ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing 23 April 2013
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Volume 1, 23 April 2013
TRANSCRIPTION OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Applications for mandatory distribution on cable and satellite distribution systems pursuant to section 9(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act and applications for the licence renewal of independent conventional, pay and specialty television services
140 Promenade du Portage
23 April 2013
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of Contents.
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Applications for mandatory distribution on cable and satellite distribution systems pursuant to section 9(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act and applications for the licence renewal of independent conventional, pay and specialty television services
Leigh-Anna GatesLegal Counsel
Pierre-Marc PerreaultHearing Manager
140 Promenade du Portage
23 April 2013
- iv -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
1. The Legislative Assemblies of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories13 / 94
2. All Points Bulletin Incorporated and Avis de recherche incorporée37 / 234
3. Stornoway Communications Limited Partnership, OBCI128 / 848
4. The Natural Resources Television Channel (IDRN-TV/IDNR-TV) Inc.188 / 1209
5. TVA Group Inc. and Sun Media Corporation, partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Sun News General Partnership237 / 1490
6. Education Through Media316 / 1967
- v -
PAGE / PARA
Undertaking62 / 351
Undertaking275 / 1692
Undertaking284 / 1760
Undertaking286 / 1772
Undertaking296 / 1838
Undertaking298 / 1852
--- Upon commencing on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 0900
1 THE SECRETARY: Order, please. À l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.
2 LE PRÉSIDENT : Bonjour, mesdames et messieurs, et bienvenue à cette audience publique durant laquelle nous nous pencherons notamment sur des demandes de services de télévision visant l'obtention d'ordonnances de distribution en vertu de l'article 9(1)(h) de la Loi sur la radiodiffusion.
3 Il incombe à tous les participants dans le système canadien de radiodiffusion d'offrir aux Canadiens un contenu dynamique et novateur, apte à renseigner, éclairer et divertir leurs auditoires.
4 Or, il arrive que la concurrence ne peut permettre à elle seule au système d'atteindre tous les objectifs de la Loi afin que tous les Canadiens et Canadiennes puissent se retrouver et se reconnaître dans leur système de radiodiffusion. C'est pourquoi le Parlement nous a confié des mécanismes réglementaires comme l'article 9(1)(h) de la Loi.
5 Cet article permet au Conseil d'obliger les entreprises de distribution d'offrir certains services selon les modalités qu'il précise. Ces modalités peuvent prendre plusieurs formes, par exemple :
6 - l'offre obligatoire, c'est-à-dire que le service doit être offert aux abonnés, qui peuvent alors choisir de s'y abonner ou non;
7 - la distribution obligatoire au service de base dans certaines régions du Canada, c'est-à-dire que tous les abonnés de cette région reçoivent automatiquement le service; ou
8 - la distribution obligatoire au service de base à travers le Canada; de même que
9 - l'imposition ou non d'un tarif mensuel minimal.
10 Les services bénéficiant de la distribution obligatoire au service de base jouissent d'un grand privilège car ils ont l'assurance de faire partie du bloc de services de base offerts à tous les abonnés par des entreprises de distribution par câble ou par satellite. Ces services ont ainsi un impact direct sur la facture des consommateurs et sur le choix des services qu'ils reçoivent.
11 Nous profitons donc, d'ailleurs, de la comparution de diverses entreprises de distribution pour leur demander de justifier comment elles transfèrent à leurs abonnés les tarifs des services offerts aux services de base.
12 Le CRTC est très conscient de l'impact des décisions qu'il pourrait prendre dans cette instance et reconnaît que les consommateurs s'attendent à pouvoir choisir les services de télévision qu'ils reçoivent.
13 De plus, nous savons que les abonnés sont de plus en plus préoccupés de l'abordabilité des services de télévision. C'est pourquoi nous considérons que la distribution obligatoire en vertu de l'article 9(1)(h) est un régime d'exception.
14 Le CRTC est néanmoins tenu d'examiner ces demandes, dont certains demandeurs attendent le traitement depuis maintenant plus de quatre ans. Nous devons donc traiter de ces demandes et nous le ferons à la lumière du mandat législatif qui nous a été confié par le Parlement canadien en vertu de la Loi sur la radiodiffusion. Ce faisant, nous tiendrons compte des intérêts des Canadiens et des Canadiennes.
15 Given its exceptional nature, the CRTC has set the bar very high for obtaining a mandatory distribution order on digital basic pursuant to section 9(1)(h). The CRTC's policy requires that a service seeking such an order must clearly demonstrate its exceptional nature and that it achieves important public policy objectives under the Act.
16 Each applicant must therefore demonstrate supporting evidence that its service:
17 - meets a real and exceptional need within the broadcasting system;
18 - contributes in an exceptional manner to Canadian expression;
19 - contributes in an exceptional manner to all the objectives of the digital basic service and specifically contributes to one or more objectives of the Act; and
20 - makes exceptional commitments to original first-run Canadian programming in terms of exhibition and expenditures.
21 In addition, an applicant who already has a distribution order must demonstrate that its service continues to meet the criteria in this licence renewal.
22 That said, the hearing panel is approaching this public hearing with an open mind regarding the proposals by the various applicants with a view of providing a broadcasting system and a basic service that best meets the objectives of the Act and the expectations of Canadians.
23 The Commission received a total of 16 applications from television services seeking a mandatory distribution order as well as six applications from services seeking to renew their broadcasting licences as well as their mandatory distribution.
24 Eight of these applications are from new services, namely:
25 - The Legislative Assemblies of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories;
26 - Described Video Guide;
27 - Canadian Punjabi Network;
28 - ACCENTS;
29 - FUSION;
30 - Maximum Television Canada;
31 - AMI-tv, en français; and
32 - The Canadian Movie Channel.
33 As well as eight other applications are from existing services, namely:
34 - EqualiTV;
35 - Sun News Network;
36 - All Points Bulletin;
37 - TV5;
38 - Vision TV;
39 - Natural Resources Television;
40 - Dolobox TV; and
41 - ARTV.
42 The latter service is seeking a "must offer" order.
43 Finally, the six other applications are from services that currently have mandatory distribution on digital basic, a privilege they want to maintain. They are:
44 - Avis de recherche;
45 - Aboriginal Peoples Television Network;
46 - CPAC;
47 - AMI-audio;
48 - Accessible Media; and
49 - Canal M.
50 Comme dans tout processus public, l'opinion des Canadiens et des Canadiennes est très importante pour nous aider à accomplir notre responsabilité législative. Nous tenons donc à remercier tous ceux qui ont accepté de participer à cette instance, soit en soumettant leurs commentaires, soit en comparaissant devant nous.
51 Nous avons reçu plus de 135,000 commentaires dans le cadre de ce processus-- that's 135,000 comments-- qui portent tant sur les demandes de renouvellement de licence que sur les demandes en vertu de l'article 9(1)(h). C'est dire à quel point les Canadiens et les Canadiennes s'intéressent aux services de télévision qui leur sont offerts.
52 So the panel for this hearing consists of:
53 - Candice Molnar, Regional Commissioner for Saskatchewan and Manitoba;
54 - Louise Poirier, National Commissioner;
55 - Stephen Simpson, Regional Commissioner for British Columbia and the Yukon;
56 - Tom Pentefountas, Vice-Chairman of Broadcasting; and
57 - myself, Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. I will be presiding over this hearing.
58 The lead Commission team assisting us includes:
59 - Pierre-Marc Perreault, who is the Hearing Manager and Senior Policy Analyst;
60 - Leigh-Anna Gates, Legal Counsel;
61 - Peter McCallum, General Counsel, Communications Law; and
62 - Lynda Roy, Hearing Secretary and Supervisor of Public Hearings.
63 Donc, maintenant, j'invite la secrétaire de l'audience, madame Roy, à vous expliquer le déroulement de l'audience.
64 Madame la Secrétaire.
65 LA SECRÉTAIRE : Merci beaucoup, Monsieur le Président, et bonjour à tous.
66 Before we start I would like to go over a few housekeeping matters to ensure the proper conduct of the hearing.
67 When you are in the hearing room we would ask that you please turn off your phones and beepers as they are unwelcome distractions and they cause interference on the internal communication systems used by our translators. We would appreciate your cooperation in this regard throughout the hearing.
68 The hearing is expected to last eight days. We will advise you of any scheduling changes as they occur.
69 Participants are reminded that they must be ready to present on the day scheduled or, if necessary, the day before or after depending on the progress of the hearing.
70 You can examine all documents on the public record of this proceeding in the examination room, which is located in the Papineau Room.
71 Le service d'interprétation simultanée est disponible durant l'audience. L'interprétation en français se trouve au canal 2. Vous pouvez vous procurer les récepteurs d'interprétation auprès des commissionnaires à l'entrée du Centre des Conférences.
72 Nous désirons rappeler aux participants d'allouer un délai raisonnable pour la traduction lors de leur présentation à vive voix, tout en respectant le temps alloué pour leur présentation.
73 Please note that simultaneous interpretation is available during the hearing. The English interpretation is on channel 1. You can obtain an interpretation receiver from the commissionaire at the Conference Centre front desk.
74 We would like to remind participants that during their oral presentation they should provide for a reasonable delay for the interpretation, while respecting their allocated presentation time.
75 There is a verbatim transcript of this hearing being taken by the court reporter sitting at the table to my right, which will be posted daily on the Commission's website. If you have any questions on how to obtain all or part of the transcript, please approach the court reporter during a break.
76 Veuillez noter que les documents seront disponibles sur Twitter sur le compte du Conseil à @crtcaudiences en utilisant le mot-clic #CRTC.
77 Please note that the Commission will also be tweeting the documents during the hearing at @crtchearings using the hashtag #CRTC.
78 Just a reminder that pursuant to section 41 of the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedures you must not submit evidence at the hearing unless it supports statements already on the public record.
79 If you wish to introduce new evidence as an exception to this rule, you must ask permission of the panel of the hearing before you do so.
80 Nous aimerions vous rappeler que conformément à l'article 42 des Règles de pratique et de procédure, les seuls preuves admissibles à l'audience sont celles faites à l'appui d'allégations déjà sur le dossier public. Si vous souhaitez présenter une preuve nouvelle comme une exception à cette règle, vous devez demander la permission au comité d'audition avant de le faire.
81 Please note that this public hearing process includes a number of both appearing and non-appearing items. The non-appearing items involve mainly applications for licence renewals.
82 We would like to remind all parties that all presentations are only to address the appearing items of these proceedings.
83 For the record, since a revised version of the agenda was published on April 19th, the two following interveners have indicated that they will not be appearing at the hearing, Mr. Joe Clark, who was scheduled on April 26th; and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, who were scheduled on April 30th.
84 Also for the record, the applicant Takten Gyurmey Foundation, who was Item 9 on the Notice of Consultation 2013-19, has changed his name to EquliTV International Foundation. The applicant has submitted a copy of the corporate document, which will be added to the publication examination file of its application. Copies are available in the public examination room.
85 As well for the record, Stornoway Communications Limited Partnership on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated has submitted additional information in response to questions from the Commission and this information has been added to the public examination file of its application. Copies are also available in the public examination room.
86 We would like to inform you that there might be a written phase following the conclusion of this oral phase of the hearing if necessary. Parties appearing at the oral phase of this hearing may be asked to provide responses to questions from the Commission at the hearing and will be given until May 2nd to do so.
87 After receipt of such responses to undertakings, the Commission will accept final written submissions filed by the parties that appeared at the hearing. Such final written submission must be submitted on or before May 9, 2013 by 8:00 p.m. Ottawa time. Final written submissions should not exceed 10 pages.
88 Parties are reminded that final written submissions must only address any new information that may be submitted in response to undertakings filed by parties and must not introduce new evidence.
89 An amendment to the Notice of Consultation to this effect will be published today.
90 Please note that if parties undertake to file information with the Commission in response to questioning by the panel, these undertakings will be confirmed on the record through the transcript of the hearing. If necessary, parties may speak with Commission legal counsel at a break following their presentation to confirm the undertakings.
91 And now, Mr. Chairman, we will begin with Phase I of this hearing in which we will hear the presentations by the applicants.
92 THE SECRETARY; We will begin this morning with Item 1 on the Agenda, which is an application by The Legislative Assemblies of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories for mandatory distribution of the services on the digital-based service on the direct-to-home satellite broadcasting distribution undertakings serving Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, pursuant to an order issued under section 9(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act.
93 Gentlemen, I would ask that you please start by introducing yourselves for the record. You will then at 15 minutes for your presentation.
94 MR. QUIRKE: Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Commission. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.
95 My name is John Quirke, I am Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. Our time before you this morning will be shared with my colleague from the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, Brian Thagard, to my right; and to his right Jerry Giberson, Broadcast and Telecommunications Consultant; and to my left two of my staff, Alex Baldwin and William MacDonald from the Office of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut.
96 Mr. Commissioner, we would like to begin by expressing our appreciation to the Commission for its consideration of our application for mandatory distribution of our broadcasts on the digital basic service of the direct-to-home satellite broadcasting distribution undertaking serving Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, pursuant to an order issued under section 9(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act.
97 As the Commission is aware, our application was submitted to you in May of last year and since that time we have undertaken a very productive series of exchanges with your officials concerning our application. We would also like to express our appreciation to the Commission's staff for their work.
98 As I will note later in more detail, we have also been extremely pleased at the number of positive interventions that have been submitted to the Commission in support of our application, the contents of which recognize and reflect its public interest value.
99 Mr. Chairman, your recent trip to lqaluit with Commissioner Duncan provided you with the opportunity to see our Legislature in person and to view our broadcasting system. My office very much enjoyed the opportunity to host you and Commissioner Duncan, and we were very pleased that you had the opportunity to experience an Eastern Arctic blizzard during your stay!
100 As the Commission is very much aware, Canada's North is unique. Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are over three million square kilometres in size. Together, we comprise over a third of Canada's total land mass. There are almost 60 communities in the two territories, whose populations range in size from less than 200 residents in Grise Fiord to over 18,000 in Yellowknife.
101 Approximately half of the residents of the Northwest Territories are Aboriginal Canadians. In Nunavut, almost 85 percent of our population is Inuit.
102 Results from the 2011 national Census and other surveys concerning the use of aboriginal languages in our two territories are particularly noteworthy. In Nunavut, Inuktitut or Inuinnaqtun are the mother tongues of approximately 70 percent of the population. In the Northwest Territories, approximately 5,400 residents reported that their mother tongue was an aboriginal language, and close to 40 percent of aboriginal residents over the age of 15 reported being able to speak an aboriginal language.
103 Mr. Chairman, the Commission's recognition of the unique circumstances and needs of the North was recently illustrated by the Commission's favourable response to Nunavut's application for an amendment to the Parliamentary and Provincial or Territorial Legislature Proceedings Exemption Order to allow for the Legislative Assembly's broadcasting service to be used to transmit video, audio and text information to the general public concerning emergency situations. We thank the Commission for its willingness to undertake regulatory initiatives that take into account our circumstances and needs.
104 As we have noted in our application, our Legislatures are committed to ensuring that the residents of both of our territories have access to the televised broadcasting of our legislative proceedings.
105 We provide a service of exceptional importance through:
106 One, the enhancement of broadcasting services to remote and under-served Northern communities;
107 Two, the strengthening of governance and democratic accountability in respect to our Legislatures and the residents whom our elected Members serve;
108 Three, contributing to a diversity of voices on the digital basic service;
109 Fourth, the protection and promotion of Canada's aboriginal languages; and
110 Five, the promotion of Canadian Arctic sovereignty.
111 Mr. Chairman and Members of the Commission, my colleague from the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories will now address a number of technical issues concerning our broadcasting services and the challenges that we face.
112 MR. THAGARD: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Commission.
113 As Mr. Quirke noted earlier during his introductory remarks, my name is Brian Thagard, Sergeant-at-Arms of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories.
114 I would also like to take this opportunity to formally thank the Commission for its consideration of our application and to note that we hope to also provide a good Western Arctic blizzard for the Chairman when he next visits Yellowknife!
115 In my capacity as Sergeant-at-Arms, I have the responsibility of running the day-to-day operations of our Legislature's broadcasting system. My counterpart from Nunavut, Mr. MacDonald, who is part of our group today, works closely with me and our colleagues from across the country as part of a national professional association of legislative broadcasters.
116 As the Commission may be aware, our two Legislatures have been working together on broadcasting issues for a number of years. Our formal co-operation deepened in 2007, when both Legislatures jointly issued a Request for Proposals for the development of a distribution system to broadcast our proceedings. This initiative led to the system that is depicted in the diagrams that are attached to our presentation to you today.
117 Over the past decade, our Legislatures have been providing thousands of hours of live and recorded television coverage of our proceedings.
118 In addition to the formal sittings of the two Houses, we also broadcast such Parliamentary events as public hearings held by Standing Committees, Youth Parliaments, Elders' Parliaments, investitures and swearing-in ceremonies for territorial Commissioners and Parliamentarians.
119 Our programming is transmitted by C-band uplinks located in the territorial capitals of Iqaluit and Yellowknife as separate regional services. We are viewed in the communities through either over-the-air low-power transmitters or local cable by agreement with the cable providers.
120 However, as the Commission is aware, we have not been successful in attaining carriage on satellite direct-to-home service, which has caused a serious and significant gap in our coverage and which has resulted in many of our residents being unable to view the proceedings of their Legislatures at work.
121 As the Commission will have noted, this gap was highlighted in TELUS Canada's supportive intervention concerning our application, which commented on the very high penetration of direct-to-home services in the two territories.
122 Although section 44 of the Commission's Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-100 recognizes the importance of ensuring that all Canadians have access to their relevant provincial Legislature service, the current situation in the North is one where our residents do not enjoy equality of access.
123 As the Commission will appreciate, our Legislatures recognize the desirability of making our proceedings accessible to our territories' residents on as many platforms as possible. However, as the Commission is very much aware, the serious lack of broadband availability in the North prevents us from being able to offer the same level of web-based services, such as streaming or downloadable video, as are feasible in southern Canada.
124 To illustrate this contrast, the Commission will recall that its 2011 Broadband Report indicated that while approximately 70 percent of residents of Ontario and Quebec have access to broadband speeds of 25-100 megabytes per second, the comparable figure for residents of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut is 0 percent.
125 We are also mindful of the importance of ensuring that our services are provided to our residents in a respectful and practical manner. As the Commission will appreciate, the role and status of Elders in indigenous Northern culture is extremely important.
126 Television and radio are the preferred platforms for use by seniors and Aboriginal Elders in our communities. We have an obligation to ensure that they are able to view the proceedings of our legislatures in their first language, which is often an Aboriginal language, and on a familiar distribution platform.
127 As the Commission will have noted, the intervention submitted by Shaw Communications claims that a positive response to our application would impose an unacceptable capacity burden on Shaw Direct.
128 Although it is noteworthy that the company's intervention did not provide any evidence to substantiate this claim, it is also important to be mindful that the intervention does acknowledge that both Nunavut and the Northwest Territories face unique circumstances.
129 We would also note that the company does not challenge the inherent public interest in making our proceedings accessible to all of our residents.
130 We would also note that in its announcement of Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-295, the Commission itself indicated that Bell TV has been undertaking a conversion of its satellite service from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 technology, and that Shaw Direct's newest satellite, Anik G1, would be entering into service in the near future.
131 We would also note that Shaw's own supplementary brief to the Commission stated that the new Anik G1 satellite will provide additional capacity to offer up to 100 new HD services.
132 We anticipate that these advances will serve to address capacity issues that have been previously identified as barriers to providing carriage of our broadcasts on satellite direct-to-home service.
133 Mr. Chairman and Members of the Commission, I will now turn the floor back to my colleague from Nunavut. Thank you very much for your time today.
134 MR. QUIRKE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Commission. As I noted earlier, we have been extremely pleased at the number of positive interventions that have been submitted to the Commission by private individuals, municipal leaders, and other organizations from both Northern and Southern Canada in support of our application.
135 We would observe that a number of the themes that have emerged during the intervention process strongly support the application that we have submitted to the Commission for its consideration.
136 We believe that it is important to note for the public record that not a single negative intervention concerning our application has been submitted to the Commission by a resident or organization based in either Nunavut or the Northwest Territories.
137 As the Commission will have noted, we are not commercial entities, we are not competing with any other service, and we are not seeking to have any fees, charges, or subscription rates apply.
138 The public interest nature of our application is based on the principle that the televised proceedings of our legislatures should be considered an essential public service and should be available and easily accessible to all residents of the two territories.
139 As the Commission will have noted, the intervention submitted by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre supported the principle that all Canadians should have access to programming that broadcasts the democratic and political decision-making processes at their regional and local levels as part of the digital basic service.
140 We also note that Allarco Entertainment's intervention indicates that it is of the view that a few of the proposed services merit being considered in the public interest by the Commission.
141 We further note that our application is cited as the first of only three entities in this category.
142 We would also note that there is a significant demand for our broadcasts. The Commission will have reviewed the interventions submitted by a number of our former Members of the Legislative Assembly, many of whom shared the distinction of having served in both Nunavut and the Northwest Territories legislatures.
143 These interventions commented on the importance of accessible broadcasting to their constituents, including unilingual speakers of Aboriginal languages.
144 As the Commission will recall from its review of our application, our Territorial Statistics Bureau undertook a survey shortly after the creation of Nunavut concerning our broadcasts. The survey at that time determined that almost 70 percent of the Inuit residents watched our televised proceedings at least once a week.
145 Mr. Chairman, we would also draw your attention to the formal interventions submitted by the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, both of which highlighted the fact that our programming is offered in the language that people speak and understand.
146 As the Commission will be aware of from its review of our application, our legislatures are committed to ensuring that the Aboriginal languages which are spoken by elected members on the floors of our Houses are broadcast to residents across the two territories.
147 Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are unique in the degree to which Aboriginal languages are used on a daily basis by our residents, especially residents living in our many small and remote communities.
148 A positive decision by the Commission to ensure that all of our residents can view the daily televised broadcasts of our legislatures' proceedings on either cable or satellite will contribute to helping ensure that such Aboriginal languages as Inuktitut and Slavey remain vital, living languages across the North.
149 Mr. Chairman, as we have noted throughout our application process, we are confident that a positive response from the Commission to our application would be consistent with the intent and spirit of the Broadcasting Act and the Commission's own regulatory initiatives and policies.
150 We again thank the Commission for its consideration of our application, and we look forward to responding to your questions and comments. Thank you.
151 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, gentlemen.
152 Mr. Thagard, I very much appreciate your offer to organize a western blizzard for my next visit up there, but in view of the fact that the Commission will be in Inuvik in late June, I wish you would put that off until a little later, so we can actually get in and around for that telecom hearing.
153 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for your presentation. Commissioner Molnar will be asking the first series of questions.
154 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Good morning everyone. Just on the note of a blizzard, our Chairman was in Regina this weekend, and I am almost certain that we had colder weather than you folks.
155 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I have a couple of questions for you folks.
156 On page 3 of your application you state: "We are viewed in the communities through either over-the-air, low-powered transmitters, or local cable, by agreement with the cable providers."
157 Fundamentally, this application is about the reliance on satellite within the North, and I have not found anything that quantifies the reliance on satellite in the North.
158 So I would like each of you, separately, for your territory, if you could, to be a little more clear to me and provide me some information as it regards, for the citizens within your community, how many of them reside in locations where there is a terrestrial BDU today.
159 Do you have that information?
160 I am not asking how many of your citizens use satellite, I am asking how many reside in locations that are served by a terrestrial BDU.
161 MR. THAGARD: Thank you, Madam Commissioner.
162 For the Northwest Territories, as you know, we have 33 communities, of which 21 are served by over-the-air transmission, analog transmission services, and 9 of our communities have access to cable systems.
163 For us, that represents-- our population that has access to cable services is approximately-- it is a little more than half of our residents, whereas the other half are relying on over-the-air transmission services.
164 We also have three communities that do not have any service, whether it be over-the-air transmitters or cable services.
165 So we see a significant gap there.
166 We are finding that over-the-air analog transmitters are presenting some problems, as far as people being able to view. There is some manipulation required of their television and selecting different inputs.
167 We find that when we travel through the communities, most of the remote communities all have satellite dishes and services in the community. So to get us over-the-air, analog, obviously they have to manipulate their menus, and on the TV change inputs, and we are finding that that is a little problematic for some of the Elders to understand the technology.
168 So what we are trying to do, essentially, is hit all of the platforms that we feel the Elders are able to access comfortably, without having to figure out all of this sort of technology stuff.
169 Essentially, the answer to that question is that half of the population, approximately, has access to cable systems.
170 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Before we move on to Nunavut, I just want to be clear. When you say over-the-air transmitters, they are, over-the-air, transmitting your signal only, or are they transmitting other services?
171 MR. THAGARD: Our signal only.
172 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
173 MR. QUIRKE: In Nunavut we have 25 communities. Iqaluit, of course, is the capital.
174 About 80 percent of our population lives outside the capital.
175 In our communities, television is provided through local co-ops. The residents buy a package from the cable companies, and the information that we have from the co-op system is that there is about 47 percent penetration of the market.
176 The balance of the population either does not have a television or they have a satellite dish connected to their homes.
177 So when we send up our signal to Telesat, it is only those people with cable who can access us. Those with satellite, of course, don't.
178 So, in terms of what is available, all of our communities depend on the local cable company, which gets their feed from other satellites, et cetera.
179 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Just to be clear, once again, I am not looking at how many residents in your community choose satellite, because, of course, residents across the nation choose satellite. In my province of Saskatchewan, as well, there is a very high penetration of satellite users.
180 So I am not looking at who are the users of satellite, I am looking at how many residents within your community do not have access to a terrestrial BDU.
181 Are you saying that your communities are served by co-operative terrestrial BDUs?
182 MR. QUIRKE: To answer that question technically, I will pass it on to Mr. MacDonald.
183 MR. MACDONALD: Good morning. We have 25 communities. Of the 25, 24 are served by the Arctic Co-op and other cable companies.
184 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
185 Just to be clear, you are here asking for two separate 9(1)(h) applications-- correct-- one for each of your regions?
186 I mean, you're asking to get two slots within the satellite, correct? You're not seeking to share?
187 MR. THAGARD: We are seeking to share.
188 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: You are?
189 MR. THAGARD: Oh, yeah. We have a cooperative arrangement between the two territories and we have been working together as mentioned since 2007.
190 So we have a close working relationship and we feel that we would be able to schedule between our assemblies effectively on one channel for the broadcasting of our sittings.
191 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay, thank you.
192 MR. THAGARD: Yeah.
193 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I also wanted to ask, you made this application nearly a year ago and you noted yourself on page 5 of the potential for additional capacity within both of the satellites, ExpressVu or the Bell TV and the Shaw Television DTH systems going forward.
194 Have you had continued discussions with them since May of 2012 as to getting on a commercial basis and not through a mandatory order?
195 MR. QUIRKE: Thank you.
196 We have tried to communicate with the providers and, quite frankly, we did a major letter to them on June 27, 2011 asking, you know, if they would work together to increase services to the north. We're still waiting for a reply to that letter of June 27, 2011. So we have tried.
197 Thank you.
198 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So you have not sought additional contact with them since 2011? I understand they didn't reply to that letter but...
199 MR. QUIRKE: That's correct. We've had no contact with them since that correspondence.
200 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay, thank you.
201 I have just one further question for you folks. You noted that-- I believe you noted in here that PIAC supported your application if we were to provide you with mandatory distribution.
202 Normally with such a decision for mandatory distribution there is a timeframe attached because there is a licence term. Now, you folks are exempt systems and so there is no licence term. But I think it is appropriate personally that there be some re-examination at some point as to whether this is still required.
203 So what are your views on having a re-examination sometime in the future and what dates you think might be appropriate?
204 MR. QUIRKE: Thank you.
205 I would expect that there would be a renewal requirement like you do across the country for all licensees, et cetera that we wouldn't be exempt from that. I would welcome that because five, seven years down the road technology could even improve greatly that would result in not having a must carry basis because things have changed. So we would welcome that.
206 I think it would be a good thing to have because it's always good to re-examine and re-visit decisions made five, seven years ago. Do they still apply today? What has changed that could make it better?
207 So we would welcome that. Thank you.
208 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you. Those are my questions.
209 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, it would appear we don't have any other questions for you which is-- unless counsel does?
210 MR. McCALLUM: Yes, thank you.
211 Just very quickly, how much of the program is in English and French versus other languages in the two assemblies?
212 MR. QUIRKE: Oh, sorry about that.
213 In Nunavut the language of the House in the Assembly is in Inuktitut and English. So it's-- you know, Inuktitut in terms of-- depending on what part of the House we're into, in Question Period or Community Hall, Inuktitut could range from 50 to 70 percent of the language spoken.
214 There is no French spoken in the Legislature. We are more than capable of handling French if it does arise. We are going to have a general election in October so if the people of Nunavut chose Francophone-speaking Members of the Assembly that would be an automatic service that we would provide for all the members and then become a trilingual assembly.
215 In the past we've had French in the Assembly and we have taken the steps to ensure that we had the proper interpreters flown in from Montreal or Quebec.
216 So we've always been open to provide those services, especially when the government has asked us because there is something very important coming up and then we have gone to great lengths to ensure that the transcripts and the proceedings are in those three languages.
217 Thank you.
218 MR. THAGARD: And if I may answer for the Northwest Territories, we interpret French on a rotational basis through-- we have 11 official languages of the Northwest Territories including the two official federal languages and we try to rotate through each of those languages. So each week of our sitting we'll have-- for one set week we'll have a group of interpreters for a set of languages and then we'll rotate through the next set of languages in the following weeks. We try to rotate them through as many as we can.
219 It oftentimes becomes a function of availability of interpreters as well. As Mr. Quirke mentioned they bring theirs up from down south. We too contract out of Edmonton as we have no local services that can provide that.
220 That's the only thing about our system is we can-- we transmit one video signal and four audio so that when we're replaying we have the flexibility of putting languages in regions that they are specific to. So we can custom our system that way.
221 So in an attempt for equality through all the languages we try to do it on a rotational-- equal rotational basis.
222 MR. QUIRKE: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
223 THE CHAIRPERSON: You wanted to add something?
224 MR. QUIRKE: Sorry. I should have remembered this because we just finished it last week from Iqaluit.
225 We had public hearings in Iqaluit televised across Nunavut and French translation services was an integral part of that committee.
226 Thank you.
227 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. You shouldn't read anything into the number of questions. It's more a factor of the fact that your application answered all the questions we would otherwise have.
228 So thank you very much for your appearance.
229 Madame la Secrétaire, nous irons à la prochaine demande.
230 LA SECRÉTAIRE : Oui.
231 J'inviterais s'il vous plaît les participants All Points Bulletin et Avis de recherche à venir prendre place. Merci.
232 THE CHAIRPERSON: So welcome and when you're ready please introduce your panel and make your presentation. Since it covers two applications you'll have 20 minutes for your presentations.
233 So please go ahead.
234 M. GÉRACITANO : Monsieur le Président,
235 Madame et messieurs les Conseillers, Membres du personnel, permettez-moi tout d'abord de vous remercier de m'accorder le privilège de me présenter encore une fois devant vous, et ce, en plein coeur de la Semaine nationale de sensibilisation aux victimes d'actes criminels.
236 Il y a plusieurs années, quand ADR a commencé, j'étais fin seul. Maintenant, je suis entouré d'une équipe solide et aguerrie, qui est aussi dévouée que moi à rendre notre communauté plus sécuritaire.
237 Permettez-moi tout d'abord de vous présenter quelques-uns des membres de cette équipe :
238 - À ma gauche, madame Hélène Fouquet qui est la rédactrice en chef de la chaîne ADR depuis 2009. Hélène a une expérience de plus de 20 ans à titre de chef d'antenne des stations de Québec puis de Montréal, des grands réseaux généralistes québécois public et privés.
239 - À la gauche d'Hélène, monsieur Francois Doré, notre chroniqueur-analyste en matières policières. François a oeuvré quelques 35 ans à la Sûreté du Québec, où il a occupé les postes de lieutenant aux enquêtes criminelles et de responsable des relations médias. Après sa carrière à la Sûreté du Québec, François a passé deux ans au cabinet du ministre de la Sécurité Publique du Québec, où il s'occupait des affaires policières.
240 - À sa gauche, monsieur Daniel Despa, notre ingénieur en télédiffusion. Daniel a une expérience de plus de 30 ans en la matière, acquise notamment auprès de la Société Radio-Canada, d'Astral Media et de MétéoMédia ainsi qu'à l'international.
241 Derrière moi, de gauche à droite, trois de nos animatrices-journalistes :
242 - Tout d'abord, Andrée-Anne Lavigne qui co-anime l'émission «À l'affiche», une émission en direct de deux heures à tous les jours. Andrée-Anne agit également à titre d'agent de liaison avec les corps policiers.
243 - Jessica Leblanc qui a animé la série «Défense légitime», dans laquelle on enseigne des techniques de défense aux jeunes femmes. Elle a également travaillé sur la série «Enfants avertis» entièrement consacrée à la sécurité des jeunes enfants. Actuellement, elle travaille sur la deuxième saison de «Sauve qui veut!», une émission qui rend hommage aux citoyens qui ont posé des actes de bravoure et de civisme.
244 - Et Valérie Beaudoin qui anime l'émission hedomadaire «Les rendez-vous policiers», qui traite du travail policier et tout autre organisme qui a pour mission de faire respecter la loi.
245 J'ai cru très important d'être également accompagné de quelques-uns des partenaires avec lesquels ADR oeuvre quotidiennement, que je vous présente :
246 - À ma droite, le Commandant Ian Lafrenière du Service de police de la Ville de Montréal, qui est également président du Regroupement des communicateurs d'urgence du Québec.
247 - À sa droite, la Directrice générale d'Enfant Retour Québec, Missing Children's Network, madame Pina Armone. Pina oeuvre au sein de l'organisation nationale, comme j'ai mentionné, the Missing Children's Network depuis 19 ans maintenant et possède une expérience inégalée en la matière.
248 - Enfin, monsieur André Drolet, retraité de la GRC et maintenant Président d'Info-Crime Montréal, la section montréalaise de l'Organisation nationale Crime Stoppers.
249 Mr. Chair, we are here today to renew the licences of Avis de Recherche and All Points Bulletin, to maintain ADR's 9(1)(h) status and to request a similar status for APB.
250 Avis de Recherche is a television network entirely devoted to promoting public safety. The service, which was first launched in 2004, works closely with police services and other public safety bodies. It promptly broadcasts police bulletins on wanted suspects and missing persons round the clock.
251 With the participation of emergency services organizations, such as fire departments, ambulance services, search and rescue teams, road safety agencies and missing persons organizations, to mention but a few, ADR produces and broadcasts programming aimed at informing and educating viewers on all matters pertaining to public safety.
252 ADR also works closely with victims, their families, and their associations offering them a medium to articulate their plight in what often times appears to be a seemingly unbalanced system.
253 To understand why we are here today, one must understand and appreciate our past.
254 The journey first began in 1999 when someone broke into my office and got away with some of my computers. Soon afterwards, I installed a security camera equipped with a ideo recorder and within a couple of weeks individuals returned to my office for a second break-in attempt. But this time I had them on tape. Surely, I thought to myself, if people see this tape someone in the neighbourhood will recognize these individuals and maybe I'll recover my stolen equipment. Unfortunately, when I handed the video cassette to the responding police officer, to my dismay I recall him saying that it is very unlikely the tape would help, "the crime simply wasn't important enough to make the evening news."
255 At that time, as you may recall, digital TV was at its infancy. There was a Food channel, Fashion channel, Animal channel and a Shopping channel. It seemed there was a channel for everything. Why not a television channel entirely devoted to public safety? A channel which would help law enforcement agencies broadcast images of wanted suspects and missing persons. As they, say, the rest is history.
256 ADR went on the air in October 2004. The initial business model was based on the support of Good Corporate Citizens whom I thought would surely pay to advertise and, therefore, make the service viable. Unfortunately, the reality was all other. Despite great many efforts, ad agencies simply refused to advertise on ADR, saying that it wouldn't be good marketing practice to place their client's Logo next to the picture of a criminal.
257 By 2008, after nearly four years of existence, ADR was on the verge of bankruptcy. With absolutely zero revenues and having to pay a large cable company in Quebec exorbitant fees simply for the privilege of being distributed, the end was inevitable. By then, I had mortgaged everything I owned, including my home and my parents' home, and my only hope for survival was the application for 9(1)(h) status, as it became evident that without this status ADR would cease operating.
258 I recall that the motivating force that gave me the energy and strength to continue against all odds was the fact that ADR was indeed helping police every day to find criminals and missing persons, and consequently it was helping the community. How could something so beneficial to the community be allowed to die?
259 My prayers were finally answered in January 2008 when the CRTC recognized the public interest nature of the service and granted ADR the 9(1)(h) status.
260 As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. As such, I'd like to present you a short video which will give a better understanding of some of our work.
--- Video presentation
261 Monsieur le président, le Conseil a reconnu qu'ADR nécessitait et méritait un statut 9(1)(h) sur la foi de son historique, de sa mission et de ses engagements. Nous avons entièrement respecté cette mission et largement dépassé nos engagements.
262 ADR a consacré non pas 95 pour cent, mais 100 pour cent de sa programmation à des émissions canadiennes.
263 ADR a non seulement respecté son obligation de consacrer 43 pour cent de ses revenus aux émissions canadiennes, en fait, depuis l'obtention de son statut 9(1)(h) en 2008, il y a consacré 60 pour cent de ses revenus.
264 Mais, tout aussi important, ADR a démontré qu'il était efficace. Que sa programmation est unique et sert effectivement...
265 LE PRÉSIDENT : Un instant. Je pense qu'on a un problème d'interprétation, que ça ne se rend pas à un certain conseiller. Donc, je vais parler en français puis on va voir si l'interprétation se rend. Oui? Bon, pardon. Alors, vous pouvez continuer.
266 M. GÉRACITANO : Voulez-vous que je reprenne?
267 LE PRÉSIDENT : Juste une phrase, là, avant que vous ayez...
268 M. GÉRACITANO : Alors, comme je disais, monsieur le président, ADR a non seulement respecté son obligation de consacrer 43 pour cent de ses revenus aux émissions canadiennes, en fait, depuis l'obtention de son statut 9(1)(h) en 2008, il y a consacré 60 pour cent de ses revenus.
269 Mais, tout aussi important, ADR a démontré qu'il était efficace. Que sa programmation est unique et sert effectivement l'intérêt public en renforçant le tissu social canadien par la promotion de la sécurité publique et de la lutte contre le crime.
270 And we are convinced that All Points Bulletin will do exactly the same thing. Our team has greatly benefited from the last six years, acquiring experience and learning the business from all perspectives: Programming, technical and financial. We can now provide the same public interest benefits to every region of Canada, the same kind of service, flawless in its delivery, and financially solid to withstand the building pains.
271 Monsieur le président, si j'étais le seul à l'affirmer, vous pourriez croire que je me vante. C'est pourquoi j'ai demandé à quelques-uns de nos principaux partenaires sur le terrain de venir témoigner de la contribution qu'ADR et APB sont en mesure d'apporter à l'accroissement de la sécurité publique. Je leur laisse maintenant la parole.
272 M. LAFRENIÈRE : Monsieur le président, pour le SPVM, je peux vous confirmer que le partenariat avec Avis de Recherche est important. Il est important pour nous en matière de lutte à la criminalité, recherche des personnes disparues et de prévention dans tous les domaines qu'on peut connaître comme Service de police.
273 Dans la lutte à la criminalité, la diffusion de photos rapide nous permet d'avancer rapidement dans nos enquêtes, que ce soit pour notre Service de police, et je crois entendre... est-ce que la traduction fonctionne bien? Pardon. Et que ce soit pour la recherche donc efficace des criminels, les capsules produites par Avis de Recherche diffusées rapidement nous permettent de sauver du temps et le temps compte dans les enquêtes criminelles.
274 Et je vous parle pour le Service de police de la Ville de Montréal et de même que pour les autres villes du Québec, en tant que président du réseau des Communicateurs d'urgence du Québec qui regroupe plus de 150 organisations, je peux vous confirmer qu'Avis de Recherche nous est très utile, nous aide beaucoup.
275 Chaque année, seulement pour le territoire de Montréal, sur le territoire du SPVM, on signale plus de 2 000 disparitions, alors vous comprenez que rapidement, lorsque les capsules sont montées, capsules avec la photo de la personne disparue, cela nous permet de sauver du temps et de retrouver les gens rapidement.
276 La collaboration avec Avis de Recherche pour la création de capsules de prévention est aussi majeure pour nous, que ce soit en matière de prévention pour les fraudes envers les aînés, sécurité routière, des conseils de prudences auprès des élèves du primaire et du secondaire.
277 De plus, les capsules qui sont produites avec Avis de Recherche nous sont remises gratuitement, donc on peut les utiliser, nous, dans nos rencontres dans les écoles pour faire de la prévention avec un auditoire dans les écoles.
278 Avis de Recherche est un partenaire majeur des services d'urgences qui offre une collaboration profitable pour la population présentant une programmation d'intérêt public et pertinente, de nature à prévenir la criminalité, accroître la sécurité publique et de faciliter la résolution des crimes, allant même jusqu'à participer à la formation des porte-paroles pour l'ensemble du Québec, donc les membres du Regroupement des communicateurs d'urgence, la chaîne d'Avis de Recherche nous donne un coup de main pour former nos communicateurs et nos porte-paroles.
279 Je suis convaincu que All Points Bulletin générerait les mêmes bénéfices pour les communautés et les organismes chargés de l'application de la Loi partout au Canada.
280 Vous avez d'ailleurs constaté, comme moi, que cette chaîne a reçu l'appui de l'association nationale comme la quasi totalité des associations provinciales de chefs de police. À ce titre, le chef de police du Service de police de la Ville de Montréal a communiqué l'appui de l'association canadienne des chefs de police à la chaîne Avis de Recherche.
282 M. DROLET : Monsieur le président, les policiers ne peuvent travailler en vase clos, ils ont besoin de renseignements provenant du public pour faire progresser leurs enquêtes.
283 Info-Crime est un organisme a but non lucratif composé uniquement de bénévoles. C'est le pendant montréalais de Crime Stoppers, auquel nous sommes affiliés. Notre objectif est précisément de favoriser cette relation entre les citoyens et les organismes chargés de l'application de la Loi, et ce dans le respect de l'anonymat des intervenants. Nous nous occupons également de développer des programmes de prévention de la criminalité.
284 Nous disposons de moyens limités. Pour nous, la chaîne ADR est un partenaire primordial. Sa collaboration dans la diffusion de messages d'intérêt public tout comme la présentation de capsules de reconstitution de crime ou de personnes recherchées ou disparues et vitale.
285 Avis de Recherche est un outil privilégié pour tous les partenaires policiers et les organismes bénévoles tels que Info-Crime et Échec au Crime Québec. Et c'est un outil remarquablement efficace. À titre d'exemple, le projet Condor visant à localiser des personnes illégalement en liberté a connu un taux de succès de 34 pour cent grâce aux renseignements transmis à Info-Crime suite aux diffusions de Avis de Recherche.
286 Par ailleurs, le temps d'antenne que nous accorde gratuitement ADR, de même que le support technique qui nous est offert, sont bénéfiques pour l'ensemble de la population qui aspire à vivre en toute sécurité au Québec.
287 Une aspiration qui, j'en suis convaincu, est partagée par nos compatriotes du Canada anglais. C'est pourquoi la Canadian Crime Stoppers Association qui regroupe 115 Crime Stoppers affiliés au Canada, a appuyé sans réserve la demande de All Points Bulletin.
288 Merci beaucoup.
289 MS ARCAMONE : Last year in Canada, Mr. Chairman, there were over 50,000 children reported missing to law enforcement in Quebec alone an average of 22 children go missing every day of the year.
290 These children go missing for many reasons. Many leave home after heated argument with their parents, some are lured by online predators, many are taken away to a foreign country by a parent and some are kidnapped by people that they simply, the children just did not know.
291 Whatever reason a child is missing, the lives of their families are completely shattered and minutes race into hours as they frantically seek the safe return of their child. No matter the circumstances of a disappearance, a missing child's best hope for a safe return depends on immediate, coordinated and focused action.
292 As Director General of the Missing Children's Network, I can speak first-hand to the importance of opportunities to profile searches in the media, particularly television networks. The public can be the eyes and ears for families of missing children and can assist the police in their efforts.
293 For the past ten years, our organization has had the privilege of collaborating closely with the professional and dedicated team of ADR. From our point of view, this public interest service is unique and essential.
294 Mainstream media reported only few of the missing children cases and for a limited period of time. Once the ground search concludes and the spotlight begins to fade, it becomes a constant challenge to keep the community as well as the media's focus on that of the missing child.
295 This is where ADR's presence is paramount and unlike any mainstream media. ADR's unique format and mission ensures that every missing child or person is seen by the public. As well, ADR helps to prevent parental abduction by insisting on the criminal nature of any abduction and the consequences on both the left-behind parent and the abducted child. Finally, ADR also provides hope and comfort to families that their children are missing but not forgotten.
296 For over ten years, ADR has been helping us give missing children and their families a resounding voice in our community and that needs to continue. A community without ADR is a community devoid of hope for families anxiously awaiting for news about their loved one. And we hope that all Canadians may soon benefit from APB, the sister network of ADR.
297 Et maintenant je vous laisse sur des témoignages de quelques parents dont leur enfant est porté disparu.
--- Video presentation
298 MR. GERACITANO : Mr. Chair, in the dictionary Public Interest is defined as "The welfare or well-being of the general public".
299 The answer as to whether ADR has met this definition is evident from the testimony you just heard, as well as the numerous letters of support that have been submitted by respected organizations across the country. All were in agreement, including the Consumer's Association of Canada, that ADR serves the public interest and as such it has fulfilled its mandate.
300 And all were also of the view that APB, with its six fully-staffed regional studios across the country capable to deliver proximity programming every single day, will do the same and deserves a 9(1)(h) status.
301 In conclusion, Mr. President, I may have been the spark that ignited the wonderful service that ADR is now. But it was the Commission that fuelled life into it with its 2008 Decision. Our fate is once again in your hands. I kindly ask that you allow me to continue offering this service by renewing ADR's application and that you also allow me to expand the service so that all Canadians can equally benefit by approving ABP's application.
302 I thank you, Mr. President, and I am available to answer any questions that you may have.
303 LE PRÉSIDENT : Merci beaucoup, mesdames, messieurs. Monsieur le vice-président de la radiodiffusion aura des questions pour vous.
304 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Bonjour. Voilà, ça va mieux.
305 Merci, monsieur Géracitano, une belle histoire personnelle et madame Arcamone, des témoignages inspirants. Monsieur Lafrenière, vous voyagez.
306 Alors, peut-être retourner sur le dernier point que vous voulez soulever, monsieur Géracitano, vous avez présenté des arguments en appui déjà de critères qui ont été soulevés par le Conseil, particulièrement quant à l'Article 3.1(d) de la Loi.
307 Ceci étant, il y avait d'autres critères qui ont été énoncés par le Conseil, des critères autres que les critères qui ont été énoncés en 2006, 2007, mais je ne vois pas de réponse à ces critères comme tels.
308 M. GÉRACITANO : Monsieur le conseiller, si vous pouvez me rafraîchir la mémoire, on parle de quel...
309 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Bien, on peut faire le tour des critères qui ont été énoncés. Je pense que ce que j'ai ici c'est en anglais, mais on va le faire en anglais puis je vais le traduire:
"Firstly, exceptional contribution to Canadian expression and reflects Canadian opinions and values;"
310 C'est-à-dire une contribution exceptionnelle d'expression canadienne et qui reflète les opinions et les valeurs canadiennes.
"Secondly, contributes in an exceptional manner to the objectives of the Act and of the digital basic service;"
311 C'est-à-dire contribue d'une manière exceptionnelle aux objectifs de la Loi et au service de base numérique.
"Thirdly, exceptional commitments to regional for canadian programming;"
312 C'est-à-dire que l'engagement exceptionnel à de la programmation originale canadienne.
"Fourthly, it provides evidence demonstrating extraordinary need for proposed service..."
313 C'est-à-dire qu'il y a un besoin extraordinaire pour le service proposé.
"Fifthly, provide evidence that business plan implementation are dependant on mandatory distribution..."
314 Alors, je vous donne quatre ou cinq exemples. Bon...
315 M. GÉRACITANO : Monsieur le Conseiller, si on peut commencer par le dernier...
316 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
317 M. GÉRACITANO : Les années d'expérience, quand j'ai démarré ADR, m'ont démontré que sans le 9(1)(h), ADR serait en faillite, ADR ne pouvait pas exister. La raison était bien simple : malgré le bien-fondé de la chaîne, malgré l'aide qu'on apportait à la communauté, le fait qu'on était au Québec (uniquement au Québec, c'est-à-dire), et le fait qu'on diffusait des images de suspects et de personnes disparues ne semblait pas attirer les annonceurs.
318 Également, j'aimerais rajouter qu'à mon point de vue, un service comme le nôtre, un service qui est un service d'intérêt public, à mon avis, ne doit pas se baser sur les revenus publicitaires. Sa mission... le service doit être guidé par la mission, et la mission, c'est de servir l'intérêt public.
319 Si je vous donne un exemple... Si je dois envoyer un journaliste couvrir une histoire, la réflexion que je dois faire si j'étais basé sur des revenus publicitaires : est-ce que cette histoire... est-ce que couvrir... est-ce qu'envoyer, déplacer un journaliste pour couvrir une histoire va me rapporter des annonceurs? Alors, je vois un conflit.
320 À mon avis, il est important qu'un service d'intérêt public soit guidé, comme je le mentionnais, par le service qu'il rend à la communauté.
321 Et, par l'expérience qu'on a vécue depuis les dernières années et avec toutes les lettres d'appui, tout le monde est unanime qu'on rend un service à la communauté. Par rapport aux productions, je--
322 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Juste pour retourner...
323 M. GÉRACITANO : Oui?
324 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : D'abord, pour retourner aux annonceurs, avant de continuer avec la production. Les annonceurs sont guidés par les cotes d'écoute, on s'entend là-dessus?
325 Il faut être en mesure d'offrir des cotes d'écoute aux annonceurs. Êtes-vous en mesure de les offrir...
326 M. GÉRACITANO : On est certainement...
327 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : ...dans une tentative de les attirer?
328 M. GÉRACITANO : On est certainement capable d'offrir les cotes d'écoute. On n'est pas mesuré. Le simple fait que les services de police s'associent avec nous, ça démontre un intérêt, ça démontre qu'il y a des téléspectateurs. Si on est capable, comme monsieur Drolet vous a mentionné tout à l'heure, que 34 pour-cent des dossiers qui ont été diffusés par la GRC sur notre antenne ont été réglés, ça démontre qu'il y a du monde qui écoute, il y a des téléspectateurs qui écoutent.
329 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Mais êtes-vous en mesure de faire le lien entre ces 34 pour-cent là et l'écoute de ADR?
330 M. GÉRACITANO : J'ai mal compris, je m'excuse.
331 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Est-ce que vous êtes capable de faire le lien entre le fait que 34 pour-cent de ces crimes ont été résolus?
332 M. GÉRACITANO : Tout à fait. Monsieur le Conseiller, c'est le...
333 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Il y a d'autres sources, il y a d'autres... Les gens regardent ces avis ailleurs?
334 M. GÉRACITANO : Non. Le 34 pour-cent, on a... La raison pourquoi on a assigné ce... particulièrement ce 34 pour-cent, c'est que la GRC, dans une lettre qu'ils nous ont transmise, confirme, hors de tout doute, que le 34 pour-cent a été directement attribué à des téléspectateurs de ADR.
335 Également, dans leur lettre, ils estiment que le montant serait plus élevé, mais très souvent, le monde qui appelle les lignes d'appels telles Info-Crime vont simplement dire «on a vu ça à la télé» sans nécessairement dire qu'ils ont vu ça sur ADR.
336 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Alors le lien est difficile à établir?
337 M. GÉRACITANO : Non. Pas tout à fait, Monsieur le Conseiller. Je suis en désaccord parce que le seul canal qui diffuse la plupart de ces événements-là, ou la plupart de ces dossiers-là, c'est ADR. Donc, quand on parle de liberté légale, très souvent, c'est sur uniquement ADR et quand quelqu'un appelle les lignes Info-Crime et dit «j'ai vu ça à la télé», on peut déduire que c'est ADR. Mais dans le 34 pour-cent qu'on a cité, c'était spécifique. Les personnes qui ont appelé et qui ont communiqué l'information, ils ont identifié comme étant... comme ayant vu l'information ou le dossier sur la chaîne Avis de Recherche.
338 Donc, ça démontre qu'on a des téléspectateurs. Et les téléspectateurs, je peux également vous rajouter le nombre de courriels qu'on reçoit, les intérêts qu'on reçoit démontrent qu'il y a énormément de personnes.
339 Là, évidemment, on ne peut pas se comparer avec une chaîne à grande écoute comme un LCN... On peut pas se comparer avec ces chaînes-là, mais ce n'est pas ça la mission de la chaîne. On ne fait pas du... Nos émissions ne sont pas du «entertainment», non. Ce ne sont pas des émissions de divertissement. On rend un service public.
340 Si le Conseil préfère que j'aie des...
341 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Mais les chaînes généralistes, quand ils annoncent ces avis, ils ne le font pas pour des fins de divertissement nécessairement. C'est un avis... c'est un service public également, n'est-ce pas?
342 M. LAFRENIÈRE : Si je peux me permettre, Monsieur le Conseiller...
343 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Certainement.
344 M. LAFRENIÈRE : Comme service de police, j'ai deux ou trois petits points que je voulais apporter à vous.
345 Premièrement, les capsules Info-Crime qui sont produites avec la chaîne Avis de Recherche sont reprises par les grands canaux. Ce sont des capsules qu'on ne pourrait pas produire. Honnêtement, comme service de police, on ne peut pas investir dans la production de capsules de la sorte.
346 C'est sûr qu'aujourd'hui, comme service de police, je me présente devant vous et je ne peux pas vous apporter de chiffres. Pourquoi? On veut que ça soit anonyme et confidentiel. À partir du moment où je vais vous dire qui a appelé et de quelle façon, on va briser ce lien-là qui est important pour nous, qui est important pour Info-Crime.
347 Mais ce que je peux vous dire, à la fin de tout ça, c'est que ces capsules-là n'existeraient pas. Pour nous, comme service de police, oui, il s'agit de criminalité que vous ne verriez pas normalement dans les grandes chaînes. Il ne s'agit pas de rien de très flamboyant, mais pour nous, il n'y a pas de petit crime; il y a des grandes victimes et ça nous permet de les retrouver.
348 L'autre point, lorsque vous avez parlé des valeurs canadiennes et vous avez fait allusion aux voyages, bien entendu, la présence des policiers canadiens en sol haïtien pour la diaspora haïtienne présente à Montréal nous a permis un rapprochement et ça nous a permis de nous faciliter nos contacts avec la diaspora et pour nous, c'est important. Et encore là, c'est le genre de produit qu'on ne peut pas se permettre de faire chez nous au SPVM ou dans les services de police. Alors, c'est vraiment un travail qu'on fait ensemble.
349 Et la dernière chose, si je suis à côté de monsieur Géracitano aujourd'hui, et si on se permet d'être dans des productions, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de publicité, il n'y a pas de compagnies qui sont associées à ça. Vous pouvez comprendre très bien que comme service de police, je serais très mal à l'aise dans une production d'avoir une publicité d'une firme de sécurité qui serait associée à nous. Ça serait impossible pour nous.
350 Alors, c'est ce qui fait qu'il y a une neutralité. C'est ce qui fait qu'on travaille ensemble, Monsieur le Conseiller.
351 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Monsieur Géracitano, pour retourner à votre chiffre de 34 pour-cent, là, est-ce que vous avez quelque chose dans le dossier, en appui de cette affirmation?
352 M. GÉRACITANO : Oui. J'ai un courriel que je devrais avoir avec moi. Je ne me rappelle pas si on l'a inclus dans le dossier, mais certainement je pourrais vous faire parvenir le courriel s'il n'est pas déjà dans le dossier de notre demande. Mais effectivement, on a un courriel qui démontre que... qui confirme le chiffre de 34 pour-cent. C'est une lettre d'un représentant de la GRC. Et dans sa lettre, il rajoute que... il nous laisse sous-entendre qu'il y a fort probablement beaucoup plus... que le chiffre de 34 pour-cent est beaucoup plus élevé.
353 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Et quant à votre capacité de mesurer, si vous voulez, l'audience pour ADR, est-ce que vous avez pris des démarches pour concrétiser cet aspect-là?
354 M. GÉRACITANO : On avait essayé une première fois, une première tentative avec BBM. Et qu'est-ce qu'on nous disait, c'est que compte tenu de la... on n'est pas une chaîne généraliste, ça ne... ça «skew» les résulats. Alors, très souvent, on avait... on savait qu'il y avait des communautés... Comme, on faisait une émission sur une personne portée disparue qui provenait d'une petite communauté de deux, trois quatre mille habitants, on savait qu'il y avait trois à quatre mille personnes qui écoutaient. Mais très souvent, ça n'enregistrait pas. Et la façon qu'ils m'ont expliqué ça, c'est que les chiffres sont basés sur aux alentours de 500 boîtes qui sont «scattered»... qui sont éparpillées à travers la province. Alors, c'est sûr qu'une chaîne comme la nôtre ne peut pas se mesurer contre une chaîne généraliste. Alors, les chiffres sont erronés.
355 Mais je peux vous confirmer que les personnes sont là. Si les services de police s'associent à nous, c'est parce qu'on est efficace. Le chiffre de 34 pour-cent, c'est efficace.
356 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Mais les chiffres de BBM, ça démontre quoi comme cote d'écoute?
357 M. GÉRACITANO : On l'avait essayé pendant une couple de mois. Pour nous c'était une grosse dépense et, en réalité, ça ne nous donnait pas les chiffres. On l'avait essayé il y a trois ans, si ma mémoire est bonne.
358 Et donc, les chiffres, des fois ça démontrait 5 000, des fois ça démontrait zéro. Je me rappelle, on a été déçu une fois. On savait que les... simplement par les courriels qu'on recevait que les téléspectateurs syntonisaient sur le poste, mais les chiffres ne reflétaient pas ça. Et je me suis fait expliquer que c'est à cause de la façon que les chiffres sont recueillis, que ça ne peut pas vraiment refléter la réalité de notre chaîne.
359 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Mais ils sont recueillis de la même façon pour tout le monde?
360 M. GÉRACITANO : Ils sont recueillis de la même façon pour tout le monde, sauf qu'on est une chaîne quand même qui n'est pas une chaîne à grande écoute.
361 On ne se le cache pas. Notre but ce n'est pas d'aller attirer 500 000 personnes. On le souhaiterait, mais si on veut faire du divertissement, parfait, on pourrait le faire, mais à ce moment-là, je ne pourrais pas remplir le critère, le mandat que le CRTC m'a confié.
362 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Et vous n'êtes pas capable d'aller chercher 500 000 personnes? Vous êtes peut-être capable d'aller chercher 5 000 personnes sur le territoire québécois?
363 M. GÉRACITANO : Ça, on le fait, mais même si on va chercher 5 000 ou 10 000 ou 20 000, très souvent, les BBM ne reflétaient pas notre réalité. Alors, je devais prendre une décision--
364 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Mais peut-être que cela, c'est votre réalité, le 5 000 ou le 10 000, et c'est pas plus que ça.
365 M. GÉRACITANO : Je n'ai pas les chiffres concrets pour vous donner, malheureusement. Et on a dû s'abstenir d'être mesuré, justement, parce que c'était... les chiffres étaient erronés, basé sur la façon qu'ils calculent, la façon qu'ils mesurent l'auditoire.
366 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Mais vous dites que les chiffres sont erronés. Vous vous êtes basé sur quoi pour affirmer cette...?
367 M. GÉRACITANO : C'est comme... le nombre de courriels qu'on reçoit, le nombre de téléspectateurs qui écoutent, sachant qu'il y a une communauté--
368 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Mais «le nombre de téléspectateurs qui écoutent»... vous y arrivez comment, à trouver le nombre de téléspectateurs qui écoutent?
369 M. GÉRACITANO : Simplement sachant qu'il y a des téléspectateurs qui écoutent, les téléspectateurs qui nous écrivent, et c'est des communautés--
370 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : C'est la foi, quoi?
371 M. GÉRACITANO : C'est pas la foi, on voit une réalité, on voit par le nombre le courriels, le nombre d'appels qu'on reçoit, le nombre de personnes qui sont conscients de la chaîne, qui écoutent la chaîne, les compliments que la chaîne reçoit. Alors, on fait un travail qui est remarquable.
372 Je suis également fautif que oui, je devrais faire un peu plus de publicité, mais vous comprendrez, Monsieur le Conseiller, que nos ressources sont quand même limitées. Pour se faire connaître, il est très difficile.
373 Très souvent, et je vous donne des exemples... Très souvent, on a appelé les autres médias pour annoncer certaines choses. On dirait que les autres médias nous voient comme un concurrent. On a fait des conférences de presse pour annoncer des applications... des applications iPhone, par exemple, et les médias se sont pas présentés. Est-ce que je dois faire de la publicité? J'aimerais bien--
374 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Vous vous voyez comme des... Vous pensez que les autres chaînes vous voient comme des concurrents?
375 M. GÉRACITANO : Les autres chaînes nous voient comme des concurrents, malheureusement. Et on n'est pas des concurrents, on est là--
376 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Avec 5 000 ou 10 000 personnes qui vous écoutent?
377 M. GÉRACITANO : Ils nous voient comme une chaîne... comme de la compétition. Mais on n'est pas de la compétition, on remplit un vide. Monsieur le Conseiller, comme madame Arcamone vous a expliqué tout à l'heure, on prend l'exemple d'une personne qui est portée disparue-- tout d'abord, au Québec il y a aux alentours de 7 000 par année, statistiquement parlant-- les autres chaînes ne peuvent pas parler des 7 000. À l'occasion, ils vont parler d'une personne qui est portée disparue, mais demain, après-demain, cette personne... les nouvelles traditionnelles vont passer à d'autres nouvelles.
378 Nous, on est là pour remplir le vide. On rediffuse l'information.
379 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Mais comment pensez-vous que vous êtes plus efficace avec très peu de gens qui vous écoutent, peu importe les mesures qu'on va utiliser, par rapport à des chaînes généralistes. Et moi j'en ai vu moi-même, que ce soit sur TVA ou en français, ou sur CFCF en anglais pendant les nouvelles de 18h où il peut y avoir des centaines de milliers de personnes qui écoutent.
380 N'est-il pas une façon plus efficace d'aller chercher l'attention du public pour aider à résoudre des crimes?
381 M. GÉRACITANO: Il est plus efficace, effectivement. Et c'est ça qu'on essaie de faire.
382 Depuis les deux, trois dernières années, Monsieur le conseiller, on a augmenté le nombre de productions. On a amélioré visuellement et non seulement l'isolement, mais la qualité de la programmation.
383 Notre mandat, notre objectif est d'améliorer grâce aux outils que le Conseil nous a fournis, c'est d'améliorer la qualité de la programmation dans le but de, justement, attirer des téléspectateurs.
384 Si on les attire, il y a de fortes chances que tôt ou tard, quelqu'un va tomber sur quelqu'un qu'ils reconnaissent.
385 Alors nous, on prend les capsules de personnes disparues, les capsules de suspects et on les «sandwich», si vous permettez de...
386 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Pour l'instant, je pense qu'on est même forcé de constater qu'on les attire pas, ces téléspectateurs.
387 M. GÉRACITANO: Je suis en désaccord, Monsieur le commissaire.
388 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K.
389 Est-ce que vous avez... vous êtes en désaccord, je comprends ça.
390 Est-ce que vous avez une idée des démos? Quel genre de personnes écoutent ADR?
391 Est-ce que vous avez des âges? Est-ce que vous avez le sexe? Est-ce que vous avez d'autres détails?
392 M. GÉRACITANO: D'après ceux qui nous écrivent...
393 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
394 M. GÉRACITANO: Très souvent, c'est des personnes d'un certain âge.
395 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K.
396 M. GÉRACITANO: Les personnes de mon âge, des personnes dans la trentaine, ce n'est pas des teenagers, ce n'est pas des jeunes.
397 Mais très souvent, le profil qu'on s'aperçoit, c'est des hommes et des femmes qui ont l'intérêt de leur enfant, qui ont l'intérêt de leur famille à coeur.
398 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Je comprends ça.
399 Si on était pour regarder un petit peu le terrain au niveau des technologies. Y a-tu des choses qui ont changé depuis 2007 au niveau de la façon que les gens recueillent, reçoivent, récoltent leurs renseignements, leurs informations?
400 M. GÉRACITANO: Si on parle de l'internet, c'est sûr que l'internet est présent.
401 Mais l'avantage d'avoir la télévision, d'avoir l'information sur un canal de télévision, c'est que le monde syntonise sur notre poste. L'information elle est là pour être diffusée.
402 Tandis que sur...
403 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Le monde syntonise. Mais on n'est pas en mesure de le prouver.
404 M. GÉRACITANO: En ce moment, Monsieur le conseiller, je ne suis pas en mesure de le prouver.
405 Si pour être... pour faire une autre tentative pour essayer de prouver, pour aller sonder, j'aurais besoin de faire de la publicité, nous faire connaître encore plus.
406 Et là, on serait capable d'investir encore une fois dans des chiffres du BBM.
407 Mais encore une fois, comme je vous répète, les statisticiens qui m'ont expliqué que le service qui vient sonder, pour nous, ça nous rend pas justice, parce que ça ne mesure pas adéquatement ceux qui vont écouter. Parce qu'on n'est pas une chaîne à grande écoute.
408 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Ceux et celles qui diront que vous avez eu six années de distribution obligatoire pour bâtir, pour créer une audience et vous nous arrivez six ans plus tard sans avoir réussi, et que votre projet est un échec au niveau des cotes d'écoute.
409 M. GÉRACITANO: Je serais entièrement en désaccord avec vous. On a simplement qu'à voir le nombre de partenaires. Si les services de police sont là, ça démontre que c'est efficace.
410 Si plusieurs services de police vous ont écrit pour vous dire qu'ils obtiennent des résultats, s'ils n'obtenaient pas de résultats, ils seraient pas ici avec nous aujourd'hui.
411 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Vous seriez d'accord avec moi pour dire qu'aujourd'hui, l'information est de plus en plus disponible en temps réel; vous avez parlé d'internet. Et c'est sûr que c'est un grand changement depuis que vous vous êtes présenté devant le Conseil antérieurement pour la licence précédente.
412 N'est-il pas une façon plus efficace? Les gens qui s'intéressent par les avis de recherche ou autre chose vont ouvrir leur ordi, puis ils vont pouvoir se brancher et se renseigner. Surtout les jeunes qui circulent beaucoup plus et qui sont peut-être les gens qui vont avoir vu ces délinquants.
413 M. GÉRACITANO: Monsieur le conseiller, l'internet est un résultat de la chaîne. La chaîne ne serait pas là si c'était seulement pour l'internet.
414 Donc, nous avons également un site internet. Nous avons des applications pour les téléphones intelligents. Tout ça dérive de la chaîne.
415 Mais on peut également faire le même argument avec les autres services de nouvelles.
416 Est-ce que les autres chaînes de télé à diffusion continue des nouvelles, est-ce qu'ils vont fermer leurs chaînes parce qu'on peut lire le journal sur l'internet?
417 Est-ce qu'il y a des chaînes-- sans les nommer-- est-ce qu'il y a des chaînes anglophones ou francophones qui sont des chaînes d'informations en continue? Est-ce que... on peut peut-être pas faire le même argument, vu que tout le monde semble lire les nouvelles sur l'internet. Mais peut-être qu'on devrait pas avoir ces chaînes-là. On n'aurait pas besoin de ces chaînes-là.
418 Je suis en désaccord.
419 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui. Une petite différence, c'est que ces chaînes-là ont des cotes d'écoute à offrir aux annonceurs et au Conseil et vous les avez pas.
420 M. GÉRACITANO: Encore une fois, une chaîne qui rend un service d'intérêt public n'est pas seulement mesurée par les cotes d'écoute.
421 Si vous me demandez de faire quelque chose de sensationnel, de répéter quelque chose de sensationnel dans le but d'aller chercher des cotes d'écoute, alors...
422 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Non, c'est pas ce que je vous demande.
423 Pour retourner, également il y a d'autres services. Je pense qu'il y a d'autres services au Canada. Il y a l'Amber Alert. Il y a ce système national d'alertes qui est en place maintenant chez Pelmorex.
424 Est-ce qu'il y a pas d'autres services qui font ce que vous proposez déjà?
425 M. GÉRACITANO: Pas du tout. Pas du tout, Monsieur le conseiller. Amber Alert, il a des critères très spécifiques pour lancer une alerte Amber.
426 Au Québec, à ma connaissance, et madame Arcamone pourrait me corriger. On a eu, depuis son inception au Québec, on a eu peut-être cinq ou six alertes Amber.
427 Les alertes Amber, c'est les dossiers très spécifiques. Mais c'est des dossiers quand même que nous diffusons.
428 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Et limité. Et quant à ce système national d'alertes de la part de Pelmorex, comment est-ce que votre service diffère de ce qui est potentiellement...
429 M. GÉRACITANO: À ma compréhension...
430 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : ... qui interfère à Pelmorex?
431 M. GÉRACITANO: Ma compréhension de service de Pelmorex, c'est en cas d'urgence. S'il y a un désastre, s'il y a quelque chose. C'est un signal qui vient parler ou qui vient diffuser une alerte sur tous les postes.
432 Tandis que nous, on n'est pas là pour diffuser une alerte. On est là pour diffuser, non seulement des recherches de suspects ou de personnes disparues, mais on est là également pour faire la diffusion de productions d'émissions qui viennent informer, éduquer la population à toute matière de sécurité: le taxage à l'école, qu'est-ce qu'il faut faire? Le bullying, la violence contre les aînés.
433 On vient apporter l'attention aux organismes qui travaillent dans le milieu.
434 On n'est pas les experts. On est les diffuseurs. On donne la parole à tous les experts qui sont dans le domaine.
435 On donne... il y a une multitude d'organisations qui sont à travers le pays, avec ceux qu'on travaille au Québec. On espère travailler avec beaucoup d'autres organismes à travers le Canada.
436 C'est eux les experts. Nous, on leur donne le temps d'antenne pour qu'ils puissent venir renseigner, informer la population sur tous les moyens de se protéger contre certaines situations.
437 On vient mettre en évidence l'excellent travail que font les...
438 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Il n'y a aucun doute que vous faites des choses intéressantes. La question est de savoir, est-ce que les gens en profitent? Est-ce que les gens sont à l'écoute pouvant profiter de ce travail exceptionnel que vous faites?
439 M. LAFRENIÈRE: Si je peux me permettre comme policier, lorsqu'on parle de prévention, c'est toujours difficile de mettre des chiffres. Je veux pas embarquer dans les chiffres, je les connais pas, les chiffres de la chaîne.
440 Ce que je peux vous dire, moi comme policier, ce qui est important pour moi, c'est pas les chiffres. Ce que je peux vous dire cependant, c'est qu'il y a des cas-- lorsque c'est largement médiatisé, vous savez, lorsqu'il y a un événement majeur comme on a vécu hier à Toronto, on n'a pas de difficulté d'avoir des médias.
441 Mais lorsqu'une famille vit un drame, lorsque leur enfant est porté manquant, est-ce qu'on peut dire que pour eux, étant donné que c'est pas quelque chose de très visuellement intéressant, ils ne méritent pas d'avoir une voix?
442 Je vous dirais que moi, comme policier et comme père de famille, ça me rassure de savoir que j'ai une façon de diffuser ces informations-là qui se retrouvent pas dans les grands médias.
443 Pourquoi? Parce que non, c'est pas très, très dramatique. Non, c'est pas spectaculaire. Et ces familles-là ont besoin de voix.
444 Mais ce que je peux vous dire, moi, comme policier, c'est que dans des cas comme ça où le seul diffuseur est «Avis de recherche», on a eu des résultats. Je peux pas vous en dire plus. Je peux pas vous dire le nombre. Pourquoi? Parce que c'est anonyme et confidentiel et c'est comme ça qu'on continue de travailler. Mais en prévention de mettre des chiffres, pour moi c'est très difficile.
445 Il y a des cas qui se retrouvent pas dans les grands médias. Ça nous a permis de retrouver des gens. Ça nous a permis de réunir des familles. Et ça, je peux vous dire que oui, ça se passe.
446 C'est ça qui permet...
447 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : C'est ça qui vous permet de croire que c'est ADR qui...
448 M. LAFRENIÈRE: Bien très facilement, si c'est la seule personne qui peut en parler. Parce que les autres médias n'embarquent pas dans des disparitions.
449 Il y a aucun canal au Québec qui va embarquer dans les disparitions. Mais il y en a environ huit par jour.
450 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Ça vous permet d'y parvenir.
451 M. LAFRENIÈRE: La seule personne qui l'a diffusé, c'était ADR. Alors je vous dis, lorsque j'ai un résultat, je suis obligé de croire que ça vient en partie du réseau ADR.
452 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Merci, Monsieur Lafrenière.
454 M. DORÉ: Et une nouvelle aujourd'hui va durer 24 heures, sauf un événement majeur, bien sûr.
455 ADR permet de faire vivre cette nouvelle-là plus longtemps, d'engendrer une réponse.
456 Les parents, l'accompagnement des parents, l'accompagnement des services policiers, évidemment ça ne sont pas tous les crimes qui sont rapportés par les chaînes généralistes. ADR va le faire. ADR va continuer à le faire.
457 J'ai vu des images de Cédrika Provencher tantôt. J'ai travaillé personnellement sur le dossier comme policier. On sait qu'on recherche encore Cédrika. On cherche ce qui s'est passé. Et ADR diffuse toujours aujourd'hui ce qui s'est passé. Il demande de l'information.
458 Et pour moi, j'ai reçu des courriels. J'ai reçu des informations grâce à ADR.
459 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Merci.
460 M. GÉRACITANO: Qu'est-ce que j'aimerais rajouter, Monsieur le conseiller, si vous permettez. On a vu tout à l'heure deux dossiers, deux personnes qui ont témoigné dans la vidéo que madame Arcamone vous a présenté.
461 Un des dossiers, c'était monsieur Connextal(ph) dont son garçon était victime d'enlèvement parental.
462 La mère avec le garçon s'étaient rendus au Mexique. C'est suite à la diffusion d'une émission qu'on a faite sur le dossier, sur ADR que la mère, finalement, a consenti de... que le père monsieur Connextal(ph) reprenne... ait la permission de revoir son garçon. Et on a présenté quelques images du père avec son garçon. C'est grâce à ADR qu'ils ont fait ça.
463 On a également vu madame Béchard dont sa fille est portée disparue depuis peut-être... depuis quelque cinq ans maintenant.
464 La réalité, Monsieur le conseiller, c'est qu'il se pourrait fort bien que sa fille Maryline se retrouve à Vancouver ou à Calgary. Le problème, c'est qu'il y a pas personne qui sait qu'elle est disparue, là-bas.
465 Une fois qu'on a une chaîne nationale, la photo de cette jeune fille-là peut être diffusée à la grandeur du pays.
466 On a à Montréal comme dans toutes les grandes villes, on a beaucoup de, ce qu'on appelle des «Squeegee kids».
467 À Montréal, vous allez, si vous êtes familier avec Montréal, on va au centre-ville. Il y a beaucoup de jeunes anglophones dans les coins de rues. Ce sont des jeunes, fort probablement qui sont portés disparus, qui proviennent d'une autre ville. Que ce soit Vancouver, Calgary ou Toronto, qui se ramassent au centre-ville de Montréal.
468 Et il y a beaucoup de Montréalais, beaucoup de Québécois qui se ramassent dans les villes à travers le pays.
469 La Chaîne va être capable de diffuser ces informations, chose que présentement, les services de police ne peuvent pas le faire.
470 Alors, si vous demandez des chiffres, je ne peux pas vous donner des chiffres concrets avec précision.
471 Mais si on regarde les résultats et les commentaires dans les lettres que vous avez reçues, ça démontre que la chaîne est efficace. Si les dossiers sont résolus, c'est parce qu'il y a quelqu'un qui écoute, Monsieur le Président... Monsieur le conseiller, je m'excuse.
472 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Pour procéder, peut-être, parler d'autres genres de chiffres, et peut-être pour tout le budget, vous demandez une augmentation de six sous à huit sous pour ADR.
473 Et, il y a également question de sous-titrage.
474 Et dans vos chiffres, vous avez parlé du fait que ça vous coûterait 350 000$ pour sous-titrer 20 p. cent de ce qui est diffusé. Et un million pour sous-titrer 100 p. cent de ce qui est diffusé.
475 Jusqu'ici, ça va?
476 M. GÉRACITANO : Oui.
477 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K.
478 Dans vos dépenses, on voit un autre chiffre beaucoup plus élevé.
479 Est-ce que vous êtes en mesure de nous dire exactement ce que ça vous coûtera de sous-titrer...
480 M. GÉRACITANO: Tout d'abord, l'augmentation qu'on demande de six sous à huit sous, faut comprendre que le six sous vient de notre demande en 2006.
481 Or, si on prend seulement le taux d'inflation...
482 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Puis ça n'arrive pas à 33 p. cent alors.
483 M. GÉRACITANO: Non. Mais si on prend sept ans et là, on décide d'amener un autre sept ans jusqu'en 2020, à 2 p. cent par année, j'ai un tableau ici que je pourrais vous montrer, Monsieur le conseiller, c'est de six sous. Au bout de quelques années, on se ramasse à huit sous, seulement pour le taux d'inflation.
484 Donc, depuis 2007 que la chaîne... ou depuis en effet2007 que la chaîne a été approuvée. Elle est venue en onde, elle a obtenu le statut de 9-1-1 jusqu'en 2008.
485 Si on fait le calcul de 2 p. cent par année, arrivé à 2013, on est déjà presque arrivé à sept sous.
486 Alors, je travaille avec moins d'argent disponible aujourd'hui à cause des augmentations. Tout a augmenté dans les six dernières années.
487 Même dans la migration vers le numérique a atteint un plateau, on dirait.
488 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K.
489 Même avec l'augmentation à huit sous et les revenus qui circulent pour la première année aux alentours de 2,5 millions de revenus.
490 M. GÉRACITANO: De revenus?
491 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
492 M. GÉRACITANO: Oui.
493 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Dans vos dépenses, sont à 4,2 millions pour la première année, montant jusqu'à 4,5 millions dans la 7e année.
494 Alors, ça constitue une barre négative d'à peu près 80 p. cent. C'est-à-dire que vous allez continuer à perdre de l'argent et beaucoup d'argent.
495 M. GÉRACITANO: Vous faites référence à quel tableau?
496 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Quel tableau? Annexe1.
497 Je pense que le personnel a demandé certaines qualifications suite à votre dépôt initial ou votre mémoire initial.
498 Et je pense qu'il y a des réponses qu'il y avait pas de réponse. Je ne sais pas s'il y a quelqu'un...
499 M. GÉRACITANO: Oui, on a...
500 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : ... sur la deuxième rangée qui semble...
501 M. GÉRACITANO: On a fait...
502 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : ... d'avoir...
503 M. GÉRACITANO: Bien probablement vous faites référence à l'annexe A et B.
504 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui. Oui.
505 M. GÉRACITANO: Le personnel nous avait demandé de faire des projections avec les conditions de licence que nous... je m'excuse.
506 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
507 M. GÉRACITANO: Avec les conditions de licence que nous avions proposées.
508 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
509 M. GÉRACITANO: Et si on était pour faire le sous-titrage de l'entièreté de notre programmation.
510 Tout d'abord, laissez-moi tout d'abord reculer et en tout respect aux personnes qui sont malvoyantes, en tout respect avec toutes les personnes qui ont des problèmes auditifs, je suis tout à fait d'accord. Il serait important que notre chaîne soit accessible à tout le monde.
511 Je prêche l'importance que la chaîne soit accessible.
512 Par contre, je fais face à une réalité. Les réalités, c'est qu'on est une... si on parle d'ADR, qu'on est une chaîne qui a 1.6 million de revenus comparativement à d'autres chaînes qui ont 30- 40- 50 à 100 millions de revenus.
513 On n'a pas les moyens nécessairement de faire le «closed captioning».
514 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Non, je comprends. Sauf qu'on impose ça sur tout le monde, des questions d'accessibilité. Et vous nous demandez à ce qu'on fasse exception à ADR?
515 M. GÉRACITANO: Non. Ce que je demandais, c'est d'une partie, quand on parle des avis de recherche, les avis de recherche, je sais pas si vous avez eu connaissance sur notre chaîne, Monsieur le conseiller, c'est un genre de bulletin boards. C'est un genre de babillard.
516 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
517 M. GÉRACITANO: Donc, l'information est déjà présentée à l'écran.
518 Vous avez, si on prend l'exemple d'une personne portée disparue...
519 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Vous serez d'accord avec moi que c'est pas entièrement le cas. Il y a des parties assez importantes qui ne font pas partie de babillard où on indique... où on se répète en quelque sorte, la partie audio avec ce qui est écrit texto.
520 M. GÉRACITANO: C'est sûr qu'on met les grandes lignes.
521 Sur le babillard, quand on fait référence aux fiches de personnes qui sont portées disparues, on met le nom, on met la date, on met certaines particularités. C'est sûr qu'on ne met pas l'entièreté.
522 Par contre, faut également comprendre que même les babillards, c'est de l'information qui est changée constamment.
523 Alors donc, pour que ce soit vraiment efficace, faudrait qu'on fasse le sous-titrage pour l'entièreté de la programmation.
524 On peut recevoir des avis de disparition à 2h du matin comme on peut les recevoir à 2h de l'après-midi.
525 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : M'hmm.
526 M. GÉRACITANO: Donc, on doit, on a l'obligation de mettre ces informations-là en onde dans les minutes qui suivent.
527 Le problème à faire le sous-titrage-- et je n'essaie pas d'éviter de faire le sous-titrage.
528 Mais le problème serait à cause de la nature immédiate, on n'a pas le temps d'aller faire le sous-titrage immédiatement à 2h du matin.
529 Et, si on doit faire des changements, parfois on peut pas le faire.
530 Donc, ça nous prendrait quelqu'un qui est littéralement devant, qui est là présent pour être capable de faire le sous-titrage 24 heures par jour, sept jours sur sept.
531 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : C'est-à-dire que... j'ai bien compris. C'est-à-dire que l'augmentation marquée dans vos coûts d'exploitation est strictement une conséquence du fait d'être obligé de sous-titrer à 100 p. cent vos émissions?
532 M. GÉRACITANO: On aurait présenté deux scénarios.
533 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K.
534 M. GÉRACITANO: Comme le Conseil m'avait demandé, le scénario B était, si on faisait la totalité...
535 Je fais référence à Annexe B.
536 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
537 M. GÉRACITANO: Bon. Alors prévision d'avis de recherche, six sous, condition de licence selon le Standard Condition of Licence.
538 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : M'hmm.
539 M. GÉRACITANO: Alors ça, ce scénario-là, B, vous avez un à six sous, à six cents, et l'autre à huit cents. Donc, c'est que l'entièreté de la chaîne, 24 heures, soit sous-titrée.
540 Tandis que si je vous fais référence, je vous réfère au tableau... à l'annexe A.
541 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
542 M. GÉRACITANO: L'annexe A, vous avez...
543 Tout d'abord, si vous regardez la première page, c'est indiqué: Annexe A.
544 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
545 M. GÉRACITANO: Vous allez voir juste en bas...
546 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : 1A, c'est ça?
547 M. GÉRACITANO: 1A.
548 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K.
549 M. GÉRACITANO: Bien, c'est indiqué «1».
550 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
551 M. GÉRACITANO: Scénario 1A, je m'excuse, oui.
552 Juste un peu plus bas, vous allez voir: «Revenu d'abonnements, 8 cents.» Ça c'est un typo, ça devrait lire six sous.
553 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
554 M. GÉRACITANO: Bon. Alors, dans le scénario, dans l'annexe A, et vous avez le scénario 1A, six cents, condition de licence telle que nous proposons.
555 Et le scénario 1B, huit cents. Condition de licence telle que nous proposons.
556 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K.
557 M. GÉRACITANO: Et ensuite, vous avez l'annexe B qui était selon le six sous et huit sous.
558 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
559 M. GÉRACITANO: Qui était l'entièreté.
560 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Vous êtes sur le terrain négatif à la hauteur de 2,5 millions dès la première année.
561 M. GÉRACITANO: Si on fait le sous-titrage complet, c'est sûr.
562 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Alors, c'est un modèle qui ne fonctionnera pas pour vous.
563 M. GÉRACITANO: C'est le modèle qui fonctionnera pas... C'est pas par manque de volonté. C'est que les coûts qui sont impliqués seraient importants.
564 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Mais si les coûts de sous-titrer 20 p. cent de votre journée de diffusion coûte 350 000$, comment se fait-il que rendu à 100 p. cent, il y a une si grande augmentation?
565 M. GÉRACITANO: Dans le 350 000$, je crois qu'on l'avait clarifié. On a reclassifié certaines de nos... après qu'on avait fourni cette information-là, on avait baissé le chiffre.
566 Et les tableaux que vous avez ici, j'ai prévu les coûts de sous-titrage pour la première année à 47 000$, 47 000$ pour la deuxième année, 70 000$. Alors ce n'est pas le 350 000$.
567 On prévoit les coûts aux alentours de 100 000$. Mais j'ai quand même été très conservateur et j'ai mis un montant moins élevé pour les coûts de sous-titrage. Et je vous fais référence au tableau, scénario 1A et 1B.
568 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
569 À 1A et 1B, il n'y a pas de sous-titrage. Ou il y a un sous-titrage...
570 M. GÉRACITANO: Il y a du sous-titrage.
571 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Très limité.
572 M. GÉRACITANO: C'est 20 p. cent. Mais je devrais peut-être expliquer. Qu'est-ce que je veux dire pour le 20 p. cent, c'est que sur ADR, on fait de la programmation en direct.
573 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
574 M. GÉRACITANO: Donc, les coûts du sous-titrage pour en direct seraient élevés.
575 On n'a pas inclus le sous-titrage en direct, des émissions en direct ou en quasi-direct.
576 Quasi-direct c'est simplement...
577 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Alors, tout ce qui est exclu dans votre Annexe1, que ce soit le scénario 1A ou 1B, c'est ce qui est en direct?
578 M. GÉRACITANO: Et le...
579 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Pour le reste, ça serait sous-titré?
580 M. GÉRACITANO: Non. Et les avis de recherche. Parce que les avis de recherche...
581 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Est-ce qu'est-ce qui reste?
582 M. GÉRACITANO: C'est nos émissions et on fait de plus en plus d'émissions. Les émissions, quand on fait comme, exemple...
583 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Elles sont en direct?
584 M. GÉRACITANO: Non, c'est-à-dire, les émissions telles «Nos enfants disparus», c'est des émissions qui sont enregistrées d'avance. On fait une série au complet.
585 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Dans l'Annexe A...
586 M. GÉRACITANO: Oui.
587 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : ... qu'est-ce qui sera sous-titré?
588 M. GÉRACITANO: Ça serait les émissions. Les émissions telles «Gens de coeur».
589 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Enregistrées.
590 M. GÉRACITANO: Ce sont des émissions enregistrées d'avance. Des séries qu'on fait, comme «Nos enfants disparus».
591 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Et ça constitue quel pourcentage de votre journée de diffusion?
592 M. GÉRACITANO: J'avais fourni un tableau, Monsieur le conseiller. Ça constitue à peu près 20 p. cent...
593 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Vingt p. cent.
594 M. GÉRACITANO: ... de notre journée.
595 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K.
596 Alors si c'est le cas, pourquoi demander d'aller de six sous à huit sous? Parce que même à six sous, vous êtes profitables?
597 M. GÉRACITANO: On demande pour aller à huit sous, parce que justement, si on est pour avoir une licence, une extension de licence qui s'en va jusqu'à 2020, il va y avoir un montant qui s'en va à l'inflation.
598 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : M'hmm.
599 Mais si je regarde votre annexe 1A, même en 7e année, vous êtes toujours rentable.
600 M. GÉRACITANO: On fait référence au tableau1 encore une fois?
601 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : 1A. Regardons 1A.
602 M. GÉRACITANO: Oui. Effectivement on est rentable. Si on regarde la 7e année, on est rentable.
603 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Toujours.
604 M. GÉRACITANO: On est rentable. Et ça c'est avec...
605 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : À six sous.
606 M. GÉRACITANO: À six sous.
607 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
608 M. GÉRACITANO: On a une profitabilité de 33 000$.
609 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K.
610 M. GÉRACITANO: Au bout de sept ans.
611 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
612 M. GÉRACITANO: Vous serez d'accord avec moi que s'il y a un bris d'équipement et qu'on doit remplacer un serveur, on a un petit problème.
613 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Vous avez pas prévu ça? Il y a pas un fond dans vos calculs?
614 M. GÉRACITANO: Mais...
615 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Est-ce qu'ils prévoient ce genre de...
616 M. GÉRACITANO: Qu'est-ce qu'on dit, c'est que le net, au bout de la 7e année, rendu à l'année 2020, on serait rentable, effectivement, à six sous.
617 Mais vous êtes d'accord avec moi qu'avec un taux de pourcentage... avec un profit net de 1.6 p. cent, ça nous laisse pas grand jeux. Ça nous laisse pas jeux si on veut améliorer, si on veut faire d'autres émissions, s'il y a des choses qui arrivent au bout de deux ans, trois ans. Je ne veux pas être pris à venir ici vous demander une augmentation.
618 Tandis qu'à huit sous, le huit sous va prendre en considération le pourcentage du sous-titrage qu'on propose. Mais il nous donne également un peu de slack sur l'inflation.
619 Alors, ça nous donne une marge d'environ 5 p. cent. Et on est tous d'accord que 5 p. cent pour une chaîne de télévision, un profit net de 5 p. cent, c'est quand même très, très bas.
620 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Et, regardons votre 7e année dans l'annexe1 toujours. Le total des recettes à six sous, de deux millions, avec 33 000$ de profit. Et le total à 1B, la 7e année, vous êtes rendu à presque 2,7 millions et que vous n'avez que 100 000$ de plus en profit.
621 Le 600 000$ de différence, il va où?
622 M. GÉRACITANO: Bien, on les dépense en production. Parce que notre production, les calculs sont basés sur 65 p. cent. 60 à 65 p. cent de nos revenus vont en production.
623 Monsieur le conseiller, j'avais comme vous le savez, j'avais un pourcentage que le Conseil m'avait accordé de 43 p. cent. Mais depuis que le Conseil m'a accordé le statut 9-1-1, j'ai dépensé beaucoup plus que 43 p. cent. Mon but était de constamment vouloir améliorer la chaîne, de fournir des émissions d'intérêt justement pour que la chaîne devienne un bel outil comme je l'avais visionné il y a longtemps.
624 Il y a six ans, on était... au tout début j'étais tout seul.
625 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Je comprends. Vous vous êtes pas rendu là, être un bel outil, comme vous dites, présentement.
626 M. GÉRACITANO: On est un... on veut devenir encore meilleur.
627 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Vous voulez vous améliorer.
628 M. GÉRACITANO: Bien, on s'améliore. On n'a qu'à regarder. Il y a six ans que je me suis présenté, j'étais... j'avais six employés. On est rendu 17 employés.
629 Je me suis entouré avec des personnes qui sont des... qui ont beaucoup d'expérience.
630 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Je comprends tout ça.
631 Si vous étiez pour être en conformité avec tous les autres diffuseurs, c'est-à-dire 100 p. cent sous-titré, ça vous prendrait quoi? Quatre virgule quelques millions dès la première année? C'est-à-dire que vous aurez besoin de 30 sous, de 35 sous, de 40 sous?
632 Est-ce que vous avez fait un calcul?
633 M. GÉRACITANO: Je n'ai pas fait de calcul. Mais le calcul que vous semblez faire semble être exact.
634 Mais ça, ça voudrait dire qu'il faudrait que je demande un peu plus que huit sous. Et je crois qu'il y a 16 autres demandes. Si on doit augmenter, je crois qu'il y a également d'autres services qui sont méritoires.
635 Et si je me présente devant vous et je vous dis écoutez, je demande 16 sous, 20 sous, 25 sous, je ne pense pas que ça serait accepté.
636 J'essaie d'être... sur «Avis de recherche», et comme ça va être le cas avec APB, on travaille avec un budget qui est limité.
637 On fait... on se sert la ceinture, on essaie de faire travailler chaque dollar qu'on reçoit.
638 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : M'hmm.
639 M. GÉRACITANO: Je peux vous dire, et ceux qui me connaissent, qui sont venus à mon bureau savent que non seulement je suis le président, mais je sors également les poubelles.
640 J'ai une équipe qui est une équipe formidable de journalistes. Ils font le montage, ils font la recherche, ils font tout ça.
641 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Je comprends tout ça. Et juste pour finir avec vos chiffres, le fait d'être 100 p. cent sous-titré, ça augmente vos coûts d'exploitation de 150 p. cent, si j'ai bien lu vos chiffres.
642 M. GÉRACITANO: J'ai pas fait le calcul. Mais si vous avez fait le calcul, oui.
643 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Et vous dites...
644 M. GÉRACITANO: Parce que ça va augmenter, ça va nécessiter littéralement 24 heures de sous-titrage. Ça veut dire qu'il va falloir que j'engage du personnel, soit à l'interne ou le faire faire à l'extérieur.
645 Mais encore une fois, je ne vois pas... on pourrait le faire. Mais faudrait augmenter, comme vous dites. Faudrait augmenter le tarif. Le six sous ne serait pas suffisant.
646 Si le Conseil est prêt à nous accorder encore plus, parfait. Je peux m'engager à le faire.
647 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Vos efforts pour aller chercher des revenus autres que les revenus des abonnés, où sommes-nous avec...
648 M. GÉRACITANO: Depuis le début, Monsieur le conseiller, on a fait énormément d'efforts d'aller chercher les annonceurs.
649 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : M'hmm.
650 M. GÉRACITANO: Je me suis littéralement fait dire que vous n'êtes pas assez payant. Vos factures ne sont pas assez élevées pour qu'on puisse vous recommander à notre client.
651 Je me suis fait dire, comme j'ai mentionné dans mon discours, que certaines agences ne veulent pas recommander de mettre le logo de leur client à côté du visage d'un criminel ou d'une personne disparue.
652 Les efforts ont été faits, mais ça n'a pas marché.
653 Mais d'un autre côté, comme je vous disais, à mon avis, une chaîne d'intérêt public ne doit pas aller courir après les annonceurs, parce que ça a un impact.
654 J'ai une obligation, je dois rendre un service. Le service est de remplir le mandat que le CRTC m'a confié.
655 Ce n'est pas pour aller vendre des hamburgers.
656 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Je comprends ça.
657 Pouvez-vous nous parler un petit peu des synergies potentielles entre ADR et APB?
658 M. GÉRACITANO: Des synergies de un, on croit que le fait d'être capable d'offrir une chaîne ou deux chaînes qui sont capables aller de l'Atlantique au Pacifique pourrait éventuellement amener des annonceurs. Et c'est pour ça qu'on a inclus tel que... on a inclus des revenus publicitaires au bout de trois, troisième ou quatrième année.
659 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Mais qu'est-ce qui a changé? Les annonceurs, ils vont toujours pas vouloir annoncer leurs hamburgers à côté des bandits quand même!
660 M. GÉRACITANO: On espère... on espère que la synergie des deux chaînes d'être capable de... parce que ça, c'est un autre commentaire que je recevais. On est à la télé uniquement au Québec.
661 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : En quoi ça change la donne?
662 M. GÉRACITANO: C'est parce qu'on est capable d'offrir un signal à la grandeur du pays. On est capable de...
663 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Les annonceurs vont rester frileux face à des annonces à côté des bandits, quand même.
664 M. GÉRACITANO: Possiblement. Possiblement. Mais on a néanmoins mis un minimum, parce qu'on espère pouvoir attirer des annonceurs une fois qu'on est national.
665 Une fois qu'on est capable de livrer un message, ou on est capable de livrer le message d'un bout du pays à l'autre.
666 Un des commentaires, un autre des commentaires que je recevais de la part de certains annonceurs, c'était qu'on était uniquement au Québec. Donc, on ne sortait pas du budget national d'une compagnie qui voulait annoncer. Alors c'était...
667 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Des annonceurs nationaux n'auront pas de problèmes à annoncer à côté des bandits?
668 M. GÉRACITANO: C'est parce que dans la réalité, Monsieur le conseiller, c'est que, je ne suis pas un expert dans... je ne travaille pas dans une agence.
669 Mais les commentaires que je recevais, c'est que ça sortait d'un autre budget. Ça ne sortait pas du budget national.
670 Alors j'espère, j'ose espérer que si on est capable de livrer un service à la grandeur du pays, on sera capable d'aller chercher des revenus publicitaires.
671 Mais encore une fois, je me répète. Le but d'une chaîne d'intérêt public n'est pas d'aller cherche des annonceurs, mais de livrer le service.
672 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Je comprends.
673 Mais est-ce qu'on ne doit pas refléter dans votre demande et les synergies entre ADR et APB et le fait que vous allez pouvoir aller chercher des annonceurs nationaux?
674 Est-ce que ça ne doit pas se refléter dans le prix demandé? Et est-ce que vous devez pas baisser plutôt que de vouloir augmenter?
675 M. GÉRACITANO: Monsieur le conseiller, qu'est-ce que je prévois faire pour le reste du Canada? C'est d'avoir cinq autres régions, cinq autres bureaux qui seront une réplique de ce qu'on fait au Québec.
676 Ça veut dire, avoir une équipe d'environ 12 à 15 personnes par région, des journalistes. Ça veut dire du «overhead», ça veut dire incapable de rejoindre chaque communauté.
677 Il va y avoir des dépenses. Il va y avoir... ça veut dire, au lieu d'avoir un bureau à Montréal, ça veut dire, on va devoir avoir six bureaux. Un à Montréal, à part d'ADR et cinq autres dans le grand territoire canadien.
678 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Je comprends ça. Mais vous n'aurez toujours pas de service local comme tel. Il va y avoir un signal, un «feed», si je peux m'exprimer ainsi.
679 Vous aurez pas comme cinq ou six...
680 M. GÉRACITANO: Non.
681 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Un feed individuel.
682 M. GÉRACITANO: C'est un... il faut comprendre la façon qu'on veut structurer All Points Bulletin. All Points Bulletin pour moi, tout d'abord, l'important c'est d'avoir du personnel qui est dans les régions. Ce n'est pas un journaliste de Montréal qui va venir nous dire qu'est-ce qui se passe à Calgary ou qu'est-ce qui se passe à Vancouver.
683 Donc, pour moi c'est primordial d'avoir des journalistes qui sont dans chaque territoire, qui font partie de la communauté sur laquelle ils vont faire leur reportage, sur laquelle ils font recouvrir.
684 Le mandat de ces journalistes dans chacune de ces régions est d'aller rejoindre les services de police, d'aller rejoindre les organismes qui sont dans chaque région, d'aller rejoindre la communauté.
685 Alors ça, c'est le premier mandat.
686 Le deuxième mandat, de chaque région, des journalistes qui sont dans chaque région, c'est d'aller raconter des histoires, de faire des reportages, de nous faire des émissions sur chaque région.
687 Oui, on va avoir un feed national. Mais en réalité, chaque région va avoir son temps d'antenne. On divise le Canada en cinq. Donc, en moyenne, ça veut dire 20 p. cent par région.
688 Mais ça veut pas dire que si une émission a été faite par une équipe en Alberta, qu'elle n'a pas d'intérêt pour une équipe... pour les téléspectateurs dans les Maritimes.
689 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Mais il y aura toujours pas de service, ou de feed si vous voulez, local? Ça va être un service à travers le pays?
690 M. GÉRACITANO : Ça va être un feed.
691 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
692 M. GÉRACITANO : Et oui, on aurait pu le faire local, comme vous semblez me proposer, mais le problème qu'on a avec ça, Monsieur le Conseiller, c'est que ma compréhension, c'est si c'était uniquement par câble, si c'était terrestre, oui, on aurait pu faire plusieurs feeds, mais vu que c'est par satellite, alors, satellite, il y a un feed seulement, et on ne peut pas diviser le feed en cinq régions. C'est seulement qu'un signal.
693 Donc, si on parle de compagnie de satellite, ils vont seulement nous offrir un canal seulement et non cinq pour couvrir les cinq régions.
694 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Et du côté des câblodistributeurs ou...
695 M. GÉRACITANO : Du côté des câblodistributeurs, évidemment, comme vous savez, on peut avoir des têtes de ligne différentes. Ça aurait été plus facile. Si on veut vraiment cibler un marché, s'il y a une tête de ligne, je vous donne un exemple, à Laval, on peut avoir un feed qui va se rendre à Laval et un autre feed qui peut se rendre pour desservir la communauté à Montréal.
696 Ça, c'est faisable du côté câblo, mais nous, on doit travailler... étant une chaîne nationale, on doit travailler... on doit offrir la même chose à tout le monde. Ça, c'était ma compréhension et je ne crois pas que les distributeurs par satellite vont vouloir nous accorder cinq postes, un par région.
697 Mais si vous êtes capables de les obliger à le faire, ça me ferait plaisir d'offrir cinq feeds.
698 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Je vous pose la question, Monsieur Géracitano, parce que je me demande en quoi votre offre s'est améliorée depuis 2007, parce qu'une des raisons principales pour lesquelles votre demande a été refusée, c'est que ce n'était pas axé sur la collectivité locale en 2007, et là, je n'ai pas l'impression que l'offre s'est beaucoup améliorée, et nous avons des critères beaucoup plus exigeants aujourd'hui qu'on avait en 2007.
699 Alors, explique-moi en quoi vous avez réussi à surmonter ce défi et ce mur que vous n'avez pas pu franchir, il y a six ans.
700 M. GÉRACITANO : En 2006, Monsieur le Conseiller, on avait... le Conseil avait exprimé trois inquiétudes.
701 Une, c'était de s'assurer qu'on avait le... qu'on était solide financièrement pour être capable de lancer une chaîne nationale.
702 Une deuxième inquiétude, c'était le côté technique.
703 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : M'hmm.
704 M. GÉRACITANO : Alors, on a... je me suis entouré de personnes qualifiées. On a profité des cinq, six dernières années, surtout moi, pour apprendre comment... tout l'aspect technique. J'ai monsieur Despa qui a de nombreuses années d'expérience.
705 Alors, on a résolu tout l'aspect technique, et on peut lancer un canal à la grandeur... techniquement parlant, on peut lancer un canal à la grandeur du pays dès demain si on voudrait.
706 Et la troisième inquiétude que le Conseil avait exprimé en 2007, c'était il voulait que j'explique le contenu, quel contenu qu'on va offrir.
707 Et si vous permettez, comme je vous disais tout à l'heure, mon idée pour APB, c'est d'avoir, oui, un bureau chef, un bureau central, un studio central à Montréal qui va profiter de la synergie. Il va y avoir une synergie avec Avis de recherche, et donc, oui, ça va... il va y avoir un impact sur les deux chaînes parce qu'on va profiter d'avoir les deux chaînes dans la même place.
708 Mais en plus du bureau... des studios à Montréal, qui vont nécessiter également d'autre personnel de langue anglophone, et caetera, on va avoir cinq régions : Colombie-Britannique, Alberta, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, Ontario et les Maritimes.
709 Chaque région va avoir des studios. Chaque région va avoir des journalistes. Chaque studio va avoir des techniciens. L'idée, c'est que ces studios-là vont participer au développement des émissions. Elles vont participer à des émissions en direct.
710 Si on essaie de cibler quelque chose, si on essaie de dire... si un dossier est pertinent à l'Alberta, si on parle de personne disparue, écoutez, une personne qui est disparue de Vancouver, ce n'est pas seulement de l'intérêt de Vancouver, cette personne peut s'être ramassée en Ontario. Alors, c'est un intérêt à la grandeur du pays.
711 Alors, chaque région dans la proposition qu'on dépose sera un mini-Québec. Chaque région... les équipes qui vont faire part de chaque région, elles ont l'obligation d'aller partout, à couvrir leur territoire, aller chercher des histoires, aller chercher du contenu intéressant, aller faire des émissions, et ça, c'est à part des avis de recherche qu'on va diffuser.
712 Donc, il va y avoir des contenus. Il va y avoir des émissions. Il va y avoir des reportages qu'on fait. Par exemple, l'excellent travail que font les policiers en Alberta, l'équipe de l'Alberta va avoir le mandat de nous raconter des histoires.
713 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Monsieur Géracitano, c'est très bien, je suis convaincu que les policiers en Alberta et ailleurs font un excellent travail.
714 Je voulais juste vous donner une chance de répondre à la question pour voir si vous avez surmonté les motifs du refus en 2007, et je pense que vous avez répondu à la question, à moins que vous vouliez rajouter quelque chose sur les trois préoccupations du Conseil à l'époque, technologique... Pardon, vas-y.
715 M. GÉRACITANO : Qu'est-ce que j'aimerais rajouter, Monsieur le Conseiller, c'est...
716 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Plan d'affaires technologiques.
717 M. GÉRACITANO : ...le Conseil avait pris une décision sage en 2007. Je suis le premier à le reconnaître. Leur décision de nous refuser la demande en 2007 était très sage, parce que les cinq, six dernières années m'ont permis d'apprendre le business. Elles m'ont permis à acquérir l'expérience qu'on n'avait pas à l'époque et que nous avons maintenant.
718 Alors, pour répondre à votre question, c'est que, en 2007, effectivement, je n'étais pas prêt. Aujourd'hui, je suis prêt. J'ai toutes les connaissances. J'ai appris tout le fonctionnement du canal. Je suis maintenant capable de discerner les besoins. Je suis capable de discerner la façon qu'on doit fonctionner.
719 Je me suis entouré, comme je vous ai mentionné, avec des personnes qui vont s'occuper du technique. Je me suis entouré de personnes qui vont être capables de véhiculer notre message et faire la formation de notre personnel.
720 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Et vous êtes confortable avec votre plan d'affaires également, si je comprends bien?
721 M. GÉRACITANO : Avec le plan d'affaires, je suis confortable, Monsieur...
722 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Excellent!
723 Monsieur Géracitano, une autre question. Est-ce qu'il y a des services semblables ailleurs dans le monde?
724 M. GÉRACITANO : À notre connaissance, on est unique.
725 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Vous avez dit également que... Est-ce que vous avez pensé à exporter votre modèle?
726 M. GÉRACITANO : Effectivement. On a eu des appels du côté des États-Unis.
727 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui, j'ai noté ça.
728 M. GÉRACITANO : On a eu également des entrevues qu'on a faites avec la France, avec la Belgique. Ils ont tous trouvé le concept formidable.
729 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Et est-ce qu'ils sont prêts à investir des argents des abonnés pour que ça devienne une réalité, ce concept?
730 M. GÉRACITANO : Pour moi, pour être capable d'exporter mon concept aux États-Unis, je dois m'implanter au Canada avant. Mon plan d'affaires ou ma vision est de s'assurer qu'on est à la grandeur du pays, et une fois que ça, c'est réalisé, je peux considérer aller aux États-Unis, où il y a un grand besoin pour une chaîne comme la nôtre.
731 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Non, je comprends. Il y a un grand besoin.
732 Est-ce qu'il y a des argents des abonnés... est-ce que les diffuseurs pensent, aux États, qu'il y a des argents des abonnés qui seront disponibles pour mettre en place une telle chaîne?
733 M. GÉRACITANO : Des diffuseurs?
734 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui. Vous avez parlé des radiodiffuseurs qui ont communiqué avec vous, des radiodiffuseurs américains, dans votre mémoire.
735 M. GÉRACITANO : Oui. On a parlé également avec des personnes très connues.
736 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K. Mais les radiodiffuseurs comme tel, est-ce qu'ils ont un modèle d'affaires avec lequel on peut faire fonctionner cette idée-là aux États?
737 M. GÉRACITANO : Ça, je ne sais pas si eux, ils ont un modèle d'affaires. Ils ont démontré un intérêt sur qu'est-ce que nous faisons.
738 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K.
739 M. GÉRACITANO : Et quand on m'a posé la question si j'étais prêt à aller aux États-Unis, évidemment, je ne l'étais pas. Pour être capable d'aller vendre mon projet, mon idée aux États-Unis et aller chercher une chaîne américaine et diffuser à la grandeur des États-Unis, il faut que je sois disponible... il faut que la chaîne soit disponible ici au Canada. Il faut qu'on s'implante. Il faut qu'on démontre...
740 Je ne peux pas arriver aux États-Unis et dire... et leur offrir une chaîne comme la nôtre. La première question qu'ils vont me poser : Est-ce que la chaîne est diffusée à la grandeur... Est-ce qu'elle est diffusée au Canada? Non, on est au Québec.
741 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Alors, quel est l'intérêt des Américains pour votre...
742 M. GÉRACITANO : C'est un concept. On a vu, comme monsieur Lafrenière vous a expliqué tout à l'heure...
743 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Malgré le fait que ce n'est pas disponible à travers le Canada, ils s'intéressent quand même par le concept?
744 M. GÉRACITANO : Ils s'intéressent par le concept. C'est un bon...
745 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Et le modèle québécois n'est pas suffisamment grand pour...
746 M. GÉRACITANO : Il faut qu'on s'installe ici au Canada... À mon avis, il faut qu'on s'installe ici au Canada avant de pouvoir considérer aller exporter notre concept ailleurs.
747 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Alors, l'intérêt des Américains, c'est dans une forme assez embryonnique là?
748 M. GÉRACITANO : C'est quand même assez embryonnique, oui. Ils ont démontré...
749 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K. Et vous avez parlé des Européens. En France, chez les Belges, qu'est-ce que vous avez comme données?
750 M. GÉRACITANO : On a fait des entrevues. Il y a eu des équipes qui sont venues ici. Ils ont trouvé le concept d'Avis de recherche remarquable. Ils ont trouvé avoir une chaîne...
751 Ils ont leurs problématiques en Belgique. Comme sans doute vous savez, ils ont eu certains problèmes avec des personnes disparues. Ils ont trouvé le concept de la chaîne vraiment remarquable, et plusieurs ont levé le chapeau sur qu'est-ce qu'on a fait.
752 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Mais il n'y a personne qui est prêt à mettre en place ce service-là en France, ni ailleurs en Europe?
753 M. GÉRACITANO : Monsieur le Conseiller, en toute sincérité, je n'ai pas posé la question. J'ai fait des entrevues. J'ai accordé des entrevues. Si quelqu'un en Europe est en train de nous copier, ça, je n'ai aucune idée, mais je sais que pour moi, l'important, c'est de m'établir ici au Canada et ensuite considérer aller ailleurs. Mais c'est bien important qu'on s'établisse ici au Canada.
754 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Dans votre plan d'affaires pour All Points Bulletin...
755 M. GÉRACITANO : Oui.
756 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : ...quel pourcentage de vos revenus seront issus de la publicité?
757 M. GÉRACITANO : Bon, je fais référence...
758 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Vous seriez d'accord pour dire que les premières années, ça sera zéro ou presque, et en septième année, vous avez une prévision de 987 000?
759 M. GÉRACITANO : On fait... on commence avec 5 pour cent. Rendus... à partir de la...
760 M. GÉRACITANO : Bon, si on fait référence à l'Annexe... Sommes-nous au même tableau, Annexe A?
761 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui. Vas-y.
762 M. GÉRACITANO : Bon, à l'Annexe A, on va regarder le scénario 1A. J'ai une petite note, allocation... Je m'excuse.
763 M. GÉRACITANO : J'ai le mauvais tableau. Désolé, Monsieur le Conseiller.
764 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Non, non, ça va.
765 M. GÉRACITANO : Bon, alors, je fais référence à l'Annexe C.
766 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : M'hmm.
767 M. GÉRACITANO : Et donc, vous avez à partir... C'est indiqué à partir de la troisième année, c'est-à-dire 2016, des revenus... on prévoyait des revenus publicitaires de 303 000.
768 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Sur un budget de 6 millions, grosso modo?
769 M. GÉRACITANO : Sur un budget de 8 millions.
770 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Huit millions. O.K.
771 M. GÉRACITANO : Et j'avais indiqué à la note... Je devrais avoir une note quelque part qui indiquait le pourcentage.
772 Et c'est sûr que ça semble...
773 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Ce n'est pas un gros chiffre, disons.
774 M. GÉRACITANO : Ce n'est pas un gros chiffre, mais il fallait le mettre quand même parce qu'on va faire néanmoins les efforts, et on espère, avec la synergie des deux chaînes, que la publicité va éventuellement rentrer, et qu'est-ce qu'on peut également...
775 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Mais pas dans les premières sept années du service?
776 M. GÉRACITANO : J'entends...
777 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Mais pas dans les premières sept années du service?
778 M. GÉRACITANO : Oui, parce que j'avais mis une prévision à partir de la troisième année...
779 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
780 M. GÉRACITANO : ...pour des revenus publicitaires.
781 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : À peu près 300 000?
782 M. GÉRACITANO : De 300 000 et allant jusqu'à la septième année, et on augmente...
783 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Où vous êtes à 900 000 à peu près.
784 M. GÉRACITANO : Et on vise... Si on serait capable de l'avoir, il faut également comprendre qu'une bonne partie de ces revenus-là vont être retournés en forme de programmation.
785 Alors, je ne voulais pas... Même si l'expérience du passé nous a démontré qu'on avait zéro revenu et donc l'importance d'avoir le 9(1)(h), je ne voulais simplement pas abandonner et dire on oublie les revenus publicitaires.
786 On va quand même faire les efforts, et ayant une chaîne nationale-- ou c'est-à-dire deux chaînes qui vont couvrir le pays, la grandeur du pays, on va quand même essayer constamment d'aller chercher des revenus publicitaires.
787 Mais il y a également des... Comme monsieur Lafrenière vous a indiqué tout à l'heure, un canal comme le nôtre qui s'associe avec des services de police, on doit être également sélectif des compagnies qui vont faire la publicité chez nous.
788 Alors, comment puis-je vous expliquer? Il y a plusieurs... Oui, c'est souhaitable d'aller chercher des revenus publicitaires, parce qu'aller chercher des revenus publicitaires, ça fait en sorte que ça va nous donner encore plus d'argent pour améliorer encore le contenu et pour offrir encore plus à la communauté, et dans le but d'aller chercher peut-être les 500 000 téléspectateurs que vous vouliez qu'on aille chercher.
789 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Ceci étant, les annonceurs nationaux, ce n'est pas au rendez-vous quand on prévoit 300 000 de revenus à travers le pays?
790 M. GÉRACITANO : Ce n'est pas au rendez-vous demain...
791 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K.
792 M. GÉRACITANO : ...mais on veut bâtir la chaîne, et si... Je serais prêt à concéder, Monsieur le Conseiller, c'est que si, évidemment, si vous consentez, si c'est nécessaire et si on démontre qu'on est capable d'aller chercher des revenus publicitaires, à ce moment-là, on pourrait revoir le prix que vous accordez. Au lieu d'être six sous, ça pourrait baisser à quatre ou à cinq.
793 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Brièvement, vous êtes présentement distribué par les services exemptés. Vous voulez qu'on reconduise cette exigence-là?
794 M. GÉRACITANO : Exactement.
795 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K. Et si vous ne bénéficiez pas d'une distribution en vertu de 9(1)(h), qu'arrivera-t-il de votre licence d'APB, d'All Points Bulletin? Est-ce que vous voulez la reconduire également?
796 M. GÉRACITANO : En toute réalité, Monsieur le Conseiller, l'expérience d'Avis de recherche démontre que si on n'a pas le 9(1)(h), APB...
797 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : C'est la raison pour laquelle vous n'avez pas lancé depuis...
798 M. GÉRACITANO : Encore une fois, pour revenir en arrière, tel que je vous ai expliqué lors de mon allocution, la seule façon... la seule raison pourquoi on a été capable de lancer ADR, c'est que je devais payer leur câblodistributeur.
799 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : O.K.
800 M. GÉRACITANO : Et, à la fin, les montants que je payais, les mensualités étaient aux alentours de 50 000 par mois.
801 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Et ADR sans une distribution en vertu de 9(1)(h)?
802 M. GÉRACITANO : Sans la distribution de 9(1)(h), le rêve est fini, Monsieur le Conseiller, ADR ne pourra pas...
803 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Nonobstant les six années de bonne volonté et tout le service exceptionnel qui a été offert?
804 M. GÉRACITANO : Nonobstant les six années, la seule raison pourquoi on est là, c'est à cause du 9(1)(h).
805 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Il n'y aura pas une manif de la part de vos auditeurs/téléspectateurs pour que les EDR continuent à distribuer Avis de recherche?
806 M. GÉRACITANO : Je suis accompagné d'un policier ici à ma droite. Non, on n'est pas pour les manifestations.
807 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Tant et aussi longtemps qu'on avise les autorités de la route qu'on va prendre. Mais ça, c'est un autre débat.
809 M. LAFRENIÈRE : Je ne pense pas que les parents des victimes vont venir manifester dans les rues, avec tout ce qu'ils vivent, Monsieur le Conseiller.
810 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Merci, Monsieur Lafrenière.
811 M. LAFRENIÈRE : Merci.
812 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Je ne sais pas s'il y a des questions du contentieux, Monsieur le Président.
813 LE PRÉSIDENT : Merci, Monsieur le Vice-Président.
814 Avant qu'on prenne une pause, puis je pense que c'est la dernière question pour vous, and I will ask it in English because a considerable part of this has been in French so far.
815 Of course, you know, we are fortunate to live in a country with great things, many times more fortunate than other countries, but you pointed out there's a darker side to human existence, with crime and violent crime in particular and abductions, and you make the case that it would be in the public interest to continue the existing service with mandatory distribution and extend it to a new service, and in fact some elected officials have supported your proposal, but I can't help but ask myself if this is of such importance from a public interest, why should this not be funded by general revenues rather than from cable and satellite subscribers.
