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

Ottawa, 12 February 2020


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

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 is in receipt of your letter dated 30 January 2020, in which you responded to requests for information (RFIs) issued by Commission staff on 14 January 2020 concerning the above-noted application by Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Limited (NTV), licensee of CJON-DT. 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

Commission staff notes that Bell, Rogers and Corus have been granted an exception to the prime time DV condition of licence. Pursuant to this exception, U.S. programming received without DV less than 24 hours prior to broadcast does not have to be described. Bell, Rogers and Corus acknowledged that the amount of programming subject to this exception “is small and is largely limited to first-run live, near-live or embargoed programs.” Footnote2 Moreover, Commission staff further notes that these broadcasters would be required to provide DV for any U.S. programming received more than 24 hours from the date of airing.

Commission staff has reviewed NTV’s response to the RFIs and considers that additional information would help with the assessment of its application for regulatory relief. For this reason, Commission staff is issuing a further request for information.

Responses to the the questions set out below are to be filed by 21 February 2020.


  1. In response to question 1.b. you explain ######################################.#
    • Commission staff undertook to get an example of NTV’s broadcast schedule to better understand the impacts of this provision. The following is NTV’s schedule for the weeks of 3 February 2020 and 10 February 10 2020, taken from your website. We note that the following programs: NCIS: L.A., S.W.A.T., Evil, Bull, 9-1-1 and Tommy are flagged to air “one week post” and New Amsterdam is flagged to air “two weeks post” to Global’s initial broadcast.
    1. For each of the above programs, please confirm:
      1. When NTV normally receives the programming from Corus.
      2. Whether the programming is provided by Corus with described video.
      3. In the case of any program that is not provided by Corus with described video, whether NTV is currently providing described video itself.
    2. For any programming that NTV receives without described video more than 24 hours in advance of its scheduled broadcast, please provide a detailed explanation, including a financial rationale, as to why the programming could not be described just as any other broadcaster would be required to do.

The information requested herein should be submitted to the Commission by no later than 21 February 2020, failing which, the application may be returned to be completed and resubmitted with the Commission should NTV wish to pursue this proposal.

The Commission requires the response or other documents to be submitted electronically by using the secured service “My CRTC Account” (Partner Log In or GCKey) and filling the “Broadcasting and Telecom Cover page” or the “Broadcasting Cover Page” located on this web page. Also on this web page you will find information on the submission of applications to the Commission “Filing Broadcasting and Canadian Program Certification documents with the CRTC: Privacy and Security”.

A copy of this letter and all related correspondence will be added to the public record of the proceeding.

Should you have any questions, please contact Natalie Riendeau, Senior Analyst, Social and Consumer Policy, at

Yours sincerely,

(Original signed by)

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


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