ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-522
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Route reference: Part 1 application posted on 1 October 2013
Ottawa, 7 October 2014
9015-2018 Québec inc.
CHOU Montréal - New low-power FM transmitter in Montréal
The Commission denies an application by 9015-2018 Québec inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the AM radio station CHOU Montréal to add a low-power FM rebroadcasting transmitter in Montréal.
9015-2018 Québec inc. (9015-2018 Québec) filed an application to amend the broadcasting licence for the French-language AM radio station CHOU Montréal to add a low-power FM rebroadcasting transmitter in Montréal, Quebec. The licensee stated that the new transmitter could resolve the station’s AM signal reception problems.
The transmitter would operate at 104.5 MHz (channel 283) with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 50 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 22.3 metres).
Intervention and reply
The Commission received an opposing intervention by Canadian Hellenic Cable Radio Ltd. (CHCR).Footnote 1 CHCR stated that approving the application by 9015-2018 Québec would result in harmful interference for the signal of its own station, CKDG-FM Montréal. It submitted that CKDG-FM’s current signal was already very weak, that it was already subject to interference from other stations, and that any new signal, even on a third-adjacent frequency, would have a negative impact. CHCR also indicated that it would be forced to reduce its ERP by 50 watts to mitigate the interference that the new rebroadcasting transmitter would cause if the Commission approved the application.
Finally, CHCR stated that a new transmitter could have a negative impact on the advertising revenues of its radio stations CKDG-FM and CKIN-FM Montréal.
In reply, 9015-2018 Québec noted that under the Department of Industry’s standards, no restrictions are imposed when a licensee files an application for a third-adjacent, low-power FM frequency. It added that all technical concerns were clearly addressed in its technical brief. It nonetheless committed to taking the necessary steps to remedy any interference affecting CHCR’s stations.
Commission's analysis and decision
After examining the application in light of applicable regulations and policies, the Commission considers that the issue it must address is whether the applicant has demonstrated a technical need for the proposed change.
In its application, CHOU noted AM signal reception problems in the Saint-Léonard area in the north-eastern part of the island of Montréal caused by the construction of new buildings, reinforced cement structures and increased noise due to electrical devices in the urban area. The low-power transmitter proposed as a solution would be located 13.5 kilometres north-east of the station, just outside its secondary 5 mV/m contour.
To support its application, CHOU filed a technical study and letters referring to the station’s signal reception problems. The Commission notes that the signal levels recorded in the technical study are all situated outside the station’s authorized service area as defined by its primary contour. It also notes that only 6 of the 21 points measured are located inside the secondary service area.
With regard to the listener complaints, the Commission notes that all the reception problems mentioned took place outside or at the edge of CHOU’s secondary contour. The Commission considers that reception issues in an AM radio station’s secondary service area are to be expected due to the nature and variability of AM signal propagation, particularly in large urban centres such as Montréal. AM signals are sensitive to electromagnetic interference, such as that caused by electronic apparatus and power lines, and ambient noise caused by such interference increasingly affecting all AM radio stations.
Given that the signal problems are occurring near the edge of the secondary daytime service area (i.e., the 5 mV/m contour), the Commission considers that the applicant has not demonstrated that its technical difficulties are located inside its licensed service area and that the application seems to increase the station’s primary service area rather than to mitigate its technical issues.
In light of the above, the Commission finds that the applicant has not shown that there is a demonstrated technical need for the proposed change.
Accordingly, the Commission denies the application by 9015-2018 Québec inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the AM radio programming undertaking CHOU Montréal to add a low-power FM rebroadcasting transmitter in Montréal.
- Footnote 1
On 28 January 2014, Canadian Hellenic Cable Radio Ltd. changed its name to Group CHCR Inc.
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