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Ottawa, October 8, 2010
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
299 Queen Street West
Subject: CTVglobemedia Inc.’s Request Concerning the LPIF Eligibility of its Regional Conventional Television Stations in Northern Ontario and Atlantic Canada
Dear Mr. Goldstein:
The Commission received letters dated May 27th and June 28th, 2010 from CTVglobemedia Inc. (“CTVgm”) requesting the Commission to reconsider its determination that six of CTVgm’s local television stations would only be partially eligible for support from the Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF). It requested that these stations be eligible to receive full funding dating back to September 1st, 2009.
CTVgm further requested in a letter dated August 3rd, 2010 that the Commission initiate an expedited public process to deal with this matter. It proposed that both of its letters, dated May 27th and June 28th respectively, form the basis of CTVgm’s submission to the proposed process. It also proposed that interested parties, identified as the other recipients of LPIF monies, have ten days to provide comments and that CTVgm would then have two days to respond to any issues raised by the interested parties.
The Commission approved such a public process and comments were received from MTS Allstream Inc., Canwest Television Limited Partnership, Channel Zero Inc., and V Interactions Inc. Reply comments were received from CTVgm.
The Commission has reviewed the submissions by CTVgm and the comments from interested parties. With respect to the application of the LPIF for regional service models, CTVgm agreed with the Commission determination to aggregate local programming expenditures for stations of a regional group for purposes of the proportionate share of the LPIF available to stations in Northern Ontario and Atlantic Canada. CTVgm however disagreed with the Commission determination that stations participating in a regional service model would not be eligible to receive one equal share of the portion of LPIF available to individually eligible stations.
Corus Entertainment Inc. and MTS Allstream Inc. supported the Commission’s determination. Channel Zero Inc. specifically stated that the process works fairly and efficiently. MTS Allstream Inc. concurred that it is appropriate that each regional service, not each individual undertaking, be treated as an eligible station when the one-third of the LPIF funding that is divided among eligible local television stations is allocated.
The Commission notes that the treatment of regional stations under the LPIF regime was addressed in Public Notice 2008-100 when the Commission created the regime. This policy stated that, in a regional model, the producing stations, such as Sudbury and Halifax, would be entitled to receive LPIF funding.
While the Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-406 mentioned that stations could count regional programming towards their local programming requirement, this did not change the Commission’s intention originally set out in Public Notice 2008-100. Information Bulletin 2010-333 restated this intention.
In light of the above, the Commission denies the request of CTVgm to provide full LPIF entitlement for each individual station comprising a regional service model. The Commission recognizes CTVgm’s concerns and notes that the LPIF policy will be reviewed next year and CTVgm will have the opportunity at that time to request a change in the Commission policy.
With respect to the assertion that there was a lack of procedural fairness, the Commission notes that the policy for the LPIF was developed through public processes in which CTVgm participated and the Commission is of the view that there was no breach of procedural fairness.
Robert A. Morin
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