ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-376
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Route reference: 2014-151
Ottawa, 18 July 2014
Application 2014-0023-3, received 10 January 2014
SaskTel Pay-Per-View – Licence renewal and amendment
The Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the national terrestrial pay‑per‑view service SaskTel Pay-Per-View from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2021.
The Commision denies the licensee’s request to delete a condition of licence relating to the Independent Programming Committee.
- The Commission received an application by Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel) to renew the broadcasting licence for the national terrestrial pay-per-view (PPV) service SaskTel Pay-Per-View, expiring 31 August 2014.
- SaskTel requested authorization to continue to use its PPV service as an outlet for local expression. SaskTel also requested the deletion of the condition of licence requiring the establishment and maintenance of an Independent Programming Committee (IPC), which is set out in Broadcasting Decision 2006-491.
- The Commission received a comment from the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA) relating to the energy consumption of set-top boxes. The Commission considers that the comment by the CEEA falls outside the scope of this licence renewal proceeding. The public record for this application can be found on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca or by using the application number provided above.
Commission’s analysis and decision
Deletion of the condition of licence relating to the Independent Programming Committee
- In Broadcasting Decision 2006-491, the Commission authorized SaskTel to use its PPV service as an outlet for local expression. At the same time, it imposed a condition of licence requiring SaskTel to establish and maintain an IPC in order to ensure that that the licensee enjoys freedom of expression and journalistic, creative and programming independence in the pursuit of its objects and in the exercise of its powers.
- In support of its request for the deletion of the condition of licence, the licensee argued that since its PPV service is free from political influence or influence from the Government of Saskatchewan, the safeguard that the IPC provides is no longer required. It also stated that its firm commitment to, and proven record in regard to freedom of expression and journalistic independence make the IPC unnecessary. SaskTel added that it had consulted with the current IPC representatives, who stated that the removal of the IPC is a move in the right direction.
- In Broadcasting Decision 2012-292, the Commission denied a similar request by SaskTel to delete the same condition of licence for its video-on-demand (VOD) service. The Commission considers that, as was the case for its VOD service, the justification provided by SaskTel in regard to its proven record reflects the merits of the existing condition of licence relating to the licensee’s IPC, which was put into place to ensure that the programming fully reflects and preserves freedom of expression as well as journalistic, creative and programming independence. The Commission further considers that SaskTel has not provided any further compelling arguments or sufficient evidence to support its proposal to delete the condition of licence in question. Finally, SaskTel still qualifies as an agent of Her Majesty in right of a province and, as such, did not provide alternative mechanisms that would ensure compliance at all times with the Directions to the CRTC (Ineligibility to Hold Broadcasting Licences). Accordingly, the Commission denies SaskTel’s request to delete the condition of licence relating to the IPC.
Change to the Terms of Reference for the Independent Programming Committee
- In the Terms of Reference for the IPC, the first term reads as follows:
There shall be a committee of nine (9) persons, one person from each of the broadcasting distribution undertakings’ licensed areas, to be known as the Independent Programming Committee that shall be responsible for making all programming decisions.
- Since 2010, seven of the nine broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs) have been operating as exempt services. Accordingly, the Commission considers it appropriate to amend this term of reference to reflect that the committee will be comprised of nine persons, one person from each of the BDUs’ service areas, licensed and exempt, instead of from the nine licensed areas. The revised Terms of Reference are set out in the appendix to this decision.
- In light of the above, the Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the national terrestrial pay-per-view service SaskTel Pay-Per-View from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2021. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.
- Various national and regional video-on-demand programming undertakings – Licence renewals and amendments, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-292, 17 May 2012
- Pay-per-view service, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-491, 8 September 2006
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-376
The licence will take effect 1 September 2014 and will expire 31 August 2021.
Conditions of licence
- The licensee shall adhere to the standard conditions of licence set out in the appendix to Revised regulatory framework for pay-per-view services, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2013-561, 23 October 2013, as amended from time to time.
- (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (b) and (c) or under a condition of its licence, if a licensee elects to offer an outlet for local expression, the licensee shall offer the programming at no charge to its subscribers and shall not offer any programming service other than the following:
- community programming;
- a maximum of two minutes during a 60-minute interval of announcements promoting broadcasting services that the licensee is authorized to provide;
- a public service announcement;
- an information program funded by and produced for a federal, provincial or municipal government or agency or a public service organization;
- the question period of the legislature of the province in which the licensed area is located;
- an announcement providing information about the programming that is to be offered as local expression;
- a commercial message that mentions or displays the name of a person who sponsored a community event or the goods, services or activities sold or promoted by the person, if the mention or display is in the course and incidental to the production of community programming relating to the event;
- an oral or written acknowledgement, which may include a moving visual presentation of no more than 15 seconds per message, contained in community programming that mentions no more than the name of a person, a description of the goods, services or activities that are being sold or promoted by the person and their address and telephone number, if the person provided direct financial assistance for the community programming in which the acknowledgement is contained;
- an oral or a written acknowledgement contained in community programming that mentions no more than the name of a person, the goods or services provided by the person and their address and telephone number, if the person provided the goods or services free of charge to the licensee for use in connection with the production of the community programming in which the acknowledgement is contained;
- a still image programming service as described in Public Notice CRTC 1993-51, dated April 30, 1993 and entitled Exemption order respecting still image programming service undertakings, if the service is produced by the licensee or by members of the community served by the licensee and does not contain commercial messages, other than commercial messages that are contained within the programming service of a licensed radio station; and
- the programming of a community programming undertaking.
