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Ottawa, 15 November 2013

By E-mail

Peter Kovacs
Director, Regulatory – Content Distribution
Rogers Communications Partnership

Dear M. Kovacs:

Re: application number 2013-1334-5

This is in reference to Rogers Communications Partnership’s (RCP) application to amend the licences of its two Atlantic Canada regional cable broadcasting distribution undertakings to, among other things, amalgamate 43 of the 44 existing serving areas into seven regional serving areas and add a condition of licence that would allow the financing of new French-language community channels in the Saint John and Fredericton, New Brunswick serving areas.

Section 28(1)(a) of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure provides that the Commission may request parties to file information, particulars or documents where needed.

Please provide responses to the questions included in the appendix to this letter.

RCP is required to provide the information/document(s) noted above on the public record by, at the latest, 25 November 2013.

Considering the above request, the deadline to submit interventions will be extended until 6 December 2013.

The Commission requires that you submit your documents electronically using the secured service “My CRTC Account” (Partner Log In or GCKey) and fill in the “Broadcasting and Telecom Cover page” located on this web page. On this web page, you will also find a link to information on the submission of applications to the Commission “Submitting applications and other documents to the CRTC using My CRTC Account.”

A copy of this letter and all related correspondence will be added to the public record of the proceeding.

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by Claude Brault

Claude Brault
Senior Analyst, Distribution Policy and Applications

1- Provide for the i) Fredericton and ii) Saint-John service areas, the total revenues from broadcasting activities, the contribution to the Canada Media Fund, the contribution to other independent funds, and the contribution to community television for a) the last broadcast year; and b) forecast over the next four years.

2- Explain whether the proposal to amalgamate 43 of the 44 existing licensed service areas into seven will affect the contribution that Rogers currently makes to its community channels. What impact, if any, will this have on contributions to the Canada Media Fund and/or to other approved independent funds? Provide detailed calculations as how these funds would be affected a) for the last broadcast year, had the proposed changes been in place; and b) forecast over the next four years.

3- The community television policy set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-622 sets out objectives for community television that include, among other things, an objective that the community channel should reflect the official languages, ethnic and Aboriginal composition of the community.
a) Explain how the existing community channels in Fredericton and Saint John fulfill this objective.
b) For each service area and for the last broadcast year, provide a breakdown of programming on Rogers TV that was in a language other than English. Include the number of hours broadcast and in each case the associated language.
c) For each service area, provide the number of requests received by Rogers TV over the last broadcast year to produce programs in a language other than English. Include the number of proposals and in each case the associated language.
d) Provide any evidence from the community in these particular service areas indicating to Rogers a need for a separate official language minority community channel.

4- Provide the i) the total number of households and ii) the number of subscribers to Rogers’ cable service within each of the Fredericton and Saint-John service areas.

5- Provide any data the company may have regarding the percentage of households in each service area where French is first official language spoken.

6- According to the most recent Census, 7% of the population in the Fredericton Census Agglomeration identifies French as the first official language spoken and 4% in the Saint John Census Metropolitan Area do so. Given these facts, provide a detailed rational as to why Rogers should be permitted to make the contributions proposed to fund a separate French-language community channel in these service areas, rather than including an appropriate amount of French-language programming on the existing community channel.

7- Provide Rogers views on the possibility that its existing Rogers TV channels in Fredericton and Saint-John be required to provide programming in both official languages.

8- For the two service areas in question and for the first five years of operations, provide the following:
a) The total number of hours and eligible expenditures (expressed as a figure and a percentage) planned by Rogers TV for the new French-language community channel regarding i) access programming and ii) local programming.
b) The total number of hours of access programming that will be original programming.
c) In regards to the figures provided in response to a), justify any divergence from sections 31 and 32 of the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations.

9- Explain whether the upgrades proposed by Rogers to its playback distribution center and acquisition of production equipment during the first two years would be exclusively for the benefit of the two French-language community channels and would not be of benefit to any other existing Rogers operations (Rogers TV or other). If not, provide the following:
a) A detailed explanation of how existing Rogers operations would benefit from the upgrades and acquisition of production equipment; and
b) An explanation on the appropriateness of using the contributions from subscribers in these two service areas to fund capital improvements that will benefit more than the two new French-language community channels.

10- In the event the Commission were to not allow the use of the additional contributions for the upgrades and acquisitions proposed by Rogers, provide the following:
a) Whether Rogers would go forward with the application for the COL in question; and
b) Whether the existing nine community channels offered by Rogers in New Brunswick would in any way be affected and why.

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