816 MR. GÉRACITANO: I suppose, Mr. President, if it is funded by general revenues the amount would be substantially greater. As it is now, at six cents, no one will disagree that six cents per month, over a course of 12 months is 72 cents. As I've often said, 72 cents a year is the equivalent of half a cup of Sanka or Maxwell House, of instant coffee, and as I've always said, isn't the life of a child worth half a cup of coffee, half a cup of instant coffee?
817 Trying to get funding--
818 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, but that same argument could be made to taxpayers as opposed to subscribers.
819 MR. GÉRACITANO: Mr. President, the only feasible way I could think of making this service available, rather than going and trying to get taxpayers to come and pay and trying to do all the lobbying in Ottawa-- I tried that. I had tried. This was the only way to get this service across.
820 And the service is undeniably efficient and it's effective. It really works. All we have to do is look at the incident that happened in Boston over the past week. It was the help of the public that brought the suspects-- that identified the suspects.
821 Granted, that was a major incident but there are so many crimes, so many things that happen in Canada that oftentimes go unreported by the mainstream media. Unless it sells, unless it is sensational, it won't make the evening news.
822 So that's where a service such as ours comes into play. We are effective and we are efficient and the amount of money that we are asking is a small price to pay to have peace of mind, a small price to pay to render-- to provide families of missing persons the hope that their child doesn't go unnoticed or isn't forgotten.
823 And oftentimes the media tends to forget because in reality, Mr. President, when we have 7,000 kids that are reported missing just in Quebec every year, a traditional news channel, not because they don't want to but there aren't enough hours in a day for them to report all the missing persons. And we're talking about kids but there are also missing adults, people with Alzheimer's that oftentimes go missing.
824 The mainstream media or the traditional news channels just don't have the time in the day and that's where we come in. We will take the information, we will broadcast it today and we will broadcast it tomorrow and we will broadcast it next week.
825 Granted, if we could have gotten the funding, if we could have gotten the financing from government, but I just-- maybe I don't have the patience for bureaucracy anymore. I tried in the first four years asking for-- try to keep the channel alive and all the bureaucracy and having to fill this form and fill that form, nothing came out of it.
826 This was the only way to allow this service to exist. And we've done amazing work, wonderful work, and we keep improving every day. The type of programming that we put on the air, as I said, has improved considerably. Yes, missing persons and bulletin boards of suspects is still there. That's who we are. But we've found different ways of presenting the information so the channel becomes effective.
827 And I cannot tell you the quality of programs and shows that we have. We have-- Andrée-Anne, who is behind me, does a wonderful two-hour show every day. François is an analyst on that show. We have viewers--
828 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's fine. You know, let's not rehash your entire application. The purpose here was why should this be funded by subscribers and your view is elected officials at the federal and provincial level aren't will to support this. Is that your point?
829 MR. GÉRACITANO: I'm not saying they're not willing to support it, I just wouldn't know who to approach. The only way--
830 THE CHAIRPERSON: You could start with those that sent supporting interventions.
831 MR. GÉRACITANO: In all honesty, Mr. President, I thought the only feasible way to do it was this way and get the 9(1)(h). It is a service that does indeed fit. It's the epitome of what a public interest service is all about.
832 Of all the licences, ours really is the one that fills the bill as a public interest service. We are there to help the community and give hope to the community and bring attention and bring focus to all the organizations that are out there.
833 Now, as far as how to fund it, I don't know. To go and try to lobby Ottawa, that will take many years. I just think it's the only-- after years of experience and after going through the first five years or four years, where we were on the verge of bankruptcy, the only way to make-- for the channel to survive was because of 9(1)(h).
834 Without the 9(1)(h), Mr. President, all the good will that we've-- all the good things that we've done over the past few years will be wasted. I really see it as being the only way we can survive.
835 LE PRÉSIDENT : En conclusion?
836 MME FOUQUET : J'aimerais juste ajouter, si vous me permettez 15 petites secondes, Monsieur le Président.
837 Sept ans dans la vie de l'histoire de la télévision, c'est très, très jeune. On a fait d'énormes avancées chez ADR depuis les dernières années, et je peux vous... si j'étais capable de vous convaincre que ce qu'on va faire dans les prochaines années si vous nous accordez cette licence, ce renouvellement, ça va être encore davantage que ce qu'on a fait au cours des dernières années. Il y a des grandes chaînes de télévision qui ont pris pas mal plus que sept ans à établir leurs assises. Merci.
838 M. GÉRACITANO : Et une dernière chose que j'aimerais rajouter...
839 LE PRÉSIDENT : En conclusion, s'il vous plaît.
840 M. GÉRACITANO : En conclusion, Mr. President, in fact it wasn't seven years, it's been less than that. After we won-- after we were granted the 9(1)(h) back in 2008, keep in mind that we had built back then a half-million-dollar bill with a cable company at the time. So the revenues in 2009, a good part of the revenues went to pay that debt that we had incurred with the cable company. So in reality, the ticker only started counting as of the end of 2009.
841 LE PRÉSIDENT : C'est très bien. Mesdames et messieurs, votre position est très claire.
842 On va prendre une pause de 15 minutes jusqu'à 11 h 40. Merci bien.
843 M. GÉRACITANO : Merci.
--- Upon recessing at 1125
--- Upon resuming at 1140
844 LE PRÉSIDENT: À l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.
845 Thank you. Welcome.
846 So I'd ask you to, as usual, so that the transcript can be clear, to identify your panel and make your presentation. And in your case, you have 15 minutes.
847 So please go ahead.
848 MS FUSCA: Thank you.
849 Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice-Chair, Commissioners and staff, good morning and thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.
850 My name is Martha Fusca, President and CEO of FUSION Television. I am here today to tell you about an extraordinary service that we have designed, one that makes the best use of all that television and emerging digital technologies have to offer.
851 FUSION can play a significant role in transforming the broadcast television landscape, and in building the Canada of the future.
852 We're going to tell you how, but before we get into our presentation, allow me a moment to introduce our panel and guests:
853 Our guests, representing government, business, academia and students, recognize the importance of FUSION and why it is so crucial for the Commission to grant FUSION a license with a 9(1)(h) order.
854 Our guests are His Worship Mayor Brian McMullan, City of St. Catharines; Mr. David Oakes, Director of Economic Development for the City of St. Catharines; Ms. Silvia Di Donato, Manager, Arts and Culture for the City of Kitchener; Mr. Tom Barker, transformational strategist, responsible for over 20 patents is Chair of the Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University; Ms. Kathleen Bazkur, of Loyalist College, Coordinator and Professor in the Television and New Media program; Dr. David Harris Smith Assistant Professor in Communications and Multimedia at McMaster University; Student Edward Anassah is here on behalf of Waterloo University's Masters of Digital Innovation Program.
855 Mr. Vincent and Mr. Meekison, two of FUSION's shareholders, are also present. Mr. Curry is out of the country.
856 On our panel, to my left is Nathan Gunn, Don Pagnutti, Dr. Gerry Wall and Phil Goddard. To my left is Frank Palumbarit, Ed Yiu, and Gary Jessop.
857 Sitting in the second row is Avinash Mohamed, Elena Vincent, Oleh Iwanyshyn, Rui Zheng and Peter Palarchio.
858 And I want to thank everybody for being here.
859 Here-- we're going to show you a little video, which is how Canadians engage with FUSION and with each other.
--- Video presentation
860 MS FUSCO: Okay. As you've just seen, FUSION is a dynamic and innovative engagement television on-the-go service, a Canadian first.
861 Fusing traditional and the latest digital technologies, FUSION is designed to bring the exploding social networking experience to the Canadian broadcasting system.
862 In addition to programming from independent producers, and stringers engaged by FUSION, our programming will also consist of and be enriched by viewer participation. Canadians from across the country will use smartphones, tablets, laptops and any other connected devices to engage directly with FUSION and each other.
863 With its emphasis on youth, local programming and French-English exchange, FUSION is of exceptional importance to Canadian broadcasting.
864 FUSION's technological design embraces the Broadcasting Act objective that requires the broadcasting system be readily adaptable to technological change, and its nature of service gives all Canadians an extraordinary and unprecedented ability to share their opinions, values and concerns, thereby making an exceptional contribution to diversity of voices and Canadian expression.
865 While we're very sensitive to basic service price increases to consumers, thirty-two cents per month is a modest price to ensure that all Canadians can access this service. It is a reasonable price to create and launch the evolution of television now.
866 Consumer objections to escalating annual basic service price increases, determined and imposed by BDUs, are the result of feeling that they are not getting the value they should for their money, not because of decisions the Commission has and may make in issuing 9(1)(h) orders for services deemed to be in the public interest.
867 And now we'd like to share with you a bit more about how FUSION works and why it's so exceptional.
869 MR. PALUMBARIT: Thank you, Martha.
870 I'd like to spend a few minutes on our programming philosophy and strategy, and how they make FUSION so unique and necessary. Let's start with a few points from our video:
871 As you've seen, FUSION delivers a rich experience across nine zones on your television screen, producing seamless content on topics trending within our system.
872 Now you've probably seen other shows or program blocks which dabble in this now and then, reading the odd e-mail on-air, pulling a bit of video from YouTube, or making room for text-based voting. What makes FUSION so exceptional is that it is the first Canadian service designed from the ground up to do this seven days a week.
873 Each and every day, FUSION's programming content is determined by our staff and by Canadians, Canadians who write, text, tweet, e-mail and send photos and videos directly into our system.
874 Think of FUSION as a collaborative orchestrator. Through crowd sourcing, FUSION identifies the topics that matter most to Canadians. FUSION content will be vetted and professionally packaged for content.
875 Let's take an example: The Boston Marathon bombing.
876 The CBC and other Canadian news services covered the story from a breaking news perspective, some of them even interviewed a few locals as the police combed through Watertown, but none of them engaged Canadians in a way that their texts, tweets and user-generated videos appeared on-air, to reflect a truly Canadian point of view on the bombing.
877 Breaking news is not our business. We're in the business of user engagement on-the-go. We're interested in uncovering, curating and broadcasting what this event means to people in Moncton or Victoria, and in communities across Canada, people who are going on their regular run the day after, wondering about the security in their neighbourhood, Canadians with families in big US cities, concerned for their safety.
878 If a connected Canadian has a view on this topic, we will inspire and engage them to send it into the FUSION system, where it will be picked up by our team, vetted and placed onto the main screen.
879 If in one of the interactive zones, a point of view on this topic starts bubbling to the top, our producers will bring that point of view into the main zone where the it will take centre stage, all across Canada.
880 This is how we'll engage the country in a national conversation on an ever-evolving basis. And we won't do this for just one topic or show or even for a programming block, we'll do it all the time.
881 Which brings us to the broadcast schedule:
882 FUSION's broadcast schedule is inclusive and diverse by its very nature. Prime-time programming, which includes "ION" and "FUSION Tonight", will be broadcast in English and translated into French. Two prime time programs will be in French, "La Voix d'içi" and "Qu'est ce qui se passe?".
883 Some episodes of "I Listen", "I See" and "I Move", shows about Canadian arts and business, will be produced in French. This will create a real-time, shared experience between English and French Canadians.
884 Together with APTN, FUSION will provide a broadcast window called "Aboriginal Peoples Week", and "Web Nation Live" will give voice to Canadian youth and tech savvy citizen journalists.
885 In this way, FUSION will make an exceptional contribution to Canadian identity and ethno-cultural diversity, including the special place of Aboriginal people in Canadian society, and in a way that reflects our linguistic duality.
886 FUSION will deliver a hundred percent Canadian content in information programming, from international to hyper-local affairs. We are committing seventy percent of subscription and advertising revenues to original Canadian programming.
887 As you can see, full-time consumer engagement is the soul of FUSION, and this represents a brand new, fully engaging approach to television broadcasting.
888 And now that you have an understanding of our programming and service vision and what makes it so unique, we want to reiterate why we developed FUSION.
890 MR. GUNN: Thank you, Frank.
891 I hardly need to tell this audience that, over the last sixty years, television has held an unrivalled position in the pantheon of cultural influencers. In fact, it could be said that TV has shaped nations as well as minds.
892 The power of television has been the centrality of its shared experiences, accessible to all. However, in the last decade we've seen the unprecedented rise of a new cultural force, the arrival of social media.
893 The power of social media is that it is a democratic means for everyone to interact. The power of social media is that it can give anyone a voice, a voice that clearly many have wanted.
894 Independently, television and social media are already a part of our social and cultural fabric, but we believe they need to be forged together into a powerful force for national engagement.
895 We don't believe there ever was, nor is there likely to be, an exodus from television, so much as there is a mass adoption of social interactivity.
896 Only when we artificially segment these media do we compel people to leave television. Therefore it's not consumers who have been leaving the Canadian broadcasting system out of the equation, rather it is the Canadian broadcasting system that may have been leaving consumers, and especially our youth, out of that equation.
897 For this reason, our service is an innovative combination of programming and technology. Our ability and commitment to deliver this are demonstrated here. Before you are some of the pioneers of the world's first electronic news gathering technologies, the first videography, the first secure digital music technologies, webcasting, blogging, and tools for uploading video.
898 These firsts have put Canada on the cutting edge globally.
899 Creating the service we have outlined is in many ways just a matter of letting the FUSION team do what they've always done, which is to lead the way.
900 Twenty years ago, unable to contain myself and unconcerned with the chain of command, I slipped a series of notes under my boss' door at a TV station. It was about this new thing called the Web and what it might mean for interactive television. I joined the FUSION team because I am, again, unable to contain myself, in order to slip a similar note under your door here today.
901 This time my note says that although television remains as powerful as we have always known it to be, we now we live in a world with levels of social, mobile, and digital engagement that we never imagined; we are at risk of growing irrelevant if we don't respond.
902 Times are changing fast, but moments like these, where events converge, are rare opportunities. The opportunity to bring people back into the system is profound.
903 Re-engaging our youth is priceless. Thirty-two cents is a small price to pay, compared to the cost of letting the divide grow between the young and old, television viewers and mobile users, those with ideas and those with power.
904 It's a lot to aim for, but we know we have the talent to accomplish this right here. It starts with the boldness of ambition, coupled with your support.
905 Do we really want to live in a Canada that must rely on other countries for the platforms we use every day to engage each other?
906 MS FUSCA: Thank you, Nathon.
907 Diversity of ownership will not be sustainable in a system as highly vertically integrated as ours. Vertical integration has its virtues, but it undermines diversity of ownership, diversity of voices, and diversity of content, without regulatory re-balancing.
908 The Commission can use 9(1)(h) as a means, expressly granted by the Broadcasting Act, to ensure that continued access to broadcast opportunities and diversity are the hallmarks of the Canadian system.
909 In conclusion, FUSION's success depends on ensuring that all Canadians have access to this service. As a new and unique service, the only way to ensure access is for the service to have the broadest possible distribution.
910 We would not be able to deliver on the nature of the service, specifically because by it's very nature it is meant to be accessible to all Canadians, nor could we sustain the business plan without mandatory status.
911 To build the infrastructure, to engage, create and manage content and to ensure that every consumer's voice matters, FUSION requires 9(1)(h) for seven years-- a seven-year term at thirty-two cents.
912 The exceptional nature of FUSION is that it brings people, especially youth, back to the Canadian Broadcasting System, regardless of whether it brings them back to linear television itself.
913 We are creating much more than a traditional television channel. With our vision, our expertise and your support, we will create the first social engagement television on-the-go service that will make Canada technologically, economically, socially and culturally stronger; a leader in broadcasting innovation.
914 That's the end of our presentation and we welcome the opportunity to respond to your questions.
915 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you very much for that presentation. Commissioner Poirier will start off the questions.
916 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So welcome to all of you, and thank you for the nice presentation.
917 Before I get deeper in some detailed questions, I'd love to undderstand one thing: What will be the difference of what will be seen on TV and online? Will it be possible for viewers to see the TV program directly online as it is broadcast?
918 MS FUSCA: We hope that-- well, the plan is to actually have it available on any platform that is best for you to use. So if you happen to be at home and you're in front of your TV set, that's terrific. If you happen to be on a streetcar somewhere or a bus somewhere and you happen to have a Blackberry playbook, or an iPad, you can watch it on your iPad or you can watch it on your smartphone.
919 You can use-- so it's platform-agnostic.
920 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So it will be streamed live?
921 MS FUSCA: Yes it will, yes.
922 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So then my second question is why would I want to pay to see it on TV while I can get it free online?
923 MS FUSCA: We thought that you might ask that question, actually.
924 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: I hope you did.
925 MS FUSCA: The reason why we made it easily accessible on any platform, obviously, there's two ways to go with this: We could say that it's available online only to subscribers-- in other words, you have to be a subscriber to a traditional BDU in order to access the service.
926 Having said that, I for one would like it to be available because of the nature of the service. When we are talking about, you know, the engagement of all Canadians in Canadian public life in particular, and I'm sure that you have read both the application and the rebuttal that actually had a lot of data that was provided by different levels of government telling us all that we don't have youth engaging in civic life, okay. And unlike previous generations, Canadian youth is not-- as they are getting older are not actually engaging in public life.
927 So we believe that it's very important to ensure that youth are engaged in public life and since they engage mostly on different platforms-- they do engage on television, but they do consumer television on different platforms, that for the sake of that demographic and for the sake of engaging them in Canadian public life, that we would make it available for free online. But it could go either way.
928 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes. I know you made plenty of surveys and focus groups, did you ask the question to the young generation if they would be willing to pay even though it can be free online?
929 MS FUSCA: That's a great question and we did-- as you quite rightly point out, we actually did quite a few focus groups and we started out will college and university students in particular--
930 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes, but did you ask them--
931 MS FUSCA: I did.
932 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: -- the specific question?
933 MS FUSCA: I did. And what you have to know about youth is that they think everything in life is free and everything in life should be free, okay.
934 But when we actually dug a little deeper and we talked to them about many things, including the cost of-- you know, you can't just have a service for free, you know, people have to be employed, when they graduate they will want to be employed, they won't want to be working for free, we pointed these things out, but we also pointed out, you know, what it costs to deliver a service like this.
935 And then, interestingly enough, once they understood they actually did say, "Well, yeah."
936 Did you want to add?
937 MR. GUNN: Yes.
938 MS FUSCA: And Nathon would like to add.
939 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes.
940 MR. GUNN: Madam Commissioner, if you may take me as an example, I was one of those kids back in '94-'95 with the Hi 8 and then digital cameras running around shooting my own content and I was in great desire of a platform where I could put that content. At that time we created something called Bitcast. It should have been Canada's YouTube, it was the first tool for uploading video to the web. I really wanted that platform. I'm here today because I believe Canada needs to be creating those platforms here.
941 So I would in fact, and many people like me who are creating this content and putting it on distribution networks that are broad and diffuse and available anywhere, such as the U.S. platforms like YouTube, and so on, really would love to have a home here and a stage on which to feature the content we create every day on the national stage on television that we can share with our families, that bridges to viewers who don't necessarily use the new devices as well as the ones who do.
942 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: But why don't you do it all online Why do you need the TV to broadcast what you could show throughout the world online solely? And in my viewpoint at this moment is trying to bring back people to the former way of broadcasting TV. Instead of keeping them in a media they just lover online, internet, and so on. So you are going against a trend.
943 MS FUSCA: We are actually ahead of the curve--
944 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Oh, that's how you see it, okay.
945 MS FUSCA: -- is really the point here. I think that if we spent a little more time at conferences-- unfortunately mostly outside of our country, but some here, too, like I don't know what's going to happen at Canada 3.0 this year for example, and if you read for example, Macrowikinonomics by Don Tapscott, this is where we are actually moving, all right, but I don't want to get away from your question.
946 So I believe that we are just ahead of the curve, all right, because sooner or later what you're going to have is some American service, okay-- and I know that my colleagues have examples to give you from like the YouTubes and the Googles of the world, okay.
947 So number one, we wanted to create a Canadian platform and we actually-- I'm sorry about this, it's a bit of a pride thing-- we wanted to be the first ones in the world to do this, okay. So if we don't do it, somebody else is going to do it, as the folks at BlackBerry told me recently, okay.
948 But back to the point that you asked about: Why not online?
949 Television is still actually the most powerful platform that we actually have, all right, and kids, while they are not watching their television screen like in their living room or their rec room, they are actually consuming television content online. They are just simply doing it on another platform, okay.
950 What you have online is actually-- it's like diffuse, you know, the Canadian content is like everywhere, and there is really no place where we can share as Canadians, you know, who we are, what we think, what we believe in, where we want to go as a country, all right. And so that's why television is so critically important.
951 But I would like to give Nathon a--
952 MR. GUNN: It's amazing that, you're right, as we move towards this new era do we really still need this platform of television.
953 I believe strongly we do. I actually believe that the experience of the online content, even though it's streamed, is still quite a different experience.
954 The fact is, we still have a lot of our viewing done in a casual atmosphere at home as a lean-back experience and we especially share those experiences with some of the older demographic in the populace.
955 So when we talk about a bridge and getting youth engaged-- and one of the things I said in my opening remarks was this idea of actually bridging those with ideas and those with power, we still find we have constituencies of people who are just watching TV and those who are working only online, I don't think it's because they are not interested in television, I believe it's because television has abandoned them. There's not a place for the content they are creating that exists on this traditional medium.
956 So what I believe is so strong about having this spot, this place in the broadcast spectrum for that online developed content is it gives a home back to those who have been disenfranchised.
957 And so I believe that is what's so important, is that it is a bridge between the two media.
958 And I know there is demand for it. We look, as Ms Fusca said, in the U.S. we are seeing YouTube invest in building broadcast stations, we are seeing applications from the digital media sector for broadcast licences, so the reality is, as she said, we are just ahead of the curve and we actually happen to believe this is an inevitability.
959 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So you say it's a need in your survey, 11 percent of respondents are likely to watch FUSION. When we look at the Strategic council's survey commissioned by the BDUs, and we read your reply on it, we know what you think about it, well, don't you think both findings suggest a weak overall support, 11 percent, and 71 percent of the respondents were opposed to the FUSION service.
960 MS FUSCA: Sorry. Before I add my two cents worth into your question I think I will ask Gerry, Dr. Wall, to respond to that question.
961 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes.
962 DR. WALL: Thank you.
963 And I understand how the numbers can be a bit confusing, in the same way that when we went to test this through market research we recognized we had really a tough climb. Why? Because you saw a 5-minute video of the service, you probably understand it a lot better after watching that video than you did when you read the application.
964 When we were going into the field research we were, by necessity, dealing with a three or a four-sentence description of what FUSION would be. So we did the-- you know, I think we did a really good job, but we recognized it was going to take a type of capability for someone to translate that text into this real live interactive very powerful machine that's called FUSION.
965 So when you see a number of 11 percent, what you are seeing is people's interpretation, understanding of what that is, in a top-two box score to Ipsos Reid, who utilizes 7-point scale, so one would indicating virtually absolute distaste and 7 the highest level of interest or appeal. So that 88 percent is the 6 and 7, if you will.
966 So we looked at that and I tried to understand, well, 11 percent, I was actually quite pleased with that number, recognizing it's such a difficult thing to read something and then translate it and say, yeah, that's something I would really be interested in.
967 In fact, when you take a cut at the data and take a look at, okay, well let's see who's interested in this service, or just really doesn't-- has no dislike or distaste for it, so I took a look at the data 4, 5, 6 and 7 ranking. So that's sort of neutral to the very top.
968 What happens is, I mean you start to see the demographic importance come out. 72 percent of the demographic 18 to 24 was in that 4 to 7 category, whereas only 47 percent 55 and above was in that.
969 And that shouldn't surprise us really because we know youth spends most of their on the internet. They spend twice as much time on the internet as they spend watching television. For over 55 it's exactly the opposite, they spent approximately twice as much time watching television as on the internet or online.
970 So those trends you find when you start to dig deeper. So when you look at a number like 11 percent and say, well that's nothing, who cares about this service, in fact it is a pretty good indication that at the highest level where people have that ability to sort of recognize what that four sentence description really represents it's a pretty good response.
971 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes. But does it qualify as an extraordinary need? This is one of our criteria "extraordinary".
972 DR. WALL: Well, I'm happy to take a cut at that. It's going to take me--
973 MS FUSCA: I will just pipe in now.
974 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes.
975 MS FUSCA: You know, Gerry is absolutely right and when he and Ipsos were working-- because he was the lead on that working on it-- I was very nervous, specifically because I realized that in my travels to many more colleges and universities in speaking, and in fact high schools speaking to young people, politicians of different stripes, it took me about 15 minutes with drawings. I would draw little boxes and talk about it and I thought, okay, so how is anybody going to understand this, you know, when we have this little description. And I think it was good old Steve Jobs that didn't really quite believe in surveys because it was so impossible to try to get people to get their noodle around something that was incredibly innovative.
976 Having said that, I want to say to you that we could have had people like standing all the way down the street in terms of, you know, supported the mayors and directors of arts and culture and incredibly talented folks from different universities themselves. We wouldn't really be here if they didn't feel that there was an extraordinary need.
977 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: What is your strategic plan to bring back to traditional TV the youth? Because if half of them or maybe more are mostly watching TV online, how are you-- it's not because you offer a product that they will start watching TV and that kind of TV that is competing with YouTube?
978 MS FUSCA: That's a fabulous question, and there actually is a two-part answer to that question.
979 The first part is, when we spoke about the service, when we were going to various conferences, we actually met with some folks from Sweden, and we have had extensive conversations with the Chinese, who took a very keen interest in this kind of service, and also wanting to engage.
980 So we know that there is recognition about the importance of this beyond just our slightly smaller circle.
981 And now, like a turkey, I have forgotten the other part of your question.
982 Oh, yes, the other piece is that-- you know what, it took me a while to try to explain to people that, our generation, we tend to think about television as that screen that sits in your living room, maybe sometimes your bedroom, if you have an exotic home, maybe in your washroom. That's what we think about as television, all right?
983 There is a whole demographic out there that we really need to engage with that doesn't look at television that way. They just happen to watch television on a different screen. For us to continue to assume that we can ignore that, I think is an incredibly dangerous thing to do.
984 I think it is damaging to our broadcasting system as a whole, and it certainly damages the political process in Canada.
985 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes, but, Ms Fusca, this is not a plan, okay? You are giving me reasons, but do you have a plan to try to capture that audience and bring it back to TV?
986 And it can be a "Yes" or a "No" answer.
987 MR. GUNN: Madam Commissioner, if I may say-- and I think that maybe Frank would like to add. I'm not sure, but Frank could talk a little bit about the programming.
988 I think the first and most important part of that plan is to represent those youth on that channel. In other words, the fact that the voices are the people, the people who are creating the content, the people in the communities, is the first way to make that platform relevant. We are putting their voices on television.
989 So the first part of the plan, without specifics, is: Yes, there is one; it's to make a channel about them, by them, for them, with the orchestration by FUSION.
990 Frank, did you want to add anything?
991 MR. PULUMBARIT: Yes, absolutely. The programming supports that. We have programming blocks throughout the entire day, and all of them work the same way, and youth will be invited to provide their viewpoints to each and every major programming area.
992 Webnation is a really great platform for youth who want to talk about what is happening around the world, and on topics that matter most to them.
993 We also have English and French programming throughout the week.
994 So we will be soliciting this from across the country.
995 In addition to the programming itself, we believe that the platform and the combination of how all of this works is going to be something that is engaging to them, something they have never seen before. Usually their posts, the way that they tweet-- all of those things, they don't make it onto the big screen of TV. They don't get to share their videos with their parents and grandparents on that screen or that screen, they only have this little one.
996 In our house-- I have a 10-year-old and an 11-year-old, and we have a bunch of friends that have teenagers-- they come over and watch TV all the time, and they use their other devices while watching TV. But there isn't a channel that works exactly in that manner. There isn't a single one at all, but all of the means exist to create one. But the vision to deliver it has never been strong enough to do so.
997 So we have to believe that there is a pent-up demand, because I see it happening every day with people sitting five feet away from me.
998 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. Thank you.
999 MS FUSCA: Just one other thing-- and this where I got so excited with your question that I lost my mind.
1000 That is why the universities are here, as well. There are so many programs with no outlets. So we already know that we have, even before we launch, hundreds of students, probably thousands of students across the country, who are already, one, familiar with the concept of FUSION; and two, just itching to get their material on.
1001 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. Let's move on to some of my other questions. I have plenty, so try to focus on answering the question.
1002 You will be producing around 6,812 hours per year of original, first-run programming. What portion of these hours would be user-generated hours?
1003 MS FUSCA: That is also a really good question. I am just going to take a guess, because it is difficult to say, but somewhere between, say, 30 to 35 percent would actually come from users.
1004 Obviously, some of it will be coming from the professional producers, stringers, and staff.
1005 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: And this UGC will be edited and regrouped within topics and presented in an hour show or a half-hour show?
1006 MS FUSCA: It actually happens on two levels. Frank was explaining how some of this works.
1007 We will have what we call a calendar of events. There will be issues and subjects that we want to explore as professionals. So whether it is that we want to celebrate International Women's Day, or we are concerned about the freshwater ways of the world, or whatever, we will alert the public that these are the kinds of issues that we will be discussing, researching, exploring and examining, and they then will have ample time within which to submit material.
1008 But there is also what we call television-on-the-go.
1009 For example, if we were talking about Idle No More, as an example, there was certain coverage of that, and we don't want to replicate what other people are doing, but there are people who want to engage, and they have an opinion, they want to say something. They may have pictures of something that is going on in their neighbourhood, and they can actually take their Smartphone or take their PlayBook, or whatever they have on them, and record that material and send it in.
1010 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: And would it be on that day?
1011 MS FUSCA: Just shy of live, that's right.
1012 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Will it be curated, the content?
1013 I take a video, I decide to send it to you, and suddenly, when you watch it, you see scenes that you are not sure you may broadcast.
1014 MS FUSCA: That's right.
1015 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So in what way will you define what is broadcasted?
1016 MS FUSCA: I think we all have standards. I mean, we are professionals, we know that if somebody is saying something slanderous or defamatory, if it's obviously hate, or if it's vulgar-- you know, those things just don't go to air. They just never would.
1017 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Do you plan to follow some codes, journalistic codes or--
1018 MS FUSCA: Absolutely.
1019 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: I haven't seen that in the documents.
1020 MS FUSCA: Oh, I'm sorry, I just took that for granted. I'm sorry about that. But there are.
1021 In the application, I think we repeated 20 times that the content will be professionally vetted. We will ensure that it is, obviously, proper for broadcast.
1022 MR. GUNN: Obviously the staff managing that editorial curation process and orchestrating this curated environment-- which, by the way, has its value in the quality of curation. So it is very much at the centre of the mandate to make sure it is high quality.
1023 The staff all come from professional broadcast backgrounds, where they have had experience doing exactly this, in a smaller manner, on broadcast television.
1024 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Then maybe you can help me. What I can see on You Tube is the original video, with all of the stuff that you might not broadcast. Why would I watch you, while I can see it all online, with the fun parts that you might have cut?
1025 MS FUSCA: Oh, I am sure we will have some fun parts.
1026 We are not You Tube. We are not a posting site. We are a broadcast television service. We are professionals. We want to have meaningful engagement with Canadians.
1027 If you want to tell me that you are going to play golf and buy a chocolate bar, well, frankly, I am not that interested.
1028 We are taking this very seriously. It is about serious matters of interest and concern to Canadians.
1029 Frank wants to add something.
1030 MR. PULUMBARIT: There is tremendous noise out there if you go to a You Tube or a Twitter feed, even with the Boston Marathon bombing, which we referenced in our short presentation, and other things that people have mentioned throughout the day.
1031 If you went onto Twitter today to look at any particular topic, in and amongst what it is you are looking for is a lot of noise and a lot of garbage.
1032 The value that we are going to bring is the curation of that away from you.
1033 And we believe that the combination of you being able to share your stories and the ability to follow a story from start to middle to end is going to be that potent combination that will cut through and separate us from you having to find everything that you might want.
1034 Sure, it's out there. Sure, you can find it. But you can also download all kinds of free music everywhere, and you might get a virus, or it might take you forever, or you can just grab it from iTunes and see it that way. You have to pay for it, but it makes sense.
1035 MR. GUNN: If I could add, this is really something new. That is the important thing to point out again. This is not television alone. This is not the conversation of social media. You can still go and watch your full video if you want to do that somewhere else.
1036 This is really that unique experience that involves you, that is curated, and it means something to you because it is curated.
1037 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: How will you split your Canadian programming expenses between UGC, independent producers and stringers?
1038 MS FUSCA: What we have in terms of the 70 percent is all professionally produced material that is for our professional producers, whether they are independent producers-- stringers are also professionals, they just fall under a different category.
1039 So none of that money is going to user-generated content.
1040 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. Your application includes a commitment of 128 hours, in the first year, of original programming for Canadian independent producers. Those 128 hours will all be independently produced?
1041 MS FUSCA: Yes.
1042 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you.
1043 Moving to another topic, I would like to talk about your business plan. You propose a type of programming that would be qualified as local, regional and international, and some kind of interactive information. How much emphasis will you put on local programming?
1044 I am asking the question because I would love to know if you will offer multiple feeds.
1045 MS FUSCA: We should have had the hearing back in 2010.
1046 No, at this point we are not, although I would have loved to. We were trying to be very cognizant of the consumer, even before we had our new Chair appointed, and there was a big cut that we made. It was 45 cents-- because it is on the public record-- it was 45 cents and we brought it down to 32 and, fundamentally, that was the feed.
1047 Having said that, we spent an awful lot of time trying to figure out what we could add. We're not the solution to the problems, I think, that we're facing in terms of local, say news, local stories. But I think that we can do an enormous job, an extraordinary job in providing much needed local reflection.
1048 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yeah, but I wonder how much local you can be if you don't have different feeds.
1049 MS FUSCA: Well, you see-- okay, I'll do it as a way of an example, all right?
1050 We were talking one day about poverty, okay. So whether you're talking about poverty, food banks, housing, you know there are a lot of issues that Canadians are concerned with. You know, kids don't have jobs. That's not unique to, you know, one region of the country. That's shared unfortunately right across the country.
1051 So what we talk about are-- we look at subjects and they can come from these communities and we want them to come to us from the community. And what we do, we have to determine whether we think that that issue, that story resonates. How can we make it resonate? And then we find links because, you know, as different as we are we're similar, okay. I think that this is the thing we forget.
1052 And from my perspective what I find very discouraging is that as a Canadian I hardly know anything about what's going on in Atlantic Canada more often than not, you know, and that's why that whole French-English piece by the way as well, as well as you know on the west coast.
1053 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So would you compare--
1054 MS FUSCA: Can Nathan?
1055 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes.
1056 MR. GUNN: I'm sorry, Madam Commissioner.
1057 I just wanted to say as well there are-- I think in the business plan is it 120 or is it a larger number-- 200 stringers across the country are producing that content.
1058 And there is something to remember, which is although the orchestration of FUSION on air is going to be about one topic, there is the possibility of things that are gaining traction and interest to those communities whether it's featured for a brief time and then generates a lot of interest in communication and conversation across the country can then cause that to bubble back up as a central conversation.
1059 So with hundreds of actual stringers, professional stringers as well as the user-generated community, the fact is we not only have the ability to bubble that up by listening to the communication that's going on off the screen, we also have the ability to leave some of that content online that's not necessarily in the centre screen of the television experience.
1060 So if there are interesting conversations with content, it doesn't need to be excluded from that conversation.
1061 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So if we take the business model of some-- I would say news service, national, regional, local news service-- can we compare your business model to theirs?
1062 MS FUSCA: Well, no. Fundamentally because we're not a news service to start. We're--
1063 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: We are trying to understand--
1064 MS FUSCA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, we're an information--
1065 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: -- how you define yourself.
1066 MS FUSCA: We're an information-- well, you know, if you take like CTV's, you know, news channel as an example, all right, they are reading the headlines. Sometimes they go a little bit deeper but they are, you know, going from headline to headline.
1067 For us the headline is really the jumping off point. You've heard the news. You've seen the news. This is great, right?
1068 But then what? What comes after that? What we are going to do about, you know, certain issues?
1069 You know, I mean, there was-- I don't know why gun control seems to be coming up in my brain right now but it's been a long debate on that sort of stuff. It's been a national debate. It had-- you know, it had a lot of local flavour in it. You know, the news services are not going to be looking at that story in the same way.
1070 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
1071 MR. GUNN: Frank had a great example in his presentation, which is the Boston Marathon, which is we wouldn't be on the ground covering that. We'd be about the next day when, you know, my partner she wanted to go for a run. What does that mean to her community? How is she feeling?
1072 And we don't believe that the current media organizations can or will produce a service like this because it requires a complete re-envisioning of the broadcast model from the ground up. We have to look at this.
1073 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yeah, but I saw many broadcasters doing exactly that.
1074 MR. GUNN: Dabbling. They're dabbling in this. This is a completely--
1075 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: They have been doing that for a week long, last week.
1076 MR. GUNN: You know what? We've seen a lot of people attempting to infuse that broadcast with some interactivity, some social conversation, but their broadcasts are not about the social conversation. It's a layer on the news. This is the social conversation. That's entirely what it is.
1077 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
1078 I was surprised to see your expenses, programming expenses for the first year. They are-- they range to $39 million and when I compare it to some other news service that have-- the mean is $34 million-- I was surprised to see yours higher than theirs. So I wonder how come you have so big expenses for programming while you are also a UGC broadcaster.
1079 MS FUSCA: Well, I'll get Don Pagnutti to respond to that question.
1080 But having said that, dealing with-- engaging-- I shouldn't say dealing with because I don't like that word. But engaging with the public takes a lot of, you know, people power.
1081 To your question earlier vis-à-vis are you curating, are you checking, are you vetting, are you looking, you need a team of individuals that are actually engaging on an on-going basis with the public, okay.
1082 But Don has a breakdown on all the numbers so he can explain a little better where all that money is going.
1083 MR. PAGNUTTI: Thanks, Martha.
1084 First of all, I'd like to say overall that we have built our projections based upon assumptions from the ground up. We built it based upon what the services that you've heard about today, what will be required in terms of the costs in order to provide those services.
1085 We have-- for instance, we have 170 production staff that will be involved. We have to fill four and a half shifts. That's three shifts a day during the week plus one and a half shifts on the weekend. So that's four and a half shifts that we have to fill as a broadcaster.
1086 We have 170 staff that will be involved in filling those four and a half shifts.
1087 On top of that we have-- as mentioned earlier, we have 210 stringers across the country and we have a map. We showed you a map of where they will be, but they will be across the country.
1088 In addition to that we have 20 field producers not in the studios. We have 20 field producers.
1089 Above and beyond that we have 100 percent closed captioning.
1090 We also in our costs we have the costs of production, of independent productions. We have 128 hours of independent productions.
1091 And what you had said earlier we have over 6,800 hours of live production.
1092 So that we believe that the amounts of money that we have in our projections for programming are reasonable for what we are delivering and the services that we are delivering.
1093 MS FUSCA: And don't forget this-- well, and we shouldn't forget the simultaneous translation. We want to enable, you know, French-speaking Canadians to be able to speak in French and we would like English-speaking Canadians to understand them, and vice-versa.
1094 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: And while we're still talking about the business plan, your business plan requested a seven-year initial mandatory distribution plus one seven-year renewal term. And you know in our new regulations there is no guarantee you'll get a second term?
1095 MS FUSCA: Yeah, that was wishful thinking on my part. I beg your pardon. I think I just-- in responding to that I think I misunderstood the way it was articulated.
1096 So I do understand that there's only one term and indeed we've been working very hard to ensure that, you know, after the first term we could very well come back and not ask for anything at all.
1097 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Could it be a shorter term of five years?
1098 MS FUSCA: We've looked at that as well. Yes, we are pretty confident that we could do it for five years.
1099 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
1100 32 cents in the English market and 16 in the French market and in terms of impact on consumers you submitted that you foresee a 50 cent increase in the basic retail price. Why 50 cents? On what do you base this amount of money? I know you have a lot of experience in negotiation with the BDUs, but why 50 cents?
1101 MS FUSCA: Well, I don't know.
1102 Don, do you have that background? But before you respond...
1103 We were really looking at the history. We were looking at what has gone on in the past. You know you have your fee. We know that it's marked up. We don't-- we can't, because we don't have access to the numbers, tell you know by how much it's marked up. But we took a guess at-- it was an educated guess but a guess that that's what would likely happen.
1104 Now, hey, we'd love it to be just 32 cents. You know, people are already paying for cable. You're adding another service. We pay the distributors to distribute that service. I mean why do we need to increase that cost?
1105 MR. PAGNUTTI: I would just reply.
1106 As what Martha has said, we do not have control over what the market will be. We just-- putting that number is what could possibly be the effect. The possibility could be the the effect that there is no increase in those.
1107 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So, you don't know how BDUs calculate their mark-ups? You don't have an idea? Okay.
1108 And why is there a difference between the two markets? Do you think that everybody is going to be enjoying in the French market and in the English markets such a distribution? There is a difference in your programming. It's, I would say, 99 percent in English.
1109 MS FUSCA: Well, 100 percent of primetime is actually bilingual. But, I mean, I take your point and again, as I said, when individuals are engaging with us they can do it in whichever language they want and it'll be simultaneously translated. So that could be at, you know, seven o'clock in the morning or one o'clock in the afternoon.
1110 Again, it's tradition. I mean we actually took the sort of traditional model. Typically, there is a different price structure for English Canada than there is for French and we went with, you know, what the BDUs-- well, we've been able to negotiate or the way it appears that the BDUs function. It's typically less in the French-Canadian market.
1111 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So, how much French is it going to be?
1112 MS FUSCA: Well, the seven to 11.
1113 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yeah.
1114 MS FUSCA: And then any time during the day where there is someone that simultaneously-- so seven to 11-- because I want to be clear, seven to 11 is simultaneously translated depending on who is speaking which language.
1115 There are two weekly series so that's like 104 hours in the year that are actually coming from Quebec. They're in French, okay, and the dialogue, however, will be in French and English together, okay?
1116 During the course of the day whenever we're live, if anybody speaks in French it'll be translated into English. But they can speak in French.
1117 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So you don`t intend to launch a French version of FUSION?
1118 MS FUSCA: You know, there was a fellow. I wish I could remember. There was a man who was a commissioner. He is a professor at Laval University or works at Laval University and he wrote a wonderful piece on Canadian broadcasting. I think it was, you know, well over a decade ago. I can't for the life of me remember his name.
1119 But we met in-- we met in Quebec City and I was telling him about FUSION because I wanted-- you know, this was part of my trekking around, I wanted to see, you know, was this going to be of interest to Quebec.
1120 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you mean Mr. Sauvageau, Florian Sauvageau?
1121 MS FUSCA: Merci beaucoup, all right.
1122 The first thing Mr. Sauvageau said to me was: Martha, Quebec needs FUSION. And I said, Sir, I'm going to try it in English first.
1123 And it was part of that, it was part of those meetings, you know part of the meetings that we had with creative people, business people, academics, again in Quebec, that really inspired us to ensure that there was that dialogue.
1124 And for anybody who knows me, because it's on the record somewhere, all right, it really troubles me, just as a human being, that the only time we hear about Quebec is when there is a referendum or the Charlottetown Accord or, you know, there's a mob gangster thing going on. Right? That's it.
1125 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes. But I wonder how many hours are going to be in French for the French market? I would love to have a number.
1126 MS FUSCA: You know, why don't I do-- you know, I mean I can tell you what I can tell you now and I think it would be best if I were to do a much more intelligent response to you. If I could take a couple of days to get back to you I would really appreciate it, because I want to give you something accurate.
1127 I can tell you that there are 104 hours, there are two weekly series, you know, they are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., all right, 52 weeks of the year, they are totally in French, all right. I would then have to do a calculation and an estimate, you know, about how much the translation, the simultaneous translation adds up to between-- unless you have done it, Don.
1128 Have you done that calculation?
1129 MR. PAGNUTTI: Martha, it is four hours a day times 5 days a week is 20 hours a week of simultaneous translation.
1130 MS FUSCA: Okay. So if we have 20 hours a week multiplied by 52 weeks a year, that gives us something and then we could just do, you know, an estimate and say perhaps there is as much as, you know, maybe two hours from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. in the morning where people are conversing with us in French, or we could do it just statistically and just say, okay, a third, whatever that is.
1131 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So the minimum is 20 hours, okay.
1132 Do you feel the Francophone would be willing to pay $0.60 to get 20 hours per week of French broadcasting on FUSION?
1133 MS FUSCA: Sixteen cents? Because I heard you say $0.60.
1134 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Oh, $0.16. Yes, I'm sorry.
1135 MS FUSCA: Sixteen.
1136 You know, all I can tell you is that the experiences that we have had collectively in communicating with the Francophone community, mostly I confess in Quebec, has been like extremely positive.
1137 Did we really talk about so how do you feel about $0.16 per se, I confess not, but there has been so much enthusiasm and I don't think Mr. Sauvageau would think that $0.16 was too much, but I don't want to exactly speak for him either. But he did say, "Martha, Quebec needs FUSION".
1138 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes. Would you accept a mandatory distribution all over Canada except Quebec?
1139 MS FUSCA: Pourquoi?
1140 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: I'm asking.
1141 MS FUSCA: Well, I don't know. I would have to think about that.
1142 MR. GUNN: I would have to defer to you because it's your turn, but I think one of the most important things about what we're talking about here today is a sense of a shared national stories that we all have in common. So personally I think it would be very important to have Quebec. It would be a completely vision without Quebec.
1143 MS FUSCA: But at the end of the day, since it is my word-- thank you, Nathon. No, but seriously, I think that if the Commission said to me, or said to us, "Look, you can only have it in English", it would break my heart. I don't think it would be the right thing to do, personally.
1144 But having said that, I would probably say yes, at least let's do it in English because, you know, then we can, you know, do it in French later I guess.
1145 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you.
1146 On page 6 of your oral presentation you mentioned a partnership with APTN for aboriginal programming.
1147 MS FUSCA: Yes.
1148 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Do you currently have an understanding with APTN?
1149 MS FUSCA: I hope Jean remembers, we have talked about it on a number of occasions, so yes. I mean, yes, I would never have put this-- and yes, we have.
1150 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Do we need it here? No? Okay. Thank you.
1151 My two last questions, or three I would say, are you requesting distribution on exempt BDUs?
1152 MS FUSCA: Yes, we are.
1153 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. Is there another alternative than requesting a 9(1)(h) distribution order?
1154 MS FUSCA: Oh, if only.
1155 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Only. And you stick to that?
1156 MS FUSCA: I said, "Oh, it only". No, there isn't?
1157 I mean you know that I have a lot of experience as a discretionary digital specialty service operator and there is absolutely no way that we could deliver even some fraction of FUSION as, say, a must offer.
1158 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: And the final question, how can you justify that all Canadians will pay for that service?
1159 MS FUSCA: Well, you know, maybe I'm just a bit of a dreamer, but I would like-- I will give you an example.
1160 When we were applying we sent out a newsletter, you know, to all of our subscribers telling them what we were doing and I actually got one negative email. I almost invited him to come, by the way. I know the staff knows this man, his name is Brian Norris and he lives in Hamilton, Ontario, a former senior civil servant based in the U.S., now retired in Hamilton, and I sent him an email saying-- because he said, "Absolutely not, market demand", all of that. And I said, you know, I would love to be able to speak with you to respond to your email to me, thank you, and he responded. Because I said, but I would prefer to speak with you and I will call you.
1161 I did, I spent two-and-a-half hours on the phone with him and he withdrew his negative intervention and submitted a positive letter.
1162 So I think that gives you an indication that when Canadians actually know about the service, when they actually become engaged with it they think, "Wow, Ah". I mean that's the reaction we have had.
1163 That's why you have these people-- you know, these are incredibly busy people who took the time to come here today to say, "Hey ya", right, and they represent much broader groups, as you know, and from all walks of life
1164 So we believe that there is, you know, a lot of-- and when you look at the social trends, it's not just about youth. I mean, you know, we talk about youth at length specifically because of the problem that we are facing in this country with the lack of engagement of youth in, you know, public life. Voting, right. You have my footnotes on what I have cited.
1165 But there are lots of Canadians-- I mean, look, all of this in room, we are not exactly 10-anything-- well, we have a few here-- but, you know, we are pretty tech savvy. Well, you know, we're not alone.
1166 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you very much.
1167 DR. WALL: I'm sorry, if I can just add to that--
1168 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes, you can.
1169 DR. WALL: -- because I wanted to come back to your extraordinary need question.
1170 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes.
1171 DR. WALL: I think it's related because you are saying, well, why should everyone have to pay for this service.
1172 I think the reason is extraordinary need, Commissioner, that's what it comes down to. When we measure the appeal of this service we find that it's highly skewed towards the youth demographic. Okay, they get it, they understand it, they want it, because that's the way they live their lives, they live it in an interactive mobile fashion. So this is a way to bring television to them.
1173 We know that youth has moved away from television, conventional television, it's like this, and it's not just sitting here at a low level, it's going like this.
1174 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Do you have numbers?
1175 DR. WALL: Absolutely. The few studies, which I know you are very familiar with, have tracked that over the years and that's what's happening.
1176 Our numbers back that up. We did a one point in time, but certainly the trend is that youth is moving away from that. Where are they going? They are spending their time on the internet. We know that.
1177 This is a service that combines the two, it fuses the two, to bring them back into the system.
1178 So when we talk about extraordinary need, we can measure demand, market demand to some extent through surveys. We can't measure need.
1179 Need is something that you talk to a psychologist they will define it differently from an economist, from a nutritionist, from a general physician, they will tell you what need is from their perspective.
1180 So when you ask us about extraordinary need all we can do is say that's your determination, you have to define what need is, but you have to base that, in our view, on the Broadcasting Act and what are the policy objectives. And when it clearly states that the broadcasting system should serve men, women and children, that's what it means.
1181 And if this service can repatriate youth, and if they watch it on their mobile device, great. They don't have to watch in their television or over a BDU service, if they are watching it and participating in it, then they are part of the broadcasting system and I think that's why it's an extraordinary need.
1182 MS FUSCA: Just on a final word, there is a huge need. I mean I think the evidence is like everywhere, but most particularly from a Canadian perspective.
1183 When you have our neighbours to the south spending billions of dollars going in the same direction that we are proposing to you, right, our concern is that, you know, we will have yet another American-- which is fine-- platform that doesn't engage us as Canadians.
1184 It doesn't speak to who we are as a people. It doesn't-- you know, there's no room or it's like so scattered about, you know, our values and out opinions and that's why it's really important for our system, our broadcasting system-- and I know we do, I don't think that this is really news to any of you, you know, that there is a real shift happening, right, and if people didn't want to engage the numbers wouldn't be what they are.
1185 I think in our rebuttal we told you, Canadians engage more on those three platforms that we quoted from than anybody else in the world. There is a huge need, right. Okay.
1186 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Merci.
1187 MS FUSCA: De rien.
1188 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
1189 Oh, Commissioner Simpson...?
1190 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Good morning. I just have one structural question I would like an answer to.
1191 In generality you had argued that the television model is broken or breaking and this is an opportunity to put a new type of content in front of the viewer to save an industry from demise and the question is this: Television seems to be suffering from linearity, you know the onset of PVR-- appointment television is dying, how does your product work in the linear environment without having to go offline to be able to, you know, drive into what really interests me? Because it doesn't seem to be a product that PVR's very well.
1192 MS FUSCA: Oh, actually it PVR's beautifully.
1193 But I want to get to the point you were making earlier about television, you know, what's happening with television.
1194 Television, like all of life, is we are actually, because of technology, in an enormous period of transition, right. There's Kurzwell, I'm probably not pronouncing his name correctly, wrote a book called "The Singularity", but we have Canadians who have written any number of books. I mean there are tons of books that are now talking about how-- whether you are talking about health, whether you are talking about education, even the impact, you know, sociologically on humanity, we are in an enormous and very quick-paced exponentially fast, even the exponent apparently is growing exponentially, you know, in transition, and so one of the things that I have become aware of over the last several years is that-- and I have mentioned this in some of my literature that I have left with you-- you know, the Internet is now becoming, I believe-- and we have to recognize this as an industry-- a mature distribution model for, you know, traditional content. And by traditional content I mean, you know, programs that-- you know, documentaries that we are producing, series that we are producing and that kind of thing.
1195 What I would do, or what I think we should be doing and I'm sure that they are doing, is that we have to continue to make, you know, cable-- as the population ages we have to ensure the cable and satellite in our country is actually transitioning along with and enabling consumers to consume the content in the manner in which they want.
1196 So we believe very strongly-- and I think we have proven our case actually-- that FUSION is in fact going to help the older technologies, cable and satellite, in this transition, because otherwise the Internet is going to make them actually irrelevant. So our digital boxes should be a whole lot smarter than they actually are, because then you can actually do whatever the-- you don't have to attach your PlayBook to your TV and use your BlackBerry, you know, to hook to your PlayBook, hook to your TV to make it a really smart TV.
1197 That's where we're going and we just want to go there like now. There's no need to wait.
1198 And, quite frankly, you know, Canada has-- here's an irony, the book that is called "Canada First" was actually published by-- or written by Americans, you know, that outlines everything that Canada has done.
1199 This is an incredible innovation and I have been very, very fortunate to be working with an amazing group of individuals which spans way beyond the panel here, okay, to create a Canadian-- global first, okay. We have that opportunity to do it for ourselves and we would like to be able to do that.
1200 And it's linear. You know, you can put your PVR on and zip it right along and then catch it later, for sure.
1201 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Those are our questions.
1202 MS FUSCA: Thank you.
1203 THE CHAIRPERSON: So we will adjourn until 1:50 and resume with the other applicants.
1204 Thank you very much.
1205 MS FUSCA: Thank you for your questions, Commissioner Poirier.
--- Upon recessing at 1250
--- Upon resuming at 1352
1206 LE PRÉSIDENT : À l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.
1207 So welcome. We will hear the next application. As usual, I will just ask you to identify the members of your panel and make your presentation, please. Go ahead.
1208 J'ai parlé en anglais, puis j'aurais dû parler en français, n'est-ce pas? Donc, voilà! Désolé. Allez-y, s'il vous plaît.
1209 M. de la PLANTE: Mesdames et messieurs, bonjour. Mon nom est Joseph de la Plante. Je suis consultant financier pour IDNR-TV.
1210 Nous aimerions débuter aujourd'hui en vous lisant un bref mot d'Alexandre Dumas, chef d'antenne d'IDNR-TV.
1211 Monsieur le Président, Mesdames, Messieurs le Commissaires, voilà bientôt huit ans que la Télévision des ressources naturelles, IDNR-TV, assure une présence sans cesse croissante dans les différentes communautés minières du Québec, notamment, et de l'Ontario jusqu'à tout récemment, qui traduit la réalité particulière de la vie des communautés dont l'existence même et le développement sont intimement liés à la présence et au développement de l'industrie des ressources naturelles.
1212 Les communautés, incluant les différentes nations autochtones, du Nord-Ouest de l'Ontario, de l'Abitibi-Témiscaminque, du Nord du Québec et de la Côte-Nord savent fort bien de quoi on parle lorsqu'il est question d'une programmation qui est le reflet de leur quotidien, de leurs attentes, de leurs espoirs, de leurs velléités de croissance et de développement : bref, de leur volonté de proximité avec les grands milieux urbanisés dont l'unique intérêt pour le développement des ressources naturelles en est un, malheureusement, d'ordre purement idéologique.
1213 LA SECRÉTAIRE : Monsieur, je m'excuse. Est-ce que je pourrais vous demander de parler un peu plus lentement pour les interprètes?
1214 M. de la PLANTE : Certainement, oui.
1215 LA SECRÉTAIRE : Je pense qu'il y en a une à bout de souffle, et elle a un petit peu de difficulté à vous suivre. Merci.
1216 M. de la PLANTE : Parfait!
1217 Depuis ses touts débuts, avec des moyens qui n'ont aucune commune mesure avec ceux des grands réseaux nationaux, IDNR-TV s'est employée à rapprocher ces communautés, à traduire leurs préoccupations, à établir des ponts entre les régions minières, en particulier, et ces milieux urbains, à faire connaître cette réalité particulière de la vie reliée au monde des ressources naturelles qui, dans ce qu'il est convenu d'appeler le grand public, est encore frappée d'un pléthore de préjugés, d'idées préconçues, d'opinions biaisées, alimentés par une histoire galvaudée à bien des égards, ainsi que par des légendes populaires qui ne font que perpétuer un grand pan de notre histoire nationale, marquée par des moments peu glorieux, tous en conviennent, comme ce fut le cas dans à peu près tous les grands secteurs de l'économie des 19e et 20e siècles.
1218 Bref, IDNR-TV s'est avérée être le témoin privilégié de ces régions souvent laissées pour compte, quoique bien vivantes et marquées au fer d'un développement économique, culturel et social sortant de l'ordinaire.
1219 Nous en prenons pour preuve tout le dynamisme dont font preuve actuellement les communautés du Nord du Québec et de l'Abitibi qui ont pu prendre en main leurs destinées, à la hauteur de leurs plus grandes attentes, grâce au développement des ressources naturelles, à commencer par le développement minier.
1220 Mais, avant toute chose, IDNR-TV ne s'est pas contentée d'être le miroir de cette vie régionale riche et active, mais elle s'est, avant toute chose, faite le porte-voix de ces communautés auprès de toute la population grâce à des initiatives comme Le Festival du Film minier, qui en sera, en 2013, à sa quatrième édition, les précédentes ayant été tenues à Montréal, en Abitibi et sur la Côte-Nord, à Sept-Iles en l'occurrence.
1221 Voilà la richesse et l'originalité de la contribution d'IDNR-TV, dont la programmation véhiculée par quelques câblodistributeurs régionaux suscite non seulement l'intérêt des auditoires des régions visées mais aussi l'engouement, dans bien des cas, eu égard au fait qu'elle est le miroir des préoccupations intimes de la société dont elle est un acteur privilégié.
1222 Avec le soutien des organismes régionaux de toute nature, chambres de commerce, regroupements sociaux, élus de tous les paliers, groupes de travailleurs, qui réclament à hauts cris l'accès élargi à la programmation d'IDNR-TV, la Télévision des ressources naturelles n'a d'autre prétention que de devenir une chaîne de télévision spécialisée offerte à tout le grand public, au même titre que d'autres chaînes spécialisées, soit dans le voyage et le tourisme, les émissions culinaires, les émissions de rénovation et bricolage de tout acabit qui, avec tout le respect qui leur est dû, n'ont qu'une simple mission de divertissement, cependant qu'IDNR-TV est mue par une mission d'information et de culture populaire qui peut rejoindre les besoins d'acquisition de connaissances du grand public, qui est loin d'être insensible à toute la réalité des ressources naturelles comme vecteur de développement économique, de croissance et de création de richesse collective.
1223 À cet égard, nous avons la conviction intime que l'accès généralisé à la programmation d'IDNR-TV est dorénavant un incontournable dans le paysage télévisuel québécois et canadien à l'heure des grands enjeux que pose le développement de l'industrie gazière et pétrolière, non seulement dans l'Ouest du pays mais aussi au Québec et dans les Maritimes en particulier, des grands enjeux aussi qui émergent du développement de l'industrie minière dans le Nord de l'Ontario et au Québec, avec le développement du Plan Nord, notamment. IDNR-TV est aussi un lien direct vers l'emploi et la concrétisation d'un avenir pour les nombreuses cohortes de jeunes pour qui les horizons et l'avenir en emploi semblent bouchés.
1224 Les arguments des grands distributeurs face à la pertinence de la programmation d'IDNR-TV, prétendument trop limitée ou trop ciblée, sont truffés, à notre humble avis, de prétextes fallacieux.
1225 Qu'il suffise d'observer que le développement du Canada a été en grande partie assurée depuis sa fondation par l'exploitation de ses ressources naturelles, sans lesquelles l'industrie de la construction, avec les produits de l'acier, l'industrie automobile, la sidérurgie, l'industrie manufacturière, l'industrie de l'énergie avec les métaux destinés à l'énergie photovoltaïque, l'énergie solaire, à l'éclairage urbain et combien d'autres, n'auraient pas aujourd'hui l'ampleur qu'elles ont peu prendre dans l'activité humaine.
1226 Nous pourrions discuter des heures et des jours entiers sur la raison d'être et l'impact des ressources naturelles qui interpellent tout un chacun aujourd'hui.
1227 Que l'on soit en milieu urbain, rural ou dans les régions minières éloignées, la question des ressources naturelles constitue un enjeu de société qui ne peut tolérer que sa réalité ne soit traduite que partiellement ou de manière strictement résiduelle.
1228 L'intérêt du public est bel et bien présent, et nous prenons pour preuve l'intérêt qui a été soulevé par les grandes émissions d'affaires publiques produites par la chaîne en Abitibi-Témiscamingue comme sur la Côte-Nord du Québec, qui ont soulevé non seulement l'intérêt mais aussi la mobilisation populaire.
1229 Ces débats télévisés ont fait place à l'expression d'une multiplicité de voix qui a convergé vers, sinon la compréhension des enjeux sociaux, du moins vers la recherche de consensus les plus larges possibles dans une époque charnière du développement des dites communautés.
1230 À une époque où les canaux spécialisés, dans des créneaux ethniques marginaux notamment, font l'objet d'une distribution qui prolifère, il nous apparaît évident, soit dit en toute modestie, que l'accès à la programmation d'IDNR-TV, qui traduit les valeurs canadiennes profondes, qui incite au rapprochement des réalités ethniques, qui porte une valeur ajoutée en matière d'éducation et d'information, va de soi pour des raisons tant sociologiques qu'économiques ou même politiques.
1231 Nous croyons humblement que les câblodistributeurs et fournisseurs de services ont une obligation morale d'offrir aujourd'hui ce service spécialisé à la croisée des chemins de l'intérêt collectif qui privilégie l'intercommunication entre les diverses communautés québécoises et canadiennes.
1232 L'accès à la programmation originale d'IDNR-TV est d'autant plus justifié et incontournable qu'il serait offert gratuitement aux diverses clientèles des câblodistributeurs et autres fournisseurs de services, n'ajoutant ainsi aucune charge financière supplémentaire aux abonnés.
1233 Le modèle d'affaires d'IDNR-TV en est un qui privilégie l'autofinancement de ses coûts de production et d'exploitation souple par les revenus de commandite et de la publicité, de la même manière que les grands réseaux en arrivent à produire des revenus autogénérés leur permettant d'assurer leurs activités.
1234 L'indépendance éditoriale de la chaîne constitue l'une des valeurs premières de la chaîne. Bien qu'elle tire et continuera de tirer ses revenus de tous les secteurs de l'industrie des ressources naturelles, toute activité confondue, IDNR-TV se veut un organe d'information qui est régi par les règles élémentaires de l'éthique journalistique qui ne tolère aucun compromis.
1235 L'expression de la multiplicité des voix et des opinions demeure, incidemment, la toile de fond de ses activités de production d'information, que ce soit en affaires publiques, de nouvelles ou en matière de services à la communauté. Cela fait partie intégrante de l'engagement corporatif et de la mission de la chaîne, qui est alimentés par les notions d'intégrité, d'honnêteté et de transparence.
1236 Le statut de PME de l'entreprise n'est pas un obstacle, loin de là, au principe de l'étanchéité entre les services administratifs et le service de l'information de la chaîne. C'est sur la base du respect intégral de ce principe qu'IDNR-TV s'est gagné, au fil des ans, le respect des auditoires et de tous les acteurs des communautés qu'elle dessert. Et ce principe sera d'autant plus omniprésent dans le contexte d'une distribution nationale ouverte à tous les publics.
1237 Les 42 ans de journalisme actif du chef d'antenne d'IDNR-TV, Alexandre Dumas, dont les 33 dernières années à l'antenne de la télévision de Radio-Canada, consacrent le caractère non négociable et professionnel de la démarche journalistique qui a guidé constamment sa collaboration à la chaîne comme chef d'antenne des émissions majeures depuis 2010.
1238 S'il n'en tient finalement qu'à la direction d'IDNR-TV, l'accès à une diffusion nationale demeure la pierre angulaire du développement de son offre de services aux communautés en matière d'information et d'affaires publiques. Et c'est sous le signe de la croissance que seule cette diffusion nationale peut engendrer qu'IDNR-TV pourra accroître, dans la foulée, ses services d'information uniques dans un contexte et une réalité qui échappent, faut-il le constater, aux grands médias nationaux dont l'intérêt pour les communautés qui vivent des ressources naturelles n'est malheureusement lié qu'aux seuls faits des controverses qui peuvent être engendrés par les grands enjeux que sous-tendent les dossiers majeurs qui influencent l'avenir de ces communautés.
1239 En clair, IDNR-TV entend jouer sur le plan national le rôle qui est actuellement le sien sur le plan régional, à savoir d'incarner une télévision qui ressemble en tous points à ses auditoires, une télévision dans laquelle ceux-ci se reconnaissent entièrement.
1240 Pour toutes ces raisons, nous nous en remettons à la sagesse du CRTC pour faire bon droit à la requête d'IDNR-TV, qui s'inscrit dans une perspective de bon sens et d'équité.
1242 LE PRÉSIDENT : Alors, merci pour votre présentation, mais deux petites choses.
1243 Premièrement, est-ce que vous pouvez vous identifier parce que le service de sténographes a besoin d'avoir vos noms pour pouvoir assigner les... Il faut le faire sur la transcription, s'il vous plaît. Ce n'est pas seulement par écrit.
1244 M. BARR : Moi, je suis Ivor Barr.
1245 LA SECRÉTAIRE : Pouvez-vous appuyer sur le bouton?
1246 M. BARR : O.K. Ivor Barr.
1247 M. VEZEAU: Bonjour. André Vezeau, maire de Malartic.
1248 LA SECRÉTAIRE : C'est parce que vous avez trop the micros ouverts à la fois.
1249 M. VEZEAU: O.K. André Vezeau, maire de la Ville de Malartic.
1250 M. de la PLANTE: Joseph de la Plante, consultant financier.
1251 MME ROGER : Lucie Roger. Je suis directrice-générale de la Ville de Malartic.
1252 LE PRÉSIDENT : Alors, merci et bienvenue.
1253 L'autre chose, les demandes que nous avions entre nos mains étaient toutes en anglais, et donc, nous avions présumé-- c'est pour ça que j'ai commencé en anglais tout à l'heure-- que ça se déroulerait en anglais. Je ne sais pas pourquoi, mais c'était comme ça.
1254 Donc, vous allez voir que, malheureusement, il va falloir travailler. Monsieur Simpson avait travaillé le dossier. Donc, je vous invite à mettre vos appareils d'interprétation si vous en avez besoin parce que ses questions... Mais sentez-vous entièrement à l'aise de répondre... Il y a de l'interprétation justement pour faciliter l'échange.
1255 LA SECRÉTAIRE : Et l'interprétation en anglais est au canal 1.
1256 LE PRÉSIDENT : D'accord.
1257 Donc, monsieur Simpson aura des questions pour vous.
1258 M. BARR : Excusez-moi, Monsieur le Président.
1259 LE PRÉSIDENT : Oui.
1260 M. BARR : J'ai compris que c'est comme ça qu'on doit faire. On a amené trois documents de plus et on a fait les 50 copies nécessaires, mais j'ai compris qu'on doit demander votre permission de les accepter.
1261 LE PRÉSIDENT : Ah, bon! Oui, j'ai vu qu'il y avait des... Et pour quelle raison vous voulez ajouter ces documents-là?
1262 M. BARR: En effet, ce sont quatre documents. C'est un document qui vient de Chibougamau, un document qui vient de la part de Mme Françoise Bertrand de la Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec, un document qui vient de la part de Victor Power, Ordre du Canada, l'ancien maire de Timmins, et un document qui vient de la... signé par Luc Guillaume, président de Développement économique de Sept-Iles.
1263 LE PRÉSIDENT : Et pour quelle raison vous n'étiez pas en mesure de déposer ces documents-là...
1264 M. BARR : Ils sont arrivés après qu'on a déposé la demande.
1265 LE PRÉSIDENT : D'accord. Donc, vous avez une requête pour ajouter ces documents-là. On va...
1266 M. BARR : Oui, si vous acceptez bien notre requête, parce que nous, on a fait les copies et tout ce qui a été demandé.
1267 LE PRÉSIDENT : D'accord. Vous pouvez donner vos documents à la secrétaire et...
1268 M. BARR : On les a donnés.
1269 LA SECRÉTAIRE : Je les ai déjà, Monsieur le Président.
1270 LE PRÉSIDENT : D'accord. Nous allons considérer votre demande, le panel, tous ensemble, au moment opportun.
1271 M. BARR : On vous remercie, Monsieur le Président.
1272 LE PRÉSIDENT : D'accord.
1273 Donc, Monsieur Simpson.
1274 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much.
1275 I'm sorry, I didn't get your name, sir.
1276 MR. BARR: Ivor Barr.
1277 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Fine. Merci.
1278 The first question I have, this hearing is preoccupied with determining evidence that supports the nature of the service being applicable to certain portions of the Act as they apply to mandatory carriage. So I'm going to direct a lot of my initial questions to that point.
1279 First is the position you're taking of this service being essential because of the magnitude of natural resources and how they play an effect on Canadians as a whole.
1280 Now, on your website-- I haven't seen evidence that supports the claim on the website but you had made an assertation on that, that approximately half of Canadians have a very specific interest in resource development.
1281 What percentage in the submissions you've made would you use to support your argument for all Canadians receiving the service?
1282 M. BARR: Listen, Mr. Commissioner, first of all, as far as we know, Canada was build on natural resources. Without natural resources, would there be still Canada?
1283 Secondly, we are talking about natural resources. We're not talking just all commodities or whatever. We're talking about water, hydro-energy, oil, agriculture, fishery, recreation, national parks. So these are realities that basically all Canadians live in and all Canadians are dealing with them and all Canadians are part of them.
1284 Because we realize there are very few people aware that when they go to the doctor and they have some surgery, even minor surgery, the tools that the doctor is using are coming from natural resources sectors. Everybody is drinking water but they know very little about the quality of the water.
1285 So basically IDNR-TV wants to be the voice of the resources, the voice of the communities, to make people understand what the reality is in the Far North region. We want to be the ambassadors for example of the City of Malartic in British Columbia so they will come in Abitibi to know what's going on. We want to be the ambassadors of the wilderness and the beauty of the North. We want to be the voice and the ambassadors or the relationship with the First Nations.
1286 I'm not talking here-- please allow me to make it very clear. We do not believe that the Cree program about the Crees for the Crees is not good. It might be excellent. We want to be and we're trying to be a tool of values and friendship between companies, other people and for example the Cree First Nation. I'm just saying the Crees. I can say the Innu or the Inuit and whatever.
1287 So I'm considering-- in answer to your question, I'm considering that IDNR-TV is a wide voice of natural resources, of the people, of the North.
1288 And please allow me to say what Canada is all about. We are a country of natural resources and we're talking about it. We're explaining them, we're demystifying them. We're talking at the same time about sustainability, about environmental concerns. We are not a channel that talks about business. We're allowed with our CAT 2 licence to talk 25 percent of our programming only on the business. We've never been over.
1289 There is a demand. Why I'm saying that I'm very confident on the demand? Because everybody wants us. Everybody wants the service. Even the people that don't know the service and they've heard of it, they are willing to watch it and they say, oh, it's a good idea. C'est une bonne idée parce que ça parle de nous. There's nobody that talks about us. Ça parle de nous. Ça nous met nos valeurs. Ça promeut notre qualité de vie, notre style de vie.
1290 What you can see on the other media, it's a mining catastrophe in China or in Russia or you name it. If we are talking about underground catastrophes, we are promoting the Canadian values and we have programs and shows that show Canadians that what's happening in China or in Russia or in Guatemala underground cannot happen in Canada because Canada is a leader in safety and protection.
1291 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I get your point, and not to get into a debate here, sir, but what you have provided the Commission to look at are testimonials from the mineral exploration British Columbia group, the Association of Mining Equipment-- and I am looking at your programming schedule, and it's Drilling Deep, Analysts' Hour.
1292 I didn't realize that water was traded on an exchange.
1293 Fundamentally, your submission looks very much as though it is directed toward industries that are involved in the development of natural resources, so that was the initial reason for my question.
1294 MR. BARR: I'm sorry, maybe it wasn't presented properly.
1295 Yes, we are going to talk about Drilling Deep, because other guys are talking about Licence to Drill. That is a show that we proposed in 2004, when we first applied for the licence, but it was very good for the History Channel, not for us.
1296 When we are talking about Drilling Deep, we are talking about exploration. You are going to have a job, you are going to have a future. What is going on? There is going to be a new project. It is going to be another ghost town. What the opportunities are.
1297 So it's a very generic name for wider programming, including lots of documentaries, lots of interactivities with the lifestyle of the North.
1298 We want to be the voice of the regions.
1299 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. I am going to ask you a question from another direction.
1300 You talked about values and you talked about culture. I agree with you that this is a country that was built on conquering geography and developing its resources, but, again, this is an evidenced-based hearing and what we are trying to ascertain is whether or not a program or a service that is being offered has not just general interest-- because your proposal is extremely broad.
1301 Do you have anything that this Commission has not yet seen that gives us some quantifiable information that tells us you have done your marketing homework?
1302 Because talking about culture and values-- I will put it to you this way. When it comes to natural resources, there are, my guess is, as many people who think resources shouldn't be developed as there are those who do.
1303 So how do you know that what you are doing is going to be adhering to the culture and values of all Canadians?
1304 MR. BARR: First of all, we don't want to be seen as a channel that endorses any sector of natural resources. We are talking about them and we are talking about the people. We would never say that a mining project is a good project if it's a no-brainer that it is damaging for the environment and for the future.
1305 And please allow me to say it very clearly-- and I am going to say it in French as well-- we are not 1-800 Natural Resources. We are not 1-800-- on n'est pas 1-800 Acheter les mines. Si ce n'est pas bon... Il y a des hypothèses qui disent que ce n'est pas bon, bien là, nous, on est une tribune où on discute pourquoi ce n'est pas bon. Ce n'est pas...
1306 It is not enough to be in front of a 1 minute, 14 news stories that in Malarctic it's a disaster.
1307 If you see IDNR-TV, yes, there are people that have been part of our debates that have said it's a disaster, but we have had other people who said: Where is the disaster?
1308 It means we are not trying to sell in 1:14 the big scoop to make the 6 o'clock. With our programming, we are giving airtime for the people to understand, to ask, and to respond.
1309 And, if I am allowed to continue, if it is concerning, say, the junior mining--
1310 I am talking more mining because we are broadcasting in a mining region, so we had to adapt our programming to mining because the people want to see mining. They understand them, they live in mines.
1311 Donc, ce que je voulais dire, c'est que nous, on donne la tribune de discuter en profondeur, d'échanger des idées, d'informer le monde en profondeur.
1312 Mais quand on dit une mine, une mine c'est une mine, mais il y a des jeunes, il y a de l'emploi, il y a des... Il peut y avoir des conflits culturels, par exemple, entre les premières nations qui détiennent les territoires ancestraux et le développeur qui veut s'installer là-bas.
1313 Nous, on est une tribune d'analystes. Nous, on est une tribune d'information, d'échange. On n'est pas une chaîne de... On ne veut pas jamais vous vendre the Magic Broom or the ShamWow or, you know-- we are doing information in depth.
1314 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I would also like to say, please, feel free to answer in French. The translation service is excellent, and my French is comme ci, comme ça. Please, to give full value to your answers, if you feel that French is more appropriate--
1315 MR. BARR: Sometimes.
1316 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You had mentioned, Mr. de la Plante, that the intent of the programming service is to provide balance-- and if I am paraphrasing here, forgive me-- and that the idea is to not just play programming that is pre-produced that may be of a vested interest, but to also moderate the conversation, if you like.
1317 Is that a correct description of what you said?
1318 MR. de la PLANTE: The message I read at the beginning was from our lead anchor, Alexandre Dumas. Maybe I will defer to him on that question.
1319 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Perhaps I will ask a supplemental, because I think that I was just trying to clarify. Where I am going with this is, if you are not a mouthpiece for a particular industry with a particular vested interest, apropos the mining industry, or oil exploration, would it be in your Nature of Service, then, to consider programs of alternate views?
1320 If the David Suzuki Foundation came to you with a one-hour program on why it is important to conserve water, would you consider airing it?
1321 MR. BARR: Oh, yes, absolutely. We have never, in all of the-- for example, what we did in Abitibi. In all of the debates that we had-- and we had lots of debates-- we had about 20 people on the panel talking about sustainability, the future, new projects.
1322 We always, always had invited what are called the citizen groups. We never, ever--
1323 IDNR-TV, ce n'est pas une télévision tribale. Ce n'est pas une télévision de l'industrie. C'est une télévision du peuple. Mais au lieu de rénovations de maison, on parle de quelque chose qu'il n'y a personne d'autre qui parle en profondeur.
1324 Besides that, as I said, 1:14, a scoop that everybody wants to have 6 o'clock.
1325 So we have no-- on n'a pas de préjugés. Il n'y a aucun débat sur IDNR-TV qui a été fait sans avoir des invités de tous-- from all sides, from the municipal side, from the political side, from the industry side, from the opponent side.
1326 Even today, one of the most active fighters, let's say, for environmental rights, Marc Fafard-- he was supposed to be here, but he couldn't make it from Sept-Iles because yesterday was La Journée de la Terre and he was there. But Marc Fafard, he was on the list to be here. Why does one of the most, in a respectful way, aggressive fighters for environmental concerns want IDNR-TV? Because he knows that if he has a point of view, or whatever, he will be part of the programs.
1327 We are not an infomercial channel. We are trying to do what nobody else has done. As far as I know, we might be kind of unique in the world, as far as I know.
1328 Also, to answer in a different way the question, we have proven, small as we are, that we are delivering. We have made our proof that we are decent broadcasters. That's why the people are asking for the service. Why do you think that Françoise Bertrand or Vic Power from Timmins say, "I would love to have this service"?
1329 We are so small and, regardless, they want us because we are unique, and the people in the regions are saying: We recognize ourselves in this programming, because it talks about us.
1330 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But, sir, the individuals who have come forward supporting your service, in my estimation, are not representing the viability of an audience for your service, but those individuals are recognizing the importance of the development of natural resources.
1331 Madame Bertrand, I think, is indicating that there is a need for better consumer understanding of the value of natural resources.
1332 But how do you come down on both sides of the natural resource question without offending one group or another? You are going to be advertising support.
1333 So if you are as much, editorially, a dissenter of development, how does that help your business plan?
1334 MR. BARR: Until today, there has been no mining company that has put any dollars in a programming sponsorship that conditioned us to do something, that said: This is the money we are paying. We want to have our sponsorship valued, end of story.
1335 There is only one company-- and I won't name it here-- that said: I will buy advertising with you, but...
1336 We received the cheque; we sent it back.
1337 IDNR-TV is a business. We can sell our talent, we can sell our hearts, we can sell our determination. We sell everything that is legal to be sold in the broadcasting business. We are not selling our souls.
1338 We have no right to sell ourselves and to come on the TV, no matter how big or small is the cable that carries us, and lie to the people.
1339 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: The service that you are providing right now I haven't been able to see because you are not streaming it.
1340 MR. BARR: I know, that's why I'm here.
1341 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
1342 The question I have is on programming, and particularly language programming.
1343 Your application is saying that you are prepared to commit to broadcasting in both official languages--
1344 MR. BARR: Absolutely.
1345 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- 70 percent, if I recall, English; 30 percent, approximately, en français.
1346 Is that correct?
1347 MR. BARR: It depends very much on the market. Right now we are in Abitibi, and we are still having programming in English, regardless that we have mostly French clientele.
1348 There are lots of workers in Abitibi who are coming not only for mining projects, but construction-- whatever-- hydro-- that are coming, for example, from the States, and we want them to watch us, so we have programming in English.
1349 Obviously, if we are going to national or, let's say, regional-- because our aim is the regions-- we want to be the voice of the North. That's what we have planned and are intending to be, not the promoter of the mining industry or oil and gas or whatever.
1350 If they don't like our programming, nice, I don't need your money.
1351 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But, sir, right now, you're broadcasting in French and English?
1352 MR. BARR: Yes.
1353 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: In Northern Quebec?
1354 MR. BARR: Yes.
1355 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. You say that up to 25 percent of your content will be directed towards stories that deal with aboriginal issues. Is that correct?
1356 MR. BARR: According to the licence that we have right now, it was imposed by the CRTC not to have more than 25 percent of the programming dedicated to the First Nations and not more than 25 percent dedicated to financial matters.
1357 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: If you wish to be the voice of the north, are you or will you be doing any broadcasting in aboriginal languages that talk to these people directly, these aboriginal people?
1358 MR. BARR: In the films that we are producing and the big amount of documentaries that we are producing in the north, especially in the James Bay area, the Crees are speaking in Cree and we sub-title them.
1359 Sometimes, for example when we had the Film Festival in Montreal, we invited a mayor from a community from Nunavut called Baker Lake and he was in front of the crowd, the cinema was packed in Montreal, and he started to talk.
1360 And at a certain moment he said: "I am getting very emotional, I have to speak in Inuktitut". We had been ready, we had somebody that we knew, that if David Aksawnee cannot speak in English and he is going to get emotional, we knew the guy, we filmed him, to have somebody ready on the spot to translate.
1361 So, obviously, we want to be French and English, we want to be-- to give to the First Nations the opportunity to speak in their own language and this is part of the documents of Canada as far as I know.
1362 So, we won't impose them speak French or speak English. If you want to speak in Cree, speak in Cree and that's up to you.
1363 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: What percentage of your programming will be live versus pre-recorded?
1364 MR. BARR: We are aiming in-- if everything goes well, to start, let's say, with a half an hour daily news program that might be extended with some analysis after the program, based on the realities of the day, what happened. It can be economic, it can be social, it can be environmental, whatever you know the news are and what the need is for the people to be informed.
1365 And then, I don't know, maybe we're going to go, if everything goes well, maybe we are going to be able to be-- maybe three or four to be made a two-hours live.
1366 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Um-hm.
1367 MR. BARR: But I don't want IDNR to be a talking head television. This is not one of the-- we want to inform. We are going to use the talking head format, you know, to inform. But I think that the picture is worth a thousand words and with our fantastic facility and connection that we have to go on the north, the way that we are so close, in very strong relationship with the First Nations, especially in Nunavut and in the James Bay, we prefer to film there.
1368 That's a way better contribution to show how we mean it looks like to day than to say to have somebody understood and say: «Oui, mais c'était beau aujourd'hui; ce n'était pas... maintenant ce n'est pas comme c'était, maintenant c'est beau.»
1369 We have the facility and the capacity more than are the networks, to go on the North whenever we want, to film whatever we want and to have all the support from the natives. Half of our filming crews, well we can survive in Cree. We don't speak Cree, but we can survive.
1370 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Sir, in your initial submission, you had an estimate of programming expenditures and-- but I can't recall what they are and I don't wish to even pull the numbers out because I am not sure which is confidential and which is not, but you had a set of numbers that we were provided with for an initial estimate on production.
1371 And then, when we asked you for some more information with respect to deficiencies, the amount of money that you've submitted with that response nearly doubled your production expenditures. Why?
1372 MR. BARR: Joseph? He made the business run his.
1373 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So, you know the section I am referring to?
1374 MR. De La PLANTE: I am not aware of the second number. I can tell you about the business plan, what was in it.
1375 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But I am focusing on the expenditures. The expenditures in that, Mr. De La Plante?
1376 MR. McCALLUM: No. I think for help, it might help that it's in Appendix A to the August 9 letter.
1377 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay, which will be part of the record. Okay. So, the amount of money that was initially prescribed as it is going to work programming was arranged in first year at $800,000.00 going up to about 1.4 or 1.3 million.
1378 And when you came back to us, that was revised straight to well over a million dollars and going up to 1.4 million dollars and I am wondering what a change of heart you had and why, with respect to expenditures?
1379 MR. De La PLANTE: I think it was simply to reflect, I think, you know, as this business plan has evolved and as we've discussed with the various parties in the industry who may have an interest in it and as we gauged the interest, the plan we originally had, suddenly it seemed like it was too small, we could go bigger, so that would reflect that change.
1380 I mean, the model we are working of today is in that order. I think it's over two million in costs in any given year, you know.
1381 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I'm trying to get a lot of questions and we are running up the clock folks. We asked you for two scenarios. One was in a prevail scenario another was a denial scenario and in the denial scenario, the bottom seemed to pull out of the revenue numbers. What is happening there?
1382 Is this causing me to make an assumption that the service presently is not viable or is there something that happens if we deny this application that is different?
1383 MR. De La PLANTE: I think and, Ivor, you may correct me if I'm wrong, but in the denial scenario it assumed coverage that was much less expensive and based on sponsorships, a sponsorship level and advertising level that is much lower.
1384 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So your costs would be higher because of increased service, if we deny you, you are not getting it any more than you have now.
1385 MR. De La PLANTE: I mean the costs would be scalable in a sense to, you know, the coverage that we are getting.
1386 MR. BARR: May I rephrase with your permission in a different way? If we get your decision to give us a chance, it will--
1387 Ça va nous permettre d'approcher toute une palette de compagnies de toutes les industries liées aux ressources naturelles ou communautés qui sont intéressées de s'impliquer ou d'investir ou de commanditer la chaîne.
1388 Ça va nous donner une plus grande indépendance éditoriale parce que maintenant on est en Abitibi. Donc, en Abitibi la plupart du monde, c'est lié à l'industrie de l'or. Si le prix de l'or tombe, IDNR doit mettre tout de suite les perfusions pour vivre parce que les commandites ne sont pas là.
1389 Donc, le fait qu'on peut aller dans toute la palette des industries de ressources pour trouver nos commanditaires ça va nous donner d'abord une plus grande indépendance à tous les niveaux, une meilleure qualité de programmation et on ne se posera pas tout le temps la question si on survit ou on ne survit pas. On ne doit pas agoniser.
1390 Moi, je ne sais pas comment vous expliquer. Nous, depuis qu'on existe, on a eu qu'un seul problème.
1391 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: May I try and help?
1392 MR. BARR: I'm sorry.
1393 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Are you assuming that there may be a decision of a partial coverage, that our decision isn't black or white or binary that we either say--
1394 MR. BARR: Everything. Everything that it's more than we have today is going to be a very good decision for us and, please, allow me to say I had it in my heart for a long time since I heard the demand to 1H will happen.
1395 In the way that the BDU system is made, we are independents, we know what BDU stands for. We are very much afraid that the "U" will stand for "undertakers". We are very much afraid of that.
1396 Everybody-- tout le monde, tout le monde a dit qu'on est bon, tout le monde a dit qu'on fait bien ce qu'on fait. Tout le monde est d'accord avec nous. Les seuls qui ne sont pas d'accord avec nous et qui disent que ce n'est pas bon, ce sont les câblots.
1397 Mais, par contre, ils sont venus dans nos assiettes de piger des idées d'émissions. IDNR c'est pas bon, mais là, ils sont situés dans Discovery, c'est bon. Yukon Gold on History Channel, c'est bon.
1398 Ça, c'est tous des sujets d'émissions qu'on a mis publiquement en 2003 quand on a demandé la première fois la licence. Donc, on a été une source d'inspiration. Je ne peux pas assumer que c'est vrai, mais je dis qu'on était une source d'inspiration. Donc, ça, c'est déjà flatteur.
1399 Maintenant, moi, ce que j'essaie de vous dire c'est que si on regarde les sites Internet des câblots tout ça commence avec with a Soap Opera. One day, in the basement of a church, he started to build a small company.
1400 Et ils ont fait un système où est-ce qu'il y en a plus de success story.
1401 Donc, nous, on est venu devant vous et monsieur Vézeau, j'espère qu'il va témoigner aussi, on est venu devant vous pour vous dire, on est les promoteurs des valeurs canadiennes, on est les promoteurs des grands espaces canadiens, on est les promoteurs de What is Canada all about. That's why our slogan, our corporate slogan "It's Canadian to the core" I think that says it all.
1402 In the way that it's happening today without your help, even regional, we are going to be more than happy. We are going to be more than happy, we are going to jump of joy and you are going to be very happy to give us this chance, to be even regional. We can make it, we can be good. Why we are good to everybody-- and then I'm going to shut up --
1403 Why we are good to everybody, but BDUs?
1404 There are five guys that we are very bad, but they aren't going to tell us that I need you guys to produce me a lot of content because I want to conquer the north coast of Quebec.
1405 Il faut que tu parles du contenu, vous avez des contacts, vous êtes forts là-bas, bien donne-moi ma position sur la table. Non, fais-moi 26 émissions à 30 minutes et je ne te paierai pas et, après ça, on verra.
1406 Donc, nous, on est venu devant vous pour vous en supplier. Je pense que dans le système qui est fait maintenant, c'est sûr que les chaînes sont bonnes, elles sont entre eux. We call it the "private club", nous les indépendants.
1407 Donc, s'il vous plaît, aidez-nous de ne pas épeler le «U» de BDU as in "undertakers".
1408 We need your help in order to survive and we have something to give to Canadians in exchange and we are for free.
1409 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But, sir, the Commission is not in the business of dispensing help. We dispense decisions and the decisions have to be based on information that comes to us that we can render and form decision on. And you have not given us any research, any detail or documentation as to-- that there is a consumer want or need out there.
1410 You've provided some industry support, but all pretty much from the resource exploration or development business or communities that benefit from that activity, but we haven't anything that gives us--
1411 The only thing you have given us is an appeal that if we give you a licence for mandatory carriage, that it will improve your business plan because your plan is essentially saying it won't work unless you have coverage because you can't sell advertising without audience, but you have done nothing to tell us what that audience might be.
1412 MR. BARR: I would say, yes, in a way you have a point. Secondly, we were on table to put that money to go into, I don't know.
1413 On n'avait pas l'argent de mettre dans des sondages et le sondage c'est arbitraire. Si je prends un sondage sur 2 000 personnes à Val d'Or, vous aurez 1 999 qui vont dire qu'on est bon. Le fou du coin qui est saoul raide, il ne dira pas qu'on est bon, mais ça va rester 1 999 qui vont dire qu'on est bon.
1414 Donc, moi, j'aurais pu venir-- it was very easy for me to come in front of you and say, listen, I have 2,000 people in Northeast Quebec, 2,000 people in Northwest Quebec, 2,000 people in the Southeast Quebec, they all want us.
1415 It wasn't as fair as we are here and they came about 1 000 straight from up north, why? Because they like me, ask them. But there would be days I can bring you by the 2nd of May 2,000 guys from Val d'Or that require the service. It is going to be-- ça va être honnête, ça va être un bon sondage de population, mais quand la mairesse de Chibougamau dans le document que vous avez accepté... que vous avez accepté et je vous remercie en plus, monsieur le président, quand elle dit... elle dit que ça n'a pas d'allure de se faire considérer le monde du nord du Québec, des citoyens de classe B et de faire priver IDNR qui avait... ça, ce n'est pas un bon sondage?
1416 Moi, je ne vote pas à Chibougamau, je n'ai pas le droit de voter ni à Malartic ni à Chibougamau, mais moi je pense... je sais que les élus ont le droit de contester parce que ce sont des élus et tout ça, mais si on ne fait pas confiance aux élus et si on ne s'en va pas dans les municipalités de parler avec les élus, on parle avec qui, vous comprenez?
1417 Donc, moi, je pense et avec ça j'ai fini ma phrase, je vous remercie, je pense que sans venir avec des sondages artificiels préfabriqués avec des beaux beaux beaux letter-heads from Detchimawa, I don't what's that the big and trustful guys, we are more honest to tell you that we are planning to be the voice of natural resources, of the people, the voice of the north and we are unique and we are for free. On that for now.
1418 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: May I?
1419 MR. BARR: Yes, please.
1420 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Just two more questions, Mr. Chairman, and I'm done.
1421 Have you-- obviously you're getting some distribution now-- have you had ongoing discussion with any other BDUs, other than the one, other than the services you are currently on and if you have had conversations, what have they told you?
1422 MR. BARR: First of all, for-- I have to measure my words now-- les indépendants dans ma ligue ne passent pas à la cafétéria. Si on est accepté dans la bâtisse, c'est déjà bon.
1423 La prochaine étape c'est, on n'a pas de bande passante. Bien, s'ils n'ont pas de bande passante, bien qu'ils laissent les autres câblots, peut-être qu'ils vont avoir plus de bande passante.
1424 La troisième phrase très aimable c'est: "Don't call us we're going to call you."
1425 Ou plan B, ils commencent à fabuler à propos du service, sur des scénarios de science fiction. They don't know, they never saw it, they don't know what it's all about. Ah! natural resources, this is not good.
1426 Donc, pour répondre à votre question, un indépendant de ma ligue à moi, quand on était accepté chez Bell dans la cafétéria, ça a été un grand succès. La bouffe n'est pas bonne, là, je sympathise avec les employés, mais au moins on était là-bas.
1427 Après, ils nous ont dit: "C'est qui en arrière de toi? Tu es indépendant, comment tu vas faire?" Je suis retourné voir des amis qui sont de Bay Street, ils sont revenus chez Bell, ils ont dit: «Nous, on est en arrière de ça, c'est la plus grosse industrie au Canada, le secteur des ressources naturelles qui n'a pas une chaîne.» Il y en a des chaînes de spaghetti, de BBQ, il y en a des chaînes de rénovations, il y en a de n'importe quoi.
1428 Le Canada est bâti sur des ressources naturelles, la seule industrie qu'il n'y a pas, une chaîne qui représente les ressources naturelles, avec les pour et les contre, c'est la seule industrie, okay.
1429 Donc, si on arrive à la cafétéria, c'est beaucoup et après, ça: "Don't call us, we're going to call you".
1430 Mais en partant ce n'est pas bon et la preuve c'est, excusez-moi, je vous laisse parler après, la preuve c'est que tous les applicants qui sont dans notre situation aujourd'hui, pour eux ils ne sont pas bons. Il y en a, tout est pourri, sauf leurs chaînes. Bien, là, on est tous pourris, monsieur le conseiller.
1431 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Just a couple of housekeeping questions. In your conversations with them, at any time did they indicate to you that there is a cost to distributing your signal even if they are getting it at no charge?
1432 MR. BARR: Yes, at a certain point of time Rogers came with a very tender offer to me for about, I don't know, half a million a year or something.
1433 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And what was the basis of those costs?
1434 MR. BARR: I beg your pardon?
1435 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: What did they claim were the basis or bases for those costs?
1436 MR. BARR: I am private. They are not giving a cost to nobody. It's my company, I have been mandated by Mr.-- at the time it was Mr. Rogers, by Mr. Rogers to deal with the channels, give me the money you are in.
1437 Mais disons qu'on aurait pu ramasser cet argent-là, mais est-ce que vous trouvez que ça a du bon sens de payer un demi-million à une compagnie multimillionnaire en partant, de l'argent qui peut aller dans la programmation?
1438 Est-ce que c'est vraiment vous serez fier, even with a Category B licence, you would be proud to know that somebody makes Rogers or whatever-- I don't want to give any particular names-- richer than they are, instead of putting the money that he has into programming for Canadians?
1439 Yes, some of them said half a million dollars, some of them said everything was up close to half a million dollar because-- because everybody said that they are dealing with gold producer that are digging gold for me. They are totally retarded; sorry. I filmed pouring gold, tons of gold, nobody gave me a brick.
1440 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So, there were no technical reasons given to you. They were all just a figure with no explanation of what those costs might be?
1441 MR. BARR: No explanation. It's a very polite form of being shown at the door.
1442 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
1443 MR. BARR: I am just trying to be--
1444 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: No. That's fine.
1445 MR. BARR: We are on TV, sir.
1446 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Don't I know it, it always ads ten pounds to me.
1447 The last question I have is in the area of closed captioning. You are currently not closed captioning your programming service and this is a deficiency that is a concern to the Commission.
1448 You did say, however, that you would close caption your programming service if you were given an approval. Is that correct?
1449 MR. BARR: Absolutely. Absolutely. It will be normal to do so.
1450 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Is there any expectation we can have that you will correct the present deficiency of no closed captioning or is there no money for that?
1451 MR. BARR: No, no. We have money. It's planned. We are not closed captioning right now because we are talking about any independence. So, today we are poor because we have such a narrow segment.
1452 S'il vous plaît, comprenez, on est une Catégorie B. Nous, on n'a pas le droit de faire de la publicité locale. On ne peut pas faire ça. Donc, nous, on doit se fier aux multinationales, on doit se fier à McDonald's ou à Burger King qui ne veulent jamais annoncer avec nous parce qu'on est trop petits, c'est normal.
1453 Donc, le closed captioning, it's a matter of integrity. We are poor but we are straight and we are proud of what we are. If I go to a company and I say, give me half a million dollar or a million dollar to do closed captioning and the guy is going to say: yes, but you have to do that story to show that I am good, what am I going to do?
1454 So, I prefer to come in front of you and say we barely survive because we have
1455 to-- The easiest way in our business is to lose the credibility and we-- everybody in IDNR-TV and I hope that Mr. Mayor will say something, we are working with the head held high, where nobody said we are at the mercy of X or Y.
1456 So, there is a price. There is a price to be independent, there is a price to be straight. We are paying it big time.
1457 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Is this the reason why you're saying that if we give you a five-year term, at the end of five years, you won't need an extension of that mandatory carriage? You had said somewhere that because the BDUs will want you to be a continued service without our need to rule on that.
1458 Is that because of the half million dollars or is there something else that you are going to share with them?
1459 MR. BARR: It's the quality of the programming, it's what we are proposing, it is the feedback that we have for the people that are watching us or the people that are talking to other people that are watching.
1460 But I will phrase it differently. If you give us the chance, if you give us an opportunity, in five years from now, you are going to come to us to make sure that we are on the air. We are going to be so good and we are going to fulfil all, everything that's in the Broadcasting Act.
1461 I am not saying to be more catholic than the Pope, but we are going to be more respectful to the Act or as respect to the guy who is the President of the CRTC.
1462 We have the tools, we have everything in place to be a good broadcaster, a promoter of the Canadian values and so on. But if you allow me, Mr. Vézeau, he represents the voters, the Poll agency that is here. I didn't have--
1463 Je n'avais pas de sondage, j'ai amené le peuple.
1464 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: On that I note, Mr. Chair, I am done. Thank you.
1465 LE PRÉSIDENT : Voulez-vous ajouter quelque chose sur le...
1466 M. VÉZEAU: Ce serait redondant beaucoup parce que c'est pas mal ce que j'aurais à dire qui a été dit.
1467 LE PRÉSIDENT : D'accord. Merci. J'avais une seule question avant... puis on va prendre une petite pause avant les prochains... la prochaine présentation.
1468 Je remarque que dans les demandes, nous en avons qui viennent de sociétés sans but lucratif et d'autres de sociétés à but lucratif. La vôtre, si je comprends bien, vous êtes une... le demandeur ici c'est une société à but lucratif, bien que vos annuités... peut-être jusqu'à maintenant vous n'avez pas nécessairement eu des profits.
1469 Mais à votre avis, devrions-nous faire une distinction lorsque nous allons considérer ces demandes-là entre les sociétés à but lucratif et les sociétés sans but lucratif?
1470 M. BARR: Bien, vous me posez la question à moi?
1471 LE PRÉSIDENT : Oui.
1472 M. BARR: Bien, écoutez, quand je serai un conseiller j'aurai l'habitude de le dire. Maintenant, qu'est-ce que je dis ici c'est que... mais je vais vous répondre différemment, si vous me permettez.
1473 Vous prenez les décisions que vous voulez, on le sait. Mais tous indépendants on n'est pas bons et tous les autres sont bons. Donc, peut-être parce qu'on n'est pas bons, est-ce que vous serez vous bons de nous donner une chance de montrer que l'on est pas bon, parce que si on n'est pas bon, tout le monde de Bell ou de COGECO ils vont sauter de joie de dire: On vous a dit, on vous a dit, monsieur le conseiller, monsieur le président, ça ce n'est pas bon.
1474 Nous, qu'est-ce qu'on veut, vous pouvez la phraser comme vous voulez, on n'a pas... On a tout essuyé, la quantité d'humiliations et de dégradation humaine qu'on a été... qu'on a subi devant les câblots, c'est vraiment à la limite de la honte.
1475 Je pense que... je pense que les-- comment dirais-je-- les criminels à Bordeaux sont mieux traités que la façon que nous on a été traités. Je ne sais pas les autres, mais ça a l'air que tout le monde dans ma ligue on a vécu la même expérience.
1476 Donc, nous, on est venu devant vous pour vous dire: donnez-nous une chance, ce n'est pas de... nous, on ne veut pas... on ne veut pas d'argent et, de plus, c'est ça que je voulais vous dire, la palette des gens qui sont prêts d'annoncer et d'investir avec nous ne sont même pas dans la même palette des gens qui paient de la publicité pour les autres chaînes. Donc, on ne dérange personne.
1477 Le secteur des ressources naturelles annonce à peine sur les autres médias, donc, nous, on ne dérange personne. On ne s'en va pas de piger, disons, dans l'assiette publicitaire de McDonald's, donc on ne dérange personne.
1478 On est gratuit, on ne dérange pas le marché publicitaire des autres. On fait la diversité des voix. Donc, nous, on est venu ici de... oui, de mendier une chance.
1479 On a besoin... on n'a plus de sous-sol d'église pour bâtir une compagnie, mais même si on la perd on va rester au sous-sol. Donc, on ne peut pas sortir. On ne peut pas, on ne peut pas, il n'y en a pas et...
1480 And I just don't want to get back on the humiliation of the discussion with the BDUs. It's humiliating. Everything is up to the limit of the-- if you translate this verbally, it's physical abuse. If you translate all this to deal with them in--
1481 At Shaw, at Shaw, they didn't allow me to go to the cafeteria. I said I want to present-- we came the three of us with presentations with whatever to try to explain to them that, hey! guys you are in Calgary. What our bet is all about. We are a network about natural resources.
1482 Only one of us had been allowed to go to the bathroom, which is--
1483 LE PRÉSIDENT : Je pense qu'on a bien compris votre position. Je veux dire, on est...
1484 M. BARR: Bien là j'ai vidé mon coeur.
1485 LE PRÉSIDENT : Je comprends, mais je voulais vous entendre sur cette question-là puis, là, on s'étend sur d'autres sujets.
1486 Donc, merci bien. On n'a pas d'autre question pour vous. On va suspendre jusqu'à 3h00 et on continuera avec la présentation de Sun TV. Merci bien, mesdames et messieurs.
--- Upon recessing at 1452
--- Upon resuming at 1500
1487 LE PRÉSIDENT : À l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.
1488 Donc, comme est l'habitude, on vous demanderait de vous identifier et de faire votre présentation. Vous avez 15 minutes.
1489 Please go ahead.
1490 MR. SASSEVILLE: Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice-Chairman, Commissioners, my name is J. Serge Sasseville and I am Senior Vice President, Corporate and Institutional Affairs, of Quebecor Media.
1491 Please allow me to introduce my colleagues who have joined me today:
1492 - On my left is Julie Tremblay, Chief Operating Officer of Sun Media Corporation;
1493 - Next to her is Luc Lavoie, Responsible, Development, Sun News;
1494 - Next, on my right, is Kory Teneycke, Vice President, Sun News;
1495 - And on his right is Hugues Simard, Vice President, Finance, Sun Media Corporation.
1496 We are thankful for the opportunity provided by the Commission to present our application today in response to the Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2013-19, whereby the Commission invited interested parties to file applications for mandatory distribution orders on cable and satellite distribution systems pursuant to section 9(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act.
1497 Hence, as we have been offered this opportunity by the Commission, we are here today to present our application. We strongly believe that Sun News meets and exceeds all the criteria laid forth in the Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-629.
1498 But the five of us presenting here today are not just representing the corporate leadership of Sun News. We are here speaking on behalf of nearly 60,000 Canadians who wrote, emailed and signed intervention supporting the need to put Canadian TV first. We recognize that the volume of correspondence generated by our application was extraordinary and we deeply appreciate the time you've taken to ensure Canadians are heard and included in this process.
1499 We're here today making the case for Sun News because Canadian television matters, because Canadian news matters and because we believe that Canadian TV should come first.
1500 We have a video presentation we'd like to play for you today. The video will present our arguments in order to provide evidence demonstrating the exceptional importance of Sun News to the achievement of the objectives of the Broadcasting Act.
1501 As required by the Commission, we will demonstrate that having mandatory carriage on the basic service will enable Sun News to contribute, in meaningful and exceptional ways, to fulfilling the policy objectives of the Act.
--- Video presentation
1502 MR. SASSEVILLE: Before we take your questions , Mr. Lavoie will make some brief closing remarks.
1503 MR. LAVOIE: Thank you, Serge.
1504 As you have just seen, Sun News Network clearly contributes-- if you don't mind, I'll put on my glasses. I tried without it but it doesn't work anymore.
1505 Sun News Network clearly-- we all have our pride-- contributes in an exceptional way to the achievement of the objectives laid forth in the Broadcasting Act.
1506 We're here because Sun News has not been getting a fair shake.
1507 From stratospheric channel placement to limited market access, Canada's cable and satellite distributors have taken the choice to watch Canadian programming away from consumers.
1508 Over the years there have been a lot of hearings, rulings and regulations regarding Canadian content.
1509 And to be frank, a lot of channels and distributors play games with these rules, as if broadcasting Canadian content is some sort of burden.
1510 It's no burden to Sun News. When it comes to Canadian content, we're the real deal. Despite our distribution challenges, our network has shown the early signs of tapping into a major market that exists for real, first-run Canadian cable news programming.
1511 With less than half the access, our nine p.m. show, Byline with Brian Lilley, has consistently attracted more viewers than CTV News Channel does at the same time, in the heart of primetime. This is our top-rated program and it's one we create. Unlike our competitors, we're not faking it.
1512 The top-rated programs on CBC News Network are The National with Peter Mansbridge, The Nature of Things and the Fifth Estate main network programming. The same goes for CTV News Channel with their national newscast and Canada AM.
1513 In fact, the CBC runs 47 hours a week of main network programming on CBC News Channel. This clearly represents a majority of their ratings performance.
1514 In 2013, Sun News is averaging about 14,000 viewers a night in primetime. CTV, 28,000. One of these channels has 40 percent market access, the other almost 100. Distribution is a key ingredient to ratings success. It's not hard to imagine what those numbers could look like under a fair distribution system.
1515 Canadian cable news audiences are far lower than they should be. On any given night, tens of thousands more people in this country are watching American cable news than Canadian. Let's fix that.
1516 There's clear potential for Sun News to grow and prosper, and with it Canadian content.
1517 We're not asking for a permanent solution. We're asking you for a five year 9(1)(h) order to put the choice back into the hands of consumers. Let them watch and decide if Sun News is right for them. But in the process, let's put Canadian TV first.
1518 Again, thank you and we're happy to take any questions you may have.
1519 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you very much for that presentation. It's the longest presentation I've seen in a video but that's okay. It's your decision to do that.
1520 Certainly, it's helped our ratings as an institution. We, as I mentioned, have a lot of interest for this particular application and perhaps because of that-- and I'm not going to ask you to comment on that, but I did want to say so people that are following our hearings understand what we're discussing here.
1521 First of all, you already have a licence. So as a result, the vast majority of my questions will be about your distribution status.
1522 And, second, there are lots of comments on the record both favourable and unfavourable that make linkages with your editorial voice. I just wanted to make it clear. I know you understand that, but others following this hearing may not that under the Broadcasting Act, of course, we exercise our jurisdiction in a manner that's consistent with the principles of freedom of expression. The Act requires us to do that.
1523 So although we're not agnostic entirely in terms of content, we definitely favour Canadian content, we're agnostic in terms of opinions.
1524 Now, as for content that may or may not have been consistent with sort of the frameworks in place in terms of standards and codes as some have alleged, that's best dealt with on an ex post-facto basis during either licence renewals or through the appropriate broadcast standards processes.
1525 So I'm not asking you to comment on that. You may if you wish, but I just wanted to explain to people who are watching this and following this exactly where we're at.
1526 My first question deals with-- in your application you have research dated May 15, 2012 that was conducted by Abacus Data. I read it carefully and it certainly does appear to support your view that Canadians are seeking a diversity of news perspectives, news and public affairs programming.
1527 But I was struck, however, that the individual survey didn't seem to have been asked. And maybe they were asking, and that's the nature of the question I'm going to ask-- they haven't been asked about what you're proposing specifically in terms of the 18 cents per month for a service that would be added to basic. Therefore, if you're a basic subscriber you would be required to pay this amount.
1528 That didn't seem, on my reading of the report, to have been a question that was asked. I was wondering why not if that's indeed the case.
1529 MR. TENEYCKE: I think you'll find in one of the surveys that we conducted for a response to interveners, we do in fact ask that question. Along with that associated with a number of other questions around mandatory carriage fees for other channels.
1530 And I think what's interesting about the results of that-- I can give you the reference number if you like. I believe it's on page 15 of our response to interveners.
1531 I think what's interesting is that-- and we've done some focus group research around this-- Canadians by and large do not have any idea how their cable bill comes together and what they're paying for and what they aren't.
1532 You'll get contradictory answers based on different questions that you'll ask. But basically people don't like the concept of bundling. That's one thing that I think you see associated with this. But that is the situation of how the market operates today.
1533 So I'd say you don't get good polling on it in part, Mr. Chairman, because there isn't a great or a broad understanding of how that system works amongst Canadians.
1534 But the answer to the question in terms of the poll is actually--
1535 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, but look, even today a lot of your presentation is based on that original study. Your supplementary brief is entirely shaped around it and you're out in the marketplace doing that survey. Why not ask the question?
1536 Would you-- if you fundamentally believe that people want this service, especially those, you could have asked, you know, do you get access to Sun News right now? Would you be ready to pay an extra 18 cents per month for it?
1537 That question wasn't asked. I was wondering why it wasn't. Surely the incremental cost of asking that direct question would have been small.
1538 MR. TENEYCKE: Well, I think the answer is that we did ask the questions on page 15 of our response to interveners.
1539 THE CHAIRPERSON: But that's very far down the process.
1540 MR. TENEYCKE: I'm not sure what else you're looking for in terms of a response, Mr. Chairman.
1541 The answer is that Canadians, I think, are not fully aware of how their cable bill comes together. But when you ask more broad-based questions associated to what kind of content they're looking for and whether they think Canadian content, which is really the objective of the Broadcasting Act, should be carried on a mandatory basis, they have a very clear and unequivocal opinion about that and the answer is "yes".
1542 And if you ask them whether different news channels that are Canadian should be given the same type of licence and the same sort of universal market access they have a very clear answer to that. The answer is "yes".
1543 Yeah, I think everyone would like to pay a lower cable bill. I'm sure there are billions of Canadians that would prefer not to give a billion dollars a year to the CBC. But that's not the type of system that we live in. We have to operate in the market as it exists today.
1544 The market as it exists today involves bundling whether Canadians like that or not and those are the rules of the game. We have to operate in the market as it exists and under the rules that exist, not under some hypothetical scenario that does not actually exist.
1545 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm going to come back to that. I wrote down what you just said because I think it's relevant to some further questions that I'm going to ask later on.
1546 It's strange because when I was looking at the conclusion you were saying that people are ready to pay more. I'll agree with you that when I read the study it seemed-- and I want your comments on that-- it seemed to suggest that people did want to have the opportunity to choose it.
1547 For instance, on figure three in the Abacus report it does suggest that Canadians find the system, the cable, satellite and television distribution system is uncompetitive where a few companies can limit choice and charge high prices to consumers.
1548 And the reason I was asking the original question about the 18 cents, it's one thing to say you want access and you want choice. But if it comes at a price, one really should ask that question because certainly we hear it a great deal from Canadian subscribers that they are concerned about the price of cable distribution and satellite distribution services.
1549 In fact, if you look at our monitoring report which we put out annually, the cost of basic services is outpacing the cost of the consumer-- of inflation in consumer indexes. So proportionally it's actually growing.
1550 So one can't completely ignore the cost of this.
1551 And I put it to you that the Abacus report doesn't actually suggest Canadians are willing to pay for your service. They may want to choose-- ability to choose for it and that means the distributors have to offer it, I get that, but I think it's a bit of a leap to suggest they are willing to pay as part of the basic an increase of $.18 a month.
1552 MR. TENEYCKE: Well, Mr. Chairman, I think it's important to look at how in the real world getting Sun News in a non-9(1)(h) environment would work with most cable producers or providers.
1553 BDU's would offer it and are offering it in upper tier packages so the incremental cost to someone to get Sun News is many times what we are talking about under a 9(1)(h) scenario.
1554 So you are looking at the little north of $2.00 a year for a cable subscriber to get Sun News under 9(1)(h). But for most BDUs, even if they are going to offer it à la carte, it's between $3.00 and $5.00 a month in order to add that onto your package if you are just getting Sun News alone added in. It's much more than that if you're going from a basic digital package to an upper tier Rogers VIP or a premium cable subscription package.
1555 So if the idea is that we want to keep the price of Sun News down for consumers, the current approach where BDUs are using it to push subscribers into upper tier cable packages is costing much more and the à la carte options that they are offering are costing more in one month to a consumer than they would for an entire year under a 9(1)(h) scenario.
1556 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm not disagreeing with that analysis, what I'm asking is, we don't seem to have clear evidence-- except in your reply comment and I'm wondering-- yet you have shaped your entire application on that first survey. Why did you not ask the question of cost?
1557 MR. TENEYCKE: Well, I have answered that question a couple of times. I believe we did and I think we asked it, if you look at our original license application back in 2010, we had to provide a survey on nothing-- you know, that was focused entirely around that question. So we feel like it's already on the record.
1558 THE CHAIRPERSON: So I guess you would disagree with me when I read on page 19 of the report where the people surveyed, about 46 percent said they felt strongly that access-- access to every Canadian cable and news channel should be a component of the Canadian broadcasting system and there is another 34 percent that felt somewhat strongly about this.
1559 When I read the answers to that question one could conclude that those results seem to suggest that distribution status must be more on a must-offer than must-carry on basic with the fee, because there's different ways of doing 9(1)(h) distribution orders.
1560 MR. TENEYCKE: Well, if you're asking the question is a must-offer scenario sufficient for Sun News as opposed to a must-carry, I think our experience in the market would indicate that it's not.
1561 We have a majority of the cable providers that are offering it in one way, shape or form, we have a couple that are not at all, but look at the terms that they are offering it under and look at the terms that they have been willing to agree to.
1562 They are offering it at a small fraction of what they are paying themselves for their own news channels of a similar nature; they are offering it to us at a price that is a small fraction of what the average subscription price is for a Canadian all-news channel in the English Canadian market; they are offering it in upper tier packages, not in the same sorts of tier packages that they are offering their own-- less popular in many cases all-news channels-- so they are putting it on a basis that is inferior to what other channels within that environment have had historically and have today and what they are offering to their own channels.
1563 So I think if we were to have much must-offer you would see very little difference in the marketplace to what we do right now.
1564 There is an option for a number of Canadians to get this if they have digital cable, but it is at a price that is exorbitant compared to what they are being asked to pay for our competitors.
1565 Now, our belief, as we say in the video and in our materials, is that while there is a strong market for Sun News, you aren't going to take elderly Canadians on a fixed income who are getting basic cable and push them into Rogers VIP or other premium cable packages. You are not going to have people give up analog cable in favour of digital cable en masse to get this. It's unreasonable to expect people to go from paying $1000 a year for a cable bill to $1500 or $2000 a year for cable bill in order to get one channel. It's not going to happen. And why should we be treated in that way when our competitors are not and have not historically?
1566 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, to quote back what you said earlier, that's the market today. It is a market. The rules of the CRTC are more and more-- over a 20-year period more market-based driven, more consumer-driven, more driven by choice of the ultimate beneficiaries of the cable system.
1567 MR. TENEYCKE: Well, I would say that while that is the intent of the Commission, if we were to look at the decisions in 1996 to move to a more deregulated cable system, especially around digital cable, the submissions from BDU's at that time revolved around, and the assumptions of the Commission in making that decision, were that all Canadian channels-- that Canadian channels that are offering 100 percent Canadian content or that are fulfilling the objectives of the Broadcast Act would be offered, would be a part of the basic package and that broader bandwidth that came with that distribution, new distribution option, would ensure that those objectives of the Act are being met as a matter of course.
1568 I think it's on that basis that there was a move towards deregulation. I think that's one part of that.
1569 I think the second part is a reflection of changes that happened in 2010 within the market and we are not dealing with the same market that we were a few years ago. The private broadcasting industry has more or less been subsumed by the BDUs.
1570 So you have situations like the one we described with Rogers where our channel-- our station is pulled off Channel 15 in the Toronto market, Channel 66 in most of the rest of Ontario, and it's replaced with an all-news channel owned by Rogers. And at the time our ratings were six times what Rogers were, so it's hard to-- CityNews were, so it's very hard to say that that was a consumer-driven choice. I would suggest that that is a choice driven by business interests, it's driven by a BDU deciding to self-grant-- to grant itself essentially mandatory carriage and to put itself ahead of rival channels.
1571 I think we have a similar situation with Shaw with BC 1.
1572 So we are not dealing with a properly functioning marketplace, we are dealing with a marketplace where there are BDUs with very strong footprints in certain regions of the country that own their own all-news channels, some of them of a regional nature, but certainly there are conflicts around who is going to be granted access to consumers, and what you are seeing in terms of both pricing and access to the market is new entrants-- an attempt to kill new entrants in the crib.
1573 And if you want to have a proper, functioning marketplace-- and I think we saw this from the government recently with the wireless spectrum auction-- there needs to be a mechanism by which new entrants can come into the marketplace, otherwise we're saying that we are happy with the market as it exists today, and clearly Canadians are not happy, Mr. Chair, with the market as it exists today.
1574 Why do I say that? More Canadians are watching U.S. cable news than Canadian cable news. I think that should be a concern to the Commission and to all Canadians. I think it's Canadians voting with their dial that what's being offered today on their televisions is not good enough.
1575 We are here as a new entrant because we see an opportunity in the market to change that, to provide Canadian content that Canadians want to watch, but in order to do that we have to be able to put the product in front of Canadians and our competitors have no interest in seeing that happen.
1576 THE CHAIRPERSON: Both in your original submission and your presentation today there is a suggestion that there is behaviour in the marketplace by broadcast distribution undertakings that provides them with undue preference of some nature or sort. That's what I'm hearing between the lines.
1577 I was wondering, why wouldn't you have-- because we have rules around that, we have codes vertically integrated and you would know that because Vidéotron-- you are part of that larger Québecor group-- is also subject to those vertical integration rules, in fact one could argue Quebecor was one of the leaders in terms of larger media companies with conventional TV and newspapers, and so forth. In fact, they were ahead of the curve.
1578 Why wouldn't you have pursued undue preference recourse, if that's in fact the nature of the problem you are trying to address?
1579 MR. TENEYCKE: You would be having to bring in many, many complaints of that nature, because what we are facing isn't just one instance and I think that's what we are trying to say here today. It's not a single instance of this.
1580 You know, I think an undue preference complaint serves you very well if you have one distributor who is making a fairly narrow violation. We chose not to go that route corporately because the problem that we are facing is much broader. We are essentially dealing with a version of this with almost every distributor.
1581 THE CHAIRPERSON: You have to start somewhere.
1582 MR. TENEYCKE: Well, we are starting somewhere today with you.
1583 THE CHAIRPERSON: But some people would suggest maybe you needed to first fully explore the tools available to you in our framework, if indeed that's the nature of the complaint of access because of undue preference.
1584 I'm not saying that it is undue preference, but I'm reading between the lines of what you are putting forward today, that there may have been.
1585 MR. TENEYCKE: Well, as I say, a business decision was made that we wouldn't pursue that approach.
1586 I think that we believe the approach that the Commission has taken over time and we believe that the Broadcast Act itself lays a very clear pathway for channels of this nature, which are by their very nature exceptional, and by their very nature, I think more than virtually any other channel I can imagine, all-news channels and perhaps channels like CPAC that are providing public affairs content on a whole broad range of topics, are inherently meeting the conditions of the Act in as complete a way as anyone possibly could and, as such, we believe the appropriate path and the path that frankly CBC Newsworld and CTV News Channel benefit from is a broadcast distribution license that ensures that it is distributed broadly and at a fair price and if it was good enough for our competitors we believe it's good enough for us.
1587 So we have chosen this path as opposed to a series of undue preference complaints, because we think we qualify for it-- we think if we don't qualify for it no one does-- and we think it's the fair and appropriate way to get new entrants into this market to give Canadians a choice.
1588 MR. LAVOIE: Mr. Chairman, if I may add something to the fact that we chose not to file an undue preference complaint, I will take the case of Rogers Channel 15 versus Channel 567.
1589 You remember that when we first launched we had two licences that were parallel, there was an over-the-air licence, the old Toronto one, then Sun TV then became Sun News and then we had this licence that we are now using.
1590 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the over-the-air licence gave you mandatory distribution.
1591 MR. LAVOIE: That's right. That's exactly right, okay.
1592 So at one point we chose to send back the licence and ceased broadcasting on those towers, therefore Channel 15 probably legally technically speaking became available. There was no obligation on the part of Rogers to go ahead and keep broadcasting us on Channel 15, so an undue preference complaint would probably have been rejected. That was the legal opinion we were given.
1593 It doesn't change the fact that overnight we lost about 50 percent of our audience and that we were replaced by a news channel that was indeed about, what, a quarter the audience, six times smaller audience than our own.
1594 So is it undue preference? Yes, I think it was. Is it technically undue preference? Well, you know, you are an expert in that, you will know the answer, but our legal opinion is that we were wasting our time. But it still is, you know, theoretically speaking and practically speaking an undue preference.
1595 THE CHAIRPERSON: Anything to add on that? No? Okay.
1596 Maybe I will ask another area, just to be clear because I have seen some comments on the record.
1597 You consider yourself to be a news service, a news and public affairs service, right, even though I think your words are you are very edgy and opinion-driven, but you still consider that your program is news and information.
1598 Is that correct?
1599 MR. TENEYCKE: Correct.
1600 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you want to elaborate on why you think that is the case?
1601 MR. TENEYCKE: Well, we are offering a different format of television to the Canadian market. It's not an unfamiliar format to the cable news genre in Europe or in the United States or other parts of the world.
1602 We offer during the daytime news programming and in the evening we offer editorial programming and the editorial programming features opinion hosts, very similar to what you find on a talk radio, and that is not newscasts of the nature that you would find during the day. So the way we describe it to our audience and market it is hard news during the day and straight talk at night. Straight talk is editorial content and the news content is during the day.
1603 As a news organization we provide news updates in prime time as well, every two hours, so we put news in there, and certainly the topics that are being discussed during the prime time editorial programming are related to the news and current affairs.
1604 We have hosts with strong opinions and they advocate those in a way that we hope is both informative and entertaining, but the facts that they are based on are obviously factually true. This is we are entitled to our own-- they are entitled to present their opinions, but the facts and underpinning those opinions are related to things that are going on in the news.
1605 So I think if you are looking at the way that we are presenting that it is very similar to what you would find on channels like MSNBC, it's very similar to what you would find on channels like FOX, CNN Headline news, I think it is the manner in which cable television is evolving all around the world and Canadian audiences are responding very strongly to the format of television.
1606 Why do I say that? I say that because there are more Canadians watching U.S. cable news programming than Canadian cable news programming. Canadians are responding to it, it's just that Canada is not broadly offering that type of content that they are responding to.
1607 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, in your application you are requesting for mandatory distribution on analog basic as well as digital basic.
1608 This is somewhat surprising for a number of reasons.
1609 First of all, you are the only applicant to have done so and if you look at the original Public Notices 2006-23 and 2010-629 when the commission stated that it would consider applications, we only referred to digital basic and didn't mention analog and, frankly, in a long trend over the past-- more than the past decade, all mandatory distribution orders since 2002 have been limited to digital basic, there have been none on analog basic.
1610 Now, you referred to it in the video, but maybe I need a little bit more why you have made that request.
1611 MR. TENEYCKE: Well, while analog cable represents only 20 percent of the market for us it represents far more than 20 percent of the market that we are targeting.
1612 Why is that? Well, cable news tends to skew towards more elderly viewers, that's true of us, it's true of all cable news channels. What's interesting about Sun News viewers is that they are a family income. About half-hour audience the family income is less than $50,000 a year. Where definitely our audience skews towards a lower average income, it tends to be seniors on fixed incomes and if we are looking at who constitutes the pool of analog cable subscribers today, you are finding a disproportionate amount of the audience in that pool.
1613 So it's for a very specific reason that we are very interested in being a part of the analog cable world, it's because it's where a lot of our potential viewers are. Frankly, our competitors are on those platforms, too, so we want to be where our competitors are. And we think the case is particularly compelling, if this is about providing Canadian content to all Canadians, that we provide them to lower income elderly Canadians as well and that's who we are-- it's a key market for all cable news, but particularly a key market for Sun News.
1614 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will be hearing later on in this hearing some applications that target Canadians with disabilities. I think the evidence would suggest they also belong to income groups, because of a variety of reasons, that are also like the elderly or the older demographics you are mentioning, too. I mean at one point everybody will have a case potentially that they are special and they have to go on analog basic as well.
1615 How do we stop or how do we-- or not stop, but how do we draw the line then?
1616 MR. TENEYCKE: I think there is a very clear way to draw the line and it's in the Broadcasting Act. Are you offering 100 percent Canadian programming. Clearly the Broadcasting Act and central to it and 40 years of CRTC decisions, the centre of that is Canadian content.
1617 Now, there are other tests associated with 9(1)(h) about whether you are representing the socioeconomic fabric of Canada, et cetera, et cetera, and, as I say, the very nature of news I think means that you touch upon those things in a way that no other channel can.
1618 So I think, you know, what is the ring fence that prevents everyone from asking for that, Mr. Chairman? I think it's the nature of the service that we are providing, it's unlike what anyone else out there is providing in terms of meeting the criteria of the Act.
1619 THE CHAIRPERSON: How essential is this particular aspect of your application?
1620 MR. TENEYCKE: Well, I think it's central in the sense that that's where a lot of our audience is and I think it is central in--
1621 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand it's your preference, but let's say--
1622 MR. TENEYCKE: Well, but if you are talking about the business plan around this, you know, the fees and subscription fees and things that we have recommended are all including that as a part of it.
1623 So if it was digital cable only the carriage fee would be more like $.22 in order to continue the type of programming we are doing today. So there is a financial implication that way.
1624 But I think there is an equally important implication around allowing that audience to have access to the channel. That audience is the least likely to be able to afford the kinds of upgrades that we are talking about to get it. You know, they are not going to pay another $50 or $100 to get it, you know.
1625 So I think that there is both a financial implication in terms of the documents and application that you are looking at, but I think there is a very significant one for us associated with audience as well.
1626 THE CHAIRPERSON: So just to be clear, if I understand-- and this is hypothetically because, you know, as if we were down the decision track and we are not there yet-- but were we to say: No, consistent with the policy you haven't convinced us there is an exceptional reason here--
1627 MR. TENEYCKE: Right.
1628 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- we are going with digital basic as the framework, you're saying that to maintain your business case you would actually have to ask for $.22?
1629 MR. TENEYCKE: Twenty-two cents, which is $.11 below the average that English Canadians all-news channels currently get in fees.
1630 THE CHAIRPERSON: And in the French market, in which you broadcast?
1631 MR. TENEYCKE: Half of that, so it would be $.11.
1632 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it would be $.11 in that case.
1633 And the rest of your business case would remain unchanged?
1634 MR. TENEYCKE: Correct.
1635 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, I am going to ask you to help me-- and you can disagree with my characterization of your argument as a turn-back-the-clock argument, which some have used. It is not my characterization, but some people have suggested it.
1636 Essentially, as I understand it, you are saying that you want the same high penetration deal that both CTV and Newsworld, as it was then, had gotten, one would say, a number of years ago and a number of regulatory frameworks ago.
1637 Much has indeed changed. The distribution framework has changed considerably throughout that period of time. For instance, the dual status that CTV had obtained in 1997 has been abolished.
1638 We have opened up competition in the news category through the creation of Category C, which you currently have.
1639 In the market, a lot of the plant is not analog plant, but digital plant. I certainly recall the years in the nineties when we couldn't add services because it meant that cable companies would actually have to go out into the field and put traps up on the poles, and there was a great deal of work. That has largely been replaced.
1640 We have a growing demand for consumer choice.
1641 And, frankly, we have the advent of ubiquitous distribution of programming through the Internet.
1642 Despite all of those changes, quite fundamental changes, why do you think we should turn back the clock and give you this high penetration, which seems en porte-à-faux-- I don't know how you say that in English-- but out of step, I guess, with the evolution.
1643 MR. LAVOIE: A few minutes ago, I think, Kory referred to the spectrum auction of 2007-- and, of course, this is not the same Act and I am not trying to pretend that it is. But our argument back then was the same one we are making today.
1644 As the saying goes, you cannot be half pregnant. You cannot pretend to be a free market when you are not. If you are going back to 2007, so the comparison makes sense, the argument was that it should be a free market and that the spectrum should be offered to anybody that was willing to bid for it.
1645 However, it was not a free market, because there were foreign ownership restriction rules, and the financial market of North America is North American. Therefore, it was not a free market.
1646 So we asked the government-- and the government accepted the argument-- to create special conditions so that new entrants could come in to deal with the fact that Canadians were paying higher prices for lower services, and so on and so forth, for their mobile telephones.
1647 Now we are talking here of a situation whereby the market has gradually been deregulated-- and we agree with you, and as you know, Mr. Chairman, we at Quebecor have been very forceful in supporting this path.
1648 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am aware of that.
1649 MR. LAVOIE: You are, and you should be, because we were very, very clear, and we haven't changed our minds about it.
1650 However, we tried it. We tried it for two years, almost to the day, and the market is not deregulated. The market is something in between.
1651 Therefore, we have to live with the reality, and the reality is, if there is no positive decision in this case, it means that there will never be a new entrant in this business. It is just going to be economically and financially impossible, and not viable.
1652 Therefore, we are either regulated or we are not.
1653 And in the process that we are moving toward, which we support very strongly, which we will keep supporting very strongly, we have to admit that we are still a regulated market.
1654 The fact of the matter is that you are sitting in front of us, and we are here to make our arguments, and we believe in your wisdom, and we are going to make them, but we are going to make them on the basis that this is a regulated market.
1655 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you follow the logic, though-- imagine a completely different marketplace, radio. There are radio stations that launched a number of years ago. They have established brand and market presence.
1656 It is almost as if you are suggesting, if one follows your logic, that to be fair to a new entrant, which will add diversity of voices and diversity, probably, of music content-- when we do allow it, we would almost have to say, "You know that frequency that the heritage or incumbent radio station had? You have to give it up for this new entrant," if you take it to the logical conclusion.
1657 MR. LAVOIE: Well, Mr. Chairman, you and I could have a long argument about this one. I will just say this--
1658 THE CHAIRPERSON: You step into the market as it is. In fact, that's what was said earlier.
1659 MR. LAVOIE: That's what we did. We stepped into the market as it was two years ago, and we found out that, if our product is not exposed to the people, they won't know about it.
1660 Just look at the following statistical statement: If 40 percent market penetration is doubled to 80, we will double our ratings. It is natural, statistically, that that is what will happen.
1661 Mr. Chairman, if we double our ratings, we are going to be number one in Canada, overnight, in the all-news channel category.
1662 So the frequency-- or the radio analogy that you are making, I can hardly follow it, and I say that with all due respect.
1663 All we are saying is, make sure that people see our product. Make sure they see it for five years, at a reasonable and fair price, which is way below what the average is for the other all-news channels in Canada. Let's do that for five years, and if, in five years, it hasn't worked, we are dead.
1664 But if we are not exposed, if we are not distributed, then nothing will ever happen.
1665 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you agree that the current competitors-- and you mentioned two in your presentation-- whilst they may have had-- and I am using your words-- highly preferential rules at the time, those are largely gone now?
1666 I am not saying that they don't have an advantage from a market perspective, but surely those--
1667 MR. LAVOIE: I'm sorry, I am not sure that I get your question.
1668 THE CHAIRPERSON: There may have been some dual status at one point for some of the services. They may have been fewer. But would you agree with me that those rules have largely disappeared?
1669 I am not saying market, I meant CRTC-imposed rules.
1670 MR. LAVOIE: You may be right, and I am not going to argue with you on this.
1671 However, using the example that you used, radio-- and, by the way, radio has no distribution problem that I know of. But using the same argument, or the same example that you were using, building a brand over 10 years, 15 years, 20 years-- and then you say that the rules have changed. Yes, they have, but people have been exposed to this product for 20 years, and they keep watching it, and the BDUs keep renewing the contracts the way they were, because that is the way it has been established.
1672 The rules may have changed, but the Broadcasting Act hasn't changed, and 9(1)(h) is still part of that Act.
1673 Indeed, if we are here, Mr. Chairman, it is because the CRTC has invited all of us to be here and to present arguments as to why 9(1)(h) should apply to us.
1674 We have read the criteria, and we made the decision to enter this process simply because we believe that we do qualify.
1675 THE CHAIRPERSON: Some might say that it is a bit surprising, because you applied in 2010 for a Category A service, which would, indeed, have given you better carriage rights.
1676 In fact, one could argue that if we hadn't changed for news Category C, you might not have gotten even the Category A licence at that time.
1677 Be that as it may, you, nevertheless, when you were granted a Category C, decided to launch, and perhaps you could help me understand, and others who are following this, why it is up to Canadian cable and satellite subscribers to underwrite the business decision you have made.
1678 MR. LAVOIE: Well, I don't think that we are the first businesspeople to be overly optimistic. We believed, when we applied in 2010, that the market forces would work.
1679 We, frankly, did not expect things to unfold the way they did. There was absolutely no bad faith on our part. We tested the market, and we realized the limits of the market. And by doing so, we are here today, and the reason why we are here, I repeat, is because this process was launched by the CRTC, and all of us in the industry were invited to apply for a 9(1)(h) if we felt that we qualified, and we do feel that we qualify.
1680 And we are certainly in line with the Broadcasting Act, which is there, and has always been there, to put Canadian TV first, to say that Canadian content is the key. Otherwise, there would be no CRTC and we would be flooded with American productions 100 percent of the time.
1681 Does that answer your question?
1682 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I mean, it provides you an opportunity to respond to the question. I will decide later on if it answered the question, I guess. I am not the only decider here.
1683 MR. LAVOIE: I am asking for your advice, Mr. Chairman.
1684 THE CHAIRPERSON: We ask the questions here. Unfortunately, that's the way it works.
1685 Is the service currently available on Vidéotron's system on basic?
1686 MR. LAVOIE: No.
1687 THE CHAIRPERSON: Could you explain to me why that is? There seem to be no barriers for that to occur.
1688 MR. LAVOIE: Can we come back to you with an answer?
1689 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1690 MR. LAVOIE: We know it is there. We all have it at home, but I am not sure what package it is in, honestly.
1691 THE CHAIRPERSON: As you saw earlier, we will take it as an undertaking for the 2nd of May.
1692 MR. LAVOIE: Yes, we will get back to you, but if ever you want to watch it, it is Channel 79, and 679 in HD.
1693 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have seen it, as I see a lot of Canadian channels, but it was my understanding that it was not offered as part of the basic, and that seemed a bit inconsistent with your arguments earlier.
1694 MR. LAVOIE: With 9(1)(h), Vidétron will comply.
1695 THE CHAIRPERSON: But they don't need a 9(1)(h) right now, I would have thought, to comply. That's the point.
1696 But I guess I will get the answer later on.
1697 Some have suggested on the record that the failure to attract subscribers may not have to do with the attitude of broadcasting distribution undertakings, or even the regulatory framework, but rather that Canadians who have seen or heard of the service just don't want to subscribe to it.
1698 How do you respond to that?
1699 MR. TENEYCKE: I would respond by saying, as I said in the video presentation earlier, that this channel does not speak for all Canadians. In fact, no channel does. It is impossible for any channel, and any news channel, to meet that test.
1700 I would submit to you that many people who like Sun News and are attracted to Sun News are not big fans of the CBC, yet they pay for it as part of their basic.
1701 In addition to that, they get to, as taxpayers, pay $1 billion a year for it-- in addition to that, and subsidies.
1702 I would say that in a pluralistic, democratic country like this-- and when you are looking at a broadcasting system such as we have-- it is inevitable that you are going to be paying for some things that you don't watch and that you don't like.
1703 That's how it is for all of us. There is no one in this country, there is no one with a television, who that statement isn't true for in one way, shape or form.
1704 The system that we have is this one, and it is in this system that we launched the channel, and it is in this system, a very similar one, that our competitors launched, and we believe that we should be entitled to the same sorts of advantages that they have had.
1705 Everything that you are asking here is equally true of others that have gotten these licences before us, equally true.
1706 MR. LAVOIE: If I may add something, Mr. Chairman, when we shut down the towers of the OTA licence, the Toronto 1 licence, our ratings went down by half when we were moved from Channel 15 to Channel 567, and the other consequences to shutting down the towers.
1707 So I guess it is a bit of a counterargument. When people were exposed to it, they were watching it, and we were number one in prime time in the all-news category very regularly.
1708 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but that was your decision to make at the time.
1709 MR. LAVOIE: Well, it was our decision; it was our understanding in an exchange with the CRTC that it was the way to proceed.
1710 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, the abandonment of the over-the-air--
1711 MR. LAVOIE: That's right. That's what I am saying. We had a discussion and an exchange of letters-- it's on the record-- regarding how we should proceed with this.
1712 I don't want to get into the technicalities, which you know better than I, but an OTA does not allow for monthly fees and so on and so forth.
1713 So there was an understanding that, at a certain point, we would pull the plug on it and go with a Category C.
1714 But my point has nothing to do with the fact that it was our decision, because it was the result of a dynamic discussion with the CRTC.
1715 My point is that when people were exposed to it, our ratings were double.
1716 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. You may not have gotten the subscription fee, but your revenues from advertising, of course, were--
1717 MR. LAVOIE: That's correct.
1718 MR. TENEYCKE: We also, under our OTA licence, couldn't broadcast nationally, and we believe that the market for a channel of this nature-- we have plans and we are set up to cover national issues from coast to coast. It is a key part of the broadcast. To continue on an OTA licence and broadcast nationally, you would have to build towers across the country. It is obviously not viable nor a sensible notion in today's market to do that.
1719 THE CHAIRPERSON: I would like to turn now to issues of channel placement.
1720 As I understand it, you have requested-- and tell me if I am wrong on this, because it is on first reading-- you have requested channel placement lower than all non-Canadian news services.
1721 Is that correct?
1722 MR. TENEYCKE: That's correct.
1723 THE CHAIRPERSON: That is on all BDUs?
1724 MR. TENEYCKE: Correct.
1725 THE CHAIRPERSON: First of all, do you have a list of those currently distributed non-Canadian news services that you believe should be at a higher dial than yours?
1726 MR. TENEYCKE: There is a rather exhaustive list of channels that are currently in the market. If you would bear with me for a second, I will--
1727 THE CHAIRPERSON: One could argue, for instance, that a business news service might not be a news service. That is why I would like to have some precision as to exactly what you are thinking of.
1728 MR. TENEYCKE: I think what we are looking at-- probably the most telling one would be CNN, which is Channel 33 in most parts of the country.
1729 THE CHAIRPERSON: By the way, channels are not the same everywhere in the country, so we have to be careful about that.
1730 MR. TENEYCKE: Largely on Channel 33, in the same way that you have CBC Newsworld largely on Channel 26.
1731 What we are pointing to and addressing in raising that issue is the approach that many BDUs have taken of putting channels like ours in the nether regions, and moving them with some regularity, which is highly disruptive to your ability to acquire audience, whereas other channels are given very preferential treatment.
1732 We believe that the CRTC's approach of saying that Canadian content should be in places and at times when Canadians are actually watching-- I mean, that has been a consistent hallmark of the Commission over the years.
1733 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am a little further in the thought, then. Assume that we have bought into it. I need some clarification on the implementation.
1734 MR. TENEYCKE: I would say lower than 33, because that is where CNN is most places. That would be a good fencepost, in terms of where we think it would be appropriate to be.
1735 THE CHAIRPERSON: So below 33, rather than define it in terms of other news services--
1736 MR. TENEYCKE: Yes, I am defining it in terms of other news services. CNN is the largest foreign news service distributed in Canada, in terms of audience, and we think that Canadian TV should come first, including first on the dial, so lower than the lowest of every foreign news channel listed on a BDU.
1737 THE CHAIRPERSON: Whether it is cable or satellite?
1738 MR. TENEYCKE: Correct.
1739 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think the dial placement on a satellite distribution system might be somewhat different.
1740 MR. TENEYCKE: The point we are making, Mr. Chairman, is simply that we want to be on the dial in a place that is superior to that of our U.S. competitors.
1741 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that is CNN.
1742 MR. TENEYCKE: In Canada, in terms of audience, absolutely it is.
1743 THE CHAIRPERSON: What would be the consequence, in your view, of that occurring, in terms of your service?
1744 We will ask the BDUs for their views later on that, because they need to have an opportunity to react.
1745 MR. TENEYCKE: I think that the BDUs know what the consequence of a lower dial placement is.
1746 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, but what does it do to advertising revenues--
1747 MR. TENEYCKE: It increases your audience. It increases your audience because you are more aware-- Canadians are watching.
1748 Low dial placement still has an impact on audience. The fact that Rogers put CityNews on Channel 15 is not an accident. They didn't put it on 143, next to Sun News, they put it on 15. Why is that?
1749 I submit it is because you get more audience at Channel 15 than you do at 143.
1750 What is the consequence to us? The consequence is that you are going to get less audience if you are higher up.
1751 The second issue around that-- and I think this is a bit of a safeguard against-- what we are speaking to as a safeguard against BDUs moving your dial placement as a way of disrupting your audience.
1752 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do your financial projections that are on the file reflect that type of distribution?
1753 I should have been clearer.
1754 MR. TENEYCKE: No, I don't think we can account for that in a financial model.
1755 THE CHAIRPERSON: Even from an advertising perspective?
1756 MR. TENEYCKE: Well, more audience, obviously, means more advertising revenues. So if you are at Channel 2 Million in the outer rim, you are not going to get the same viewership as you would when you are below 33.
1757 So it would have an impact. Our financial model doesn't account for that sort of fine detail, though.
1758 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would it be possible to figure that out?
1759 MR. TENEYCKE: We can endeavour to find something.
1760 MR. LAVOIE: The 2nd of May we will be back with something.
1761 THE CHAIRPERSON: I just want to make sure, because it's part of your request, but now we find out that it's not part of your financial forward.
1762 Okay. Now, there is another issue-- and I don't know if you follow what is going on in the FCC, but there was some discussion in the FCC about news neighbourhoods.
1763 I hope that the BDUs are following, because I might ask them questions when they appear on this.
1764 One could agree with your argument that Canadians should have access to a diversity of sources of news, to make sure that we have an open market of ideas, and it is in that spirit that I am asking this question.
1765 In January of 2011, the FCC, when considering the Comcast-NBC-- GE, actually-- transaction, imposed a condition related to what they called news neighbourhoods. A news neighbourhood was defined as at least four news and/or business news channels within any five adjacent positions on the dial, whatever a dial is in a digital age.
1766 So, to ensure diversity of view, they required that rule, because that way unaffiliated news networks could be distributed in that news neighbourhood, and the unaffiliated would not be disadvantaged.
1767 I am not sure if you are aware of that approach, but presumably what it does is ensure that there is visibility, and I think that some of your points put forward today deal with visibility. You are quite confident that when people see your product, they will want to have it in the longer term. You have asked for five years here, but the idea is that, once they see it, they will subscribe.
1768 My question is, should the CRTC consider a similar model, perhaps not identical, but inspired by the FCC approach on a news neighbourhood, with the policy objective of ensuring that Canadians have access to a diversity of views on matters of public opinion.
1769 MR. LAVOIE: Mr. Chairman, even though we have heard about the concept you're talking about, frankly, we haven't discussed it, we haven't looked at it, we haven't considered it, and I think it would be-- I don't think it would be very useful for us to comment on this before we look at the concept more specifically. Honestly, we're not-- it's not something that we've taken into account at all.
1770 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I understand. So I will perhaps explore a little further with the BDUs later on what their views might be on that.
1771 And there is a reply phase as well, so perhaps we can have your views at that point. Is that all right?
1772 MR. LAVOIE: That's fine.
1773 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1774 This is my last question. I think you were in the room when I was asking the previous panel about for-profit and not-for-profit. Some of the applicants in this process are not-for-profit organizations and other ones like yourself, although you may not have made a profit, you are intending to make a profit, so you're a for-profit.
1775 Should that be irrelevant to our consideration of all this?
1776 MR. LAVOIE: Well, yeah, I heard the question. I'm going to give you a different answer.
1777 We are a for-profit organization. We are accountable to our shareholders. We've already invested in a very massive way in this undertaking that we still believe in and I think it's up to the Commission to decide whether or not a not-for-profit versus a profit organization should have any kind of-- if it should be a criteria or not. I think it's not up to us to comment.
1778 We are what we are. You know, we're a publicly traded private company that is for-profit for sure.
1779 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I said it was my last but I have another-- and I believe there's another question from the panel colleagues-- and it flows from your request for analog distribution.
1780 Is it your intention to also ask for the same status for exempt services, exempt BDUs?
1781 MR. SASSEVILLE: There are different kinds of exempt BDUs. I think that--
1782 THE CHAIRPERSON: But the small ones, the small exempt BDUs.
1783 MR. SASSEVILLE: Yes. But I think that between 2,000-- if I remember well, between 2,000 and 20,000 subscribers still have to abide with 9(1)(h) orders. So what we're asking is what exists right now.
1784 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, I understand.
1785 Madame Poirier?
1786 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Oui.
1787 Alors, je vais poser mes questions en français si vous le permettez. De toute façon, il y a quatre intervenants francophones ici.
1788 Ma première question, Monsieur Lavoie, c'est relié à ce que vous avez dit au moins à deux reprises sur le fait que vous avez perdu 50 pour cent de vos cotes d'écoute en fermant vos émetteurs.
1789 Pourquoi avez-vous fermé vos émetteurs?
1790 M. LAVOIE : Bien, c'est que nous avons lancé une station dite... une chaîne dite spécialisée qui, financièrement, ne peut pas exister sans recevoir des paiements mensuels, des royautés, et il n'était donc pas question, ni viable, ni autrement, de continuer à diffuser sur une antenne généraliste ce qui est en fait une chaîne spécialisée. Il n'y a pas de modèle économique qui pouvait nous permettre de faire ça, et c'était évident dès le départ que c'était ce que nous avions entre les mains.
1791 Nous avons utilisé les locaux, les équipements de ce qui était devenu, sous la propriété de Québecor, Sun TV. Toronto 1, c'était devenu Sun TV. Et nous avons utilisé donc les locaux, les équipements; une bonne partie du personnel technique est demeurée en place et ainsi de suite. Mais il n'était pas viable, ni même envisageable, ni même réaliste de penser qu'une chaîne spécialisée pouvait fonctionner sans recevoir des royautés mensuelles.
1792 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : M'hmm. Mais ce que je ne comprends pas, c'est que vous avez eu, à ce moment-là, une exposition auprès de gens. Ils ont vu pendant un petit bout de temps peut-être Sun TV? Oui?
1793 M. LAVOIE : Ils l'ont vu de plus ou moins du mois d'avril à fin octobre 2011.
1794 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Oui. Mais en...
1795 M. LAVOIE : Bien, c'était dans la région de Toronto, entendons-nous.
1796 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : O.K. Donc, pendant quelques mois...
1797 M. LAVOIE : Plus que le Grand Toronto et un peu plus large que ça, vers London, Ontario.
1798 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Oui. Pendant quelques mois, ils ont pu voir Sun TV?
1799 M. LAVOIE : Oui. Oui. Oui.
1800 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Et au moins 50 pour cent d'entre eux n'ont pas choisi Sun TV. Ça veut dire...
1801 M. LAVOIE : Bien, premièrement, Madame, ils l'ont cherché. Ça l'a été une recherche. Je veux dire, pour se rendre à des canaux aussi élevés, il faut vraiment là... Je le sais, je vivais à Toronto à cette époque-là. Quand vous vous installez avec votre manette puis que vous cherchez un canal, bonne chance. Quand on est rendu dans les 300, 400, 500 et ainsi de suite, c'est clair que ce n'est pas évident évident.
1802 Deuxièmement, il y a beaucoup de ces gens-là... On était sur le basic package, si vous me permettez l'anglicisme. On était sur la base là-bas parce qu'on avait le privilège passager-- et nous avions toujours su que c'était passager-- nous avions le privilège de distribuer à la base. On savait très bien que dès lors qu'on sortait de la base, on allait se retrouver dans un autre univers où là, il fallait payer pour l'obtenir, puis il fallait le commander, puis il fallait s'assurer que le distributeur l'avait.
1803 Et on n'a pas réussi à conclure des ententes avec tous les distributeurs en même temps. Il y a plus qu'un distributeur en Ontario, vous le savez aussi bien que moi.
1804 Alors, donc, ça ne change, au fond, rien à l'argument que je vous présentais ou que je présentais au président tout à l'heure, à savoir que quand les gens étaient exposés à Sun News, ils le regardaient, et quand Sun News leur a été retiré ou graduellement retiré ou rendu plus difficile d'accès, ils ont cessé de le regarder. C'est uniquement la base de mon argument.
1805 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Et cela m'amène à mon autre question sur justement l'exposition, parce que beaucoup de chaînes qui demandent le 9(1)(h) veulent justement être exposées, elles aussi...
1806 M. LAVOIE : M'hmm.
1807 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : ...disent, bien, pour commencer, pour se lancer en affaires, on a besoin d'être vu, puis ensuite, on peut perdre le 9(1)(h), mais on aura été exposé.
1808 Et quand je regarde dans les critères d'application de notre réglementation, l'exposition ne fait pas partie des critères de base pour dire on va donner des 9(1)(h) à des requérants. Ça ne peut pas servir de start-up d'une certaine façon. Ce n'est pas un des critères. Les critères sont autres que ceux-là.
1809 M. LAVOIE : Nous répondons à chacun... Nous avons des réponses pour chacun des critères dont vous nous avez fait part dans le processus que vous avez enclenché. Nous ne prétendons pas que c'est un critère.
1810 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Non, mais vous répétez...
1811 M. LAVOIE : Nous prétendons que c'est une réalité financière. Ce qui est évident, c'est que si une entreprise comme la nôtre, qui a cru dans ce projet-là, décide d'aller de l'avant, elle va perdre tellement d'argent que ça ne marchera pas. C'est aussi simple que ça.
1812 Et deuxièmement, il faut faire très attention et ne pas trop interpréter la réponse que j'ai donnée au président tout à l'heure concernant le fait qu'avec la licence généraliste de Toronto 1, nous avons été exposés. Soyons quand même réalistes. On n'a pas été exposé à Vancouver, on n'a pas été exposé à Halifax, puis on n'a pas été exposé à Regina. On a été exposé dans Toronto puis en allant vers le Sud de l'Ontario, et ce que je vous dis, évidemment, c'est là qu'il y a la plus grande concentration de population au Canada. Le jour où on nous a coupé ça, on a perdu 50 pour cent de notre auditoire.
1813 Alors, si on demande un 9(1)(h), un des critères, c'est la viabilité. Sans viabilité économique, cette entreprise-là ne peut pas continuer, et les Canadiens vont être privés d'une voix éditoriale qui m'apparaît suffisamment importante. La preuve en est que quand ils l'avaient disponibles devant eux, ils le regardaient.
1814 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : J'ai parlé d'exposition parce que vous en aviez parlé beaucoup comme facteur important. Alors, c'est pour ça que je l'ai soulevée.
1815 M. LAVOIE : Je vous en prie, Madame. Je vous en prie.
1816 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Mon dernier sujet, c'est il n'y a pas de programmation française, bien sûr, sur Sun TV...
1817 M. LAVOIE : Non.
1818 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : ...à ce que je sache, et un peu comme j'ai demandé à d'autres demandes ce matin, comment expliquez, entre autres, aux francophones de payer... 11 sous, c'est le nouveau tarif que vous demandez, je pense là, pour le Québec, c'est bien ça, mais on sait qu'avec les markups, ça va être 22, 23, 25 sous.
1819 Alors, comment expliquer que des francophones paieraient pour un service anglophone? Quels arguments peut-on leur donner?
1820 M. LAVOIE : Bien, moi, je dirais qu'il faudrait utiliser les mêmes arguments qu'on a utilisés au Canada anglais pour dire aux anglophones de payer pour RDI, puis les mêmes arguments qui ont été employés au Québec pour dire aux francophones de payer pour Newsworld.
1821 Je ne vois pas exactement où est la différence. Quels sont ces arguments-là? S'il le faut, on retournera puis on ira voir quels étaient les arguments. Mais le fait est que RDI, je suis convaincu qu'il ne doit pas avoir de très grosses cotes d'écoutes à Lethbridge, et ça me surprendrait beaucoup que Newsworld ait beaucoup d'auditeurs à Rimouski, mais ils paient.
1822 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Je ne voudrais pas rentrer dans le débat des différences entre RDI et Sun TV quand même là.
1823 M. LAVOIE : Bien, moi, je peux...
1824 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Oui.
1825 M. LAVOIE : On peut y aller, Madame.
1826 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Oui.
1827 Je vais laisser à d'autres l'occasion de poser des questions, mais est-ce que vous avez pensé possible d'exclure le Québec dans votre demande?
1828 M. LAVOIE : Non.
1829 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Alors...
1830 M. LAVOIE : Nous voulons que les choses soient égales avec nos concurrents fondamentalement, et je pense qu'on se présente d'une façon extrêmement raisonnable en demandant une redevance qui est inférieure, substantiellement inférieure à la moyenne des redevances versées à nos concurrents.
1831 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : À part Vidéotron, et c'est ma dernière question, Monsieur le Président, sur quelle EDR ou satellite Sun TV n'est pas offert au Québec actuellement comme choix pour les...
1832 M. LAVOIE : Honnêtement, je n'ai pas la...
1833 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Vous ne le savez pas?
1834 M. LAVOIE : Je crois qu'on est absolument partout là au Québec, je crois.
1835 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Vous êtes offert...
1836 M. LAVOIE : Offert partout, oui.
1837 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Au Québec?
1838 M. LAVOIE : Oui. Mais je ne sais pas... La raison pour laquelle j'hésite, c'est les plus petits... Franchement, je ne connais pas la réponse. On peut vous revenir avec une réponse plus précise.
1839 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : O.K. Et au Canada anglais, où n'êtes-vous pas offert? À quel endroit vous n'êtes pas offert?
1840 M. LAVOIE : Au Manitoba, MTS; SaskTel en Saskatchewan; TELUS, qui est de plus en plus un très grand distributeur sur un beaucoup plus grand territoire.
1841 SaskTel, on l'a maintenant.
1842 MTS donc et TELUS, au moins ces deux-là.
1843 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Oui. J'essayais justement de voir dans votre demande...
1844 M. LAVOIE : Mais TELUS est immense là.
1845 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : ...où vous n'étiez pas offert, et ce n'est pas évident de le cerner. Est-ce que vous avez une liste des endroits où vous n'êtes pas offert et par quel EDR?
1846 M. LAVOIE : Bien sûr.
1847 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Est-ce que ça été...
1848 M. LAVOIE : Bien sûr.
1849 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : ...mis sur le dossier public, la liste complète et exhaustive des EDR sur lesquelles vous n'êtes pas offert?
1850 M. LAVOIE : Kory?
1851 MR. TENEYCKE: We can provide that information for you. The biggest number is most certainly analog cable subscribers. If you're looking at who are the people who are excluded across the board right now and by far represent the largest percentage of the cable market, it's analog cable subscribers that are excluded.
1852 In terms of major BDUs, there are two, MTS and TELUS. And I'm not sure for minors but they would account for a very small number of households.
1853 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Merci beaucoup, Monsieur le Président, c'est tout.
1854 LE PRÉSIDENT : Merci.
1855 Monsieur le Vice-Président.
1856 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui, brièvement.
1857 Bonjour. Vous n'êtes pas offert sur le service de base. Moi-même, je pensais que vous étiez sur le service de base, mais ce n'est pas le cas. Tous les 9(1)(h) sont là, plusieurs stations de radio et tous les OTA, mais vous n'êtes pas là.
1858 Au Québec, je pense que soit le Pick 10, vous êtes disponible, ou le forfait anglo. Alors, ça rajoute comme un autre 25 dollars. Ça fera un minimum de 50 dollars par mois si on veut avoir accès à Sun News sur le service Vidéotron, premièrement.
1859 Deuxièmement, l'idée des quartiers que monsieur le président a mentionné est une idée qui serait intéressante d'explorer parce que s'ils mettent votre station ou votre service en bas de CANADIEN-- c'est 33 sur certains services, c'est 633 sur le HD de Vidéotron, c'est 1500 sur le Fibe de Bell-- ça risque d'être compliqué.
1860 Et si vous étudiez un petit peu ce qui se passe aux États, même des services comme Bloomberg, quand ils sont à côté d'un CNN, font très très bien, mais quand on les éloigne dans des endroits où il faut un masque d'oxygène, ça va moins bien.
1861 The other question really, just getting back to a point that the Chair raised, if you were to-- if Canadians were to have access to Sun News, in other words it would be available-- now, I understand SaskTel and TELUS and MTS are offering resistance, it's not available at all-- but if we were not to have 9(1)(h) with a fixed rate per sub but it was, so to speak, imposed upon the BDUs, wouldn't that be a business model that would potentially work for Sun News and Quebecor?
1862 M. LAVOIE : Si vous me permettez, je vais...
1863 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui, absolument.
