Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2012-61

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Ottawa, 30 January 2012

New procedure for the filing of applications for specialty audio programming services

In this information bulletin, the Commission sets out its new procedure, effective today, regarding the number of applications for specialty audio programming services that it is prepared to consider from any one applicant at any one time.

1.      In New licensing framework for specialty audio programming services, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2002-53, 12 September 2002, the Commission set out a new licensing framework for specialty audio programming services, which it defined as:

audio programming services that are radio undertakings, other than licensed over-the-air services, delivered by [broadcasting distribution undertakings] and that are specialized with respect to their content and/or target audience.

2.      These services have no guaranteed access rights to broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs), which means that once licensed, they have to negotiate their carriage by BDUs. In addition, they are required to adhere to their nature of service definition by condition of licence. Consequently, only a limited number of these services are able to negotiate carriage by BDUs and ultimately become operational.

3.      Since the coming into force of the new licensing framework for specialty audio programming services, certain applicants have filed, at a given time, multiple applications for such services, including some that have a similar nature of service. In this regard, the Commission is concerned that the practice of filing multiple applications does not allow for the efficient use of resources throughout the industry and within the Commission.

4.      Accordingly, the Commission announces that, effective today, it is prepared to consider three (3) applications for new specialty audio programming services at any one time, in any language, from any one applicant. Applicants that file more than three applications for such services at any stage in the process during which the applications are being considered will see their applications returned. However, if the applicant with three applications under consideration wishes to file an application for another such service, it will be allowed to withdraw one of those three applications in order for the new application to be considered. Finally, the applicant will be expected to demonstrate that the proposed specialty audio programming services are distinct from each other. Applications that do not meet these criteria will be returned.

Secretary General

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