ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Procedural Letter addressed to Susan Wheeler (Rogers Media Inc.)

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Ottawa, 27 May 2015

By email

Mrs. Susan Wheeler
Vice-President, Regulatory Media
Rogers Media Inc.

Re: Improperly executed simultaneous substitution errors regarding David Letterman Show of 20 May 2015

Ms. Wheeler,

The Commission has received several complaints regarding improperly executed simultaneous substitutions regarding the final David Letterman show. You will find attached the details of the complaints we have received to date regarding the issue.

In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-25, the Commission announced its intention to introduce meaningful consequences should broadcasters and distributors make recurring, substantial errors. For example, if the error was made by a local broadcaster, it will lose the privilege to request simultaneous substitution for a period of time or for a type of programming. If the error was made by the distributor, it would have to provide a compensatory rebate to its customers.

Moreover, the industry has been meeting regularly to determine how to make improvements to the mechanisms and processes by which simultaneous substitutions are undertaken to ensure that these are executed seamlessly.

With such focus put on the execution of simultaneous substitutions in the last few months, it is surprising that these errors continue to happen – particularly during such a widely-publicized television event.

Please provide by 2 June 2015, answers to the following questions.

  1. Provide details of all requests ( incl. any change requests) made to Mediastats regarding the substitution of the final David Letterman show, including start and end times, and any special instructions to BDUs on the possibility the show may go longer than scheduled.
  2. Provide whether you received any advance warning from any party that the program in question could go longer than scheduled. If so, include the source of the information, when the information was received, and whether this information was forwarded to BDUs and, if so, by what means.
  3. Provide details on the number of complaints received by Rogers and how Rogers’ customer service representatives responded to subscribers that complained.
  4. Explain what new measures will be taken to avoid similar situations in the future.


Original signed by

Donna Gill
Senior Manager
Distribution Regulatory Policy

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