Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2016-354
Reference: Part 1 application posted on 14 October 2015
Ottawa, 1 September 2016
Canadian Hellenic Toronto Radio Inc.
Toronto and Mississauga, Ontario
CHTO Toronto – New transmitter in Mississauga
The Commission approves an application to amend the broadcasting licence for the ethnic commercial AM radio station CHTO Toronto to add an AM rebroadcasting transmitter in Mississauga.
The new transmitter will serve additional listeners in the Greater Toronto Area, namely in Brampton, Etobicoke and Mississauga.
- Canadian Hellenic Toronto Radio Inc. (Canadian Hellenic) filed an application to amend the broadcasting licence for the ethnic commercial AM radio station CHTO Toronto to add a new AM rebroadcasting transmitter in Mississauga, Ontario.
- The transmitter would operate at 1490 kHz with a daytime transmitter power of 23 watts and a night-time transmitter power of 770 watts.
- The licensee indicated that its proposed transmitter would improve night-time coverage in the west end of Toronto, specifically in Brampton, Etobicoke and Mississauga. The licensee also submitted that the station's coverage has been inadequate in the west end of Toronto since 2009 and that several previous attempts to remedy the problem have proven unsuccessful.
- In Broadcasting Decision 2009-692, the Commission approved an application by Canadian Hellenic to increase CHTO's daytime transmitter power from 1,000 to 3,000 watts. The licensee stated that this amendment would result in better signal quality within the station's licensed service area and, more specifically, to its listeners located in Brampton and Mississauga who were experiencing poor signal reception.
- Given that this power increase has not enabled CHTO to properly reach listeners located in its licensed service area, Canadian Hellenic filed a subsequent application to increase the station's daytime transmitter power from 3,000 to 6,000 watts. The Commission approved that application in Broadcasting Decision 2014-489.
Interventions and reply
- The Commission received several interventions in support of this application, as well interventions commenting on the application from individuals. It also received an opposing intervention from 1760791 Ontario Inc., licensee of the commercial AM ethnic radio station CINA Mississauga. 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.
- The opposing intervener stated that approval of the application would result in the importation of a new ethnic radio service into Mississauga and its adjacent markets of Brampton and Etobicoke and would have a detrimental impact on CINA. It also submitted that Canadian Hellenic did not make a compelling case regarding the need for a transmitter in Mississauga to serve the third-language groups that it currently targets and that it did not provide any information to demonstrate a financial need for the addition of the transmitter.
- Canadian Hellenic replied that it had submitted its application to improve CHTO's signal quality throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). According to the licensee, downtown high-rise buildings in Toronto are blocking CHTO's coverage westwards and a transmitter would allow CHTO to overcome this issue. Canadian Hellenic added that the proposed transmitter would be within CHTO's existing service area.
- When a licensee of a radio station files an application for a technical amendment, the Commission expects the licensee to present compelling technical or economic evidence justifying the technical changes.
- Although Canadian Hellenic cited a technical need in justification of the proposed transmitter, the Commission is of the view that Canadian Hellenic did not provide sufficient technical evidence to support its claim of poor reception in the west end of Toronto. In addition, Brampton and Mississauga fall outside the station's existing service contours.
- Nevertheless, the Commission considers that the licensee's application is based on a desire to provide night-time service to listeners located in Brampton, Etobicoke and Mississauga. While the application does not conform to the Commission's usual test for technical amendments, the Commission has considered whether it should make an exception to its usual test in this particular case.
- Given the particular circumstances of the present case, the Commission considers that it should address the following issues:
- whether the transmitter would have an undue negative impact on existing radio stations in the market; and
- whether the proposed transmitter is an appropriate technical solution to serve Brampton, Etobicoke and Mississauga.
Impact on existing stations
- There are currently three ethnic radio stations operating in the Mississauga/Brampton area (CJMR, CINA and CIAO), as well as an ethnic station that was licensed in Broadcasting Decision 2015-471 but has yet to launch.
- CHTO's main target language (Greek) does not overlap with any of the existing ethnic stations' target audience. Further, there is no notable programming overlap between the other stations and its other target languages, namely Romanian (except 30 minutes per week on CJMR), Bulgarian, Serbian and Armenian (except 30 minutes per week on CINA).
- Despite having no obligation to maintain its current target languages, Canadian Hellenic indicated that its target languages remain the same as those it had initially proposed in its application for a licence.Footnote 1
- In light of CHTO's programming focus, the Commission finds that the transmitter would not have an undue negative financial impact on existing radio stations in the market.
- In its application, Canadian Hellenic submitted that since 2009 it has attempted various solutions, including power increases on its 1690 kHz frequency, to improve coverage towards the west end of Toronto. The application also outlined other possible solutions that the licensee had considered to improve its reception issues. The licensee stated that the current proposal was the best solution to significantly improve CHTO's night-time service in the west end of the GTA given that the other options were costly, impractical and ineffective.
- The Commission considers that the proposed rebroadcasting transmitter would allow CHTO to provide night-time coverage in Brampton, Etobicoke and Mississauga.
- In light of the above and given the availability of AM frequencies in the GTA, the Commission finds that adding an AM transmitter to provide night-time coverage in Brampton, Etobicoke and Mississauga constitutes an appropriate technical solution.
- In light of all of the above, the Commission approves the application by Canadian Hellenic Toronto Radio Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the ethnic commercial AM radio programming undertaking CHTO Toronto to operate an AM rebroadcasting transmitter in Mississauga. An exception to the Commission's usual test for technical amendments is appropriate in this case given the niche nature of the service and the absence of any competitive issues associated with the application.
- The new transmitter will operate at 1490 kHz with a daytime transmitter power of 23 watts and a night-time transmitter power of 770 watts.
- Pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, this authority will only be effective when the Department of Industry notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.
- The transmitter 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 1 September 2018. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted in writing at least 60 days before that date.
- Licensing of new radio stations to serve Brampton, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-471, 21 October 2015
- CHTO Toronto – Technical change, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-489, 23 September 2014
- CHTO Toronto – Technical change, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2009-692, 5 November 2009
- Ethnic AM radio station in Toronto, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-117, 4 April 2006
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
- Footnote 1
The Commission approved this application in Broadcasting Decision 2006-117.
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