ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-45
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Route reference: Part 1 applications posted on 12 October 2011
Ottawa, 6 February 2013
International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association Inc.
Charlottetown and Summerside, Prince Edward Island
Applications 2011-1319-1 and 2011-1322-4
CIOG-FM Charlottetown and its transmitter CIOG-FM-1 Summerside – Technical changes
The Commission approves an application by International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association Inc. (IHC) to change the authorized contours of the low-power, English-language specialty radio station CIOG-FM Charlottetown by increasing the effective radiated power (ERP) from 50 to 250 watts.
The Commission also approves an application by IHC to change the authorized contours of the transmitter CIOG-FM-1 Summerside by increasing the ERP from 50 to 250 watts.
1. The Commission received applications by International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association Inc. (IHC) to change the authorized contours of the low-power, English-language specialty radio programming undertaking CIOG-FM Charlottetown by increasing its effective radiated power (ERP) from 50 to 250 watts, and to change the authorized contours of CIOG-FM’s rebroadcasting transmitter, CIOG-FM-1 Summerside, by increasing that transmitter’s ERP from 50 to 250 watts. The Commission did not receive any interventions in connection with these applications.
2. IHC submitted that the technical changes are necessary to allow its station to provide adequate coverage in the markets that it is licensed to serve and to ensure the station’s financial stability and viability.
3. The Commission notes that the technical parameters proposed in the applications would change the operating class of CIOG-FM and CIOG-FM-1 from that of an unprotected, low-power service to that of a protected Class A1 service.
Commission’s analysis and decisions
4. After examining the public record for these applications in light of applicable regulations and policies, the Commission considers that the issue it must address in its determinations is whether there is an economic or technical need for the proposed technical changes.
5. In its applications, IHC claimed that CIOG-FM does not provide adequate coverage to the markets it is licensed to serve, and provided maps to demonstrate that the proposed technical changes would improve reception in those markets. In addition, the licensee projected decreases in revenue should its applications be denied, despite the steps that it has already taken to improve the financial performance of the station, including the sponsorship of local events, community outreach, and the increased use of social media to increase listenership.
6. The Commission agrees with IHC that the current technical parameters of CIOG-FM and its transmitter CIOG-FM-1 do not permit the licensee to provide sufficient coverage to the markets it is licensed to serve, potentially limiting the station’s revenues. In the Commission’s view, the proposed technical changes would be the most effective way of improving the coverage provided by the station and its rebroadcasting transmitter and, consequently, of contributing to the station’s financial viability.
7. Finally, the Commission notes that 91.3 MHz (channel 217), the frequency on which CIOG-FM operates, is capable of providing slightly greater coverage than the coverage proposed by IHC for the station. Notwithstanding this, the Commission considers that the technical changes proposed by the licensee represent an appropriate use of spectrum, particularly given that other frequencies available in the Charlottetown radio market can provide equal or greater coverage than that provided by CIOG-FM. The Commission reminds licensees of radio stations that spectrum utilization is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Accordingly, should a radio licensee submit an application requesting technical changes that would improve coverage, it should demonstrate as part of that application that its proposal represents an optimal use of scarce FM spectrum.
8. In light of the above, the Commission approves the application by International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association Inc. to change the authorized contours of the radio programming undertaking CIOG-FM Charlottetown by increasing its ERP from 50 to 250 watts. It also approves the licensee’s application to change the authorized contours of CIOG-FM’s rebroadcasting transmitter, CIOG-FM-1 Summerside, by increasing that transmitter’s ERP from 50 to 250 watts.
9. The Commission reminds the licensee that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, this authority will only be effective when the Department of Industry notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.
10. The Commission notes that in regard to CIOG-FM, IHC appears to be in non-compliance with section 9(2) of the Radio Regulations, 1986, which relates to the filing of annual returns, for the 2007-2008 broadcast year. It further notes that the licensee has not had the opportunity to comment on this apparent non-compliance in the context of the present applications. Since the broadcasting licence for CIOG-FM expires on 31 August 2014, the Commission will address this issue in the context of the station’s next licence renewal.
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
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