ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-92
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Ottawa, 17 March 2015
Radio du Rocher Percé inc.
Application 2013-1402-0, received 23 October 2013
Public hearing in the National Capital Region
28 October 2014
New French-language tourist information FM radio station in Percé
The Commission approves an application by Radio du Rocher Percé inc. to operate a French-language tourist information FM radio station in Percé, Quebec.
- The Commission received an application by Radio du Rocher Percé inc. (Radio du Rocher) for a broadcasting licence to operate a French-language tourist information FM radio station in Percé, Quebec.
- Radio du Rocher is jointly owned and controlled by its two shareholders, Mr. André Méthot and Mr. Claude Dauphin.
- The station would broadcast 126 hours of local programming each broadcast week. Its programming would focus on information, and on the promotion of touristic, recreational, cultural, historical, educational and heritage events and sites.
- The station would operate on frequency 91.9 MHz (channel 220A) with an effective radiated power of 440 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 362.3 metres).
- The applicant proposed to be subject to the following conditions of licence:
- The licensee shall use the station solely for the purpose of broadcasting pre-recorded messages providing tourist information pertaining to tourist attractions and activities in the Percé region and part of the regional county municipality (RCM) of Rocher-Percé located in the immediate vicinity of Percé.
- The licensee shall not broadcast more than six minutes of advertising material per clock hour.
- The licensee shall not broadcast musical selections, except as incidental background music.
- The Commission received interventions regarding this application, including an intervention in support, an opposing intervention by the Coopérative des travailleurs CHNC (Radio CHNC), licensee of the commercial radio station CHNC-FM New Carlisle and its transmitters, and a comment and procedural request from Radio Gaspésie inc. (Radio Gaspésie), licensee of the community radio station CJRG-FM Gaspé and its transmitters. The licensee replied to the interventions. 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.
- This application was originally to be heard as part of the 13 May 2014 non-appearing hearing. In light of the Commission’s receipt of a procedural request after the intervention deadline, the Commission decided to examine the application as part of the 28 October 2014 hearing, while taking into consideration the additional documents appended to the procedural request.
- In their interventions, Radio CHNC and Radio Gaspésie submitted that the market was well served and that the revenues generated by the new station would affect the profitability of existing stations, including their own.
- Radio CHNC stated that one of the promoters of the new station was intimately linked to Radio du Golfe inc. (Radio du Golfe), licensee of CFMV-FM Chandler, and expressed concern that the application represented a back-door attempt by Radio du Golfe to be granted the right to broadcast on the eastern side of the peninsula.
- For its part, Radio Gaspésie indicated that the application was more akin to a regional radio application rather than an application for a specialty radio station given the antenna to be used, the requested power and the budget filed by the applicant. Further, according to Radio Gaspésie, 90% of tourist visits to the area take place over 10 weeks (from mid-June to September) and thus it is hard to believe that what is essentially a tourist information station could survive beyond this peak visiting period.
- Radio du Rocher indicated that its new station would complement and not replace information broadcast through the RCM’s existing news media covering Percé and surrounding areas. Radio du Rocher also stated that it believed it could broadcast information that might be of interest to listeners year-round.
- Radio du Rocher added that most of its revenues would come from advertisers who are new to radio, institutional and governmental institutions, and agreements entered into with other local media.
- In response to Radio Gaspésie’s comment regarding the antenna and the requested power, Radio du Rocher explained that the choice of antenna and power was due to the mountainous terrain of the area and the antenna’s positioning by its engineers. Radio du Rocher added that the immediate area of Gaspé was completely outside of the service area.
- Finally, Radio du Rocher did not comment on the claim regarding ties between Radio du Golfe and itself, but appended a letter to its reply from Radio de Golfe. In that letter, Radio du Golfe denied any involvement in the application and objected to the comments made by Radio CHNC.
- On 28 May 2014, the Commission received a procedural request from Radio Gaspésie seeking to add information to its intervention.
- Specifically, Radio Gaspésie filed a document that it stated had been distributed by the applicant in May 2014 to potential advertisers in the Percé market. According to Radio Gaspésie, the financial projections provided in that document were much more ambitious than those provided in the application. Radio Gaspésie submitted that according to the information contained in that document, Radio du Rocher could eventually solicit advertising outside of Percé.
Radio du Rocher’s reply to the procedural request
- Radio du Rocher noted that the application it filed with the Commission was “[translation] the culmination of its efforts to establish a small tourist radio station, as opposed to the original project involving a station whose coverage could have extended beyond the Percé market and its immediate area.” It added that after consulting its advisors and engineers, the project was re-evaluated, the projections limited, and the application prepared proposing more realistic contours.
- In respect to the present application, the Commission asked the applicant to clarify its financial projections. In a letter dated 13 August 2014, Radio du Rocher confirmed that the forecasted projections are those contained in the application filed with the Commission. In light of the clarification provided by the applicant, the Commission did not take into account the economic data set out in the document filed by the intervener.
- After examining the application and the interventions in light of applicable regulations and policies, the Commission considers that the issue it must address is the potential economic impact of the proposed station on other stations in the area.
- Radio CHNC and Radio Gaspésie submitted that the Percé radio market was well served. It expressed concern that the arrival of a new station would have an impact on the profitability of existing stations. Further, Radio CHNC expressed concern over the potential sale of advertising by Radio du Rocher in the neighbouring markets of Chandler/Grande-Rivière and Gaspé to ensure the survival of the station and to meet its projections.
- The Commission notes the concerns raised by the interveners. However, it considers that the commercial potential of tourist stations is limited due to their niche tourism-focused programming and narrow audience.
- Further, at the present time, the Percé market is not served by any local station, but only by transmitters rebroadcasting programming from stations in neighbouring markets. The Commission notes that there is no overlap between the primary contours of the proposed station and that of CHNC-FM. Additionally, the proposed station’s primary contour does not encompass the markets of Gaspé, Chandler and Carleton, which are the largest communities served by CHNC-FM and by CJRG-FM.
- Moreover, the applicant proposed to comply with a condition of licence prohibiting it from broadcasting more than six minutes of advertising per clock hour. Given the very limited nature of the service and the fact that it will not broadcast musical selections, the Commission considers that it is not necessary to impose a condition of licence regarding the broadcast of advertising. However, the Commission considers it appropriate to impose conditions of licence describing the nature of service and prohibiting the broadcast of musical selections.
- The Commission considers that the niche programming broadcast by the station will attract a limited audience and that its technical parameters will not allow it to target the largest communities served by the region’s stations. Consequently, the Commission considers that it will not have an impact on stations in the region. Further, a greater number of Percé residents and tourists will benefit from the local reflection and diversity provided by the new station.
- In light of all of the above, the Commission approves the application by Radio du Rocher Percé inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a French-language tourist information FM radio programming undertaking in Percé. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.
- CFMV-FM Chandler - New transmitter in Percé, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-222, 16 April 2012
- FM radio station in Gaspé and transmitter in Rivière-au-Renard, Quebec, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2008-52, 3 March 2008
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-92
Terms, conditions of licence and encouragement for the French-language tourist information FM radio programming undertaking in Percé
The licence will expire 31 August 2021.
The station will operate at 91.9 MHz (channel 220A) with an effective radiated power of 440 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 362.3 metres).
Pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, no licence may be issued until the Department of Industry notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.
Further, 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 date 17 March 2017. 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.
Conditions of licence
- The licensee shall use the station solely for the purpose of broadcasting pre-recorded tourist information relating to local tourist attractions and upcoming events in the Percé area.
- The licensee shall not broadcast any musical selections, except as incidental background music.
In accordance with Implementation of an employment equity policy, Public Notice CRTC 1992-59, 1 September 1992, the Commission encourages the licensee to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
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