Broadcasting Commission Letter addressed to Peter Kovacs (Rogers Communications Canada 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: peter.kovacs@rci.rogers.com

Mr. Peter Kovacs
Director, Content distribution and broadband policy
Rogers Communications Canada Inc.

Dear Mr. Kovacs:

This is in reference to a letter sent by the Commission on 12 January 2016 requesting that Rogers Media Inc. (Rogers Media) file an application to renew the licences of its various services set to expire on 31 August 2017, including the video-on-demand (VOD) service. In a subsequent letter filed by Ms. Susan Wheeler of Rogers Media on 18 January 2016, Ms. Wheeler informed the Commission that the licensee for the VOD service was in fact Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (Rogers Communications), and that all questions pertaining to this service should be forwarded to you.

Accordingly, the Commission requests that Rogers Communications file an application to renew the licence for its video-on-demand service.

If it is Rogers Communications’ intention to continue the operation of this undertaking past the above-noted expiry date, it will be necessary for Rogers Communications to apply to the Commission to renew this licence by submitting a renewal application to the Commission by no later than 1 April  2016.

Rogers Communications’ must file its renewal application form electronically by completing the “Broadcasting Online Form and Cover Page” using the secured service “My CRTC Account (Partner Log In or GCKey Log In).” 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”.  A sample of the application form can be viewed on the web page “Application to renew a broadcasting licence for a video-on-demand (VOD) programming undertaking – Form 145.” 

Moreover, please respond to the following questions by using the format set out in the Appendices to this letter.  These 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. Please ensure to repeat each question, including relevant tables, in your response.  

If it is not Rogers Communication’s intention to continue the operation of this undertaking after the expiry of the current license, please advise the Commission accordingly by using “My CRTC Account” in writing by no later than 1 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 Rogers Communications’ renewal application. Should Rogers Communications wish to designate any information provided as part of its applications as confidential, it must do so in full compliance with the Rules of Procedure and Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-961, as amended from time to time. The documents submitted should use the following naming convention to facilitate the processing and analysis of the applications:

If you encounter any difficulties submitting Rogers Communications’ 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 819-997-9392 or at tina-louise.latourelle@crtc.gc.ca.

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

Tina Louise Latourelle
Senior Policy Analyst
TV Policy and Applications

C.C.: Susan Wheeler, Vice President, Regulatory, Media, susan.wheeler@rci.rogers.com


Additional questions to address in the renewal application

Promoting Canadian programming

  1. 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.

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

Programming

  1. In regards to the programming offered by the service, please respond to the following:
    1. Please provide a program list for Rogers Communications’ VOD service. The list should identify each program by programming category and by country of origin and indicate the period of time that each program was on the server and available to subscribers.
    2. Please provide Rogers Communications’ programming strategy for this service, specifically as it relates to the promotion of original Canadian programs, as well as an overview of its most successful programs and the characteristics of their success.
  1. As set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2011-59-1, the Commission expects licensees to make their program offering available to the maximum extent possible in both official languages. Please describe how the licensee has fulfilled this expectation.

Amendments to requirements other than standard requirements

Please note that the following questions are to be completed in lieu of question 3.2 of “Application to renew a broadcasting licence for a video-on-demand (VOD) programming undertaking – Form 145.

  1. Please note that, as announced in the Create Policy, the Commission will undertake a proceeding to establish standard requirements for on-demand services, which would replace those set out in Revised exemption order for certain classes of video-on-demand (VOD) undertakings and updated standard conditions of licence for licensed VOD undertakings, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-355, 6 August 2015, as of 1 September 2017. Accordingly, further correspondence will follow to confirm whether Rogers Communications will adhere to the new standard requirements for its on-demand service. If Rogers Communications 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 service 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 other than standard requirements. Confirm that the Rogers Communications’ on-demand service will continue to operate in compliance with these requirements.
    2. If Rogers Media is proposing any amendments to existing conditions of licence, expectations, encouragements or definitions, complete the table below providing a detailed rationale for any proposed changes, including, where appropriate, financial evidence to support any changes.

      Please submit this information in the format provided in the table below:

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.

Licence term

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

Submit your response to questions 1 to 5 above as part of the document entitled “Rogers-On-demand-Supplementary Brief”.

Projected Financial Data

  1. For Rogers’ on-demand service, please provide summary financial projections for the next six broadcast years, starting with the complete 2015-2016 broadcast year.

    Please provide this information in Excel format, using the designated template Excel workbook attached to this letter. Please ensure that your document is entitled as follows: “Rogers-On-demand projections”. Please be reminded that, as set out in the Commission’s guidelines on confidentiality (Information Bulletin 2010-961, as amended), financial projections data is generally treated as public.

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