ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-517
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Reference: Part 1 application posted on 7 August 2015
Ottawa, 20 November 2015
Addition of THT Comedy to the List of non-Canadian programming services and stations authorized for distribution
The Commission approves an application to add THT Comedy to the List of non-Canadian programming services and stations authorized for distribution (the list), and amends the list accordingly. The revised list can be found on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca, by clicking on “TV & Radio,” “Programming” and “Access to programs on TV that aren’t Canadian.”
The Commission received an application from Bell Canada (Bell), acting as the Canadian sponsor, to add THT Comedy to the List of non-Canadian programming services and stations authorized for distribution (the list).
Bell described THT Comedy as a niche service (100% Russian language) providing a variety of comedic television series, stand-up comedy and reality television shows. It would target the Russian-Canadian community between the ages of 18 and 44. The service originates from Russia and would not be specifically modified for Canada.
The Commission received an intervention opposing the application. The intervener argued that it would be inappropriate to allow another Russian channel on Canadian cable given the political situation between Russia and the Ukraine. Bell did not reply to the intervention. The public record for this application can be found on the Commission’s website at or by using the application number provided above.
Commission’s analysis and decision
In Broadcasting Public Notices 2004-96 and 2008-100, the Commission stated that requests to add non-Canadian general interest third-language services to the list would generally be approved, subject to any requirement it deemed appropriate. However, as set out in Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-100, the Commission has retained a competitive test, which precludes the addition of a non-Canadian service that can be considered totally or partially competitive with Canadian specialty or pay television services. The Commission’s approach also takes into consideration whether the service would violate Canadian regulations, including those regarding abusive comment. The country of origin of a non-Canadian service is generally not taken into consideration when assessing an application. Non-Canadian third-language services providing narrowly targeted or “niche” programming are subject to the same approach as non-Canadian general interest third-language services.
In assessing the competitiveness of a service, the Commission relies primarily on the comments filed to identify the Canadian pay and specialty services with which a proposed non-Canadian service might be totally competitive.
In the absence of opposing interventions to this effect and given that the individual opposing the addition of the service did not provide evidence that it would violate Canadian regulations, the Commission approves the application by Bell Canada to add THT Comedy to the List of non-Canadian programming services and stations authorized for distribution, and amends the list accordingly. The revised list can be found on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca, by clicking on “TV & Radio,” “Programming” and “Access to programs on TV that aren’t Canadian,” and may be obtained in hard copy on request.
Regulatory frameworks for broadcasting distribution undertakings and discretionary programming services - Regulatory policy, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2008-100, 30 October 2008
Improving the diversity of third-language television services - A revised approach to assessing requests to add non-Canadian third-language television services to the lists of eligible satellite services for distribution on a digital basis, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2004-96, 16 December 2004
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