Ottawa, 4 October 2010
Corus Entertainment Inc.
BCE Place, Bay-Wellington Tower
181 Bay Street
Toronto. Ontario M5J 2T3
Re: Review of rebranding of Viva as OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network (case # 419161)
Dear Ms. Courtemanche,
It is Commission staff’s understanding that the recent announcement by Corus regarding the addition of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) to its portfolio will be accomplished through the rebranding of Viva (formerly Canadian Learning Television (CLT)). Based on this understanding, Commission staff has some questions regarding the rebranding of Viva into OWN.
Viva’s nature of service definition is as follows as set out in (Decision CRTC 2004-17):
The licensee shall provide a national English-language specialty television service which provides formal and informal educational programming and learning opportunities that generally focus on adult education. Educational programs will come from a full spectrum of basic, credit-based, skills-related and life-enhancing programs, many of which will be undertaken in cooperation with colleges, universities and training institutions. (emphasis added)
Please explain how the programming described in Corus’s press release dated
29 September 2010 is consistent with the nature of service definition set out in Decision 2004-17 and, specifically, how the programming constitutes “formal educational programming” and how it will be “undertaken in cooperation with colleges, universities and training institutions.” For ease of reference, the relevant text from the press release has been provided below:
“OWN will be a wonderful complement to the rest of our Women’s services. Targeting Adults 18 – 54 with a core of Women 25 – 54, OWN will explore issues that matter, from health and wellness, home and relationships to stories of strength and transformation. With over 1200 hours of original and acquired programming, series will include Rosie O’Donnell’s return to daytime television with The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Behind the Scenes: The Oprah Show Final Season, Oprah Presents: Master Class, In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman, The Miracle Detectives, and Oprah’s Next Chapter.”
Please provide a sample of the proposed programming schedule for OWN, including explanations about how the specific programs fit within the nature of service definition.
Commission staff notes that this is not the first letter that has been sent to Corus regarding apparent inconsistencies between Viva/CLT’s nature of service and the programming broadcast on the service.
The information requested herein should be received at the Commission by no later than
12 October 2010. All correspondence must be submitted by using our On-line services available on our website via the following link:
In the Description box, please repeat the “subject” line for all related correspondence concerning this matter, and quote case # 419161.
Please be advised that this letter and all related correspondence will be placed on the public file (case # 419161).
(original signed by)
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