Broadcasting Commission Letter addressed to Peggy Tabet (Quebecor 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, 8 February 2016

By email: Tabet.Peggy@Quebecor.com

Ms. Peggy Tabet
Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs
Québecor Média Inc.
612, St-Jacques Street
Montreal, Quebec H3C 4M8

Dear Ms. Tabet:

This letter is to request that Québecor Média Inc. (QMI) file an application on behalf of Groupe TVA inc. (TVA Group) and Vidéotron G.P. (for Illico On-Demand) to renew the licences for its various television stations and Category A, B and C specialty services, as well as its video-on-demand (VOD) service, which will expire on 31 August 2017.

If it is TVA Group’s intention to continue the operation of these undertakings past the above-noted expiry dates, it will be necessary for TVA Group 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 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.

TVA Group’s 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.” Each renewal application must be submitted to the Commission in a separate GCKey submission. Please refer to application number2016-0017-2 in your submission.

If it is not TVA Group’s intention to continue the operation of one or more of these undertakings after the expiry of the current licences, 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 establishes 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 TVA Group’s renewal application. Should TVA Group want 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 application:

If you encounter any difficulties submitting TVA Group’s application electronically, 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 819-997-4641, or by email at jean-francois.lecompte@crtc.gc.ca

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

Jean-François Lecompte,
Analyst
Television Policies and Applications


A. General

*N.B.: Should several licensees be involved in this application, indicate in the next section the name of the resource person who can answer for all the group’s services. If more than one resource person is involved, provide a list of them, including their contact information.

General information

1.1 Identification of applicant

Name of applicant:
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 the 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)

Television Services
Service Licensee
CFCM-DT Québec Groupe TVA inc.
CFER-DT Rimouski et son émetteur CFER-TV-2 Sept-Îles Groupe TVA inc.
CFTM-DT Montréal Groupe TVA inc.
CHEM-DT Trois-Rivières Groupe TVA inc.
CHLT-DT Sherbrooke Groupe TVA inc.
CJPM-DT Saguenay et son émetteur CJPM-TV-1 Chambord Groupe TVA inc.
Discretionary services
Service Licensee
AddikTV Groupe TVA inc.
Argent Groupe TVA inc.
Discretionary services (mainstream sports)
Service Licensee
TVA Sports Groupe TVA inc.

Services that do not contribute to Canadian programming expenditures (CPE)

Discretionary services
Service Licensee
YOOPA (formerly TVA junior) Groupe TVA inc.
Prise 2 Groupe TVA inc.
Casa Groupe TVA inc.
Moi & Cie (formerly Mlle) Groupe TVA inc.
Discretionary services (news)
Service Licensee
Le Canal Nouvelles Groupe TVA inc.
On-Demand Services
Service Licensee
Illico On-Demand Videotron Ltd. and 9227-2590 Québec inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Videotron G.P.
Network
Service Licensee
 TVA network - CFTM-DT Montréal Groupe TVA inc.
  1. Confirm that TVA Group 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 TVA Group 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 TVA Group 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 will 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 (RP 2015-86 – the Create policy). The types of licences include:
    • 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 you understand that TVA Group’s network licence will be renewed under the same terms and conditions that the ones set out in Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-242, entitled TVA Group Inc. – Licence Renewals.
  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 the 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 is operating in compliance.

The complete list of services and your responses to this question should be provided as part of the document entitled Groupe TVA-Groupe-Annexe A-Liste finale des services visés par le renouvellement.

Exempted 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.

Provide a list of TVA Group’s discretionary services that currently meet the criteria set out in the exemption order, if any. 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 Groupe TVA-Groupe-Annexe A-Liste finale des services visés par le renouvellement.

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.

Group-based approach and the French-language market

History of the approach

  1. In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-167, the Commission established a new policy framework for licensing based on 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 service 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 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.

Implementation in the French-language market

In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-167, the Commission recognized that French-language and English-language broadcasters operate under different conditions and have different needs despite the points they have in common. However, beyond those differences, the Commission stated that it planned to consult French-language broadcasters to find the approach that best suits them at the time of licence renewals in 2012.

In the French-language market, since the introduction of the group-based approach, only the Astral group has used it, in its capacity as a bilingual group (see Broadcasting Decision 2012-241).

When it rendered its conclusions Let’s Talk TV: A Conversation with Canadians in Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-86 (the Create policy), the Commission reiterated its intention to adapt the group-based approach to the French-language market by indicating that it planned to encourage jointly owned French-language services to seek recognition as designated groups during their next licence renewal process.

The Commission indicated that it will proceed on a case-by-case basis with the services in question when it comes to establishing the level of financial contribution to be expected with regard to Canadian programming. For bilingual groups, the Commission specified that each linguistic group will be treated separately and could be subject to different requirements.

In the same decision, the Commission set out a number of intended outcomes of the implementation of the Create policy, including but not limited to:

In light of the above, comment on the following:

  1. For the next licence term, do you agree that TVA Group’s services be operated under the group-based approach and be part of a designated licence group? If so, supply a detailed list, accompanied by a rationale, for all services to be included in this designated group. Ensure that all services listed are also included in the “List of services that expire in 2017” section.

    If you do not want your services to operate under the group-based approach, please provide a rationale.

  2. Justify how the proposed approach (by group or renewal by service) will allow TVA Group to achieve the objectives of the Create policy as described above.

Canadian programming expenditures (CPE)

  1. At the time of its previous licence renewal, TVA Group stated that it felt that an expenditure-based approach would be more relevant and would better serve the public interest than a revenue-based obligation, as it would offer the undertaking greater flexibility in reacting to market volatility. In response to this request, in Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-242, the Commission imposed a requirement on TVA Group whereby TVA Group is to devote at least 80% of programming expenditures for the current broadcast year, made by the network and all of the group’s conventional television stations, to investing in or acquiring Canadian programs.
    1. Explain how TVA Group met this requirement in the most recent licence term. In particular, specify the type of programming or programs that were supported.
    2. Under the group approach set out in Broadcasting Decision 2010-167 and implemented in the English-language market, as well as that set out in Broadcasting Decision 2012-241 and implemented with regard to Astral group in the French-language market, the CPE threshold imposed by the Commission is based on a percentage of gross revenue for the undertaking’s previous broadcast year rather than on a percentage of programming expenditures for the current broadcast year. For the upcoming licence term, do you want TVA Group to be subject to a CPE threshold calculated on the basis of the undertaking’s gross revenue rather than on programming expenditures as regards the network and the group’s conventional television stations? If not, explain why.
    3. The Addiktv, Argent and TVA Sports discretionary television services are currently subject to expenditure requirements under which they must respectively devote at least 40%, 52% and 50% of their gross revenue for the undertaking’s previous broadcast year to investing in or acquiring Canadian programs, in each broadcast year.
      • Explain how TVA Group met these requirements over the previous licence term and what types of programs were supported.
      • Explain TVA Group’s plans with regard to CPE requirements for the upcoming licence term.
  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 TVA Group’s services, provide individual CPE requirements that TVA Group proposes to undertake as conditions of licence. Include all the relevant detailed calculations (such as historical CPE levels used to establish the baseline and any impact of including these services in a designated group) to demonstrate that these proposals are consistent with the group CPE requirement TVA Group proposes in question 2 above for French-language services and with the Create policy.

Programs of national interest and independent production

  1. In the Create policy, the Commission determined that current PNI and independent programming requirements would be maintained for both the English-language and French-language markets. For services operated in the French-language market, the Commission determined that it will be examining PNI requirements at the next licence renewals and will consider each service’s particular situation, including membership in ownership groups of various sizes and situations, in assessing a service’s requirements.
    1. Explain the measures Groupe TVA plans to take with regard to PNI and independent production expenditures over the upcoming licence term, in order to comply with the terms of the Create policy.
    2. Do you want Groupe TVA’s television services to be subject to a group PNI and independent production threshold, taking into consideration the specific circumstances and the French-language market context? If so, indicate the services to be subject to a group expenditure limit (PNI and independent production) and what the appropriate threshold might be. Provide a detailed rationale for your proposal, including any financial evidence. If you do not want Groupe TVA’s services to be subject to group expenditure limits relative to:
      • PNI
      • Independent production, explain why.
  2. At the time of the previous renewal of French-language service licences, the Commission imposed a requirement whereby Groupe TVA was to devote $20 million per broadcast year to programming produced by independent producers. Explain how you met this requirement over the course of the latest licence term.

Achieving the objectives of the Create policy

  1. Over the course of the latest licence term:
    1. List the measures TVA Group has taken to support:
      1. Local programming, including local news;
      2. Original, first-run programming;Footnote 1
      3. Children’s and youth programming;
      4. Canadian feature films;
      5. PNI categories of programs; and
      6. Other Canadian programs (please specify).
    2. Explain how TVA Group used the flexibility provided by the group-based approach to support these different types of programming, including PNI.
  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, describe TVA Group’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 effectively monitor 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 1 September 2015, the logs filed by TVA Group and other broadcasters detail the amount of programming targeted at children and youth. Moreover, TVA Group’s annual return required that TVA Group detail its expenses on this type of programming. In addition to to this information, describe TVA Group’s plans with regard to the production, distribution 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 services, and online video services in particular, are likely to become increasingly important sources of Canadian and other video content. Recognizing this, the Commission considered it important to ensure that Canadians throughout the country have access to programming, including original Canadian programming, on an on-demand basis, whether through conventional 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 TVA Group’s multiplatform programming strategy.
    2. As a VOD licensee and Canadian undertaking operating an exempted hybrid video-on-demand (HVOD) service (Club Illico), describe the efforts Videotron G.P. (Videotron) is making to ensure: (i) the availability of Canadian programming and French-language programs on several platforms and (ii) the discoverability of Canadian programs and French-language programs on those platforms.
Programming diversity
  1. In the Create policy, the Commission indicated that it felt genre protection was no longer an effective tool to ensure programming diversity, and that the objective set out in paragraph 3(1)(i)(i) of the Act, which specifies that programming must be as varied and broad as possible, could be achieved without regulatory intervention.

    With regard to the French-language market in particular, the Commission stated that the services benefited from well-established brands, making them easy to distinguish from one another, and that the challenges in this market were therefore much less significant than in the English-language market in regard to genre protection.
    In the wake of these findings, the Commission eliminated the policy on genre protection and related protections for all discretionary English- and French- language services. However, the Commission specified that in a system characterized by flexible and varied offers to consumers, eliminating genre protection should not occur at the expense of programming diversity. Describe the strategies TVA Group has adopted to continue ensuring programming diversity across the group’s services.

Regional and official language minority communities (OLMC) reflection

  1. At the time of the last licence renewal for French-language television services, the Commission noted that the program schedule for conventional French-language television services was mostly created and produced for Montrealers. Consequently, feeling that non-Montrealers, including official language minority communities (OLMCs) should be better reflected within the broadcasting system, the Commission issued an expectation that the groups should ensure that the programs broadcast by their services adequately reflect all of Quebec’s regions, including those outside of Montréal, as well as all of Canada’s regions. The Commission expressed an expectation that the groups provide producers working in these regions with opportunities to produce programs for their services.
    1. Describe the measures TVA Group has taken to reflect the regions of Quebec and Canada and the OLMCs during the latest licence term.
    2. In Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-242, the Commission imposed specific requirements on TVA Group with regard to reflecting OLMCs. Under these requirements, TVA Group must broadcast at least six special events per year that reflect Francophone reality outside of Quebec. TVA Group must also broadcast a weekly, 30-minute program on Francophone life outside of Quebec, in addition to conducting an annual survey of OLMCs to ensure that their concerns are taken into account in the programming.

    Explain how TVA Group met these requirements over the latest licence term.

  2. Confirm that TVA Group will continue to meet these requirements (OLMCs) and expectations (regional production) during the upcoming licence term, and indicate the measures that TVA Group plans to take to provide additional support for this type of production

Editorial independence

In Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-242, the Commission imposed specific requirements on TVA Group with regard to editorial independence. Under these requirements, the licensee must:

  1. Explain how TVA Group complied with these requirements during its licence term.
  2. Indicate the measures that TVA Group plans to take to comply with these requirements over the upcoming licence term.

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.

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

Ownership

  1. TVA Group participates in the CRTC’s Broadcasting Ownership Annual Filing program (Broadcasting Circular 2008-7). As a participant, TVA 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, provide the date of TVA 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, provide updated ownership information for each licensee, as necessary.

Licence term

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

Adult programming

  1. Identify TVA Group services, if any, that offer adult films or other adult programming. For each service, confirm that you will adhere 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, in accordance with Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2003-10, if such has not already been submitted to the Commission.

Accessibility

Closed Captioning

  1. Paragraph 75 of the 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.” Describe TVA Group’s plans over the licence term to ensure that the subtitled versions of all programs broadcast during the night are provided.
  2. In accordance with paragraph 100 of the Accessibility Policy, submit a description of the monitoring system that you have put in place to ensure that the correct signal is closed captioned each time a signal is broadcast, the captioning is included in the broadcast signal, that it retains its original form once it reaches the distributor, and in cases of over-the-air signals, the television 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 you have 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. For the purposes of this condition of licence, “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 you put 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:
    • 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
    • Broadcasters are to make information available regarding the described programs that they will broadcast.

Describe how TVA Group services meet these expectations.

SUBMIT YOUR RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS 1 TO 22 ABOVE AS PART OF THE DOCUMENT ENTITLED Groupe TVA-groupe.

Historical financial data

Please provide the information requested in questions 23 to 28 below in Excel format, using the designated tab within the template Excel workbook attached to this letter. Ensure that your document is entitled as follows: Groupe TVA-groupe-Annexe B-Tableaux. To the extent any information is designated confidential, remember to provide an abridged version, entitled Groupe TVA-groupe-Tableaux-Version abrégée, as well as 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 are generally treated as public.

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 TVA Group television stations, provide the following information:
    1. Canadian Programming expenditures (CPE) by program category in Annexe 1 – DEC; and
    2. In Annexe 2 – Émissions de première diffusion et nouvelles émissions commandées:
      1. Total CPE (in $)
      2. CPE on “Original First Run” programming ($) included in i)
      3. CPE on “New Commissioned” programming ($) included in i)
      4. Total PNI expenditures ($)
      5. PNI on “Original First Run” programming ($) included in iv)
      6. PNI on “New Commissioned” programming included in iv)

    Create a separate Excel spreadsheet for this group of stations.

  2. For each individual discretionary service, provide the following:
    1. Canadian programming expenditures (CPE) by program category in “Annexe 1 – DEC”;
    2. In “l’Annexe 2 – Émissions de première diffusion et nouvelles émissions commandées.”
      1. Total CPE (in $)
      2. CPE on “Original First Run” programming ($) included in i)
      3. CPE on “New Commissioned” programming ($) included in i)
      4. Total PNI expenditures ($)
      5. PNI on “Original First Run” programming ($) included in iv)
      6. PNI on “New Commissioned” programming included in iv)

Please create a separate Excel spreadsheet for each individual service.

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

    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.

Financial forecasts

Provide the financial projections requested in question 26-28 below for the next six broadcast years, starting with the complete 2015-2016 broadcast year.

  1. On an aggregate basis for TVA Group’s television stations, please provide the following information:
    1. Projected CPE by program category, in Annexe 4 – DEC prévues; and
    2. Financial projections in Annexe 5 – Prévisions concernant la télédiffusion en direct.

    Create a separate Excel spreadsheet for this group of stations.

  2. For each individual discretionary service, provide the following:
    1. Projected CPE by program category, in “Annexe 4 – DEC prévues”; and
    2. Financial projections in “Annexe 6 – Prévisions concernant les services facultatifs.”

    Create a separate Excel spreadsheet for each individual service.

  3. For TVA Group’s on-demand service, please provide summary financial projections in “Annexe 7 – Prévisions concernant les services sur demande”.

C. Television stations

  1. As regards Groupe TVA’s television stations, 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. TVA Group’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.
  2. In Broadcasting Decision 2012-242, the Commission issued a requirement to the effect that CFCM-DT Quebec City should broadcast at least 18 hours of local programming each broadcast week, including 5 h 30 min of local news, including two local news bulletins on the weekend, and 3 h 30 min of other programming that specifically reflects the Quebec City region, which may also be broadcast on the TVA network.

    Explain how you met this requirement.

  3. In the same decision, the Commission also issued a requirement to the effect that stations CHEM-DT Trois-Rivières, CHLT-DT Sherbrooke, CFER-DT Rimouski and CJPM-DT Saguenay each broadcast at least 5 hours of local programming per broadcast week.

    Explain how you met this requirement.

  4. Explain how you met the expectation set out by the Commission in Broadcasting Decision 2012-242, under which TVA must continue to broadcast feature documentaries, dramatic, musical and variety programs during prime time in the same proportion that it did during the licence term preceding the latest renewal.

    Submit your response to these questions as part of the document entitled Groupe TVA-Stations de télévision.

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 TVA Group will adhere to the new standard requirements for its television stations.

    If TVA Group does not accept 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. Identify the requirements (including conditions of licence, expectations, encouragements and definitions) other than standardized requirements to which TVA Group television stations are currently subject.
    2. Confirm that for the next licence term, each station will continue to be operated in accordance with the requirements set out in (a).
    3. If you are requesting changes to some requirements, please indicate the proposed modification and provide appropriate rationale, including financial evidence, if available. Otherwise, the Commission will assume that you agree that the listed requirements should be maintained.

Submit your response to question 2 in the document entitled Groupe TVA–Stations de télévision, using the same format as the table below.

Service name
Current requirement Proposed requirement Rationale
     
     

N.B.: For the purposes of this table, the term “requirement” refers to any condition of licence, expectation, encouragement or definition to which the television station is subject.

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 TVA Group’s television stations. Please submit this information as part of the document entitled Groupe TVA- Stations de television”.

D. Discretionary services

Programming

  1. As regards TVA Group’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. TVA Group’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 answers to these questions in the Groupe TVA-Services facultatifs document.

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 TVA Group will adhere to the new standard requirements for its services. If TVA Group does not accept 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. Identify the requirements (including conditions of licence, expectations, encouragements and definitions) other than standardized requirements to which TVA Group discretionary services are currently subject.
    2. Confirm that for the next licence term, each service will continue to be operated in accordance with the requirements set out in (a).
    3. If you are requesting amendments to some requirements, indicate the proposed amendment and provide appropriate rationale. Otherwise, the Commission will assume that you agree that the listed requirements should be maintained.

    Submit your response to question 2 in the document entitled Groupe TVA-Services facultatifs, using the same format as the table below.

Service name
Current requirement Proposed requirement Rationale
     
     

N.B.: For the purposes of this table, the term “requirement” refers to any condition of licence, expectation, encouragement or definition to which the service is subject.

E. Mainstream sports services

Programming

  1. As regards TVA Group’s mainstream sports services, provide the following:
    1. The current programming schedules for each of TVA Group’s services, including feeds, as well as links to websites that set them out, if available.
    2. TVA Group’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 TVA Group’s acquisition of NHL rights on its overall programming strategy. 

    Submit your response to this question as part of the document entitled Groupe TVA-Services de sport d’intérêt général .

Standard conditions of licence

  1. Confirm that TVA Group 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). Submit this confirmation as part of the document entitled Groupe TVA-Services de sport d’intérêt général.

    If TVA Group 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. Submit this information for each service as part of the document entitled Groupe TVA-Services de sport d’intérêt général in the format provided in the table below:

Service name
Standard CoL Proposed CoL Rationale
     
     

F. National news services

Programming

  1. With regard to TVA Group’s national news service, provide the following information:
    1. The current programming schedules and links to related websites, if any.
    2. TVA Group’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 these questions in the document entitled Groupe TVA-Services de nouvelles nationales.

Standard conditions of licence

  1. In Broadcasting Decisions CRTC 2009-562-1 and 2015-436, the Commission imposed a requirement that national news services devote at least 90% of their broadcast day to broadcasting Canadian programming. Explain how TVA Group met this requirement for its LCN service over the previous licence term.
  2. In Revised standard conditions of licence for Canadian discretionary services operating as national news services, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-436 (RP 2015-436), the Commission published revised conditions of licence for discretionary services operating as national news services, so that these conditions could be imposed at the next licence renewal and be used to determine whether the services can continue to operate under the right to mandatory distribution granted to national news services. Do you want the LCN service to be subject to the conditions of licence, expectations and encouragements set out in RP 2015-436? Submit your response in the document entitled Groupe TVA-Services de nouvelles nationales.

    If TVA Group does not accept 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 Groupe TVA-Services de nouvelles nationales in the format provided in the table below:

Service name
Standard CoL Proposed CoL Rationale
G. On-demand services
  1. 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. Provide a list of programs offered by Videotron G.P. (Videotron) on-demand services. The list must include all programs offered, by category and country of origin, as well as the length of time each program was kept on the server and was available to subscribers.
    2. Provide Videotron’s programming strategy for these services, specifically as it relates to the production, scheduling and promotion of original Canadian programming, as well as an overview of its most successful programs and the characteristics of their success.
    3. In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-59-1, the Commission issued an expectation to the effect that licensees should, as far as possible, offer VOD programming in both official languages. Describe how Videotron met this expectation.

    Submit your response to these questions in the document entitled Groupe TVA-Sur demande.

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 Videotron will adhere to the new standard requirements for its on-demand services. If Videotron disagrees with any of these requirements, it will have the opportunity to suggest changes, provided the proposed changes are accompanied by a detailed rationale explaining the reasons why Videotron feels that its services should no longer be subject to these requirements.
    1. Confirm that Videotron’s on-demand service will continue to operate under 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 Groupe TVA-Sur demande.
    2. If Videotron 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 Groupe TVA-Sur demande, in the format provided in the table below.

Standard 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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