ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-464

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-464

Ottawa, 20 December 2002

Corus Premium Television Ltd.
Hamilton, Ontario

Application 2002-0138-5
Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2002-26
17 May 2002

CING-FM Hamilton - Use of the SCMO channel

The application


The Commission receivedan application by Corus Premium Television Ltd. (Corus), licensee of CING-FM Hamilton, for authority to use a subsidiary communications multiplex operations (SCMO) channel1 for the purpose of broadcasting a predominantly Farsi-language (Persian) radio service.


Sedaye Rooz would operate the service and offer 168 hours of programming per week. At least 70% would be in Farsi, 10% in other languages such as Azeri, Kurdish, Armenian and Assyrian. The remaining 20% would be programming in English targeted at Canadians of Iranian or Afghani descent, particularly young people who lack knowledge of the Farsi language. The programming would consist of music, sports, entertainment, drama and magazine programs and be locally produced. The SCMO signal would serve not only Hamilton but also a significant portion of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Sedaye Rooz indicated that the service would be of particular benefit to new immigrants in Hamilton and the GTA who lack English-language skills.


The operator of the proposed service stated that the current low level of Farsi-language programming on existing conventional radio services is inadequate to meet the needs of the growing Iranian community and was of the view that any increase to this level would not have a significant negative financial impact on these services.



The Commission received five interventions in support of this application including a petition of 145 signatories. The Iranian Community Association of Ontario (ICAO), World Wide Immigration Services and Rahnama Internet Technology all supported the application, stressing the need for locally produced programming in Farsi. Bay Auto Zone Ltd. stated that it supported the service.


The Commission also received two interventions opposing the application. Stella Ho stated that the media outlets and programming services currently in place adequately served and promoted the Farsi community in the GTA and, as an entrepreneur, felt unable to support an additional media outlet. Mohsen Shahriar of the Radio Sedaye Iran SCMO service approved in Use of SCMO channel - Approved, Decision CRTC 97-366, 31 July 1997, and currently broadcast on CFMX-FM-1, estimated the Farsi-language community in the GTA to be only 30,000 consisting mostly of elderly residents. In his view, this community could not sustain more than one Farsi-language SCMO service.


In reply to the interventions, Sedaye Rooz stated that the endorsement of organizations such as the ICAO that are directly aware of the needs of the Iranian community represented significant support for its proposal. Sedaye Rooz pointed out that there is very little Farsi-language programming produced locally and that approval of the application would provide a valuable incentive for the production of such programming. The operator of the proposed service also indicated that none of the Farsi-language media intervened in the proceeding.

The Commission's determination


The Commission's policy regarding services using the SCMO channel of FM stations is set out in Services Using the Vertical Blanking Interval (Television) or Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operation (FM), Public Notice CRTC 1989-23, 23 March 1989 (Public Notice 1989-23).


The policy states that the Commission would be concerned if an SCMO service were to have a negative impact on existing local conventional ethnic broadcasters. Unlike licensed radio undertakings, SCMO services are not required to offer a minimum level of Canadian content, to make financial contributions to Canadian talent development, or, in general, to make specific programming commitments. While the Commission notes the concerns raised in the opposing interventions regarding the possible negative impact of the proposed service on other SCMO services, the Commission's policy does not restrict competition between such services.


Furthermore, no existing local conventional ethnic radio broadcasting service in the GTA filed an intervention opposing the application. The Commission is satisfied that approval of this application will not cause undue negative impact on existing local conventional ethnic radio stations. Further, the Commission considers that approval of the proposed service would add to the diversity and availability of Farsi-language programming for the Iranian community.


Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by Corus to use an SCMO channel of radio station CING-FM Hamilton for the purpose of broadcasting a predominantly Farsi-language radio service.


The Commission reminds Corus that, as stated in section 3(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act, it is responsible for the programs that it broadcasts. It is therefore expected to ensure that its SCMO service is operated in a responsible manner and to adhere to the guidelines regarding the provision of SCMO services set out in Appendix A to Public Notice 1989-23.

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 Programming broadcast using an SCMO channel is not accessible with standard radio equipment, and requires instead the use of a special receiver.

Date Modified: 2002-12-20

Date modified: