Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-99
Ottawa, 13 April 2017
Findings regarding market capacity and the appropriateness of issuing a call for radio applications to serve Georgina, Ontario
The Commission finds that there is capacity for a radio station to serve Georgina. Consequently, given the interest expressed to serve the market, the Commission has issued a call for applications for a new radio station in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2017-100, also published today.
- In Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2016-260, the Commission announced that it had received an application by My Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) for a broadcasting licence to operate a commercial radio station to serve Georgina, Ontario.
- The town of Georgina is located in south-central Ontario on the south-east shore of Lake Simcoe, 81 kilometres north of Toronto. It is geographically the largest of 9 municipalities in the Regional Municipality of York and belongs to the Numeris central area of Toronto, which shares the same boundary with the corresponding Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA). In 2016, the population of Georgina represented 0.8% of the population in the Toronto CMA.
- In accordance with Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2014-554 (the Policy), the Commission called for comments on the capacity of Georgina to support a new station and whether it should issue a call for applications for new radio stations to serve that market. The Policy states that the Commission will weigh factors such as market capacity, spectrum availability or scarcity and interest in serving the market when deciding whether to:
- publish the applications for consideration as part of the non-appearing phase of a public hearing;
- issue a call for applications; or
- make a determination that the market cannot sustain an additional station, return the applications and issue a decision setting out this determination.
- In response to Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2016-260, the Commission received interventions from radio broadcasters, namely MBC, Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation (Bayshore), Evanov Radio Group Inc. (Evanov), Frank Torres (Torres) and Georgina Island First Nations Communications, as well as members of the community, such as businesses, town representatives (including the mayor) and residents of Georgina. MBC and Bayshore submitted replies to the interventions. The public record for this proceeding can be found on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca.
- Bayshore, Evanov and Torres expressed interest in submitting competing applications should the Commission issue a call for applications. While Bayshore and MBC stated that Georgina is capable of sustaining a new radio station at this time, Evanov argued that Georgina is already well served by its station CKDX-FM Newmarket, which encompasses the greater part of the Township of Georgina in its primary (3 mV/m) contour. For its part, Torres submitted that Georgina cannot support a new FM radio station and that a new Georgina station would draw advertising revenues away from its station CIUX-FM Uxbridge.
- Georgina Island First Nations Communications submitted that its Native station CFGI-FM Georgina Island is in the process of developing local programming and content for its mainland listeners and feels that it is better suited to meeting the needs of the people of Georgina than a new local commercial radio station.
- Finally, in their interventions, members of the Georgina community expressed support for a commercial radio station in Georgina. They asserted that Georgina is growing quickly and will have a better opportunity to maintain its current identity and build a sense of community with the addition of a local radio station. Moreover, they were in agreement that a local station would help to communicate matters of general public interest—and more importantly, emergency advice and/or notices—as well as promote sporting and cultural events, and tourism.
- In its reply, MBC argued that the primary contour of its proposed station would not overlap with that of CIUX-FM and that even though the secondary contour of its station would overlap with that of CIUX-FM, only 1,229 residents would fall within the interference-free overlap. MBC also stated that since the signal of its station would not reach Uxbridge, it would be unable to sell advertising in that market. It added that its proposed station would have limited reach and would therefore not have any financial impact on CKDX-FM, which reaches a wider audience.
- For its part, Bayshore replied that CIUX-FM does not reach the population centers of Georgina within its secondary contour given that its signal is severely impeded to the north and west by co-channel interference with CFBK-FM Huntsville. According to Bayshore, any proposal to serve Georgina would have little impact on commercial radio stations since none are currently licensed to serve that market specifically. Bayshore added that CKDX-FM is licensed as a regional service based in Newmarket and serves the entirety of York, with a particular focus on southern and western portions, closer to Barrie and Toronto.
- In the case of an FM station, the Radio Regulations, 1986 defines a market as the primary contour or the central area as defined by the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement (BBM, now known as Numeris), whichever is smaller.
- There are no commercial radio stations licensed to serve Georgina specifically. Although CKDX-FM Newmarket and CFMS-FM Markham are licensed to serve municipalities within York, CKDX-FM’s primary contour only covers a portion of the town of Georgina, while CFMS-FM’s primary contour does not reach Georgina.
- With regards to CFGI-FM, the Native station on Georgina Island licenced to serve the area’s First Nations community, the primary contour is limited to Georgina Island and does not cover the town of Georgina.
- Georgina is forecast to see strong economic and population growth. According to the most recent Statistics Canada data available, its households have earned more than provincial and national figures. The Commission considers that there would be potential for a station in Georgina to generate revenues from local advertisers that do not typically advertise on large, wider-reaching Toronto stations.
- Further, a service in Georgina would have limited, if any, coverage of surrounding markets, including that of CIUX-FM. Moreover, there would be minimal impact on Toronto stations, including those serving other municipalities in York.
- In light of all of the above, the Commission finds that there is capacity for a radio station to serve Georgina. Consequently, given the interest expressed to serve the market, the Commission has issued a call for applications for a new radio station in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2017-100, also published today.
- Call for applications – Radio station to serve Georgina, Ontario, Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2017-100, 13 April 2017
- Call for comments on market capacity and on the appropriateness of issuing a call for radio applications to serve Georgina, Ontario, Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2016-260, 11 July 2016
- A targeted policy review of the commercial radio sector, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2014-554, 28 October 2014
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