the conditions set out in Public Notice 2000-171-1, as well as to the following conditions:

1. The licensee shall provide a national ethnic Category 2 specialty television service targeting the Tamil-speaking community.
2. The programming must be drawn exclusively from the following categories, as set out in Schedule I to the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990:
1, 2a, 2b, 3, 4, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 7c, 7d, 7e, 7f, 7g, 8a, 8b, 8c, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14.
3. Not less than 90% of the programming broadcast during the broadcast week shall be in Tamil.
4. All English-language programming shall be strictly directed towards the Canadian Tamil community and will not include coverage of sports programming.
5. With respect to the condition of licence relating to advertising, as set out in Public Notice 2000-171-1, the Commission approves the following:
  • Condition 4d) with respect to national paid advertising will not apply.
  • Condition 4a) will be replaced by:

Except as otherwise provided in subparagraphs 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.

For the purposes of the conditions of this licence, broadcast day shall have the same meaning as that set out in section 2 of the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987.

Issuance of the licence


A licence will be issued once the licensee has satisfied the Commission, with supporting documentation, that the following requirements have been met:

  • the licensee has entered into a distribution agreement with at least one licensed distributor; and
  • the licensee has informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations. The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 36 months of the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 5 December 2005. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted at least 60 days before this date.

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:

1 The Category 2 services are defined in Introductory statement - Licensing of new digital pay and specialty services, Public Notice CRTC 2000-171, 14 December 2000.

Date Modified: 2002-12-05

Date modified: