ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-543

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-543


See also: 2006-543-1

Ottawa, 21 September 2006

  Radio Dégelis inc.
Dégelis and Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec
  Application 2006-0179-1
Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-58
8 May 2006

CFVD-FM Dégelis - New transmitter at Rivière-du-Loup

  The Commission denies the application by Radio Dégelis inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for radio station CFVD-FM Dégelis by adding a transmitter at Rivière-du-Loup.

The application


The Commission received an application by Radio Dégelis inc. (Radio Dégelis) to amend the broadcasting licence for the radio programming undertaking CFVD-FM Dégelis, in order to add a transmitter at Rivière-du-Loup to rebroadcast the programming of CFVD-FM Dégelis to the residents of Rivière-du-Loup. Radio Dégelis proposed to operate the transmitter at 102.5 MHz (channel 272A) with an effective radiated power of 5,750 watts.



Radio Dégelis has been operating a radio station in Dégelis since 1978. The station's programming is also rebroadcast by three transmitters, i.e., CFVD-FM-1 Cabano, CFVD-FM-2 Pohénégamook and CFVD-FM-3 Squatec.


In Conversion from AM to FM, Decision CRTC 93-737, 9 December 1993, the Commission approved an application to replace AM station CFVD Dégelis with an FM radio programming undertaking. That approval was subject to the condition that the applicant file revisions to the proposed technical parameters acceptable to the Commission such that the proposed FM station's authorized 0.5 mV/m contour excluded the community of Saint-Jacques, located northwest of Edmundston, New Brunswick, and that the contour be essentially the same as the contour proposed in the application, i.e., in the direction of Rivière-du-Loup and Rimouski, Quebec.


In CFVD-FM-2 Pohénégamook and CFVD-FM-3 Squatec - Technical changes, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2004-168, 6 May 2004, the Commission approved an application to amend the authorized contours of both transmitters by increasing the effective radiated power, altering their status from low-power, unprotected services to regular Class A stations. The Commission also approved a frequency change for the CFVD-FM-2 transmitter. The purpose of the changes was to improve the signal quality of the transmitters.



The Commission received several interventions in support of the application, comments by the Chamber of Commerce of the Regional County Municipality (RCM) of Rivière-du-Loup, and interventions opposing the application by the Syndicat des Travailleuses et Travailleurs en Communication du KRT (the Syndicat) and the newspaper Info-Dimanche, as well as one filed jointly by Radio CJFP (1986) ltée, licensee of CIEL-FM Rivière-du-Loup, and CIBM-FM Mont-Bleu ltée, licensee of CIBM-FM Rivière-du-Loup (Radio CJFP/CIBM-FM Mont-Bleu).


In its intervention, the Chamber of Commerce of the RCM of Rivière-du-Loup stated that it could not oppose the entry of a new media outlet and a new source of communication for the business people in the RCM of Rivière-du-Loup. It added, however, that it is aware of the number of media outlets in the RCM of Rivière-du-Loup and that the stakes are high for all parties concerned. The intervener therefore asked the Commission to ensure that the advertising market is viable for all parties concerned before authorizing the entry of a new player.


The Syndicat was of the view that the entry of a new player in the advertising market would further fragment an already saturated market, driving down revenues for Radio CJFP/CIBM-FM Mont-Bleu and having a direct impact on salaries and jobs. According to the Syndicat, the applicant's real purpose is to sell advertising to the businesses of Rivière-du-Loup that will be broadcast in Rivière-du-Loup by CFVD-FM. The intervener also argued that Rivière-du-Loup does not need a new player in the advertising market, nor a new editorial voice, because the businesses in the area are already being solicited by roughly 15 different media outlets.


The newspaper Info-Dimanche claimed that the applicant's analysis of the information and advertising markets in question is flawed and presents an overly optimistic picture that does not reflect reality. According to the intervener, the applicant is exaggerating the added value it claims it would bring to local information content and unduly minimizing the impact of its entry in an already saturated advertising market. Info-Dimanche submitted that, while it may be true that adding the proposed transmitter would add to the diversity of information sources, it would definitely not add to the diversity of information and editorial content. According to Info-Dimanche, the new transmitter would be redundant and would bring nothing new in terms of local news coverage.


Info-Dimanche was also of the view that the applicant's argument that it would increase the diversity of editorial voices is nothing more than a pretext for capturing market share in a market that is already oversubscribed. Finally, according to the intervener, given that, as the applicant pointed out, the situation in Rivière-du-Loup has changed little in the last 15 years, the region cannot support new entrants to the local advertising market without adversely affecting existing local and regional media.


Radio CJFP/CIBM-FM Mont-Bleu argued that Radio Dégelis's reasons for moving into the Rivière-du-Loup market in no way contribute to improving radio services in the region. According to the intervener, when a broadcaster claims that its goal is to improve the quality of its signal, it could do that in its licensed territory, which in the case of Radio Dégelis is Témiscouata.


Radio CJFP/CIBM-FM Mont-Bleu noted that the Rivière-du-Loup market is already well served by the existing radio stations, i.e., the two local commercial radio stations (CIBM-FM and CIEL-FM) and several other stations competing for local advertising, such as CHOX-FM La Pocatière and CFVD-FM, and those with a presence in the local market, such as CHRC Québec, CIKI-FM Rimouski and CIHO-FM Charlevoix.


Radio CJFP/CIBM-FM Mont-Bleu also pointed out that, in 2004, the Commission authorized Télévision MBS inc., licensee of local station CFTF-TV (TQS) Rivière-du-Loup, to sell local advertising in the Rivière-du-Loup market, and that CFTF-TV broadcasts promotional messages inviting businesses to contact its sales department. The intervener was of the view that the impact on local radio stations could not be assessed at this time. It added that, according to the study it commissioned from Firme Carat, the transmitter proposed by Radio Dégelis and the third local television station could adversely affect the profitability of stations CIBM-FM and CIEL-FM.


Radio CJFP/CIBM-FM Mont-Bleu also argued that it is unacceptable for Radio Dégelis to request authorization to capture more advertising revenues in the central market of stations CIBM-FM and CIEL-FM while making little or no contribution to the community. Furthermore, the letter from Agence Nationale MPV Radio filed with the intervention by Radio CJFP/CIBM-FM Mont-Bleu confirmed that the presence of the proposed transmitter does not in any way guarantee an increase in national sales for CFVD-FM.

Applicant's reply


Radio Dégelis was of the view that those in opposition to the application colluded and that Radio CJFP/CIBM-FM Mont-Bleu enjoys a monopoly in the region and wants to retain that dominant position at all costs. The applicant argued that as soon as anyone wants to add a new radio voice to Rivière-du-Loup, there is immediate talk of media overkill, meaning publishing, television and radio. According to Radio Dégelis, there is no more media overkill in Rivière-du-Loup than in the rest of the highway 185 corridor, which has exactly the same number of media outlets. The applicant was further of the view that the media outlets listed by the interveners earn a good part of their revenues from businesses in the applicant's licensed area - much more than the applicant would ever earn in Rivière-du-Loup.


In response to the Info-Dimanche intervention, the applicant stated that it would never be a veritable competitor because it is not involved in the publishing business. Radio Dégelis would be an editorial voice competing only with CIEL-FM and CIBM-FM, the only stations that, according to the applicant, are really affected by its application. The applicant also pointed out that the Rivière-du-Loup market comprises 30,000 households with some 100,000 consumers, not 18,000 consumers as claimed by Info-Dimanche.


Radio Dégelis submitted that the real goal of Radio CJFP/CIBM-FM Mont-Bleu is to maintain its dominant position in western Bas-Saint-Laurent by allowing it to continue its monopoly and stifle any potential competition in the Rivière-du-Loup radio market. Radio Dégelis added that Radio CJFP/CIBM-FM Mont-Bleu has steadily increased its presence in its market over the years, specifically by adding the transmitters approved in Addition of a transmitter, Decision CRTC 96-632, 11 September 1996 (CIEL-FM-3 Cabano); Licence amendment for CIBM-FM, Decision CRTC 2001-191, 27 March 2001 (CIBM-FM-3 Sully); Licence amendment for CJFP-FM, Decision CRTC 2001-192, 27 March 2001 (CIEL-FM-5 Sully); and CIBM-FM Rivière-du-Loup - New transmitter in Saint-Juste-du-Lac, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-400, 5 December 2002 (CIBM-FM-4 Saint-Juste-du-Lac). Radio Dégelis also reiterated that the purpose of its application is to extend its service area to include the whole highway 185 economic corridor, including the city of Rivière-du-Loup.


Radio Dégelis also submitted that by rebroadcasting its programming in its entirety, CFVD-FM would be to Rivière-du-Loup exactly what CIEL-FM and CIBM-FM are to Témiscouata. It pointed out that the programming offered by CFVD-FM would differ from that of the other stations in this region, particularly in terms of its musical format, news reporting and promotional activities.


Finally, Radio Dégelis maintained that its goal is to diversify the radio voices offered in Rivière-du-Loup, as CIEL-FM and CIBM-FM already do in its own part of the territory, with no undue impact on their revenues and even less impact on employee salaries.

Commission's analysis and determination


According to the BBM Bureau of Measurement, the Les Basques/Rivière-du-Loup radio market is separate from the Témiscouata market. The Les Basques/Rivière-du-Loup market, the main population centres of which are Rivière-du-Loup and Trois-Pistoles, has approximately 37,840 residents 12 years of age and over, whereas the Témiscouata market, the main population centres of which are Dégelis and Pohénégamook, has approximately 19,330.


The Commission notes that the Rivière-du-Loup radio market is currently served by two local stations, CIEL-FM and CIBM-FM, and that the overall financial position of these two stations is precarious.


The Commission also notes that the local stations in the Rivière-du-Loup market are currently facing strong competition from outside stations, which account for 48% of listenership, compared with 52% for the local stations. The Commission considers that, while CFVD-FM Dégelis currently accounts for only a very small percentage of listenership in this market, expanding CFVD-FM's listenership in Rivière-du-Loup would probably be detrimental both to the local stations and to the stations outside the market. Moreover, given the precarious financial status of both stations in the Rivière-du-Loup market, the Commission considers that any loss of revenues could exacerbate that situation and further weaken these stations.


In CFTF-TV and its transmitters - Licence renewal, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2004-538, 3 December 2004, the Commission approved the application by Télévision MBS inc. to delete its condition of licence for television station CFTF-TV Rivière-du-Loup prohibiting the solicitation of local advertising. The Commission notes that with the deletion of this condition of licence, a fragmentation of local advertising revenues in the Rivière-du-Loup market can be anticipated.


Finally, the Commission notes that the applicant stated that it wanted to improve the quality of its signal to the highway 185 community and that the uneven topography along the river in Rivière-du-Loup prevented it from adequately reaching all highway 185 residents. However, after reviewing the applicant's development and expansion plans, the Commission finds that the addition of an FM transmitter at Rivière-du-Loup would not improve the quality of the CFVD-FM signal along highway 185, which is located within its existing contours. Accordingly, the Commission considers that approving this application would only further expand the applicant's contours to serve the population located outside its service area.


In light of all of the above, the Commission denies the application by Radio Dégelis inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the radio programming undertaking CFVD-FM Dégelis, in order to add a transmitter at Rivière-du-Loup to rebroadcast the programming of CFVD-FM Dégelis to the residents of Rivière-du-Loup.
  Secretary General
  This decision 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: 2006-09-21

Date modified: