Broadcasting Procedural Letter addressed to Astrid Zimmer (Blue Ant Television General Partnership)

Ottawa, 9 May 2019

BY E-MAIL 
astrid.zimmer@blueantmedia.ca
Please confirm receipt of this letter by return email.

Astrid Zimmer
Senior Legal Counsel
Blue Ant Television General Partnership

Subject: Part 1 application from Blue Ant Media Inc.Footnote1 to reduce its condition of licence relating programs of national interest (PNI) from 13.5% to 5%. Application 2019-0242-9 - Request for information.

The present request is for additional information relating to Blue Ant Media Inc.’s (Blue Ant) request to change its condition of licence related to its programs of national interest (PNI). Blue Ant has applied to decrease its group’sFootnote2 investment in program of national interest (PNI) from 13.5% to 5%.  Blue Ant has proposed that this change take effect on 1 September 2019.

  1. In Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2018-335, Reconsideration of licence renewal decisions for the television services of large English-language private ownership groups, the Commission effectively increased the PNI requirements of Bell and Corus to their historical levels, while maintaining Rogers’ requirement. Further, the Commission considered it appropriate to maintain Blue Ant’s historical PNI requirement at the time of its most recent renewal, as published in Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2018-291. Blue Ant’s proposal does not base its PNI requirement on historical levels, and would deviate from what the Commission considered appropriate during Blue Ant’s most recent renewaland the Reconsideration process. Provide justification for the Commission deviating from the approach outlined in Broadcasting Decisions CRTC 2018-291 and CRTC 2018-335.
  2. In your cover letter, you indicated at paragraph 13 that Blue Ant’s PNI commitments should not come at the price of jeopardizing Blue Ant’s viability as an independent broadcaster. Using the attached Excel template, provide five years of financial projections for two scenarios: one with approval of the application and one with denial of the application.
    For the following questions, the Commission reserves discretion to make determinations and arrive at other levels on the basis of the information provided. Further, note that the Commission could approve Blue Ant’s application, in whole or in part, conditional on Blue Ant filing a separate application to vary the levels of its CPE requirement and/or the propotion of PNI that it must devote to independent production companies.
  3. If the Commission approves a 5% PNI requirement, would Blue Ant accept a higher CPE requirement and a higher proportion of PNI that it must devote to independent production companies as conditions of licence?
    1. If so, propose a CPE requirement and a proportion of PNI to be devoted to independent production companies that Blue Ant would accept as conditions of licence. Provide full justification for the proposed requirement with supporting documentation, and financial projections and assumptions using the attached Excel template.
    2. Would Blue Ant accept as conditions of licence a CPE requirement and/or the proportion of PNI that it must devote to independent production companies that are based on its historical levels? Comment on this proposal, and provide supporting documentation, and financial projections and assumptions using the attached Excel template.
  4. The Commission could reduce Blue Ant’s PNI requirement to a level between the 5% requirement proposed in its application and its current 13.5% requirement. Propose a PNI requirement between the 5% proposed requirement and the current 13.5% requirement that Blue Ant would accept as a condition of licence. Further, for such a scenario, what would Blue Ant view as appropriate changes to its CPE requirement and/or the proportion of PNI it must devote to independent production companies? Provide supporting documentation, and financial projections and assumptions using the attached Excel template.

Your answers to the questions in this document must be filed by no later than 27 May 2019. Please repeat each of the above questions in your reply before answering them and use the secure service My CRTC Account” (Partner Log In or GCKey) to submit your responses and any supporting documents with the following file number 2019-0242-9.

Please note that all information that you provide, except information for which confidentiality has been requested and is granted, becomes part of a publicly accessible file. This information will be posted on the Commission’s website and made available for public examination.

In light of the information sought and in order to permit adequate public participation, the intervention deadline will be amended for intervenors to consult the additional information in accordance with the following timeframe: 

Interventions Intervention deadline
Intervenors 10 June 2019
Final reply from Blue Ant 17 June 2019

Should you need further information concerning this request for information, please do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail manon.auger@crtc.gc.ca or by telephone at 819-639-3481.

Original signed by

Manon Auger
Senior Analyst
English and Third-language Television

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