ARCHIVED - Broadcasting - Commission Letter to Groupe TVS inc.

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Ottawa, 11 June 2004

Serge Bellerose
Vice-President, Specialty Channels
Corporate Affairs and Regional Stations
Groupe TVA inc.
1600 boulevard de Maisonneuve East
Montreal, QC H2L 4P2

Re: Quebecor Media 2002-2003 annual report on tangible benefits as required by Decision CRTC 2001-384

Dear Mr. Bellerose:

The Commission has received and accepts the second annual report that Groupe TVA inc. filed pursuant to Decision CRTC 2001-384, which approved the effective transfer of TVA to Quebecor Media inc. The report allows the Commission to verify whether or not the amounts required as tangible benefits, which total $48.9 million over seven years, are in fact eligible additional expenditures.

The Commission has reviewed your report and the request for confidentiality for information on the licensing costs of Groupe TVA priority programs.

Your request for confidentiality has been accepted and the public version of your report will be placed on the Groupe TVA public record.

With regard to the eligibility of the programs designated as priority submitted to the Commission, we note that the 10 Galas Star Académie programs (the Galas) were initially designated in the log by the staff as category 11 (General entertainment and human interest) programs, which per se cannot be considered as priority programs. However, the Commission has reconsidered this matter in the light of the objectives of Building on success - A policy framework for Canadian Television - Public Notice CRTC 1999-97, 11 June 1999 (the Policy), specifically as regards priority programming, and it recognizes that the Sunday evening Galas:

  • are a significant contribution to the development of French-language Canadian talent;
  • are produced to a high standard of quality;
  • further the spirit and the objectives of the definition of priority programming;
  • are a launching pad for young French-language artists; and
  • are Canadian programs which have generated considerable audience success.

The Commission notes the content of musical performances during the Galas, and the various interventions of judges and performers, performances of contestants with professional singers, and advice provided by specialists in the performing arts. In this regard, and in view of paragraphs 31 and 33 of the Policy, the Commission is of the view that in this context, the various segments of the programs can be recognized as performances of different genres, and taken as a whole, the program segments meet the criterion of more than 50% of performances of variety programming.

Accordingly, the Commission agrees to recognize the aforementioned 10 programs in category 9 (Variety). These programs will be eligible as priority programming, and the expenditures as tangible benefits.

Please note that in future, the Galas programs could also be eligible as category 8(a) (Music and dance) programming, where artist performances are the central feature of the programs, in accordance with the definition of category 8(a) set out in Public Notice 1999-205 dated 23 December 1999.

The Commission notes that the portion of the 2002-2003 expenditures (including amounts allocated for Star Académie) related to tangible benefits exceeded forecasts, which restored the proportion after two years, of what could be a certain annual balance of on-screen benefits scheduled over seven years. The Commission expects annual allocations to be balanced in proportion to the remaining portion of benefits to come.

Note that the Commission will examine in detail all reports on tangible benefits when it examines the Groupe TVA application to renew its licence, which expires on 31 August 2008.

Diane Rhéaume
Secretary General

Date Modified: 2004-06-11

Date modified: