Broadcasting Commission Letter Addressed to Susan Wheeler (Rogers Media Inc.)

PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF THIS LETTER BY RETURN E-MAIL

The applications must be submitted through GCKey (Instructions are included in this letter)

Ottawa, 12 January 2016

By e-mail: susan.wheeler@rci.rogers.com

Ms. Susan Wheeler
Vice President, Regulatory, Media
Rogers Media Inc.

Dear Ms. Wheeler:

This letter is to request that Rogers Media Inc. (Rogers Media) file an application to renew the licences for its various conventional and ethnic television stations, Category A, B and C specialty services, video-on-demand service and its network licence, which will expire on 31 August 2017.

If it is Rogers Media’s intention to continue the operation of these undertakings past the above-noted expiry dates, it will be necessary for Rogers Media to apply to the Commission to renew these licences by submitting renewal applications to the Commission by no later than 7 March 2016. Rather than using an application form, the above-mentioned licence renewal applications must respond to the individual questions and use the format set out in the Appendices to this letter.  Please ensure to repeat each question, including relevant tables, in your response.

Rogers Media’s applications and other documents are to be submitted electronically using the secured service “My CRTC Account” (Partner Log In or GCKey) and accompanied by the completed “Broadcasting Cover page” or the “Broadcasting Online Form and Cover Page” located on this web page. Also on this web page you will find information on the submission of applications to the Commission “Submitting applications and other documents to the CRTC using My CRTC Account”. Each renewal application must be submitted to the Commission in a separate GCKey submission. Please refer to application number 2016-0009-9 in your submission.

If it is not Rogers Media’s intention to continue the operation of one or more of these undertakings after the expiry of the current licenses, please advise the Commission accordingly by using “My CRTC Account” in writing by no later than 7 March 2016.

Please note that the procedural directions in this letter are in addition to the rules set out in the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure, which establish the procedure with respect to proceedings before the Commission. In addition to the Rules of practice and procedure, you may find useful to consult the guidelines on the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure in Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-959.

Please be advised that this letter and all related correspondence will be placed on the public file for Rogers Media’s renewal applications. Should Rogers wish to designate any information provided as part of its applications as confidential, it must do so in full compliance with the Rules of Procedure and Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-961, as amended from time to time. The documents submitted should use the following naming convention to facilitate the processing and analysis of the applications:

If you encounter any difficulties submitting Rogers Media’s applications electronically, please contact the CRTC Helpline at 1-866-893-0932.

Should you require information regarding the renewal process and deadlines, do not hesitate to contact the undersigned at 819-997-9392 or at tina-louise.latourelle@crtc.gc.ca.

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

Tina Louise Latourelle
Senior Policy Analyst
TV Policy and Applications


A. General

General information

1.1 Identification of applicant

Name of legal entity that is authorized by the Commission to operate the undertakings:
Address:
City:
Province/Territory:
Postal code:
Telephone:
Fax:
Email:

Contact person representing the applicant
(if there is no appointed designated representative under question 1.2)

Name:
Title:
Telephone:
Email:

1.2 Appointment of designated representative

I, _________________________, the applicant, hereby designate ____________________ as my designated representative for and on my behalf and in my name to sign, file and complete (if necessary) an application with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and to sign and file a reply with respect thereto and I do hereby ratify, confirm and adopt as my own act, such application and all replies made thereto.

Date:
At: Example: city, province
Signature (a signature is not required when submitting electronically):
Address of designated representative:
Title:
Telephone:
Fax:
Email:

1.3 Declaration of the applicant or its designated representative

I, ___________________________________, solemnly declare that:

I am the designated representative of the applicant named in this application brief and as such have knowledge of all matters declared therein.

The statements made in this application or in any document filed pursuant to any request for further information by the Commission are (will be) to the best of my knowledge and believed to be true in all respects.

The opinions and estimates given in this application or in any document filed pursuant to any request for further information by the Commission are (will be) based on facts as known to me.

I have examined the provisions of the Broadcasting Act and the broadcasting regulations and policies relevant to this application.

And I have signed

Signature (a signature is not required when submitting electronically):
Date:

Witnessed by

Signature (a signature is not required when submitting electronically):
Name:
Date:
At: Example: city, province

1.4 Application

The Commission will return the application if it has not been duly completed. The onus will be on the applicant to submit a complete application that provides all of the relevant information, to identify all regulatory issues raised in the application and to provide supporting documentation.

Submit a website address or email address where an electronic copy of the application may be requested:

Website:
Example: www.mycompany.com

Email:
Example: no-reply@no-reply.com

1.5 Industry codes

Is the licensee a broadcaster associate in good standing of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council?

Yes (  ) No (  )

1.6 Employment equity
                                                    
Information relating to employment equity is available in Implementation of an employment equity policy, Public Notice CRTC 1992-59, 1 September 1992, and in Amendments to the Commission's Employment Equity Policy, Public Notice CRTC 1997-34, 2 April 1997.

The Commission requires responses to questions regarding Employment Equity on behalf of the licensee as a whole, with reference to all of its employees in aggregate, that is, total employees of all undertakings for which the licensee holds licences.

  1. Is the licensee subject to the Employment Equity Act (applicable to federally regulated employers with 100 or more employees)?

    Yes (  ) No (  )

    If yes, do not complete the remainder of this section.
    If no, proceed to question b).

  2. Outline examples of any measures (including hiring and training, apprenticeship programs, work arrangements, etc.) that you have or will put in place to address the equitable representation of the four designated groups (women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and visible minorities).

Answer questions c) to e) if the licensee has between 25 and 99 employees

  1. How do you or will you communicate details of your employment equity policies to managers and staff?

  2. Have you assigned or will you assign a senior level person to be responsible for tracking progress and monitoring results?

    Yes (  ) No (  )

    If yes, what authority does or will that person have to ensure goals are achieved?

  3. What financial resources have you or will you put in place to promote employment equity in the workplace.


List of services that expire in 2017

  1. The licences for the following services will expire on 31 August 2017.

    Services that contribute to the group Canadian programming expenditures (CPE) and expenditures on programs of national interest (PNI)

    English-language television stations
    Call sign Licensee
    CJNT-DT Montréal, QC Rogers Media Inc.
    CITY-DT Toronto, ON and its transmitters CITY-DT-2 Woodstock and CITY-DT-3 Ottawa Rogers Media Inc.
    CHMI-DT Portage La Prairie, MB Rogers Media Inc.
    CKAL-DT Calgary, AB and its transmitter CKAL-DT-1 Lethbridge Rogers Media Inc.
    CKEM-DT Edmonton, AB and its transmitter CKEM-TV-1 Red Deer Rogers Media Inc.
    CKVU-DT Vancouver, BC and its transmitters CKVU-TV-1 Courtenay, CKVU-DT-2  Victoria Rogers Media Inc.
    Discretionary services
    Service Licensee
    The Biography Channel Rogers Media Inc.
    G4techTV Rogers Media Inc.
    Outdoor Life Network (OLN) Rogers Media Inc.
    Sportsnet 360 Rogers Media Inc.

    Services that do not contribute to the group CPE and expenditures on PNI

    Ethnic television stations
    Service Licensee
    CFMT-DT Toronto, ON (OMNI.1) and its transmitters CFMT-DT-1 London and CFMT-DT-2 Ottawa Rogers Media Inc.
    CJMT-DT Toronto, ON (OMNI.2) and its transmitters CJMT-DT-1 London and CJMT-DT-2 Ottawa Rogers Media Inc.
    CJCO-DT Calgary, AB (OMNI AB) Rogers Media Inc.
    CJEO-DT Edmonton, AB (OMNI AB) Rogers Media Inc.
    CHNM-DT Vancouver, BC (OMNI BC) and its transmitter CHNM-DT-1 Victoria Rogers Media Inc.
    Discretionary services
    Service Licensee
    Sportsnet World Rogers Media Inc.
    FX 8064750 Canada Inc.
    FXX 8834776 Canada Inc.
    Discretionary services (mainstream sports)
    Service Licensee
    Sportsnet Rogers Media Inc.
    Sportsnet One (formerly  Rogers Mainstream Sports) Rogers Media Inc.
    Discretionary services (mainstream sports)
    Service Licensee
    Rogers On Demand Rogers Cable and Data Centres Inc. (following Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-564)
    Network
    Service Licensee
    Television network licence Rogers Media Inc.
    1. Please confirm that Rogers Media is applying for the renewal of the licences for the above-noted services.  Please also confirm the name of the licensee for each service.

      Any services not included in the above list that also expire in 2017 which Rogers Media wishes to renew either on a standalone basis or as part of its group should be inserted into the tables above. Note that any service not identified as part of the response to this question will not be renewed or be considered as part of the group for the purposes of this proceeding unless the Commission considers it appropriate to do so. Should Rogers Media choose to submit a licence renewal application for a service whose licence expires later than 2017 as part of this group renewal proceeding, please note that the application will constitute an application to revoke the current licence of this service and that the Commission would issue a new licence for the service effective 1 September 2017, if approved.

    2. Please note that each service has been identified in the tables above according to the Commission’s consolidated licence types, as described in Let’s Talk TV – The way forward – Creating compelling and diverse Canadian programming, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-86 (BRP 2015-86 – the Create policy):

      • Television stations (including over-the-air conventional and community television stations and provincial educational services);

      • Discretionary services (all pay and specialty services, including those services, other than conventional television stations, granted mandatory distribution on the basic service pursuant to section 9(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act); and

      • On-demand services (pay-per-view (PPV) and video-on-demand (VOD) services).

      Please confirm that the manner in which the services above have been designated is consistent with your understanding of their status. Further, please refer to the services with the above designations in the remainder of the application documents.

    3. Please confirm your understanding that the network licence for Rogers Media will be renewed according to the same terms and conditions as those set out in Rogers Media Inc. – Television network licence, Broadcasting Decision 2015-154.

    4. Please confirm that the undertakings have been operated in compliance, over the licence term, with the provisions of their licences, the Broadcasting Act, and all applicable regulations of the CRTC. If no, provide full details of any non-compliance during the licence term, including the reasons, any remedial action taken or to be taken and, where applicable, the period of time expected before the undertaking will be operating in compliance.

    The complete list of services and your responses to this question should be provided as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Group-Appendix A-Final list of renewing services”.

Exempt services

  1. In Exemption order respecting discretionary television programming undertakings serving fewer than 200,000 subscribers, Broadcasting Order 2015-88 (the exemption order), the Commission announced that all discretionary services serving fewer than 200,000 subscribers and that are otherwise eligible under the exemption order’s criteria will operate as exempt undertakings.  However, the exemption order will not apply to national news and mainstream sports services (former Category C services), given the particular requirements unique to these services.  The Commission will also no longer grant or renew licences to discretionary (pay and specialty) services eligible to operate under the new exemption order.  The exemption order is set to take effect on 1 March 2016.

    Please provide a list of Rogers Media’s discretionary services that currently meet the criteria set out in the exemption order. In addition, provide a brief description of the programming offered by the services.

    Submit the response to this question as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Group-Appendix A-Final list of renewing services”.


B. Group issues

The following questions relate primarily to the Commission’s group-based approach to the licensing of English-language television programming services announced in A group-based approach to the licensing of private television services (Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-167), in Group-based licence renewals for English-language television groups - Introductory decision (Broadcasting Decision 2011-441) and in Let’s Talk TV – The way forward – Creating compelling and diverse Canadian programming, (Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-86, the Create policy).

The questions in this section should each be answered at the ownership group level. That is, one response will be considered relevant for all of the licences that are part of the ownership group, unless otherwise specified.

Evaluation of the group-based approach

  1. In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-167, the Commission established a new policy framework for the licensing of private English-language television services based on their affiliation with a particular ownership group. This included a group-based approach to Canadian programming expenditures (CPE), as well as requirements related to programs of national interest (PNI), independent and regional production, etc.

    The flexibility to attribute an individual service’s CPE to other services within a designated group is a key aspect of the group-based approach. Specifically, specialty licensees within a designated group have the flexibility to attribute 100% of their required CPE to any other qualifying specialty service(s), or to conventional television services, within the same designated group. Conventional television licensees within a designated group have the flexibility to attribute up to 25% of their required spending to any other qualifying specialty service(s) within the same designated group.

    In Broadcasting Decision 2011-441 (the Introductory decision to the group-based licence renewal of English-language television groups), the Commission stated that the group-based approach was developed to prepare the broadcasting industry and the Commission for the current reality of the Canadian broadcasting system, in which most Canadian programming services operate as part of large, integrated groups. The Commission reduced its focus on the concept of Canadian program exhibition and concentrated to a greater extent on the level of production expenditures on Canadian programming, with the purpose of ensuring stable support for the creation of Canadian programming, particularly with respect to programming genres that are under-represented in the Canadian broadcasting system.

    In Broadcasting Decision 2014-399, Rogers Media was designated as a group, which is reflected in the conditions of licence imposed on its services. Please describe the measures Rogers Media has taken to meet the objectives of the group-based licensing policy, specifically regarding the following:

    1. The integration and operation of all of Rogers Media’s services into a large, consolidated licensing group;

    2. The manner in which Rogers has taken advantage of the flexibilities afforded to it with respect to its required CPE, specifically as it relates to:

      1. Local programming, including local news;

      2. Original, first-run programmingFootnote 1 ;

      3. Children’s and youth programming;

      4. Canadian feature films;

      5. PNI categories of programs

      6. Other Canadian programs (please specify).

    3. Support for the creation of Canadian programming, particularly in regard to PNI.

Achieving the objectives of the Create policy under the group-based approach

  1. In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-167, the Commission stated that the group-based policies apply to private, English-language ownership groups that generate more than $100 million in annual revenues from conventional television stations and own at least one English-language specialty or pay programming service (designated groups). Category B specialty services controlled by a designated group and with over one million subscribers were also eligible to be included in a group.

    In the Create policy, the Commission announced that it would maintain the group-based licensing approach and existing expenditure levels for the large private ownership groups currently operating under the group-based policy.

    Further, the Commission set out a number of intended outcomes for its policy determinations, including but not limited to:

    • Canadians have access to quality original Canadian programming, including programs that make an important contribution to the broadcasting system, in their chosen viewing environment. They have access to high quality news information and are exposed to news and information from a diversity of views on matters of public concern.

    • All players in the broadcasting system recognize the importance of promotion and discoverability to the success of Canadian-made programming and the need for to work collaboratively. Canadians have more opportunities to discover Canadian programming on multiple platforms.

    • A robust Canadian production sector better able to offer compelling high-quality content to Canadians and to global markets. Risk-taking and innovation by broadcasters is encouraged in the production of programming.

    • Programmers are able to respond to consumers and adopt creative programming strategies.

    • VOD services are able to compete on an equitable regulatory footing with online video services. Canadians throughout the country have access to programming, including original Canadian programming, on Canadian-operated online platforms.

    In light of the above, please comment on the following:

    1. Please provide a detailed list, with justification, of all the services that should be included in the Rogers Media designated group of services. Please ensure that all services listed are also included in your response to question 2a) in Section A.

    2. Please justify how this designated group will enable Rogers to achieve the objectives of the Create policy, as described above.

    3. Please explain how Rogers will use the flexibilities afforded in the Commission’s group-based licensing approach in meeting the desired outcomes of the Create policy.

  2. In the Create policy, the Commission stated that original first-run Canadian productions contribute to achieving the objectives of the Broadcasting Act by adding more value to the system than repeat and recycled programming. Canadians’ access to quality original Canadian programming in their chosen viewing environment is a key desired outcome of the Create policy. As such, please describe Rogers Media’s plans related to the production, broadcast and promotion of original, first-run programming for the next licence term.

  3. The Commission considers children’s and youth programming to be an integral part of the broadcasting system. In the Create policy, the Commission recognized that there is a need to collect more detailed data to monitor effectively the number of children’s and youth projects being certified by the Commission as well as the expenditures on this type of programming. In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-323, the Commission set out new methods to monitor the amount of Canadian children's and youth television programming and the expenditures on such programming in the Canadian broadcasting system.

    As of September 2015, the logs filed by Rogers and other broadcasters detail the amount of programming targeted at children and youth. Moreover, Rogers’ annual return required that Rogers detail its expenses on this type of programming. In addition to this information, please describe Rogers’ plans with respect to the production, broadcast and promotion of children’s and youth programming on multiple platforms.

  4. In the Create policy, the Commission stated that over the next several years, Canadians will continue to migrate from scheduled and packaged programming services to on-demand and tailored programs. The Commission also expects that audiences to on-demand services will continue to grow as Canadians exercise more control over their viewing experience. As Canadians continue to seek out programs on an on-demand basis, VOD service, and online video services in particular, are likely to become increasingly important sources of Canadian and other video content. Recognizing this, the Commission considers it important to ensure that Canadians throughout the country have access to programming, including original Canadian programming, on an on-demand basis, whether through traditional BDUs or online.

    1. Please describe the role of on-demand services, both Canadian licensed video-on-demand (VOD) and exempt hybrid video-on-demand (HVOD) services, as well as non-Canadian online video services in the multiplatform programming strategy for your designated group.

    2. As the licensee of a VOD service and partner involved in the operation of an HVOD service, please describe your efforts to ensure the availability of Canadian programming on multiple platforms and to foster the discoverability of Canadian programs on those platforms.

Canadian programming expenditures (CPE)

  1. In the Create policy, the Commission stated its intention to maintain the group-based licensing approach and existing expenditure levels for the large private ownership groups currently operating under the group-based policy. Further, in light of the various other changes that the Commission made in Let’s Talk TV, the Commission proposed not to raise CPE levels, in order to monitor the impact on revenues of the other changes originating from this proceeding and allow affected parties to adapt accordingly. As set out in Broadcasting Decision 2014-399, Rogers Media’s current group CPE requirement is a minimum of 30% of the previous year’s gross revenues.

    1. Confirm that Rogers Media will continue to adhere to this same group CPE requirement.

    2. If the licensee is proposing any amendments to this group CPE requirement, please provide an alternate proposal with detailed rationale, including, where appropriate, financial evidence to support the change.

  2. Pursuant to the Create policy, all programming services that are part of a group will have CPE requirements that contribute appropriately to that group’s overall CPE level. Moreover, all licensed programming services with over 200,000 subscribers will also be subject to a CPE requirement, which will be established in a case-by-case manner and based on historical levels, with a minimum threshold of 10% of the previous year’s revenues. For each of Rogers’ services, please provide individual CPE requirements that Rogers Media proposes to fulfill as conditions of licence. Please include all the relevant detailed calculations (such as historical CPE levels used to establish the baseline and any impact of including these services in the Rogers designated group) to demonstrate that these proposals are consistent with the group CPE requirement Rogers Media proposes in question 6 above and with the Create policy.

Programs of national interest and independent production

  1. In Broadcasting Decision 2011-441, the Commission determined that designated groups would be required to spend a minimum of 5% of their annual gross revenues on programs of national interest (PNI) and that at least 75% of these expenditures must be allocated to independently-produced programs. In Broadcasting Decision 2014-399, the Commission considered it appropriate to require Rogers Media to adhere to these same conditions.

    In the Create policy, the Commission determined that the current requirements for services in the English-language market would be maintained.

    Please confirm that Rogers Media will continue to adhere to PNI expenditure and independent production requirements set out in Broadcasting Decision 2014-399 for its designated group and would accept a condition of licence to this effect.  If Rogers proposes any amendments, please provide a detailed rationale, including financial evidence and analysis, to support its proposal.

Regional reflection

  1. Please confirm that Rogers Media will continue to file Regional Independent Production Reports and if Rogers proposes to undertake any additional measures to further support these types of productions.

ATSC 3.0

  1. The next-generation digital television broadcasting standards, known collectively as ATSC 3.0, are currently being drafted and completion is expected in the near future.  ATSC 3.0 aims to provide improvements in performance, functionality and efficiency compared with the current standard (ATSC A/53) so that content can be viewed on any device and delivered through various platforms (e.g. OTA, cable, satellite, internet etc.).

    Pursuant to section 11 of Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987, section 13 of the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990, condition of licence 8 set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2011-59-1, undertakings are required to comply with these standards as amended from time to time.

    Please provide information on Rogers’ plans, if any, on the transition to ATSC 3.0.  Please also provide information on the impact of ATSC 3.0 on Rogers and Rogers’ subscribers/viewers.

Ownership

  1. Rogers Media Group participates in the CRTC’s Broadcasting Ownership Annual Filing program (Broadcasting Circular 2008-8). As a participant, Rogers Media Group is not required to provide complete ownership information for the purposes of its renewal applications. Instead, it is only required to provide the date of its most recent ownership annual filing, which will be deemed to form part of the record for this proceeding, as well as to confirm that the ownership information for each of the licensees involved in the group renewal was included as part of this filing and that no change has occurred since its last filing.  Accordingly, please provide the date of Rogers Media Group’s most recent filing, and confirm that the ownership of each of the licensees involved in the group renewal is complete and up-to-date. If this is not the case, please provide updated ownership information for each licensee, as necessary.

Licence terms

  1. Please comment on the appropriateness of granting a 5 year licence term as opposed to a 7 year licence term.

Submit your response to questions 1 to 12 above as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Group”.


Historical Financial Data

Please provide the information requested in questions 13 to 18 below in Excel format, using the designated tab within the template Excel workbook attached to this letter. Please ensure that your document is entitled as follows: “Rogers-Group-Appendix B-Tables”. To the extent that any information is designated as confidential, please remember to provide an abridged version, entitled “Rogers-Group-Tables-Abridged”, as well as the rationale for the designation. Please be reminded that, as set out in the Commission’s guidelines on confidentiality (Information Bulletin 2010-961, as amended), aggregate historical financial data is generally treated as public.

Please provide the historical financial data requested in questions 13 to 15 below for broadcast years 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and for the first 6 months of broadcast year 2015-2016 (September 2015 to February 2016).

  1. On an aggregate basis for Rogers’ City television stations and separately for Rogers’ OMNI television stations, please provide the following:

    1. Canadian Programming expenditures (CPE) by program category in “Appendix 1 – CPE”;

    2. In “Appendix 2 – First-run and New comm.”

      1. Total CPE (in $)

      2. CPE on "Original First Run" programming ($) included in i)

      3. CPE on "New Commissioned" programming ($) included in i)

      4. Total PNI expenditure ($)

      5. PNI on "Original First Run" programming ($) included in iv)

      6. PNI on "New Commissioned" programming included in iv), including a definition of what is considered to be a new commission.

    Please create a separate Excel tabulation for each required set of stations.

  2. For each individual discretionary service, please provide the following:

    1. Canadian Programming expenditures (CPE) by program category in “Appendix 1 – CPE”;

    2. In “Appendix 2 – First-run and New comm.”

      1. Total CPE (in $)

      2. CPE on "Original First Run" programming ($) included in i)

      3. CPE on "New Commissioned" programming ($) included in i)

      4. Total PNI expenditure ($)

      5. PNI on "Original First Run" programming ($) included in iv)

      6. PNI on "New Commissioned" programming included in iv), including a definition of what is considered to be a new commission. 

    Please create a separate Excel tabulation for each individual service.

  3. On an aggregate basis by broadcasting year for all services to be renewed, please provide expenditures spent on PNI programming – see “Appendix 3 – PNI”. Please create a separate Excel tabulation for each year and provide a list of the services included in these aggregate projections.

    Please be reminded that, in accordance with Commission practice, PNI budget information for individual projects may generally be designated as confidential while aggregate data may generally only be designated confidential where fewer than three projects are involved.


Projected Financial Data

Please provide the financial projections requested in questions 16 to 18 below for the next six broadcast years, starting with the complete 2015-2016 broadcast year.

  1. On an aggregate basis for Rogers’ City television stations and separately for Rogers’ OMNI television stations, please provide the following:

    1. Projected CPE by program category in “Appendix 4 – Projected CPE”;

    2. Financial projections in “Appendix 5 – OTA projections.

    Please create a separate Excel tabulation for each required aggregation.

  2. For each individual discretionary service, please provide:

    1. Projected CPE by program category in “Appendix 4 – Projected CPE”;

    2. Financial projections in “Appendix 6 – Discretionary projections”.

    Please create a separate Excel tabulation for each individual service.

  3. For Rogers’ on-demand service, please provide summary financial projections in “Appendix 7 – On-demand projections”.


C. Television stations (excluding ethnic stations)

Programming

  1. As regards Rogers Media’s television stations, please provide the following:

    1. The current programming schedules for each station, excluding ethnic stations, as well as links to websites that set them out, if available. 

    2. Rogers Media’s programming strategy for these services, specifically as it relates to the production, scheduling and promotion of original programs, as well as an overview of their most successful programs and the characteristics of their success.

    Submit your response to this question as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Television stations”.

Amendments to requirements other than standard requirements

  1. Please note that, as announced in the Create Policy, the Commission will undertake a proceeding to establish standard requirements for television stations, which would replace those set out in Standard conditions of licence, expectations and encouragements for conventional television stations, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-442, 27 July 2011, as of 1 September 2017. Accordingly, further correspondence will follow to confirm whether Rogers Media will adhere to the new standard requirements for its television stations. If Rogers Media has concerns with any of the requirements, it will be given the opportunity to provide proposed amendments with a detailed rationale as to why it believes that its services should not be subject to these requirements.

    1. Confirm that Rogers Media’s television stations (excluding its ethnic television stations) will continue to operate in compliance with the conditions of licence, expectations, encouragements and definitions other than standard requirements set out in Appendix 4 to Broadcasting Decision 2014-399. Submit this confirmation as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Television stations”.

    2. If the licensee is proposing any amendments to existing conditions of licence, expectations, encouragements or definitions, complete the table below providing a detailed rationale for any proposed change, including, where appropriate, financial evidence to support the change.

    Please submit this information for each service as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Television stations” in the format provided in the table below:

Call sign
Current COL Proposed COL Rationale
     
     

600 MHz

  1. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED, formally referred to as Industry Canada) published a decision on August 14, 2015 indicating that it is proceeding with a repurposing initiative of the 600 MHz band. A new digital television (DTV) allotment plan will be established based on repacking over-the-air (OTA) television (TV) broadcasting transmitters more tightly in lower frequencies. The Department also placed a moratorium on new applications for licensing in the TV broadcasting bands.

    Please describe the impacts of this initiative on the operation of Rogers’ television stations. Please submit this information as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Television stations”.


D. Ethnic television stations

Overall programming strategy

The OMNI stations operate as ethnic, conventional television stations in some of the biggest and most ethnically diverse markets in Canada. They have the obligation to provide locally relevant and reflective service to a significant number of viewers from a wide variety of ethnic communities in a number of different languages.

In May 2015, Rogers Media made changes to the programming and operational structure of its OMNI stations. One of the actions taken by Rogers Media was to eliminate the services’ local third-language newscasts and replace them with local current affairs programming. 

In Broadcasting Decision 2016-8, the Commission found that the cancellation by Rogers Media of local third-language newscasts on its OMNI stations did not constitute a breach of its conditions of licence, and therefore denied the Part 1 applications submitted by Urban Alliance on Race Relations and Unifor Local 723 M seeking an expedited public hearing on the matter. However, the Commission acknowledged the concerns raised by many interveners regarding the quality of the programming on the OMNI stations and the importance of local news programming in third-languages.

The OMNI stations have a particular role to play in the creation and presentation of programming in the markets they serve. Specifically, in its Ethnic Broadcasting Policy set out in Public Notice CRTC 1999-117, the Commission indicated that ethnic stations are expected to provide, at the time of licensing and renewal, plans as to how they will reflect local issues and concerns. In Broadcasting Decision 2016-8, the Commission stated that it will review the OMNI stations’ ongoing performance and requirements, including their obligations regarding the provision of local third-language programming, as part of the licence renewal process. This will permit the Commission to better assess whether the stations’ current obligations are sufficient to meet the needs of third language communities.

In light of the above, please respond to the following questions.

  1. Explain the reasons that motivated this change in programming strategy. More specifically:

    1. Explain why Rogers Media decided to completely eliminate local third-language newscasts on its OMNI stations instead of opting for other solutions, that would have continued the provision of local news and information to the communities the OMNI stations serve;

    2. Provide information on whether consultations or community outreach initiatives took place between Rogers Media’s Advisory Councils and third-language communities concerning the above-noted programming changes to the OMNI stations and, if so, provide details regarding these meetings and the impact of these meetings on the programming decisions taken;

    3. Explain how Rogers determined that its new programming strategy would meet the needs and interests of the third-language communities who rely on the OMNI newscasts to be informed of various local, regional and national issues and events; 

    4. Explain how the current programming direction of the OMNI stations is consistent with the policy objectives set out in Sections 3(1)(d) and 3(1)(i) of the Broadcasting Act and the Ethnic Broadcasting Policy (Public Notice CRTC 1999-117), as well as the obligations set out in the conditions of licence for the OMNI stations detailed in Broadcasting Decision 2014-399.

  2. Address the concerns expressed by interveners stated on the record of the process that led to Broadcasting Decision 2016-8 regarding the quality of the programming on the OMNI stations, as well as their concerns that the programs broadcast may not meet the needs and interests of those communities who want access to local third-language newscasts.

  3. Describe Rogers Media’s plans for the next licence term to serve the local ethnic communities within each of the markets in which the OMNI stations operate, and to reflect local issues and concerns of those communities pursuant to the above-noted policy. In particular, provide the following for each of the OMNI stations:

    1. indicate the language and ethnic groups that will be served;

    2. describe the programming that will be provided for those groups, including any plans with respect to the provision of local news;

    3. in light of the expectations that the licensee broadcast local programming on all of its OMNI television stations and that the licensee maintain the production of local programming in its news bureaus located in Ottawa, Ontario, and Victoria, British-Columbia, describe Rogers Media’s plans as to where this programming will be produced and the involvement of local communities in this production;

    4. comment on the imposition of these commitments as conditions of licence.

  4. Explain how Rogers intends to ensure, on a going forward basis, that the programming broadcast on the OMNI stations will continue to provide locally relevant and locally reflective programming for the groups and languages served.

Please submit this information as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Ethnic”.

Amendments to requirements other than standard requirements

  1. Please note that, as announced in the Create Policy, the Commission will undertake a proceeding to establish standard requirements for television stations, which would replace those set out in Standard conditions of licence, expectations and encouragements for conventional television stations, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-442, 27 July 2011, as of 1 September 2017. Accordingly, further correspondence will follow to confirm whether Rogers Media will adhere to the new standard requirements for its ethnic television stations. If Rogers Media has concerns with any of the requirements, it will be given the opportunity to provide amendments with a detailed rationale as to why it believes that its services should not be subject to these requirements.

    1. Confirm that Rogers Media’s ethnic television stations will continue to operate in compliance with the conditions of licence, expectations, encouragements and definitions, other than standard requirements, set out in Appendices 11 to 15 to Broadcasting Decision 2014-399. Submit this confirmation as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Ethnic”.

    2. If the licensee is proposing any amendments to existing conditions of licence, expectations or definitions, complete the table below providing a detailed rationale for any proposed changes, including, where appropriate, financial evidence to support the change.

    Please submit this information for each service as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Ethnic” in the same format as the table below:

Call Sign
Station(s) Current COL Proposed COL Rationale
       
       

Ethnic programming

  1. Identify which, if any, of theRogers Media group services, other than its OMNI stations, offer ethnic programming and/or programming in a language other than English or French. For each of these services, provide the information set out in the table below. Note that a "broadcast month" refers to the total number of hours devoted by the service to broadcasting during the aggregate of the broadcast days in a month. Percentages should be based on the total number of hours of programming broadcast by the service in a broadcast month. Submit this information as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Ethnic” in the same format as the table below:

Call Sign
Service Ethnic group Language % of total programming during each broadcast month
       
       

600 MHz

  1. Industry Canada (now known as the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development – i.e. “the Department”) published a decision on August 14, 2015 indicating that it is proceeding with a repurposing initiative of the 600 MHz band. A new digital television (DTV) allotment plan will be established based on repacking over-the-air (OTA) television (TV) broadcasting transmitters more tightly in lower frequencies. The Department also placed a moratorium on new applications for licensing in the TV broadcasting bands.

    Please describe the impacts of this initiative on the operation of Rogers’ television stations. Please submit this information as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Ethnic”.


E.  Discretionary services

Programming

  1. As regards Rogers Media’s discretionary services, please provide the following:

    1. The current programming schedules for each of the services as well as links to websites that set them out, if available.

    2. Rogers Media’s programming strategy for each of these services, specifically as it relates to the production, scheduling and promotion of original programs, as well as an overview of their most successful programs and the characteristics of their success.

    Submit your response to this question as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Discretionary”.

Amendments to requirements other than standard requirements

  1. Please note that, as announced in the Create Policy, the Commission will undertake a proceeding to establish standard requirements for discretionary services, which would replace those set out in Standard conditions of licence, expectations and encouragements for specialty and pay television Category A services, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-443, 27 July 2011, and Standard conditions of licence, expectations and encouragements for Category B pay and specialty services – Corrected Appendices 1 and 2, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-786-1, 18 July 2011, as of 1 September 2017. Accordingly, further correspondence will follow to confirm whether Rogers Media will adhere to the new standard requirements for its ethnic television stations. If Rogers Media has concerns with any of the requirements, it will be given the opportunity to provide amendments with a detailed rationale as to why it believes that its services should not be subject to these requirements.

    1. Confirm that the Rogers Media’s discretionary services will continue to operate in compliance with the conditions of licence, expectations, encouragements and definitions set out in the most recent decision for the service, other than standard requirements. Submit this confirmation as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Discretionary”.

    2. If Rogers Media is proposing any amendments to existing conditions of licence, expectations, encouragements or definitions, complete the table below providing a detailed rationale for any proposed changes, including, where appropriate, financial evidence to support any changes.

    Please submit this information for each service as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Discretionary” in the format provided in the table below:

Name of service
Current COL Proposed COL Rationale
     
     

F. Mainstream sports services

Programming

  1. As regards Rogers mainstream sports services, please provide the following:

    1. The current programming schedules for Rogers Media’s each service, including feeds, as well as links to websites that set them out, if available.

    2. Rogers Media’s programming strategy for each of these services, specifically as it relates to the production, scheduling and promotion of original programs, as well as an overview of their most successful programs and the characteristics of their success.

    3. A description of the impacts, if any, of Rogers’ acquisition of NHL rights on its overall programming strategy.

    Submit your response to this question as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Mainstream sports”.

Standard conditions of licence

  1. Confirm that Rogers Media will continue to abide by the standard conditions of licences, expectations and encouragement set out in Appendix 1 to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-562-2 (BRP 2009-562-2) for its Mainstream sports services. Submit this confirmation as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Mainstream sports”.

    If the licensee has concerns with any of these conditions of licence, specify the condition(s) it proposes to amend with a detailed rationale in support of any such amendment, including, where appropriate, financial evidence to support any exception to the standard conditions and expectations, and proposed wording for alternative conditions, expectations or encouragement. Please submit this information for each service as part of the document entitled “Rogers-Mainstream sports” in the format provided in the table below:

Name of service
Standard COL Proposed COL Rationale
     
     

G.  On-demand services

Programming

  1. Please confirm the primary language of the service, as identified on the broadcast licence.

  2. In regards to the programming offered by the service, please respond to the following:

    1. Please provide a program list for Rogers Media’s VOD service. The list should identify each program by programming category and by country of origin and indicate the period of time that each program was on the server and available to subscribers.

    2. Please provide Rogers Media’s programming strategy for this service, specifically as it relates to the promotion of original Canadian programs, as well as an overview of its most successful programs and the characteristics of their success.

    Submit your response to this question as part of the document entitled “Rogers-On-demand”.

Amendments to requirements other than standard requirements

  1. Please note that, as announced in the Create Policy, the Commission will undertake a proceeding to establish standard requirements for on-demand services, which would replace those set out in Revised exemption order for certain classes of video-on-demand (VOD) undertakings and updated standard conditions of licence for licensed VOD undertakings, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-355, 6 August 2015, as of 1 September 2017. Accordingly, further correspondence will follow to confirm whether Rogers Media will adhere to the new standard requirements for its on-demand services. If Rogers Media has concerns with any of the requirements, it will be given the opportunity to provide amendments with a detailed rationale as to why it believes that its services should not be subject to these requirements.

    1. Confirm that the Rogers Media’s on-demand service will continue to operate in compliance with the conditions of licence, expectations, encouragements and definitions set out in the most recent decision other than standard requirements. Submit this confirmation as part of the document entitled “Rogers-On-demand”.

    2. If Rogers Media is proposing any amendments to existing conditions of licence, expectations, encouragements or definitions, complete the table below providing a detailed rationale for any proposed changes, including, where appropriate, financial evidence to support any changes.

    Please submit this information as part of the document entitled “Rogers-On-demand” in the format provided in the table below:

Rogers-On-demand COL
Current COL Proposed COL Rationale
     
     

Independently administered production fund(s)

  1. Indicate the name(s) of the independently administered production fund(s) to which 5% of your annual gross revenues will be contributed.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

As set out in Schedule 1 to the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990, an original, first-run program means the original exhibition of a program that has not been distributed by another broadcasting undertaking licensed by the Commission.

Return to footnote 1

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