ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Commission Letter Addressed to Du-Yi Leu (Bell Media Inc.)

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Ottawa, 5 November 2015


Ms. Du-Yi Leu
Director, Regulatory Affairs
Bell Media Inc.
299 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5V 2Z5

Re: Follow-up to Broadcasting Decision 2015-243 – Revised tangible benefits proposal by Bell Media Inc. related to the former Astral assets that were divested

Ms. Leu:

The Commission sets out below its determinations in regard to the revised tangible benefits proposal related to the former Astral assets that were divested, which Bell Media Inc. (Bell) filed on 9 July 2015 as required in Decision 2015-243.Footnote 1

Allocation and timeframe for payment

As set out in Decision 2015-243, the total value of the additional tangible benefits is $12,594,300. Further, as set out in that decision and in accordance with the approach set out in Regulatory Policy 2014-459,Footnote 2 at least 80% of the tangible benefits shall be allocated to the Canada Media Fund (CMF) or certified independent production funds with a minimum of 60% of this amount allocated to the CMF. The remaining 20% of tangible benefits may be allocated to discretionary initiatives.

Bell proposed to allocate 80% ($10,075,440) of the benefits to funds, of which 60% would go to the CMF ($6,045,264) and 40% to the Harold Greenberg Fund ($4,030,176). These benefits would be allocated equally between the English- and French-language markets. The remaining 20% of the tangible benefits ($2,518,860) would be allocated to discretionary initiatives, at a ratio of 64% to the French-language market, and 36% to the English-language market. The benefits would be allocated in equal payments to the various funds and initiatives over the remaining five years of the tangible benefits term approved in Decision 2015-243, and be paid in full by 31 August 2020.

The Commission notes that the Harold Greenberg Fund is an eligible initiative, as it is a certified independent production fund that supports the production of English- and French-language films, as well as French-language documentaries, musicals, special events and video-clips. The Commission is of the view that Bell’s proposed allocation of the benefits is consistent with Decision 2015-243 and Regulatory Policy 2014-459, and that the proposed timeframe for payment is consistent with that approved in Decision 2015-243. Consequently, subject to the comments below respecting the eligibility of discretionary initiatives, the Commission approves the proposed allocation of additional tangible benefits.

Eligibility of discretionary initiatives

The Commission approves the proposed discretionary initiatives numbered 1 to 11 in the appendix to this letter.

In regard to the initiatives numbered 12 to 20, the Commission notes that Bell proposes to direct contributions to a number of third-party organizations that are not directly related to the broadcasting industry.  However, the Commission finds that Bell proposes to fund specific activities that would be run by those organizations and that would provide support to:

As set out in Regulatory Policy 2014-459, the Commission puts the onus on licensees to demonstrate the eligibility of spending in their annual tangible benefits reports. As such, Bell is required to file, as a part of these reports, a letter from all recipients confirming the amount of funding received and how it was used in the way it was intended by the Commission as described in the decision granting the funding.

In light of the above, the Commission approves the proposed discretionary initiatives numbered 12 to 20 in the appendix to this letter, subject to the conditions set out in the table below that are intended to ensure the benefits go toward initiatives that are eligible pursuant to Regulatory Policy 2014-459. These conditions should be detailed in the recipient letters included in the annual tangible benefits reports.

Recipient Activity Conditions
12. Festival Promutuel de la relève de Thetford Mines Development of original video content produced by young emerging directors and accessible through the Internet which will showcase key aspects of the festival, including artist profiles and features of participants of the festival. The funds are not to be used to produce promotional materials for the organizations. The digital content developed should focus on the artists profiled and their works.
13. L'impérial de Québec Development and production of new audiovisual content that can be distributed across multiple platforms.

Creation of shows by emerging artists throughout the year, and through the live webcast of the performances on the L'impérial de Québec and Le Festival d'été de Québec websites.
14. L'activité Creation of digital content, showcasing the creative process of L'Activité's annual productions through the filming of portions of these productions and developing original content.

The creation of this audiovisual material will provide training in various disciplines such as directing, screenwriting, production and acting.
15. Musi-Café Creation of a new venue showcasing documentaries and feature films made by Québec and Canadian creators, and presented by guest directors, producers or actors. The funds are to be used for the presentation of programming made by Canadians and creators, who should be involved to the greatest extent possible.
16. Co-op Paradis Presentation of audiovisual works for the benefit of the communities in the region.
17. Centre Segal des Arts Outreach to schools and youth to encourage the development of young talent in refining their acting, directorial and set-making skills.

Support for creators working in the cultural and digital media arenas to develop transferable skills that can be applied to the broadcasting industry, in film, television or new media.
A clear link must be demonstrated between broadcasting and the activities undertaken in the workshops or seminars.
18. Orchestre Symphonique des Jeunes du Saguenay Creation of a training seminar targeted to young musicians to discover the important role of music in media and to learn about career paths involving musicians working in the Canadian broadcasting industry, including the study, analysis and performance of a musical work related to media. 
19. Agora des Arts à Rouyn-Noranda Creation of multimedia workshops.
20. Le Domaine Forget Creation of a seminar on music creation and production in the audiovisual sector. The seminars will involve professionals that work in the musical components of feature films, documentaries and television programs.

Lastly, the Commission notes that Bell proposes to direct $900,491 to the Canadian Film Centre and, more specifically, its Dramatic Series Writing Program. The Commission expects that attending the program will be made possible for screenwriters from all regions of Canada and that this issue will be addressed in the annual tangible benefits report.

The Commission’s files will be updated and will reflect the information stipulated in this letter of approval.

All letters of approval issued by the Commission are made available upon request for public examination at the Commission's central and regional offices. The Commission also requires you to append this letter to your licence.


John Traversy
Secretary General

Appendix – Additional tangible benefits package related to the former Astral assets that were divested

Recipient Amount Percentage
Funds (at least 80%)
Canada Media Fund – French-language market $3,022,632  
Canada Media Fund – English-language market $3,022,632
Harold Greenberg Fund – French-language market $2,015,088
Harold Greenberg Fund – English-language market $2,015,088
 Subtotal $10,075,440 80 %
Discretionary initiatives (no more than 20%)
French-language market
1. Kino'00 $150,000  
2. Festival du DocuMenteur de Rouyn-Noranda $120,000
3. Festival cinéma du monde de Sherbrooke $60,000
4. Cinéma NDG $30,000
5. Cégep de Jonquière – Arts et technologie des médias $120,000
6. Université du Québec, campus Abitibi-Témiscamingue $120,000
7. L'institut national de l'image et du son $84,857
8. Québec Cinéma $150,000
9. Carrousel international du film de Rimouski $90,000
10. Vision diversité $60,000
11. Entr'actes à Québec $73,512
12. Festival Promutuel de la relève de Thetford Mines $30,000
13. L'impérial de Québec $170,000
14. L'activité $30,000
15. Musi-Café $30,000
16. Co-op Paradis $60,000
17. Centre Segal des Arts $90,000
18. Orchestre Symphonique des Jeunes du Saguenay $30,000
19. Agora des Arts à Rouyn-Noranda $90,000
20. Le Domaine Forget $30,000
English-language market
Canadian Film Centre $900,491  
Subtotal $2,518,860 20%
Total $12,594,300 100%


Footnote 1

Applications related to tangible benefits, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-243, 9 June 2015

Return to footnote 1

Footnote 2

Simplified approach to tangible benefits and determining the value of the transaction, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2014-459, 5 September 2014

Return to footnote 2

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