ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Commission Letter Addressed to Stan Thompson (Northwestel Inc.)

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Ottawa, 13 December 2016


Mr. Stan Thompson
CFO & VP Corporate Services
Northwestel Inc.
301 Lambert Street
Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 4Y4

Subject: Northwestel Inc.’s video-on-demand (VOD) Canadian programming contributions

Dear Mr. Thompson:

Following Commission’s staff review of the contributions to Canadian programming by Northwestel Inc.’s VOD service for the 2008-2009 through 2014-2015 broadcast years, it appears that Northwestel Inc. may be in non-compliance with Condition of licence # 5 of its licensing decision, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2008-362. 

Based on information available to Commission staff in the annual returns as well as subsequent communication with Northwestel, it appears that Northwestel did not make any of the required contributions to an independent production fund during the period under review.   

The following table presents the calculation of the contributions to Canadian programming requirements based on information provided by Northwestel Inc. in the annual returns.

Table 1 – Northwestel Inc.’s contribution requirement for 2008-2009 to 2014-2015 broadcast years

2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 Total
Reported revenues 95,270 850,712 894,049 1,019,422 934,428 849,902 866,867 5,510,650
50% of revenues 47,635 425,356 447,025 509,711 467,214 424,951 433,434 2,755,325
5% contribution requirement 2,382 21,268 22,351 25,486 23,361 21,248 21,672 137,766
Total amount paid 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Apparent shortfall 2,382 21,268 22,351 25,486 23,361 21,248 21,672 137,766
  1. Please confirm the accuracy of the figures provided in the table above including that the reported revenues line reflects 100% of the total VOD revenues.
  2. Please provide the rationale for the instances of apparent non-compliance identified above.
  3. Please comment on the potential apparent shortfall identified above and the possibility of the Commission requiring Northwestel to pay these amounts to the CMF or an Independent production fund in order to rectify the apparent shortfall.

Please provide comments on the above noted figures and resulting shortfalls by no later than 23 December 2016.

This letter and your response will be placed on the record of the hearing dealing with the renewal of television licences outlined in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2016-225.  The letter and the response will form part of the record for the renewal of Northwestel’s VOD licence.

Please note that the Commission has not yet reviewed the contributions to be made for the 2015-2016 broadcast year.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this letter please contact
Michael Bergeron at or 819-997-4852.

Commission staff appreciates your cooperation.


[Original signed]

Barbara Motzney

Chief Consumer Officer and Executive Director
Consumer Affairs and Strategic Policy

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