ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-395

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Route reference: 2009-803

Ottawa, 18 June 2010

Toonto Maple Leafs Network Ltd.
Across Canada

Application 2009-1482-1, received 2 November 2009
Public Hearing in the National Capital Region
22 February 2010

Mainstream Sports – Category 2 specialty service

1.      The Commission approves the application by Toronto Maple Leafs Network Ltd.  (TMLN) for a broadcasting licence to operate Mainstream Sports, a national, English‑language Category 2 specialty programming undertaking devoted to mainstream sports programming. The service will be devoted to all aspects of sports with an emphasis on mainstream Canadian professional sports.

2.      TMLN is a corporation owned by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (48.91%), Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (25.98%), Kilmer Sports Inc. (15.15%) and TD Capital Group Limited (9.96%). TMLN is controlled by its board of directors pursuant to a shareholders’ agreement.

3.      TMLN indicated that its application was in accordance with Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-100, which provides for competition between Canadian specialty services operating in the genre of mainstream sports. It requested the standard conditions set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-562.


4.      The applicant also stated that the new service would offer high definition (HD) programming content for approximately 50% of the broadcast day with a view to increasing to 80% by the end of the licence term.

5.      The Commission is satisfied that the application complies with the framework set out in
Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-100, as well as with all applicable terms and conditions announced in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-562. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.

6.      The Commission received a comment by Shaw Communications Inc. (Shaw) regarding all applications for Category 2 services considered as part of this proceeding. Shaw did not oppose these applications but wished to state for the record its concern that any new Category 2 service must be licensed in a manner that is consistent with the streamlined, flexible framework introduced in Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-100. Specifically, Shaw indicated that the Commission should explicitly state that new Category 2 services cannot be granted mandatory distribution orders under section 9(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act and cannot become Category 1 services with access rights. The applicant did not reply to the intervention.

Implementation of the Accessibility Policy with respect to competitive Canadian mainstream sports and national news specialty services and other matters

7.      The Commission notes that in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-562-1, also issued today, it has amended the standard conditions of licence for competitive Canadian mainstream sports and national news specialty services to include standardized conditions of licence concerning accessibility of programming, as well as the standard authorization to make available for distribution an upgraded version of a service in HD format. Accordingly, the Commission considers that the licence should also be subject to the terms and conditions set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-562-1.


8.      The Commission reminds the licensee that the distribution of this service is subject to the applicable distribution rules set out in Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-100.


Secretary General


Related documents


*This decision is to be appended to the licence.

Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-395

Terms and conditions of licence for the Category 2 specialty programming undertaking Mainstream Sports


A licence will be issued once the applicant has satisfied the Commission, with supporting documentation, that the following requirements have been met:

The licence will expire 31 August 2016.

Conditions of licence 

1.      The licence will be subject to the conditions set out in Appendix 1 to Conditions of licence for competitive Canadian specialty services operating in the genres of mainstream sports and national news – Implementation of the Accessibility Policy and other matters, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-562-1, 18 June 2010.


2.       In accordance with Accessibility of telecommunications and broadcasting services, Broadcasting and Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-430, 21 July 2009, the licensee shall ensure that advertising, sponsorship messages and promos in the English and French language are closed captioned by no later than the fourth year of the licence term.


3.       In order to ensure that the licensee complies at all times with the Direction to the CRTC (Ineligibility of non-Canadians), P.C. 1997-486, 8 April 1997, as amended by P.C. 1998-1268, 15 July 1998, the licensee shall file, for the Commission’s prior review, a copy of any programming supply agreement and/or licence trademark agreement it intends to enter into with a non-Canadian party.

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