Broadcasting Commission Letter addressed to Ron Sparkes (Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Limited)

Ottawa, 18 December 2019

BY EMAIL

Mr. Ron Sparkes
COO and CFO
Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Limited
446 Logy Bay Road
P.O. Box 2020
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
A1C 5S2
rsparkes@ntv.ca

Our reference: 2019-0545-7

Subject: Part I Application 2019-0545-7 – Application for amendment to CJON-DT’s condition of licence that requires prime time programming to be broadcast with described video

Dear Mr. Sparkes,

Commission staff are in receipt of your email dated 17 December 2019 concerning the above-noted application by Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Limited (NTV), licensee of CJON-DT, which was temporarily suspended by Commission staff on 2 August 2019.  NTV is seeking an amendment to its condition of licence that requires prime time programming drawn from certain program categories to be broadcast with described video (DV). Footnote1

On 3 December 2019, the Commission issued Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2019-392 Amendment proposed by Bell Media Inc., Corus Entertainment Inc. and Rogers Media Inc. to their condition of licence that requires prime time programming to be broadcast with described video. The amended condition of licence requires Bell Media, Corus Entertainment and Rogers Media to provide DV for all English- and French-language programming that is broadcast during prime time with the exception of U.S. programming received without DV less than 24 hours prior to air. In addition, in its decision, the Commission encourages Bell Media, Corus Entertainment and Rogers Media to hold regularly occurring consultations with DV stakeholders for the purpose of collaboratively developing a solution to address the issue that requires the 24 hours exception granted by the Commission.

Commission staff note that NTV’s request to amend its described video condition of licence is directly related to this decision, notably because the licensee receives the majority of its prime time programming from Corus through a programming supply agreement.

In light of the Commission’s decision, and prior to reopening the comment period on this application, Commission staff request that NTV indicate by 10 January 2020 whether:

  1. NTV wishes to withdraw and resubmit Part I application 2019-0545-7.
  2. NTV wishes to amend Part I application 2019-0545-7.
  3. NTV wishes to proceed with the application as filed.

Should you have any questions, please contact Natalie Riendeau, Senior Analyst, Social and Consumer Policy, at natalie.riendeau@crtc.gc.ca.

Yours sincerely,

(Original signed by)

Nanao Kachi
Director, Social and Consumer Policy
Consumer, Research and Communications
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

cc: Distribution List

natalie.riendeau@crtc.gc.ca
and interveners

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