(b) At least 75% of the time for promotional announcements included in programming offered as local expression under subparagraph (a)(ii) shall be made available for the promotion of the outlet for local expression and for the promotion, by Canadian programming undertakings other than related programming undertakings, of their respective services.
(c) A maximum of 25% of the time for promotional announcements included in programming offered as local expression under subparagraph (a)(ii) may be made available for the promotion of the services of related programming undertakings, discretionary services, packages of programming services, FM services and additional outlets and for the distribution of information on customer services and channel realignments.
(d) Whenever a licensee is not offering community programming on the outlet for local expression or is offering as part of its inventory community programming that has no audio component, the licensee may offer as part of its inventory the programming service of a local radio station, other than an educational radio programming service whose operation is the responsibility of an educational authority.
(e) If a licensee provides time on the outlet for local expression during an election period for the distribution of programming of a partisan political character, the licensee shall allocate that time on an equitable basis among all accredited political parties and rival candidates.
- (a) Except as otherwise provided under a condition of its licence, the licensee shall devote to local community television programming not less than 60% of the programming offered as local expression.
(b) Except as otherwise provided under a condition of its licence, the licensee shall:
- devote at least 50% of the programming offered as local expression to community access television programming;
- devote a further percentage up to a total of 50% of the programming offered as local expression to community access television programming, according to requests;
- if one or more community television corporations are in operation in a licensed area, make available to them up to 20% of the programming offered as local expression for community access television programming; and
- if one or more community television corporations are in operation in a licensed area, make available to each of them, on request, not less than four hours of community access television programming.
(c) The time allocated to the distribution of alphanumeric message services is excluded from the calculation of the programming requirement under this condition.
- (a) Except as otherwise provided under a condition of its licence, the licensee shall:
- keep a program log or a machine-readable record of programs offered as local expression in the licensed area and retain it for a period of one year after the latest date on which the program is offered; and
- enter into the program log or machine-readable record of programs the following information for each program:
- the title of the program;
- the duration of time the program was offered, including the announcements and commercial messages referred to in conditions of licence 2(a)(ii) and (vii);
- a brief description of the program, including a statement as to whether it is local community television programming;
- the name of the distribution undertaking for which the program was produced and the name of the producer;
- a statement as to whether the program constitutes community access television programming and identifying the party that has been provided with access; and
- the time of commencement of the announcements and commercial messages referred to in conditions of licence 2(a)(ii) and (vii), the duration and in the case of each commercial message, the name of the person selling or promoting goods, services or activities.
(b) The licensee shall retain a clear and intelligible audiovisual recording of each program offered as local expression in the licensed area for a period of:
- four weeks after the latest date on which the program is offered; or
- eight weeks after the latest date on which the program is offered if the Commission receives a complaint from a person regarding the program or, for any other reason, decides to investigate and so notifies the licensee before the end of the period referred to in paragraph (I).
- The licensee shall maintain an Independent Programming Committee in accordance with the terms of reference set out below, as amended and approved by the Commission from time to time, with a view to ensuring that the licensee enjoys freedom of expression and journalistic, creative and programming independence in the pursuit of its objects and in the exercise of its powers.
Terms of reference for the licensee’s Independent Programming Committee
In order to ensure programming independence, the licensee will establish an Independent Programming Committee in accordance with the following:
- There shall be a committee of nine (9) persons, one person from each of the broadcasting distribution undertakings’ service areas, licensed and exempt, to be known as the Independent Programming Committee that shall be responsible for making all programming decisions.
“Programming decisions” means all decisions relating to or affecting the programming offered as local expression by the pay-per-view and video-on-demand services, and includes decisions relating to the content and presentation of this programming.
- The Independent Programming Committee shall ensure the programming is in conformity with any applicable conditions, regulations, and policies of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (the Commission), as well as with the Broadcasting Act.
- The licensee shall seek nominations of individuals from non-profit cultural, sporting, and recreational organizations who have strong associations within the communities they reside and a strong desire to showcase a balanced view of their community.
- To ensure a high level of citizen participation and community involvement in the outlet for local expression, members of the Independent Programming Committee shall seek opportunities for program proposals and encourage submissions that reflect the makeup of their communities from within the communities they represent.
- No member of the Independent Programming Committee shall be a member of the Board, a director, or an employee of the licensee or any of its affiliates.
- All of the members of the Independent Programming Committee shall be residents of the serving community they represent.
- Members of the Independent Programming Committee shall be appointed for a period of two (2) years.
- A quorum of the Independent Programming Committee shall be a majority of its members.
- Decisions of the Independent Programming Committee shall be made by a majority of the members present at a meeting of the Committee, either in person or by telephone.
- No change shall be made to these criteria unless prior Commission approval is obtained.
The standard expectations applicable to the licensee are set out in the appendix to Revised regulatory framework for pay-per-view services, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2013-561, 23 October 2013, as amended from time to time. The expectation relating to employment equity set out in that regulatory policy does not apply to this licensee.
- Date modified: