ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-768
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Route reference: Part 1 application posted on 19 July 2011
Ottawa, 13 December 2011
Municipalities in the province of Quebec
Video-on-demand service – Licence amendment
The Commission approves an application by Sogetel inc. for an amendment to a condition of licence for its video-on-demand undertaking serving all municipalities in the province of Quebec.
1. The Commission received an application by Sogetel inc. (Sogetel) to amend the broadcasting licence for the video-on-demand programming undertaking serving all municipalities in the province of Quebec, in order to be relieved of the requirement to provide closed captioning for community and local programming available through video-on-demand (VOD) until the end of the licence term. To that end, the licensee wishes to amend condition of licence 10 set out in Broadcasting Decision 2009-341, which reads as follows:
The licensee shall caption 100% of the programs in its inventory, consistent with the approach set out in A new policy with respect to closed captioning, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2007-54, 17 May 2007.
2. Sogetel stated that the cost of captioning community programming was prohibitive both for its VOD service and for the community television undertaking that produces the programming and that is not subject to any captioning requirements. Sogetel added that the requirement to caption community programming would prevent it from offering such programming without charge to its subscribers and would reduce the number of programs offered. The licensee indicated however that it would continue to provide closed captioning for the other programs offered on its service.
Interventions and applicant’s reply
3. The Commission received interventions in support of the present application by the Fédération des télévisions communautaires autonomes du Québec, Télévision communautaire de Beauceville and Télévision des Bois-Francs. The Commission also received an intervention in opposition to the application by the Centre québécois de la déficience auditive (CQDA). The CQDA stated that it was opposed to the complete and permanent deletion of the condition of licence regarding closed captioning.
4. Sogetel responded to the CQDA’s intervention by clarifying that the requested exception affects only community programming and reiterating its commitment to captioning all other programs offered on its service.
5. The Commission is satisfied with Sogetel’s response to the CQDA. The public record for this proceeding can be found on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca under “Public proceedings.”
Commission’s analysis and decision
6. In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-622 (the Community Television Policy), the Commission established the following requirement, expectation and encouragement relating to closed captioning:
The Commission intends to impose conditions of licence requiring licensed BDUs that operate community channels to caption at a minimum 100% of original licensee-produced programming by the end of their next licence term.
The Commission also expects licensed BDUs to ensure that 100% of original access programming is captioned by the end of the next licence term.
The Commission encourages independent community services to caption as much programming as possible.
7. The Commission notes that all licensees may request amendments to the requirements pursuant to Broadcasting Public Notice 2007-54.
8. The Commission further notes that Sogetel is not authorized to operate a community channel for which 100% of the programming must, by condition of licence, be captioned by the end of the next licence term. In other words, the licensee is not authorized to broadcast original programming produced in-house or by a related undertaking. The Commission also notes that the community programming that Sogetel intends to broadcast is made up solely of access programming produced by independent community services. According to the Community Television Policy, it is not mandatory that this programming be captioned, but the Commission expects that it will be by the end of the next licence term.
9. In light of the above, the Commission approves the application by Sogetel inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the VOD programming undertaking serving all municipalities in the province of Quebec, in order to be relieved of the requirement to provide closed captioning for community and local programming available through VOD until the end of the licence term. Accordingly, the licensee’s condition of licence 10 will now read as follows:
The licensee shall caption 100% of the programs in its inventory, consistent with the approach set out in A new policy with respect to closed captioning, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2007-54, 17 May 2007, except for community access programming.
10. The Commission notes that it will examine the possibility of imposing the other accessibility requirements set out in the Community Television Policy either at the renewal of the broadcasting licence for the undertaking or if the licensee requests authorization to broadcast original programming produced in-house or by a related undertaking.
Community television policy, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-622, 26 August 2010
Video-on-demand service, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2009-341, 12 June 2009
A new policy with respect to closed captioning, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2007-54, 17 May 2007
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
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