Broadcasting Commission Letter addressed to Natalie MacDonald (Bragg Communications Inc.) and Susan Wheeler (Rogers Media Inc.)
Ottawa, 24 January 2020
Our reference: 2019-1044-8
Ms. Natalie MacDonald
Vice President, Regulatory
Bragg Communications Inc.
Ms. Susan Wheeler
Vice President, Regulatory, Media
Rogers Media Inc.
Re: Procedural request by Bragg Communications Inc. in the final offer arbitration proceeding (2019-1044-8) between Eastlink and Rogers Media Inc.
On 7 November 2019, the Commission accepted a request for final offer arbitration (FOA) by Rogers Media Inc. (Rogers) to set the rates for the distribution of Sportsnet and Sportsnet One (the services) by Bragg Communications Inc. (Eastlink). In the conduct letter for the FOA, it made a number of requests for information to complete the record of the proceeding, to be provided by the parties along with their respective final offers by 27 November 2019.
The parties filed their final offers on 27 November 2019, and replied to one another’s offers on 2 December 2019. On 9 December 2019, Eastlink requested that the Commission strike certain information provided by Rogers from the record of the proceeding. It targeted a statement in Rogers’ reply which, according to Eastlink, inferred that Eastlink had omitted certain data in its calculations. Eastlink also argued that parts of Rogers’ reply contained erroneous information, and that this information should therefore not be included in the public record for the proceeding.
Rogers responded to that request on 12 December 2019, arguing that Eastlink’s letter was an attempt at providing an additional reply in the FOA process, and was not a procedural request by nature. Rogers nevertheless provided information to demonstrate the validity of the information provided in its reply.
Having reviewed Eastlink’s request and arguments, as well as Rogers’ response, the Commission finds that Eastlink’s assertions are of an argumentative nature, and, as such, constitute an additional reply in the process, which is generally not allowed as per paragraph 29 of Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2019-184. Eastlink’s request is therefore not procedural in nature, and the Commission denies that request. Consequently, the Commission will not strike Rogers’ comments from the record. The request filed by Eastlink, as well as Rogers’ reply to that request, will not form part of the public file for this FOA proceeding.
Parties should note that the date of this letter is the new close of record date in this proceeding.
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