ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-59

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-59

Ottawa, 28 February 2002

Rogers (Toronto) Limited
Toronto, Ontario

Application 2001-0563-6
Public Notice CRTC 2001-116
7 November 2001

Increase in power for CISS-FM


The Commission approves the application by Rogers (Toronto) Limited ("RTL") to amend the broadcasting licence for CISS-FM Toronto by increasing the effective radiated power from 4,700 watts to 9,870 watts.


The licensee stated that the objective of the proposed power increase is to minimize the level of co-channel interference caused to CISS-FM by WBEE (FM) Rochester, New York, as well as to improve the quality of the station's local signal east and west of Toronto.


The Commission authorizes the licensee to operate the undertaking on the basis of the contours and particulars resulting from the above-mentioned change.


The authority will be effective and the licence will be amended only at such time as the Department of Industry, having advised that the application is conditionally technically acceptable, has determined that there is no unacceptable interference with NAV/COM services and indicated that it will issue a broadcasting certificate.

Intervention from CKMW Radio Limited


CKMW Radio Limited ("CKMW") submitted an intervention in which it opposed the application. CKMW considered that the proposed power increase would represent a significant shift in the coverage and marketing areas of CISS-FM. It was of the view that, if the application were approved, CISS-FM would cover not only the Toronto Central Market Area ("CMA"), but also the Barrie CMA to the north, the Hamilton CMA to the west, and, to a less but significant degree, the Oshawa/Whitby CMA to the east. CKMW considered that this additional coverage would enhance RTL's ability to dominate and shut out smaller operators, such as CKMW.


CKMW noted that RTL's Toronto radio stations considered together, and CISS-FM alone, already enjoy a sizeable share of tuning in the Barrie and Hamilton CMAs even though CISS-FM does not currently put a full and reliable signal into those markets. The intervener was of the view that the proposed power increase would be more prominent to the west and north. It also considered that a strong signal from CISS-FM's transmitter site located on the First Canadian Place tower, directed away from concrete structures toward open country, would travel further north than appears on the map that RTL submitted with its application. It was also of the view that Lake Ontario would provide an open path across the water for CISS-FM's signal to reach Hamilton and beyond.


CKMW noted that, if the application were approved, the population within the 3 mV/m signal contour of CISS-FM would increase by 714,690 and the population within the station's 0.5 mV/m contour would increase by 465,750. It considered that this represented, at the very least, a significant expansion into markets that other broadcasters already serve.


CKMW also argued that, according to the maps provided by the applicant, interference to CISS-FM from WBEE (FM) only occurs well east of Oshawa/Whitby and well west of Hamilton, with St. Catharines also being slightly affected. However, it was of the view that there is no interference by WBEE (FM) to CISS-FM's signal in Metropolitan Toronto or in the Toronto CMA.

The applicant's reply to CKMW's concerns


In its reply, RTL stated that the purpose of the application was to optimize its Class B frequency allotment, and to provide the best possible signal to CISS-FM's listeners. It considered that the change would minimize interference from WBEE (FM), and serve to forestall future power increase opportunities by that station.


The applicant considered that CKMW's contention that approval of the application would change the coverage and marketing areas of CISS-FM were based on the 0.5 mV/m contour of the station following approval of the application. RTL was of the view that the market of a radio station is defined, not by the 0.5 mV/m contour but by the smaller 3 mV/m contour. In support of its position, RTL noted that section 2 of the Radio Regulations, 1986 explicitly defines the term "market" as:

the F.M. 3 mV/m contour or the central area as defined by the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement (BBM), whichever is smaller.


It noted that the reach of CISS-FM's 3 mV/m contour is "clearly smaller than the BBM Toronto area map."


While RTL agreed that there would be improvements to CISS-FM's signal coverage to the north and west of Toronto, it considered that such improvements would be marginal. With respect to service to the north, it noted that the 3 mV/m contour would barely reach Aurora, and even the larger 0.5 mV/m contour would not reach Barrie. It also noted that, even with the proposed power increase, the signal of CISS-FM would have a protected service contour that would be considerably less than those of many of the Toronto stations with which it competes.


RTL also considered that arguments related to possible advantages of CISS-FM's transmitter site on the First Canadian Place tower were "unquantifiable and meaningless." It considered that the coverage areas of radio stations are defined in accordance with well-established Industry Canada rules and procedures. It also noted that no change in transmitter site was proposed as part of the current application, so any perceived transmission advantage resulting from the site is already a fact in CISS-FM's current coverage.


The applicant agreed that the improved signal involves an increase in the population base within CISS-FM's service contours. However, it noted that, even with this increase, the proposed 3 mV/m contour for CISS-FM would still be contained in the defined market area of a Toronto radio station. Further, the station's coverage would still be smaller than that of other Toronto stations with which it competes.


With respect to the areas in which interference from WBEE (FM) occurs, the applicant stated that CISS-FM listeners regularly report loss of signal in areas as close as Oakville to the west, and in areas north and east of Oshawa/Whitby. It considers that CISS-FM listeners who live or travel in those areas would benefit from an improved signal.

The Commission's determination


The Commission is satisfied that the applicant has responded adequately to all the concerns raised in the CKMW intervention. Specifically, with regard to the location of the proposed 3 mV/m service contour, the Commission agrees with the applicant's view that it will serve the greater Toronto area and will not encompass markets that CISS-FM is not licensed to serve. The Commission further agrees with the applicant's contention that the power increase will significantly reduce interference to its signal by WBEE (FM) Rochester. In this connection, it also notes that Industry Canada, in its approval comments for RTL's technical proposal, acknowledged that WBEE (FM) would still cause some interference within sectors of the CISS-FM 0.5 mV/m secondary service contour. Finally, the Commission notes that the effective radiated power approved in this decision is still significantly lower (less than one-fourth) compared to the power licensed to some of CISS-FM's competitors in the Toronto market such as CHFI-FM, CKFM-FM, CHUM-FM and CILQ-FM.

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:

Date Modified: 2002-02-28

Date modified: