ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2003-67

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Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2003-67

  Ottawa, 18 December 2003
  Call for comments on proposals for the addition of non-Canadian satellite services to the list of services eligible for digital distribution
  The Commission has received 2 requests to add the following non-Canadian services to the list of satellite services eligible for digital distribution.
  Request from Shaw Communications Inc. (Shaw) to add Bloomberg Television
  In Decision CRTC 2000-474, the Commission approved the Category 2 licence application by Shaw Communications Inc. (Shaw), through its subsidiary 869933 Alberta Ltd., to launch Bloomberg Television Canada. According to the general conditions of licence attached to the Category 2 services, initially approved on 24 November 2000, these services were to be launched by 24 November 2003. By letter filed 28 May 2003, Shaw advised the Commission that Shaw would not launch Bloomberg Television Canada.
  As an alternative, Shaw has requested in the same letter that the Commission add the international U.S. based financial service provided by Bloomberg Television to Appendix D, List of Part 2, Part 3 and DTH Eligible Satellite Services for Digital Distribution. Shaw contends that Bloomberg Television, a non-Canadian service, would be a valuable addition to the list and would help to stimulate growth in the subscriber base for Canadian digital services.
  The proposed service would focus primarily on international business and financial information provided exclusively by Bloomberg LP.
  Request from Rogers Broadcasting Limited (Rogers) and Shaw Communications Inc (Shaw) to add MSNBC
  In Decision CRTC 2000-650, the Commission approved the Category 2 licence application by Shaw, Rogers and MSNBC Cable, LLC, to launch MSNBC Canada. This Canadian specialty service was launched in September 2001 and is currently distributed on digital by most Class 1 and Class 2 cable television distributors in Canada and by StarChoice.

MSNBC is a U.S. cable news network that delivers up-to-the minute news from around the globe. MSNBC relies on the news gathering resources of NBC News, and NBC's more than 200 affiliated stations. In addition to breaking news coverage, MSNBC provides its viewers with independent analysis of the news. Its prime time programming features live discussions, investigative reports, news features, and documentaries which focus on the latest current events. Although MSNBC's schedule includes several long form documentaries scheduled for broadcast on weekends, MSNBC Canada interrupts the regularly scheduled programming to meet its Canadian programming commitments.
  Rogers and Shaw, in consultation with their U.S. shareholding partner in MSNBC Canada, have come to the conclusion that, because of the unique programming challenges presented by a 24 hour breaking news format, the Canadian programming requirements are disruptive to subscribers and have proven to be financially burdensome beyond expectation, with the result that the MSNBC Canada service is not viable over the long term.
  According to Rogers and Shaw, if this request is approved in a timely matter, it would be the intention of the shareholders of MSNBC Canada to continue to operate the existing MSNBC Canada Category 2 digital programming service until such time as they are able to effect what will be a relatively seamless conversion of MSNBC Canada subscribers to MSNBC. Simultaneously with that conversion, the Category 2 licence for MSNBC Canada would be surrendered. Rogers and Shaw also indicated that if the Commission did not approve this application, they would have no other option but to discontinue the operation of its Category 2 programming service MSNBC Canada.
  In Call for proposals to amend the lists of eligible satellite services through the inclusion of additional non-Canadian services eligible for distribution on a digital basis only, Public Notice CRTC 2000-173, 14 December 2000, the Commission invited proposals to amend the lists of eligible satellite services (the lists) through the inclusion of additional non-Canadian programming services that would be authorized for distribution on a digital basis only. The Commission also stated in Public Notice CRTC 2000-173 that any such requests must include the following:
  • evidence that the non-Canadian service has agreed to be sponsored by the Canadian party filing the proposal;

  •  a statement from the service provider that it has obtained all necessary rights for distribution of its programming in Canada;

  •  a brief description of the service;
  •  a copy of the current program schedule;
  •  evidence of potential demand, as gathered through discussions with distributors, and
  •  an undertaking from the non-Canadian service provider that it does not hold, will not obtain, nor will it exercise, preferential or exclusive programming rights in relation to the distribution of programming in Canada.
  With respect to these requests for the addition of non-Canadian satellite services to the lists, the Commission is satisfied that the supporting information required by Public Notice 2000-173 has been provided and that it is appropriate to call for comments at this time.
  As stated in Public Notice 2000-173, the Commission intends to assess the current requests in the context of its general policy which precludes the addition of new non-Canadian satellite services that can be considered either totally or partially competitive with Canadian specialty or pay television services.
  In applying this policy, the Commission will take into account all specialty and pay television programming undertakings whose licence applications have been approved by the Commission to date. These include all analog specialty television and pay television services as well as the Category 1 and Category 2 specialty programming services approved in Decisions CRTC 2000-449 through 2000-731 and all other Category 2 services approved to date.
  Addresses of sponsors:

Shaw Communications Inc.
Suite 900
630 - 3rd Avenue South West
Calgary, Alberta
T2P 4L4

Rogers Media
777 Jarvis Street
6th Floor
Toronto, Ontario
M4Y 3B7

[Intervention Form]

  Call for comments

Interested parties wishing to file comments on any of the sponsored non-Canadian services are invited to do so. Commenting parties should also submit a true copy of their comments to the appropriate Canadian sponsor, or sponsors if there is more than one for a given service, at the addresses provided. Proof that comments have been sent to sponsors must accompany the original of the comments sent to the Commission. Comments must be received by the CRTC and by the Canadian sponsors on or before 2 February 2004.

Sponsors may file a written reply to any comments received concerning their requests. Such replies should be filed with the Commission, and a copy sent to the person who submitted the comments, by no later than 12 February 2004.
  The Commission will not formally acknowledge comments. It will, however, fully consider all comments and they will form part of the public record of the proceeding, provided that the procedures for filing set out below have been followed.
  Procedures for filing comments
  Interested parties can file their comments to the Secretary General of the Commission by using ONE of the following formats:
  • Intervention/Comments form available from the Commission's web site by indicating and selecting this public notice number under the Decisions, Notices and Orders section
  •  by electronic mail to
  • by mail to
    CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2
  •  by fax at
    (819) 994-0218
  Submissions longer than five pages should include a summary.
  Please number each paragraph of your submission. In addition, please enter the line ***End of document*** following the last paragraph. This will help the Commission verify that the document has not been damaged during transmission.
  The Commission encourages interested parties to monitor the public examination file and the Commission's web site for additional information that they may find useful when preparing their comments.

All information submitted, including your email address, name and any other personal information as provided, will be posted on the Commission's web site. Documents received in electronic format will be posted on the Commission's web site exactly as you send them and in the official language and format in which they are received. Documents not received electronically will be available in .pdf format.
  Examination of documents
  A list of all comments will be available on the Commission's web site. An electronic version of all comments submitted will be accessible from this list. To access the list, select "Lists of interventions/comments" under "Public Proceedings" from the Commission's web site.
  Documents are also available during normal office hours at the following Commission offices and documentation centres.
  Central Building
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
1 Promenade du Portage, Room G-5
Hull, Quebec K1A 0N2
Tel: (819) 997-2429 - TDD: 994-0423
Fax: (819) 994-0218
  Metropolitan Place,
99 Wyse Road
Suite 1410
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, B3A 4S5.
Tel: (902 426-7997 - TDD: 426-6997
Fax: (902) 426-2721
  405 de Maisonneuve Blvd. East
2nd Floor, Suite B2300
Montréal, Quebec H2L 4J5
Tel: (514) 283-6607
Fax: (514) 283-3689
  55 St. Clair Avenue East
Suite 624
Toronto, Ontario M4T 1M2
Tel: (416) 952-9096
Fax: (416) 954-6343
  Kensington Building
275 Portage Avenue
Suite 1810
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2B3
Tel: (204) 983-6306 - TDD: 983-8274
Fax: (204) 983-6317
  Cornwall Professional Building
2125 - 11th Avenue
Room 103
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3X3
Tel: (306) 780-3422
Fax: (306) 780-3319
  10405 Jasper Avenue
Suite 520
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3N4
Tel: (780) 495-3224
Fax: (780) 495-3214
  530-580 Hornby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3B6
Tel: (604) 666-2111 - TDD: 666-0778
Fax: (604) 666-8322
  Secretary General

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Date Modified: 2003-12-18

Date modified: