ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-185

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-185

  Ottawa, 8 May 2006
  663975 B.C. Ltd.
Fort St. John, British Columbia
  Application 2005-1185-9
Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-12
3 February 2006

CKFU-FM Fort St. John - Technical change

  The Commission approves the application by 663975 B.C. Ltd. to change the authorized contours of the low-power radio programming undertaking CKFU-FM Fort St. John.

The application

1. The Commission received an application by 663975 B.C. Ltd. (663975 B.C.) to change the authorized contours of the low-power radio programming undertaking CKFU-FM Fort St. John, by relocating the transmitter and by increasing the antenna height.
2. In support of its proposal, the licensee stated that the changes would allow the installation of a back-up generator, allowing the station to remain on-air in the event of a power outage. The licensee stated that a generator cannot be installed at the present transmitter facility.
3. 663975 B.C. indicated that the proposed changes would result in an extension of the station's service area, although Fort St. John would remain CKFU-FM's principal marketing area.


4. The Commission received interventions in support of this application, and one intervention in opposition, submitted by Standard Radio Inc. (Standard), licensee of CHRX-FM and CKNL-FM Fort St. John. The Commission also received general comments, submitted by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB).
5. Standard expressed the view that 663975 B.C. had not provided compelling evidence for the necessity of the proposed change. Standard argued that if the application were approved, CKFU-FM's increased service area would result in increased revenues, which would in turn cause undue negative harm to Standard's radio stations in Fort St. John.
6. In the CAB's view, 663975 B.C. should be able to install a back-up generator at the present transmitter site, since low-power radio stations do not use a great deal of power. The CAB was also of the opinion that since local advertising revenue is the primary source of revenue in small markets, low-power commercial radio stations generally have a negative impact on other commercial radio stations, and that 663975 B.C.'s revenue projections are high for the size of the market. Furthermore, the CAB alleged that the licensee had not submitted to the Commission its broadcasting annual return for 2005.

Licensee's replies

7. In reply to Standard's questioning of the necessity for the proposed changes, 663975 B.C. stated that CKFU-FM's transmitter is located in a building not owned by the licensee and in an area subject to inadvertent power interruptions. The licensee further stated that, since it does not own the building, it would prove difficult to modify the existing facilities to properly ensure uninterrupted power supply.
8. The licensee also indicated that, while the proposed transmitter location would result in slightly different coverage, the Department of Industry (the Department) has indicated that the station's power would have to be reduced in order to maintain the same coverage range that CKFU-FM was originally licensed for.
9. With respect to the CAB's concerns regarding CKFU-FM's potential financial impact on the Standard local radio stations, 663975 B.C. stated that CKFU-FM's success can be attributed to its commitment to local programming and service to Fort St. John, coupled with a reduction by Standard in local programming and general presence in the community.

Commission's analysis and determination

10. The Commission has taken into account the views of the licensee and those of the interveners. The Commission considers it a reasonable expectation that a licensee have the means to ensure that its transmitting facilities are secure and that reliable back-up equipment is available. This is particularly critical in small communities where residents should be able to rely on immediate coverage of local events from local radio stations.
11. The Commission notes that, while the licensee's proposal would result in an increase of CKFU-FM's service contour, the increase would represent less than 10% in additional households. The Commission is of the view that approval of this application is unlikely to have any undue financial impact on the Standard radio stations in Fort St. John.
12. With respect to the CAB's allegation concerning the licensee's 2005 annual return, the Commission notes that the annual return in question has been submitted.
13. Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by 663975 B.C. Ltd. to change the authorized contours of the low-power radio programming undertaking CKFU-FM Fort St. John, by relocating the transmitter and by increasing the antenna height.
14. The Department has advised the Commission that, while this application is conditionally technically acceptable, it will only issue a broadcasting certificate when it has determined that the proposed technical parameters will not create any unacceptable interference with aeronautical NAV/COM services.
15. The Commission reminds the licensee that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, this authority will only be effective when the Department notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met, and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.
16. Given that the technical parameters approved in this decision are for a low-power unprotected FM service, the Commission also reminds the licensee that it will have to select another frequency if the Department so requires.
  Secretary General
  This decision is to be appended to the licence. It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined in PDF format or in HTML at the following Internet site: 

Date Modified: 2006-05-08

Date modified: