Broadcasting Commission Letter addressed to Sylvie Courtemanche (Corus Entertainment 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, 8 February 2016

By e-mail: sylvie.courtemanche@corusent.com

Sylvie Courtemanche
Vice-President, Government Relations
Corus Entertainment Inc.
Corus Quay
25 Dockside Drive
Toronto, Ontario
M5A 0B5

Dear Ms. Courtemanche:

This letter is to request that Corus Entertainment Inc. (Corus) file an application to renew the licences for its various conventional television stations, and Category A and B specialty services, which will expire on 31 August 2017.

If it is Corus’ intention to continue the operation of these undertakings past the above-noted expiry date, it will be necessary for Corus to apply to the Commission to renew these licences by submitting renewal applications to the Commission by no later than 4 April 2016. Rather than using an application form, the above-mentioned licence renewal application 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.

In Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2016-22, published on 21 January 2016, the Commission announced that it has received an application by Shaw Communications Inc. on behalf of Shaw Media Inc. and its licensed subsidiaries (SMI) for authority to effect a multi-step intra corporate reorganization by transferring all the voting shares of SMI to Corus Entertainment Inc. or one of its subsidiaries. This letter includes a question on the impact of the transaction on the Corus group should the Commission approve the ownership application. Corus will also have the opportunity to amend its licence renewal application, if necessary, once the Commission issues its decision on the ownership application.

Corus’ application 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”. Please refer to application number 2016-0015-6 in your submission.

If it is not Corus' 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 4 April 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 Corus’ renewal application. Should Corus wish to designate any information provided as part of its application 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 Corus’ application 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 819-997-9401 or at carl.pineau@crtc.gc.ca

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

Carl Pineau
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

  3. How do you or will you communicate details of your employment equity policies to managers and staff?
  4. 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?

  5. 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) pursuant to Broadcasting Decisions 2011-446 and 2013-737

English-language television stations
Call sign and location Licensee
CKWS-DT-1 Brighton, ON 591987 B.C. Ltd.
CKWS-TV Kingston, ON and its transmitter CKWS-TV-3 Smiths Falls   591987 B.C. Ltd.
CHEX-TV-2 Oshawa, ON and its transmitter CHEX-TV-1 Bancroft   591987 B.C. Ltd.
CHEX-TV Peterborough, ON 591987 B.C. Ltd.
CKWS-TV-2 Prescott, ON 591987 B.C. Ltd.
Discretionary services
Service Licensee
CMT Country Music Television Ltd.
OWN Own Inc.
W Network W Network Inc.
Treehouse TV YTV Canada Inc.
YTV YTV Canada Inc.
Encore Avenue Encore Avenue Inc.
Movie Central Movie Central Inc.
Nickelodeon 4537459 Canada Inc.
Sundance Channel 7202342 Canada Inc.
W Movies 7202377 Canada Inc.
Cosmopolitan TV Cosmopolitan Television Canada Company
TELETOON/TÉLÉTOON TELETOON Canada Inc.

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

Discretionary services
Service Licensee
Telelatino Telelatino Network Inc.
Sky TG24 Canada Telelatino Network Inc.
Cartoon Network (formerly TELETOON Retro) TELETOON Canada Inc. TELETOON Canada Inc.
  1. Please confirm that Corus 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 Corus 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 Corus 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 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 “Corus-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 Corus’ 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 “Corus-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 2011-446, Corus was designated as a group, which is reflected in the conditions of licence imposed on its serviceswith Footnote 1 . Please describe the measures Corus has taken to meet the objectives of the group-based licensing policy, specifically regarding the following:

    1. The integration and operation of all of Corus’ services into a large, consolidated licensing group;
    2. The manner in which Corus 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 programmingwith Footnote 2 ;
      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. For those groups operating French- and English-language services, each language group will be treated separately and may have distinct requirements. In the French-language market, the Commission will encourage commonly owned services to apply as groups at licence renewal. The Commission will establish with these services the level at which they should contribute financially towards Canadian programming on a case-by-case basis.

    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 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 Corus 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 Corus to achieve the objectives of the Create policy, as described above.
    3. Please explain how Corus will use the flexibilities afforded in the Commission’s group-based licensing approach in meeting the desired outcomes of the Create policy.
  1. 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 Corus’s plans related to the production, broadcast and promotion of original, first-run programming for the next licence term.
  2. 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 Corus and other broadcasters detail the amount of programming targeted at children and youth. Moreover, Corus’s annual return required that Corus detail its expenses on this type of programming. In addition to this information, please describe Corus’s plans with respect to the production, broadcast and promotion of children’s and youth programming on multiple platforms.

  3. 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.

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 2011-446 Corus’ current group CPE requirement is a minimum of 30% of the previous year’s gross revenues.
    1. Confirm that Corus 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 Corus’ services, please provide individual CPE requirements that Corus 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 Corus designated group) to demonstrate that these proposals are consistent with the group CPE requirement Corus 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 Corus would be required to spend a minimum of 9% of its 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 2011-446, the Commission considered it appropriate to require Corus to adhere to these requirements by condition of licence. However, as stated in Broadcasting Decision 2013-737, Corus proposed to devote 26% and 4% of the revenues of TELETOON/TÉLÉTOON and TELETOON Retro respectively to PNI expenditures. The Commission therefore imposed these requirements on the services by condition of licence. As a consequence, the Corus designated group’s PNI requirement has effectively increased from 9% to 12%.

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

    Please confirm that Corus will continue to adhere to PNI expenditure and independent production requirements set out in Broadcasting Decision 2013-737 for its designated group and would accept a condition of licence to this effect.  If Corus proposes any amendments, please provide a detailed rationale, including financial evidence and analysis, to support its proposal.

Diversity of programming

  1. In the Create policy, the Commission found that genre protection had ceased to be an effective tool for ensuring programming diversity and that the Act’s objective set out in section 3(1)(i)(i) that the programming be varied and comprehensive can be met without this type of regulatory intervention. The Commission also stated the view that the market will ensure programming diversity, especially in a system characterized by maximum choice and flexibility for consumers. Accordingly, the Commission eliminated the genre exclusivity policy and related protections for all English- and French-language discretionary services.

    In light of the above, please describe the strategies used by Corus and/or that Corus intends to use to ensure programming diversity among its services. 

Regional and official language minority community reflection

  1. Please confirm that Corus will continue to file Regional Production Reports and if Corus proposes to undertake any additional measures to further support these types of productions.
  2. In Report to the Governor in Council on English- and French-language broadcasting services in English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada, the Commission stated that it “considers that the representation of official-language minority communities (OLMC) on screen is essential to ensuring a suitable quality of service.” The representation of OLMC on screen is also part of the objectives in s. 3(1) of the Broadcasting Act.
    1. Please describe in detail the efforts put forward by Corus to provide appropriate reflection of English-language minority communities on its services.
    2. Please describe Corus’s plans for the continuation or improvement of the reflection of Anglophones living in OLMCs on its services.

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 and section 13 of the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990, undertakings are required to comply with these standards as amended from time to time.

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

Ownership

  1. Corus Group participates in the CRTC’s Broadcasting Ownership Annual Filing program (Broadcasting Circular 2008-7). As a participant, Corus 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, 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 Corus’ Group 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.

Adult Programming

  1. Identify which, if any, of the Corus’ services offer adult films or other adult programming. Confirm for each of these services that you will adhere, by condition of licence, to Section D.3 - Adult Programming of The Industry Code of programming standards and practices governing pay, pay-per-view and video-on-demand services (the Industry Code) appended to Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2003-10, 6 March 2003 (Public Notice CRTC 2003-10). Provide a proposed internal policy on adult programming as set out in Public Notice 2003-10, if you have not already filed one with the Commission.

Accessibility

Closed Captioning

  1. Paragraph 75 of Broadcasting and Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-430, Accessibility of telecommunications and broadcasting services (the Accessibility Policy) states the following: “when captions are available, the Commission expects broadcasters to provide viewers with a closed captioned version of all programming aired during the overnight period.” Accordingly, describe your plans for the licence term to ensure the provision to viewers of a closed captioned version of all programming aired during the overnight period.
  2. In accordance with paragraph 100 of the Accessibility Policy, submit a description of the monitoring system you will be putting in place to ensure that, for any signal that is closed captioned, the correct signal is captioned, the captioning is included in its broadcast signal, and this captioning reaches, in its original form, the distributor of that signal and, in the case of an over the air signal, the viewer. “Original form” means, at a minimum, that the captioning provided by the licensee reaches the distributor and the viewer unaltered, whether it is passed through in analog or in digital, including in high definition.
  3. Pursuant to paragraph 101 of the Accessibility Policy, submit a description of the mechanisms and procedures that the licensee has in place regarding quality control of closed captioning, including procedures to ensure that closed captioning is present throughout the entire program.
  4. As set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-104, Navigating the Road Ahead – Making informed choices about television providers and improving accessibility to television programming, the Commission expects licensees to ensure that when programming with closed captioning on traditional platforms is made available on non-linear online platforms, the closed captioning is included. Please describe the progress that you have made in this area.

Audio Description

  1. Audio description refers to announcers reading aloud the key textual and graphic information that is displayed on the screen during information programs. Pursuant to paragraph 128 of the Accessibility Policy, identify the measures the licensee has in place to ensure the effective implementation of audio description.

Described Video

  1. As stated in paragraph 122 of the Accessibility Policy, the Commission has the following expectations of licensees:
    1. Broadcasters are to display a standard described video logo and air an audio announcement indicating the presence of described video before the broadcast of each described program; and
    2. Broadcasters are to make information available regarding the described programs that they will broadcast.

    Describe how the Corus’ services fulfill these expectations.

Multi-step intra-corporate reorganisation

  1. On 15 January 2016, the Commission received an application by Shaw Communications Inc. (SCI) on behalf of Shaw Media Inc. and its licensed subsidiaries (SMI), for authority to effect a multi-step intra-corporate reorganization by transferring all the voting shares of SMI to Corus Entertainment Inc. or one of its subsidiaries (Corus).

    This transaction would affect 22 discretionary services and 12 conventional stations which are currently owned by SMI. Should the Commission approve the transaction, please provide the following information:

    1. Please explain whether the newly acquired services would form part of the Corus group and would contribute to the group’s CPE and expenditures on PNI?
    2.  If so, how would the inclusion of these services in the Corus group affect the group’s requirements with respect to CPE and PNI?

Submit your response to questions 1 to 27 above as part of the document entitled “Corus-Group”.

Historical Financial Data

Please provide the information requested in questions 23 to 27 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: “Corus-Group-Appendix B-Tables”. To the extent that any information is designated as confidential, please remember to provide an abridged version, entitled “Corus-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 23 to 25 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 Corus’ 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 26 and 27 below for the next six broadcast years, starting with the complete 2015-2016 broadcast year.

  1. On an aggregate basis for Corus’ 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.

C. Television stations

Programming

  1. As regards Corus’ 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. Corus’ 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.
  2. In Broadcasting Decision 2011-446, with respect to CKWS-TV-1 Brighton and CKWS-TV-2 Prescott, which air programming segments split-fed from the programming of CKWS-TV Kingston, the Commission encouraged the licensee to increase the amount of split-feed news programming it broadcasts on its stations in Brighton and Prescott as resources permit with a view to improving service to these areas. In light of the above encouragement, please provide the following:
    1. Please explain how the programming on the Brighton and Prescott stations is different from that of the Kingston feed.
    2. Please confirm whether the amount of split-feed news programming increased over the course of the licence term and, if so, please specify past and current levels. If not, please explain why.
  3. Considering that Corus recently reached a program supply agreementwith Footnote 3 with Bell Media Inc. (CTV) for its television stations, please comment onthe following:
    1. Explain what has become of the local programming component on the stations since that decision.
    2. Explain how the transaction with Shaw would affect the programming offered on Corus’ current conventional stations.

    Submit your response to this question as part of the document entitled “Corus-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 Corus will adhere to the new standard requirements for its television stations. If Corus 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. Provide a list of all conditions of licence, expectations, encouragements and definitions other than standard requirements set out in the most recent Commission decision for the service.  Confirm that Corus’s television stations will continue to operate in compliance with these requirements.
    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 “Corus-Television stations” in the format provided in the table below:

Call sign
Current non-standard requirement Requirement to remain the same (Yes/No) Proposed requirement (if a change is proposed) Rationale
       
       

Note: for the purposes of this table, ‘requirement’ includes any condition of licence, expectation, encouragement and definition.

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 Corus’s television stations. Please submit this information as part of the document entitled “Corus-Television stations”.

D.  Discretionary services

Programming

  1. As regards Corus’ 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. Corus’ 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.

  TELETOON/TÉLÉTOON

  1. In Broadcasting Decision 2013-737, TELETOON/TÉLÉTOON, TELETOON Retro, TÉLÉTOON Rétro and Cartoon Network – Change of effective control, the Commission approved Corus’ request to include, TELETOON/TÉLÉTOON, a English and French-language specialty Category A servicewith Footnote 4 , in the Corus designated group. In the Create policy, the Commission stated that for those groups operating French- and English-language services, each language group will be treated separately and may have distinct requirements. In the French-language market, the Commission will encourage commonly owned services to apply as groups at licence renewal.
    1. Please explain why TELETOON/TÉLÉTOON should remain a bilingual service operating under a single licence for the next licence term rather than two distinct discretionary services for each language.
    2. With respect to TELETOON/TÉLÉTOON, please describe how Corus has fulfilled the Commission’s expectationwith Footnote 5 that a minimum of 75% of all original, first-run Canadian programming broadcast is acquired from non-related producers.

OWN, Treehouse and YTV

  1. Please describe how Corus has fulfilled the Commission’s expectationswith Footnote 6 for the following services for which the Commission expects the licensee to ensure that a minimum of 75% of all original, first-run Canadian programming is acquired from independent production companies:
    1. OWN
    2. Treehouse TV
    3. YTV

    Submit your response to these questions as part of the document entitled “Corus-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 Corus will adhere to the new standard requirements for its ethnic television stations. If Corus 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. Provide a list of all conditions of licence, expectations, encouragements and definitions set out in the most recent decision for the service, other than standard requirements. Confirm that Corus’s discretionary services will continue to operate in compliance with these requirements.
    2. If Corus 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 all of this information for each service as part of the document entitled “Corus-Discretionary” in the format provided in the table below:

Name of service
Current non-standard requirement Requirement to remain the same (Yes/No) Proposed requirement (if a change is proposed) Rationale
       
       

Note: for the purposes of this table, ‘requirement’ includes any condition of licence, expectation, encouragement and definition.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

TELETOON/TÉLÉTOON was included in the group as a result of Broadcasting Decision 2013-737.

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Footnote 2

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.

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Footnote 3

Broadcasting Decision 2015-403

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Footnote 4

Bilingual licences are considered unusual as the Commission issues fewer such licences, in comparison to other broadcasting licences. Its uniqueness can also be characterized by its dual-feed model, and also because certain programming commitments and conditions of licence pertain to more than one linguistic market.

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Footnote 5

Appendix 3 to Broadcasting Decision 2013-737

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Footnote 6

Appendices 4, 5 and 7 to Broadcasting Decision 2011-446.

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