ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-94

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Route reference: 2013-448

Additional reference: 2013-448-1

Ottawa, 28 February 2014

OpenBroadcaster Inc.
Across Canada

Applications 2013-0441-9 and 2013-0439-4, received 4 March 2013
Public hearing in the National Capital Region
5 November 2013

Video-on-demand service

The Commission approves applications for a broadcasting licence to operate a national video-on-demand service.

The applications

1. OpenBroadcaster Inc. (OpenBroadcaster) filed applications for broadcasting licences to operate two national video-on-demand (VOD) services.

2. OpenBroadcaster is owned and controlled by Robert G. Hopkins, its sole shareholder.

3. The applicant proposed to operate two VOD services: one service would consist of 100% user-generated content (2013-0441-9) while the other would consist of 100% user-generated pornography (2013-0439-4). The applicant stated that the programming would be adapted to the audience in each region it serves. All of the programming would be in the English language.

4. The applicant indicated that it would adhere to the standard requirements for VOD services set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policies 2011-59 and 2011-59-1.

5. The Commission received an intervention in opposition to application 2013-0439-4 from an individual. The intervener was concerned that the proposed adult programming could adversely impact aboriginal youth and, in particular, aboriginal girls and women in the Yukon who are most susceptible to exploitation. The applicant did not reply to the intervention. The public record for this proceeding can be found on the Commission’s website at under “Public Proceedings.”

Commission’s analysis and decision

6. With respect to the intervention, the Commission notes that the applicant committed to work with the Yukon Film and Sound Commission to develop guidelines and to provide the Commission its proposed internal policy on adult programming at least one month prior to the commencement of operations. The Commission notes that OpenBroadcaster did not include this policy as part of its applications. The Commission therefore requires OpenBroadcaster to file its internal policy with the Commission at least 30 days prior to the commencement of operations. In accordance with Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2011-59-1, the Commission also requires by condition of licence that OpenBroadcaster adhere to the Industry code of programming standards and practices governing pay, pay-per-view and video-on-demand services, as set out in Broadcasting Public Notice 2003-10. The Commission therefore considers that the applicant will be in a position to minimize any risk of complaint or adverse impact related to the adult programming on its service.

7. OpenBroadcaster applied for two separate licences to offer the services proposed. However, the Commission does not consider it necessary to issue two separate licences for these services. Since VOD services are not defined by a genre, are not required to adhere to a description of their service by condition of licence and may broadcast programs from all the program categories set out in the Pay Television Regulations, 1990, both proposed services can be operated together as a single service under one licence.

8. The Commission is satisfied that the applications comply with the licensing framework for VOD services set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-190 and with all applicable requirements set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2011-59. Accordingly, the Commission approves the applications by OpenBroadcaster Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a national video-on-demand programming undertaking. The licence will expire 31 August 2020. The licensee shall adhere to the conditions of licence set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2011-59-1. The standard expectations and encouragement applicable to this licensee are also set out in that regulatory policy.

9. The licence for this undertaking will be issued once the applicant has informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations. The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 28 February 2016. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted at least 60 days before this date.

Secretary General

Related documents

*This decision is to be appended to the licence.

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