ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-268

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Reference: 2014-621

Ottawa, 22 June 2015

Ethnic Channels Group Limited
Across Canada

Application 2014-0591-0, received 25 June 2014
Public hearing in the National Capital Region
19 February 2015

beIN SPORTS CANADA – Discretionary service

The Commission denies an application for a broadcasting licence to operate a new discretionary service.


  1. Ethnic Channels Group Limited (ECGL) filed an application for a broadcasting licence to operate beIN SPORTS CANADA, a national, English-language specialty Category B serviceFootnote 1 that would be devoted to international amateur and professional sports primarily through live coverage, documentaries, instructional programs, and information programming. The Commission did not receive any interventions in connection with this application.
  2. The applicant proposed to draw programming from the following program categories set out in Item 6 of Schedule I to the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990, as amended from time to time: 1, 2(a), 2(b), 3, 5(b), 6(a), 6(b), 7(a), 7(b), 7(c), 7(d), 7(e), 7(f), 7(g), 9, 10, 11(a), 11(b), 12, 13 and 14.
  3. The applicant proposed to abide by the following conditions of licence:

    Not more than 10% of all programming broadcast during the broadcast week shall be drawn from program category 7 (Drama and Comedy).

    Not more than 10% of all programming broadcast during the broadcast year shall be devoted to live coverage from North American professional sports leagues.

Commission’s analysis and decision

  1. In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-86, the Commission eliminated the genre exclusivity policy and related protections for English- and French-language discretionary services. In the same policy, in order to reduce regulatory burden and simplify the current licensing system, the Commission stated that it would merge the current exemption orders for discretionary services set out in Broadcasting Order 2012-689. A new exemption order for discretionary services serving fewer than 200,000 subscribers is set out in Broadcasting Order 2015-88. This exemption order will come into force once the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations are amended to include a reference to the order. Based on the information provided by ECGL in its application, it would appear that the service as proposed will be eligible to operate under the new exemption order once it comes into force.
  2. In the interim, ECGL’s proposed service could be authorized to operate as an exempt service pursuant to Broadcasting Order 2012-689. This order requires exempt services to operate under a nature of service approved by the Commission in one of its previous licensing decisions. Although not identical, the proposed service is very similar to an existing service approved in Broadcasting Decision 2013-16, with the exception of the applicant’s proposed condition of licence related to live coverage from North American professional sports leagues.  
  3. Consequently, the issuance of a licence for this service is unnecessary in light of the new exemption order and the Commission’s determinations to eliminate the genre exclusivity policy and to no longer enforce nature of service requirements as set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-86.
  4. Accordingly, the Commission denies the application by Ethnic Channels Group Limited for a broadcasting licence to operate the national, English-language discretionary service beIN SPORTS CANADA. ECGL may register its proposed service at any time further to Broadcasting Order 2012-689.

Secretary General

Related documents


Footnote 1

In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-86, the Commission streamlined the licensing process and consolidated television services in three broad types of licences. Category B services are now known as discretionary services.

Return to footnote 1

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