Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2019-268

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Reference: Part 1 application posted on 25 March 2019

Ottawa, 30 July 2019

Bell Media Inc.
Across Canada

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.

Application

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Secretary General

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
CFNY-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
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