Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2019-268
Reference: Part 1 application posted on 25 March 2019
Ottawa, 30 July 2019
Bell Media Inc.
Public record for this application: 2019-0088-7
Bell Media Inc. – Deletion of transmitters
Pursuant to an application by Bell Media Inc. (Bell Media), the Commission deletes 28 analog rebroadcasting transmitters from Bell Media’s broadcasting licences for various over-the-air television stations across Canada as of the dates set out in the appendix to this decision.
- On 1 February 2019, Bell Media Inc. (Bell Media) filed an application to delete 28 analog rebroadcasting transmitters from its broadcasting licences for a number of its over-the-air (OTA) television stations located across the country. The list of transmitters is set out in the appendix to this decision.
- In its application, Bell Media indicated that these transmitters rebroadcast the signals of various stations across the country and none offer programming that differs from that which is offered by the originating stations. The applicant stated that these transmitters do not generate any incremental revenue and generally attract little to no added viewership.
Interventions and reply
- Five individuals opposed Bell Media’s proposal to shut down these transmitters and one expressed support. Affordability and access to content were the main reasons cited in the opposing interventions.
- In its reply, Bell Media stated that it is requesting authority to shut down these rebroadcasting transmitters in order to improve cost effectiveness and to coordinate with the digital television (DTV) transition schedule mandated by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Bell Media argued that the costs related to maintaining these older transmitters are significant. The applicant added that the majority of shutdowns would not occur before February 2021 and submitted that its application is fully compliant with Commission policy.
Commission’s analysis and decision
- Bell Media’s application does not result in the loss of local or other original programming in the Canadian broadcasting system, given that no stations that originate programming would be shut down. However, it does mean that viewers in the areas served by these transmitters would not be able to receive this programming over the air.
- Canadians that subscribe to broadcasting distribution undertaking (BDU) services are unlikely to be affected by this change. Terrestrial BDUs are generally required to distribute local and regional television stations within their licensed areas and are authorized to distribute, as part of their basic service, non-local Canadian stations where fewer than 10 local or regional stations are available over the air (to an overall maximum of 10 Canadian OTA stations).footnote 1 While direct-to-home (DTH) BDUs are not required to distribute specific local and regional television stations, they must distribute one television station from each major ownership group that originates in the provincefootnote 2 in which the subscriber’s residence or other premises are located.footnote 3 Given the above, the Commission anticipates that Bell Media’s television stations will continue to be made generally available on the basic service by BDUs operating in the markets served by the rebroadcasting transmitters at issue. The Commission also notes that the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations limit the price that may be charged to a customer for the basic service.
- As the Commission recently reiterated in Corus Entertainment Inc. – Deletion of transmitters and reallocation of tangible benefits, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2019-209, 13 June 2019, licences such as those held by Bell Media are authorizations to broadcast, not obligations to do so. This mean that, while the Commission has the discretion to refuse to revoke broadcasting licences, even on application from a licensee, it cannot generally direct a licensee to continue to operate its transmitters.
- In light of the above, the Commission approves the deletion of the 28 rebroadcasting transmitters listed in the appendix to this decisionfootnote 4 from Bell Media Inc.’s broadcasting licences for various OTA television stations across Canada. These deletions take effect only as of the dates indicated in the appendix.
This decision is to be appended to each licence.
Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2019-268
List of rebroadcasting transmitters operated by Bell Media Inc. to be shut down
|Province||Call sign and location||Originating station||Date of deletion|
|British Columbia||CFCN-TV-10 Fernie||CFCN-DT-5 Lethbridge||26 February 2021|
|CFCN-TV-15 Invemere||CFCN-DT Calgary||26 February 2021|
|CFCN-TV-9 Cranbrook||CFCN-DT-5 Lethbridge||26 February 2021|
|Alberta||CFRN-TV-12 Athabaska||CFRN-DT Edmonton||26 February 2021|
|CFRN-TV-3 Whitecourt||CFRN-DT Edmonton||26 February 2021|
|CFRN-TV-4 Ashmount||CFRN-DT Edmonton||26 February 2021|
|CFRN-TV-5 Lac La Biche||CFRN-DT Edmonton||26 February 2021|
|CFRN-TV-7 Lougheed||CFRN-DT Edmonton||26 February 2021|
|CFRN-TV-9 Slave Lake||CFRN-DT Edmonton||16 July 2021|
|Saskatchewan||CFQC-TV-1 Stranraer||CFQC-DT Saskatoon||26 February 2021|
|CFQC-TV-2 North Battleford||CFQC-DT Saskatoon||26 February 2021|
|CKMC-TV Swift Current||CKCK-DT Regina||26 February 2021|
|CKMJ-TV Marquis||CKCK-DT Regina||26 February 2021|
|Manitoba||CKYA-TV Fisher Branch||CKY-DT Winnipeg||16 July 2021|
|CKYD-TV Dauphin||CKY-DT Winnipeg||16 July 2021|
|CFYF-TV Flin Flon||CKY-DT Winnipeg||16 July 2021|
|CKYP-TV The Pas||CKY-DT Winnipeg||16 July 2021|
|Ontario||CITO-TV-2 Kearns||CITO-TV Timmins||3 December 2021|
|CJOH-TV-47 Pembroke||CJOH-DT Ottawa||2 May 2020|
|CJOH-TV-6 Deseronto||CJOH-DT Ottawa||9 October 2020|
|CKCO-TV-3 Oil Springs||CKCO-DT Kitchener||2 May 2020|
|CKNY-TV-11 Huntsville||CICI-TV Sudbury||9 October 2020|
|New Brunswick||CKAM-TV-3 Blackville||CKCW-DT Moncton||3 December 2021|
|CKAM-TV-4 Doaktown||CKCW-DT Moncton||3 December 2021|
|CKLT-TV-2 Boiestown||CKLT-DT Saint John||3 December 2021|
|Nova Scotia||CJCB-TV-3 Dingwall||CJCB-TV Sydney||3 December 2021|
|CJCH-TV-3 Valley/Colchester||CJCH-DT Halifax||3 December 2021|
|CJCH-TV-4 Bridgetown||CJCH-DT Halifax||3 December 2021|
- Date modified: