Broadcasting Procedural Letter addressed to Stephen Schmidt (TELUS Communications Inc.)
Ottawa, 19 August 2020
Mr. Stephen Schmidt
Vice-President – Telecom Policy & Chief Regulatory Legal Counsel
Telecom Policy & Regulatory Affairs
TELUS Communications Inc.
Subject: Part 1 Application 2020-0111-3 by Rogers Media Inc. for dispute resolution regarding the distribution of its distant signals by TELUS Communications Inc. – Request for disclosure by TELUS Communications Inc.
Dear Mr. Schmidt,
This is in response to your letter dated 6 July 2020 filed with the Commission on behalf of TELUS Communications Inc. (TELUS) requesting disclosure of information filed in confidence by Rogers Media Inc. (RMI) at paragraph 24 of its 29 June 2020 reply in the above-named Part 1 application.
TELUS submitted that it had not received any submissions from RMI as to why this information was redacted or regarding the nature of the redacted material. TELUS argued that procedural fairness requires the disclosure of the new evidence introduced at this stage in the proceeding, but assumed the information was intended to support RMI’s claim that other broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs) had negotiated distant signal compensation independently of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters agreement. TELUS argued that it needs to know who the other BDUs may be, and the exact nature of the payments that they are making in order to fully understand and respond to the claims made by RMI. Further, TELUS argued that the redacted information does not appear to properly fall within one of the categories of information that can be designated as confidential. TELUS requested that, in the event that the Commission denies the request to make it public, the information be provided only to TELUS on a confidential basis.
In its 9 July 2020 answer opposing TELUS’ request, RMI submitted that the information regarding its contracts with other BDUs is commercially sensitive, the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to prejudice its competitive position (vis-à-vis other broadcasters), and affect its contractual negotiations (vis-à-vis TELUS and other BDUs). Further, RMI noted that non-disclosure agreements entered into by broadcasters and BDUs prevent disclosure of these arrangements. In addition, with regard to the appropriateness of RMI filing this information in its reply, RMI submitted that it had raised the matter of other BDUs’ compensation of RMI for carriage in its application, and again in its response of 2 July 2019 to TELUS, and that TELUS had addressed the issue in its answer. In RMI’s view, filing the BDU information is therefore an appropriate reply, consistent with section 27 of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure.
Having considered TELUS’s request and RMI's response, we conclude that the specific direct harm that would likely result from the public disclosure of the names of the companies identified in lines 6 and 7 of paragraph 24 outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
However, we are of the view that the specific direct harm, if any, likely to result from the remaining words in lines 7, 8 and 9 of paragraph 24 does not outweigh the public interest in disclosure.
Accordingly, RMI is to file with the Commission within three days of this letter, serving a copy on interested parties, a new abridged version of its answer in accordance with the foregoing. Within eight days of this letter, parties may file additional comments in response solely to the additional information placed on the record, serving a copy on RMI. Within 11 days of this letter, RMI may file an additional reply, serving a copy on interested parties, solely to address any additional comments filed by interveners. Submissions must be received and not merely sent by the dates indicated.
Original signed by Peter Foster on behalf of
Cc: Susan Wheeler, RMI
Lecia Simpson, TELUS
Antoine Malek, TELUS
Christopher J. Edwards, Canadian Communication Systems Alliance
Nathalie Dorval, Cogeco Connexion Inc.
Matt Thompson, Corus Entertainment Inc.
Rob Germain, 0859291 BC LTD.
Cynthia Rathwell, Shaw Communications Inc
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