1864 M. LAVOIE : ...laisser mon collègue Kory répondre à la deuxième partie de la question.
1865 C'est que vous avez dit tout à l'heure en gros, si je suis ce que vous avez dit, que pour voir Sun News au Québec, il faudrait payer entre 25 puis 50 dollars par mois. Je voulais juste apporter une précision.
1866 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui.
1867 M. LAVOIE : Vidéotron est très fier d'être à l'avant-garde de la distribution à la carte, et Sun News est disponible à la carte, et croyez-moi, ça coûte pas mal moins cher que 25 ou 50 dollars.
1868 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Bien, non. Vous avez le service de base de 20 et le forfait 10. Il faut rajouter 22 et quelque chose. Alors, ça nous ramène à 50.
1869 LE PRÉSIDENT : Je pense que...
1870 M. LAVOIE : Mais la nuance est là.
1871 M. SASSEVILLE : Si vous voulez juste Sun News, vous pouvez prendre juste Sun News aussi là.
1872 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : Oui. Oui.
1873 M. SASSEVILLE : Il est disponible à la carte.
1874 LE PRÉSIDENT : Vous avez déjà dit que vous étiez pour répondre sur ça. On va se baser sur votre position plutôt que notre analyse du site Web.
1875 M. LAVOIE : Et pour le reste de la question, Kory, I turn it over to you.
1876 MR. TENEYCKE: Yes. The question about would some form of "must offer" be sufficient, I think the answer is no. Certainly when we were launching, that was our line of thinking. That was, if you recall, when we started this venture what we were talking about and as Luc has indicated, our experience in the market is such that we do not believe it would be sufficient.
1877 And the reason-- there are a number of reasons but I'll point out a couple of the really key ones.
1878 One, our assumptions around a mandatory offering were that you would have a price that is far closer to what the average paid for English-Canadian all news services are. I think in our models that we submitted it was about 25 cents per sub.
1879 What we're getting on average right now is 9.7 cents. In a market where the average for our competitors, English language all news channels, is 33 cents, we're getting on average 9.7 cents. We're getting so far below, and our business plans are publicly available thanks to CRTC filings. Our competitors know that a 9.7-cent subscription rate is a death sentence and that's what-- and I would suggest to you that's why they're offering that.
1880 So the objective of the person you're negotiating with is essentially in bad faith if there is not a serious offer on the table. I know MTS and TELUS for instance say there were offers on the table but they weren't serious offers. Then, you know, "must offer" in that circumstance doesn't get you anywhere.
1881 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes, I understand that, Mr. Teneycke, but it comes back to the point that the Chair made earlier, there are other recourses. You don't have to apply for 9(1)(h). You can come to the Commission and say, listen, there's undue preference-- and it was a word that was bandied about earlier. Il y avait une discussion avec monsieur Lavoie quant à la préférence indue.
1882 And why not follow that? If you're really being mistreated and your service is unfairly being undercharged or underpriced, there are other avenues you can pursue.
1883 MR. TENEYCKE: If the objective is to drive you off the airwaves by the BDUs, there are not undue preference complaints in the world to prevent that from happening, I would say is one part of the answer.
1884 The second part is what Luc referenced earlier--
1885 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Not encouraging words for independents if a--
1886 MR. TENEYCKE: It isn't an encouraging world for independents right now. You know, they essentially no longer exist in the marketplace.
1887 What we're looking at, you know, why we're sitting in front of you today, as my colleague Luc indicated, is we're here at 9(1)(h) hearings at the invitation of the CRTC, along with a number of others. We do so with confidence in the sense that we qualify. You know, this is an exceptional service. This is a service that meets the criteria, I think, perfectly for a 9(1)(h) application.
1888 It's why it's been granted to similar channels like this that have come before us or equivalent thereof and it's been granted to similar channels that have come before us, and so we're here because we qualify. Why should we not be here? Why should we not get the same benefit as those who have come before us in this process?
1889 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And the fact that some of them may have come before you 20 years ago or even longer doesn't change anything in your perspective?
1890 In other words, I just want to-- you know, many people are going to say, well, why would a regulator sort of come and save your bacon? You're a highly sophisticated company, you chose to invest in a new service, why are you asking for relief?
1891 MR. TENEYCKE: Well, we're not looking for the CRTC to make our business, and if you look at our financials that we've submitted as a part of this, there's only one way this channel ever makes money and that is if it attracts a large audience and it sells a lot of advertising.
1892 If it fails to do that at the carriage subscription rates that we're suggesting, which are well below what our competitors are getting, it will never make money and it will not be around.
1893 So we're not asking for the CRTC to make our business for us. What we're asking is very similar to what happened with the wireless spectrum offering, which is an opportunity for new entrants to come into this market and not just because you want to start a television channel but because you meet the criteria, the very specific criteria in the Act.
1894 The bar is very high and I have difficulty seeing how a channel that isn't offering 100 percent programming, Canadian programming meets the requirements that we're talking about around the Act.
1895 You know, we're offering something that is very unique, it's very exceptional in nature, and this type of product, if it's not broadly available, if it's not available to Canadians with analog cable, et cetera, it's very difficult to see how it would ever succeed.
1896 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: In the markets where you are available, what is the percentage of subs that have signed on?
1897 MR. TENEYCKE: The overall-- I would have to get a more specific market-by-market analysis, but the overall number is four out of 10 and that tracks pretty well across the country.
1898 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Four out of 10 is the number of Canadians that have access potentially to your service?
1899 MR. TENEYCKE: Oh, that have access to it or that are currently subscribed?
1900 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Currently subscribed, is it four out of 10 Canadians?
1901 MR. TENEYCKE: Access would be a different number.
1902 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: What would that number be?
1903 MR. TENEYCKE: It would be 20 percent minus off the top for analog cable, and then whatever the market share of MTS and TELUS combined is would roughly give you the figure. I can get the exact figure for you but it would be roughly that.
1904 But I would submit that the number is actually much different than that because it is predicated on the assumption that some Canadians can afford to pay another, you know, $50 or $100 a month for an enhanced cable package and I do not believe that that is true.
1905 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1906 Merci, Monsieur le Président. Thank you.
1907 LE PRÉSIDENT : Merci.
1908 Commissioner Simpson?
1909 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I have one question.
1910 With respect to BDUs offering your services, some offer you as part of a bundle-- I believe Shaw for example have you grouped with a lot of other services for a set amount of money-- and then others, I believe Rogers offers you as part of a pick-and-pay where a subscriber can select from 100 channels and put a bundle together.
1911 Have you analyzed whether there is a difference when you're offered as part of a pick-and-pay than part of a bundle? Have you been able to get granular on that?
1912 MR. TENEYCKE: The difference is in our analysis and we've done some work on this and we can certainly share it with you as part of our reappearance, but the situation is very different between different BDUs. A number offer à la carte options or pick-and-pay options. The price tends to be between $3 and $5 a month. I believe Rogers is $2.95 a month, something like that. So that is one option.
1913 Now, of course, for all of these BDUs, our share of that $3 to $5 a month is 9.7 cents. So this is not a very good transaction from a revenue-sharing perspective between the content distributor and the content producer, and there's no business model with carriage subscription fees at that discount bulk rate that support any channel.
1914 So, you know, there are differences between the different BDUs in that respect and we're happy to share that data, but I would describe them all as distinctions without a difference. It really is inconsequential in terms of what that means for our business.
1915 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Last question.
1916 BDU's are not necessarily audience-centric. They are subscriber-centric. And I go back to a comment you made about ratings where you pull with-- I believe it was Mr. Lilley's programming. You're pulling better numbers than CTV's service. So why wouldn't the BDUs look at that?
1917 Are you charging too little for your service? Because they obviously made money off of what they mark up your service for.
1918 I'm trying to understand the rationale for not wanting a more highly rated--
1919 MR. TENEYCKE: Certainly, our experience and our experience around city news in particular, a poignant example of this, is BDUs care very little what the ratings of any given channel are. They are not in the business of ratings. They are in the business of subscription revenues and upselling customers into premium packages.
1920 I think in that sense, channels like Sun News they have a very hard core number of early adopters, I would call them, that will change their consumer behaviour in order to get the channel in a way that most of the market and most of the market for this channel would not.
1921 Putting Sun News in an upper tier package or in a hard to reach place is actually very advantageous to a BDU because it will motivate part of their subscription base to move to a digital box or to an upper tier package. That's good for the BDU and it's very lucrative for them to do that.
1922 It's very bad for the content producer, in this case Sun News, because while I would say Sun News has a hard core fan base with early adopters that is unlike larger and unlike that of any other news channel out there, the larger market for it is not motivated in a similar fashion. The larger market for it will watch it if it's in front of them but they are not going to pay a huge amount of money or do all kinds of gymnastics with their cable subscriber in order to get it.
1923 And so I think the incentives for the BDU are a bit in conflict with viewers. That's not unusual.
1924 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
1925 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Molnar, no?
1926 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. I'll think of some.
1927 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, no, but maybe it's been asked already. I thought you wanted--
1928 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Yeah, I will follow up.
1929 Listening to you, and I have heard your many different reasons, I guess some of the things that really stick here is the argument of equity with incumbent new stations and the arguments related to the potential advantages to the vertically integrated.
1930 You talk about the popularity of your programming. I know you had a bit of a discussion here with Commissioner Simpson, but I'm really confused as to why it would be MTS and TELUS that you were having trouble with. They are not vertically integrated. They are not incumbents. They are, you know, pressing hard for market share. You say you have a product that subscribers want and, yet, they're the holdouts.
1931 It's confusing to me, you know, relative to some of the arguments that you've been providing us. So could you just square that for me?
1932 MR. TENEYCKE: As I think MTS and TELUS both indicate in their interventions on our application, they did provide offers to carry the channel but they provided offers that were so wholly inadequate and so at the disadvantage of the Sun News that we couldn't possibly accept them.
1933 So, yeah, I think they will take issue with kind of the way that we've characterized it. But I like the-- I always have liked that sign that says no reasonable offer will be refused. You know, our channel line and our content is for sale but there has to be a reasonable offer on the table.
1934 The offer from TELUS and MTS is unreasonable. The motivation for making an unreasonable offer is something you would have to ask them. I couldn't answer that question for them, but it doesn't change the fact that it was and that it has been.
1935 But they are in good company in the sense that I would say the offer from all the BDUs are pretty unreasonable.
1936 And what I would point to by evidence of that is the price and the penetration. It is so wholly out of scope with what is offered our competitors in the market and, really, like channels in terms of the core DNA of them being English-language news services.
1937 So you know, they are very inadequate, more inadequate in terms of their offers than the others. But I would categorize them all as to varying degrees inadequate.
1938 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So they were-- you signed better offers with others than you've been offered here.
1939 And I know we don't want to negotiate here at this table but it does just, as I said, confuse me a little bit relative to the arguments you've been making, you know, sort of focusing on the vertically-integrated carriers and the potential benefits they have and potential undue preference and so on, because these folks are not in that situation at all and they are choosing not to negotiate.
1940 I'm just-- anyway, I heard your argument.
1941 I just have one more question because the other thing I heard as you were talking to people, is I heard you talking about the BDUs and they are interested in, as you said, subscribers and upselling subscribers. And you very much had a conversation since you came here about your relationship between the content provider and the BDU.
1942 Having said that, what you're asking here is every Canadian cable provider to pay. So could I just get the-- you know, I don't want to hear about equity with what occurred 20 years ago with old news stations. I just want you to tell me right now why you think it is fair and equitable that every Canadian cable subscriber should pay for you today.
1943 MR. TENEYCKE: Well, I think the simplest answer is I think it's the law in the sense that the Broadcast Act itself which is why we're here, it's why the CRTC exists, it's why the CBC exists and sort of the foundational core of all the rules around broadcasting and to have the privilege to have access to Canadians' homes and who is going to be distributing and who isn't.
1944 And the law is not neutral on the question of Canadian content. In fact, the entire Act itself, the core of it is about the distribution of Canadian content and putting it in front of Canadians and the obligations of distributors to distribute it and producers to produce it and for it to be at times and places where Canadians are watching.
1945 The importance of that, not just in the abstract but an importance of it with respect to our democratic life, in respect to the debate of social issues and all of the complexities of a pluralistic and democratic society that we have, we qualify under the law better than I think any other channel possibly could that's before us in this context, I would say to the same degree that the CBC qualifies, I would say to the same degree to any other Canadian all-news broadcaster qualifies.
1946 And so we're here and why do we think that we, you know, should be granted this privilege? Because we qualify for it. I happen to agree very strongly with the objectives of the Broadcasting Act. I think they are-- I think they are sound. I think we meet them and I think there is a big need.
1947 If you're looking at what is the core need and what is the core cause that you can point to, it's that more Canadians are watching U.S. news.
1948 So why is it on a given day we've got 170,000 Canadians watching U.S. cable news programming and 150,000 watching Canadian? Well, they are voting with their clicker to tune into someone else's news because the product that's available on Canadian channels is not meeting their expectations as television consumers.
1949 I think that's something that should be a bit of an embarrassment to the broadcasting industry. I think it is something that can be turned around.
1950 I don't think Sun News is a complete answer to that, but I think it's a pretty good answer.
1951 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
1952 I just want to go back to my question which is why should all Canadian cable consumers pay for it? And your answer was it was the law.
1953 So when you said it is the law, are you saying it's the section of the Broadcasting Act, 9(1)(h) and the policy and the criteria we established? Is that what you're calling the law?
1954 MR. TENEYCKE: Yeah. Yeah.
1955 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Criteria we established for our policy?
1956 MR. TENEYCKE: Section 3 of the Broadcasting Act.
1957 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Section 3?
1958 MR. TENEYCKE: You know when you're looking at Section 3 of the Broadcasting Act and you're going through what are the objectives which, I think, are where the Commission drew the criteria from, we qualify.
1959 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Do you see in there where it says they should all pay or it should be made available?
1960 MR. TENEYCKE: An obligation to distribute and if you're looking at how that's being interpreted over time by the Commission, it's been mandatory distribution. By that I mean on every Canadian television set.
1961 So you know, we think as I say, and I know you may not want to hear it again, but what is good for CBC and CTV is also good for us. And I think it's good for all Canadians in the sense-- for the reasons laid out in the Act.
1962 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation. I think those are our questions.
1963 We'll take a break, a 10 minute break. Well, it'll be more than 10 minutes because we'll be breaking for-- so we'll be back at five for the last presentation.
1964 Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1647
--- Upon resuming at 1700
1965 LE PRÉSIDENT : Donc, à l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.
1966 So we'll hear from you now. So as is usual please identify yourselves for the transcript and go ahead with your presentation and in your case, 15 minutes. Thanks.
1967 MR. SMALL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, Commission staff, fellow applicants and ladies and gentlemen.
1968 My name is Jason Small and I'm the Executive Director of Education Through Media, a youth-led registered charitable organization that has helped thousands of young Canadians by providing job skills training and employment assistance in media, science and technology fields.
1969 Education Through Media is the licence holder and owner of Dolobox TV. Please allow me to introduce my panel:
1970 - To my right is Peter Lyman, Senior Partner of Nordicity. He is a veteran in preparing licence applications and Nordicity is a leader in media consulting.
1971 - And to his left, Mark Prasuhn, a broadcast, content and digital media consultant who is working with us on operating and managing the station.
1972 - To my left is Andrew Cromey. He is my creative development producer and workshop instructor at Education Through Media & Dolobox TV.
1973 - And to his left, Stephen Zolf, Partner at Heenan Blaikie and our regulatory counsel.
1974 In this time allotted to us today we hope to convey to you why a television service focused on Canadian youth, with content made by and for Canadian youth, is of exceptional importance to our broadcasting system and to our country.
1975 Basic carriage allows us to serve all youth across Canada. A charitable model is the best way to ensure this venture stays true to its mission of serving and empowering Canadian youth. We believe the Commission should bestow this service and privilege of mandatory basic carriage on this service.
1976 I've been described as a social entrepreneur. My passion is leveraging the power of media to enable social change. Education Through Media was founded in 2007 with a core mission of helping at-risk youth and directly involving them in media production. We run workshops and training opportunities, equipping youth with the necessary tools and providing mentorship opportunities with media professionals.
1977 We've built alliances with other charities across the country, such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and Taking It Global. Through these, it became evident that much of the content we were producing was of interest and relevance to a broader audience. We began thinking about how to connect these communities via television.
1978 And so, in 2011 Education Through Media applied for and was awarded a Category B licence for Dolobox TV. We were excited about this, and began the process of enrolling partners and supporters.
1979 We began to position Dolobox TV as the nexus of a national network of youth-focused organizations who could help us source and create content and build awareness.
1980 That was the genesis for Dolobox TV. "Dolo" is a slang term for "ours" and we felt that name reflected what we were seeking to do, to give youth a presence and platform that they would readily see as their own.
1981 As with any channel, the heart of the service is the content. I would now like to ask Mark to describe our content strategy.
1982 MR. PRASUHN: Thanks, Jason.
1983 I've spent my career in Canadian television, most of it working for charitable and not-for-profit organizations with a public service and policy mandate. I'm excited by the promise of a channel by and for youth, and the innovative approach and design of Dolobox TV specifically.
1984 We understand that a 9(1)(h) designation is a privilege and intended to be used only in very exceptional circumstances. In our filing and response to questions posed by the Commission in a letter of July 18th, 2012 we addressed in some detail how Dolobox TV meets the criteria in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-629. By every measure, Dolobox TV represents an exceptional and unduplicated contribution to the achievement of the objectives of the Broadcasting Act.
1985 Dolobox TV will serve an underserved audience with a varied mix of programming, with educational and community elements drawn from local, national and international sources.
1986 The programming will actually be made by youth and will be very reflective of Canada's diversity. Adding Dolobox to the basic package will make an exceptional contribution to Canadian expression and reflection and will engage the key objectives of the Broadcasting Act.
1987 Dolobox TV will deliver this through a charity structure. Although there are only a handful of specialty channels owned by a charity or not-for- profit organization, we note that several of these have been awarded mandatory carriage by the Commission over the years. This seems to us logical and reasonable, in that their mandates and related public policy objectives can't be achieved unless the channels are universally available, and as charities they have no financial or market clout and are unlikely to obtain widespread carriage by BDUs unless it is mandated.
1988 Dolobox TV will achieve exceptionally high levels of Canadian content and CPE. We have committed to a minimum of 50 percent CPE and 70 percent Canadian content, full day and evening hours, well above the levels of most Category A services. And we anticipate we'll exceed these by quite a sizeable margin.
1989 Some of the other key and distinctive aspects of Dolobox TV's content strategy include:
1990 - As I mentioned, the programs will actually be made by youth.
1991 - The channel will have a predominantly Canadian perspective focusing on youth interests.
1992 - Programming will tackle tough, relevant and timely topics from the perspective of youth, such as bullying, radicalization and mental illness, to name just a few.
1993 - The content will be created in partnership with youth-focused organizations, film/video and digital media schools and universities and other grassroots sources.
1994 While there are certainly channels that have some programming that appeals to youth audiences, there is no comparable Canadian service with Dolobox's singular focus. It will open up another window for reflection, within the regulated system. By reflecting the interests and passions of Canadian youth, Dolobox TV will bring their voices out of the shadows of the internet and invite them to become participants in civil society.
1995 We would now like to show you a brief video sample of some production created by workshop participants and then Andrew will speak to our production strategy.
--- Video presentation
1996 MR. CROMEY: Over the past three years I've worked with Education Through Media as a workshop instructor, videographer, editor and video producer, and as a technical advisor and mentor.
1997 Education Through Media's workshop-training program, which covers cinematography, pre and post-production, video and audio editing, dramatic arts and video journalism. My experience as a workshop leader has convinced me that there is a tremendous pool of talent that can be used to feed Dolobox TV with first class content.
1998 Our production workflow is two-fold.
1999 First, curated UGC media that is moderated by Dolobox's producers. We plan to produce moderated editorialized programming ranging from film and animation, fashion, politics, advocacy, amateur and extreme sports and nation-wide cultural events. Series will be developed to address the needs, interests and passions of youth, anchored by personalities and fed with UGC crowd sourced content.
2000 Secondly, a significant portion of Dolobox's schedule will consist of original production, made by Education Through Media's youth workshop participants, and like organizations across the country.
2001 It is my goal as a producer and content developer to create visually striking, edgy and youth-centred media for our primetime spots. We would combine our best producers, cinematographers, editors and our cutting edge youth assistants to create the very best. Within our volunteer ranks, youth that have grown, developed and honed their skills will be invited to work on field production because they'll be better prepared for its stressful, fast paced nature.
2002 MR. PRASUHN: Thanks, Andrew.
2003 The reference to UGC in the 2011 decision by the way, was general and captured both types of production workflow which Andrew has just described.
2004 We believe that a mandatory carriage national channel must meet a high standard of editorial and production consistency. Our model will meet that standard while still ensuring the content is created by and for youth.
2005 In addition to substantial levels of original production, we will acquire programming from third parties both in Canada and abroad. We will seek out content that meets our brand promise. Many youth have a strong global perspective and will be intensely interested in relevant content from other parts of the world. We'll bring that to them with content exclusive to our channel.
2006 The channel concept is especially well suited to a cross-media approach where TV and online content work synergistically and second-screen integration will also be a feature of some of our programming.
2007 Peter will now speak to key aspects of the research that was undertaken in support of this application.
2008 MR. LYMAN: When we examined the prospects for Dolobox TV as a Cat B licence-- thanks.
2009 THE CHAIRPERSON: Have you forgotten that? You've been at so many CRTC hearings.
2010 MR. LYMAN: I thought you had automated yourselves by now.
2011 THE CHAIRPERSON: Please go ahead.
2012 MR. LYMAN: -- we anticipated it would take several years to reach break-even, and that getting carriage would be the main obstacle.
2013 Then later we looked more closely at the actual distribution record of new Category B digital channels. We found that it included only a handful of independent English-language services. Three kinds of channels seemed to be getting launched, either those affiliated with BDUs or larger broadcasting groups, third-language channels, or those with a substantial brand identity with U.S. services and content.
2014 We came to the stark conclusion that we had little or no chance to secure distribution, notwithstanding the Commission's good efforts with the modified 3:1 linkage rule.
2015 When Dolobox-TV turned to the 9(1)(h) option, of course we needed to explore whether it would meet the test of "extraordinary need among the target audience" as set out in the CRTC's 2010 policy. So we enlisted the help of Debra MacLaughlin of Strategic Inc., who is one of Canada's pre-eminent audience researchers and has appeared frequently before the Commission. She prepared a report that is filed that documented the viewing habits of young Canadians.
2016 It found out, no surprise, that young Canadians are still watching a lot of television and, as we heard this morning, there has been some slippage, though, in overall tuning. For example, in the last two to three years in the 12-to-17 year old category a 10 percent decline in total hours watched.
2017 The research also documented that the youth are of course in the vanguard of social media and are avid YouTube consumers. The upshot is that young Canadians are heavy consumers of video-- if we include both television and Internet, but the regulated component is starting to fall short.
2018 Strategic Inc. then conducted a telephone survey of over 1,000 Canadian households-- to the decision-maker for news services-- across English-speaking Canada, where we described the Dolobox TV service. So we described it and the result was that a decisive majority thought Dolobox TV was needed, 62 percent in fact; and more than half said they would be willing to pay $0.20 cents per month for it. This positive reception crossed all demos and regions. It's important to note, of course, that our wholesale rate maxes out at $0.08 cents, but we did ask for $0.20.
2019 The survey then asked Canadians whether they thought mandatory carriage with a fee would be justified if it was the only way for the service to be made available. While the population as a whole was evenly split on this question, among the target youth audience there was an overwhelming support for mandatory carriage-- 80 percent at $0.20 cents per month, and even when we raised it to $0.40 a month we still had 70 percent saying that they wanted it.
2020 We at Dolobox think that these survey results are a clear indication of the degree of interest of our target audience.
2021 Yes, young Canadians watch music television, sports, reality shows, and drama programming that is generally popular. However, Dolobox TV represents a channel that young Canadians can identify with-- and interact with. It has the opportunity to function alongside the Internet and yet draw Canadians back to the television world.
2022 MR. SMALL: Thanks, Peter.
2023 I would like to add one more important part about the financing of Dolobox TV. Education Through Media is a small charity, accustomed to operating on a shoestring budget and benefiting from the goodwill of supporters and volunteers. However, we understand that television works differently and that operation of a television service requires substantial upfront capital.
2024 As a social entrepreneur I have had considerable success in raising funds from leading Canadian companies like TD Bank and Green Shield. I managed to secure over $200,000 in financing to make our application on a professional basis.
2025 As we all know, this is the hardest funding to raise for a television licence application. If you grant us 9(1)(h) status, I'm quite confident that I can obtain the bridge financing needed until we get into profit. As a charity I can also assure you that all the profits will be reinvested into the Dolobox TV service, as there are no private shareholders to be rewarded. We are not a privately owned applicant jumping the queue ahead of existing Cat A and Cat B services.
2026 We have also been mindful of the consumer by asking for a minimal fee. Our service would add about three-tenths of 1 percent to the cost of the average basic package.
2027 Further, we don't anticipate requiring 9(1)(h) status beyond the initial seven-year term.
2028 In conclusion, it is our view that it just isn't good enough to say to our youth that if they want to find content of relevance, they should go seek it out in the wild west of the Internet, even as they, like all Canadians, pay for the costs of our broadcasting system.
2029 And youth are not just the future of our country, they also represent the future of media and Canadian cultural expression.
2030 We believe that Dolobox TV offers a clear and compelling value proposition and that once the channel is launched it will attract support and encouragement from many quarters.
2031 I would like to leave you with three points:
2032 First, Dolobox TV, as a television channel focused on Canadian youth, with content made by and for them, will make an exceptional contribution to the Canadian broadcasting system and to the future of our country;
2033 Second, a charitable model is the best way to ensure this venture stays true to the mission of serving and empowering our youth;
2034 Finally, basic carriage of Dolobox TV will ensure that the channel can reach youth across the country and realize its objective to empower and engage them.
2035 MR. PRASUHN: Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, thank you for your attention and we look forward to addressing your questions.
2036 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
2037 Commissioner Poirier will ask the first questions.
2038 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Good afternoon, gentlemen. You are the desert for today so we have 45 minutes to answer plenty of questions I have.
2039 I will first start with your Cat B licence, okay, because Nordicity did write about the possibility to stick to the Cat B licence and I wonder what steps you have taken to launch the service as a Cat B.
2040 Have you been in contact with some BDUs? Have you tried to negotiate carriage with them?
2041 MR. SMALL: I can answer that and maybe then pass to Peter.
2042 We indeed have been in contact with BDUs and the sense that we got from speaking to them was that they are not in the mood to launch any independent channels. That was my opinion and our group going out, you know, as a newcomer and speaking them. We then reached out to Nordicity and consulted with them and they sort of concreted our opinion and that's why we decided to move on to this step.
2043 But Peter can speak a little bit more.
2044 MR. LYMAN: Yes. When Jason approached us, I thought they had a great concept, but it was no that well-- it wasn't obviously known to the BDUs and it would be quite original and I thought, well, what should we do to kind of prepare his material in the right way to go and present to them, and so on.
2045 But while thinking this through and doing the first feasibility study, we enlisted the services of a senior ex-executive who was one of the prime gatekeepers for one or two of the MSOs in the country and he said-- he or she, I don't want to identify who it was particularly-- but said that it was-- his job really was to be able to never say no, but never say yes and that so going to them would be-- with all the research we were expecting them to come back and say, give us-- you know, do more research because we may be interested, he said, you know, they won't even ask for more research because then they have to look at it and review it and there's all kinds of ways saying no without saying no officially. So we figured that we wouldn't really be turned down by anybody.
2046 Then we thought, well, why don't we just document what has happened since-- for the last 10 years since we have had digital channels and so we filed the research showing 95 Cat B licences. And we stripped out all the ones who were not what we considered independent and there were 57 of those, and eight of those 57 obtained distribution.
2047 And, you know, we even looked at the record since 2010 to kind of take the period in which your 2011-301 linkage rule was in operation--
2048 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
2049 MR. LYMAN: -- and our research stopped last year so we are maybe a few months out of date.
2050 But there again, out of the ones that were-- the actual ones that were licensed, there were about eight I think-- no, 13 were independents that were authorized, not necessarily licensed because they wouldn't have got a licence without starting, but 13 were independent. Five were ethnic; four were owned by Hollywood Suite-- which kind of fills the criteria as, you know, if you're showing Hollywood movies that's kind of a known quantity and a U.S. brand-- two were from ZoomerMedia and have not launched; one had a previous incarnation Fight Channel, so that has been distributed-- well, it was already on/off and for different reasons-- and one was the Movie Channel.
2051 So, you know, we wanted, instead of the usual way saying, well, we spent a great deal of time, we got frustrated with the BDUs and, you know, they have to carry on their business, but the fact is you just look at the data, look at the results.
2052 If you are an independent you don't have a change basically.
2053 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So you have not many-- how many doors to try to get carriage.
2054 MR. SMALL: Two.
2055 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Two, okay. No success, plus the study, so no hope for a Cat B to be distributed so you decided to apply to the 9(1)(h) because of the business model that would succeed more doing it this way?
2056 MR. SMALL: I think Peter could speak to this more. When we approached Nordicity it was essentially for advice, to advise on how to approach, as well as Mark.
2057 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So the 9(1)(h) came out from that study?
2058 MR. LYMAN: Yes.
2059 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So let's come back to ETM as 9(1)(h).
2060 I'm trying to figure out, how could you differentiate what the viewer will see while watching ETM on TV or maybe streaming it online, because you will be online, too, won't you, for free?
2061 MR. PRASUHN: We will be online. Well, if we are given the privilege of a 9(1)(h) service we would be distributed by BDUs. We would be a part of their package and we assume that because as they are all in various stages of rolling out TV everywhere we assume that the channel would be available through those platforms that they are establishing now which allow consumers that are already registered and authenticated subscribers, can then access that material online.
2062 So yes, we are not planning ourselves to run a simultaneous channel online because we feel that would take away from-- you know, and I know from my experience in having discussions in the past with BDUs when I was with Zoomer, certainly they weren't fond of the idea of essentially unregulated direct competition with the exact same content in it for obvious reasons so we would respect the partnership and the contracts and obligations we would have with our BDU partners.
2063 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you.
2064 So I wonder, the essence and the nature of your service is to try to be different from YouTube, so how much will you be different from YouTube, because kids and youth are used to going there to see whatever they want to see, and why would they move from YouTube to the traditional TV?
2065 MR. PRASUHN: I will start that and then I would like to ask Andrew to jump in a little bit more in a little more detail.
2066 But YouTube is a great vehicle and it has over 50 percent market share in that demographic and Canadians are eating it up for sure and that's great, but it is unstructured, uncurated, unmediated and certain there is a lot of content on YouTube and many other sites that I think, as a parent of a couple of teenagers myself, I wouldn't necessarily consider to be the most aspirational and good role model kind of programming that I would hope the regulated broadcasting system would be helping to provide for youth for example.
2067 So obviously we are not going to replace YouTube, we are not going to take on YouTube, it is what it is, it's highly successful and it has kind of taken the world by storm in a very short period of time.
2068 But we see, as I said in the opening remarks, there is a place in the regulated system as well and young people should be, like the rest of the other parts of the Canadian population, should have their interests reflected in that broadcast system we believe, not only with entertainment programming, certainly there is some of that there, but also with informational current affairs and programming of a variety of genres. So that's one part of it.
2069 And then as well, of course, in offering a curated experience with a programming schedule and structure that is generally in traditional half-hour or one-hour time blocks, it's a different experience obviously than the YouTube experience is.
2070 Of course, we are aware that YouTube is starting to get into the channel game and that's great. I think that will make life interesting for many regulated Canadian services over time, but there won't be much in the way of any guarantees of Caandian presence, I would venture to say, in that mix.
2071 So there are a couple of aspects of it, but I think Andrew can probably talk a little more to some of the specifics around the content.
2072 MR. CROMEY: The difference between a YouTube and what we are doing is that they are two totally different beasts.
2073 The most content that you see on YouTube that's produced, anything after 3 minutes starts to lose its audience and people start to get very impatient online. So what we are doing is taking content and even producing our own original content and that is going to be curated within the station.
2074 Now, to answer your question a bit more on the lines of like why would people go to YouTube and then why would they come to us, well, the difference is that there is-- for some of our shows we would actually ask them to give us user-generating content, like say a 2-minute video of, you know, doing some skateboarding or some sort-- then that would be part of a show, but another youth could actually come to us and be part of one of our shows and say, "Hey, I have an idea for something" and we would mentor that person, we would put them in contact. Maybe as someone in a junior level within the organization and as over time they would get more experience and they might even join our senior ranks.
2075 So it's not a situation where, "Hey, I just shot this cool little video", they are actually joining the team, they are joining what we are trying to do, and being part of that community is something that YouTube can't do.
2076 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Seventy percent of your content will be Canadian. Out of that 70 percent how much will come from user-generated content and how much from other sources?
2077 MR. PRASUHN: We budgeted in the early going for a fairly high repeat ratio because we are a small broadcaster with a modest fee and modest other sources of revenue. So within that-- in the first year for example we budgeted 300 hours of original content. I would say within that-- I mean Andrew is probably better to answer that, but I would say within that the UGC component might be in the 10 to 20 percent range perhaps.
2078 MR. CROMEY: It really depends in terms of which shows. Some stuff is almost entirely UGC.
2079 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes, but the mean. The mean.
2080 MR. ZOLF: On average.
2081 MR. CROMEY: On average?
2082 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: On average, yes.
2083 MR. CROMEY: I would say maybe like 40 percent, around there? Yes.
2084 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Forty percent--
2085 MR. CROMEY: Yes.
2086 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: -- of your Canadian content would be UGC?
2087 MR. CROMEY: Yes, I would say so.
2088 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
2089 MR. CROMEY: And that's more based on our like curated content. So it's not something where we are just taking something directly from online and then suddenly it's going to TV.
2090 That's not really how we see that working, because we see two problems.
2091 There is a problem with, you know, what if it's not safe for on-air. We have to have someone overseeing it, it has to be quality controlled.
2092 Second, maybe it's just the quality isn't there for it, right. So what we would have to so is, say someone comes up with an idea with the whole idea of like-- say someone says, "Oh, we have a video that we really like, we want to incorporate that into a show, we would sit down and we would say, okay, well, maybe we can reshoot this, maybe we can send some of our cinematographers and we can work with you and then we can develop that as part of the show. That is still curated and that's still user-generated content and the youth are still being involved in what we are doing.
2093 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So if 40 percent out of 70 percent of Canadian content comes from UGC, where does the rest come from:?
2094 MR. CROMEY: The rest would come from-- we would make our own original content. So we have producers in-house that we are using, the youth that are going to be working with us, but we are developing our own content. We are going to be creating our own shows around different ethnic groups all across the country, whether it's aboriginal, if it's Newfoundlander music or if we go over to B.C., and that's very youth-driven. So that is stuff that we would sit down and write our own scripts and kind of figure out and produce that on our own. So it's a mixture of the two.
2095 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So you need a good start-up to buy cameras, studios, I don't know-- yes? You have planned all that? You won't be working with independent producers?
2096 MR. PRASUHN: Yes. Just a couple of clarifications.
2097 When we use the term-- as I mentioned in the opening remarks, the term "UGC" is sometimes used a little loosely, so in our world there is the-- as Andrew said, there's different types so there are going to be people supplying things basically that they created and want to put into a system somewhere, whether they upload it or send it to us or whatever and if it's suitable we might use it.
2098 But there is also programming that is essentially kind of commissioned UGC where there has been direction given to the individuals or people making it to say, you know, "Make a 2-minute piece on such-and-such a topic and we will plug it into this half hour show."
2099 So that's almost more like a magazine format program where somebody is creating a segment and we would still call that UGC or crowd sourced because it, and also because, you know, frankly, we are offloading a bit of the cost of the making of the show that way by having those partnerships with people who are willing to do it and supply it to us.
2100 But yes, to your question, there will be a pool essentially, as Andrew was describing, of shared talent and resources and equipment and the partnership with the charity who has that mandate to deliver the workshop training and also the partnerships with charities across Canada who are doing similar things to sort of allow it to kind of network and expand that effort across the country is a lot of what Dolobox as a broadcaster will be relying on, so the two things work very synergistically in that sense and Dolobox is going to be, as you saw in the application, a very small team of people on a full-time basis as employees, but reaching out with a much, much larger base of youth and volunteers and workshop participants.
2101 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: But I'm trying to figure out is will the independent producers be involved in this new channel if we provide you with a 9(1)(h) status? Are they going to be producing for you?
2102 MR. PRASUHN: There may be occasions where that would happen, but that's not really very likely to--
2103 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: But that's not--
2104 MR. PRASUHN: I mean essentially we would look at the youth that were engaging through-- I mean, you know, we talked a lot about Education through Media, that's one group of youth, there are many, many others. I mean, there are co-ops right across the country, Saskatchewan Film Pool that I used to work with a good example there. So we would seek to create partnerships with those groups right across Canada who would have that capability and then they would become suppliers of content in the same kind of way that an independent producer does.
2105 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
2106 MR. PRAUHN: But if you are asking are we going to pre-licence fairly expensive programming from kind of legacy-established, you know, CMPA senior members, no, I mean that's not really in the economy of this channel.
2107 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: I was wondering if you were going to solicit the Canadian Media Fund to help you produce some of the Canadian content.
2108 MR. PRASUHN: Well, it would take time to build any sort of envelope I guess, but that wouldn't be in the plans in certainly the early going.
2109 I mean the programming here, just to be clear, too, it's a general interest variety of topics, and so on, but notwithstanding that the Cat B licence has a very broad swath of categories in it, really what we are interested in and what we are looking to do are primarily going to be Category 2 and 11, so it's factual, informational-type programming.
2110 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
2111 MR. PRASUHN: Much of that, as you know, wouldn't be eligible for CMF in any event.
2112 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
2114 MR. CROMEY: To go further on that point, we do have a lot of connections with Ryerson University and there is a lot of film students even coming out, so having all the students that are coming out of school-- even within Toronto we have, you know, the Toronto Film School, we have Ryerson, we have York, there is a plethora of all sorts of really good content and one of the shows that we were thinking that we are going to be doing is doing like a crowd source content with short films, animations and that also has excellent production value because they just came out of school and they have excellent gear for that.
2115 And even building relationships with those schools themselves, those are students that will need experience. It's very hard to get a job with the Canadian broadcasting system as an editor, as a cinematographer without having those broadcast credits and this provides an element that we can say, "Oh, where have I seen your stuff before? Oh, I have seen it on Dolobox TV" or "I have seen it here" and that provides another bridge from being straight out of school to actually jumping straight into your career.
2116 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: And this is all going to be good quality programming?
2117 MR. CROMEY: Yes.
2118 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. What percentage of your programming will be acquired or commissioned?
2119 MR. PRASUHN: In the beginning we had about a two-to-one ratio on the number of hours, but we would air the original more often, so in the schedule, which we are still developing-- and again I just want to underline a key point, very much youth guided, so when I was programming channels like Vision TV and ONE Body Mind Spirit channel, it's a bit of a top-down exercise from executives at networks who do that, this is much more about a bottom-up model where we engage the youth workshop participants in the networks that we have across the country who will give us guidance and feedback about what should be in the schedule too. So it would be a bit of an organic ongoing process.
2120 But in terms of just raw hours, there are more hours acquired than produced, but the ones that are produced are quite a bit more often. So, in the totality of the schedule, you know, two thirds or so of the schedule at least will be the original programming.
2121 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So one third would be commissioned?
2122 MR. PRASUHN: Sorry, about one third or so would be acquired, give or take a bit.
2123 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So, one third comes from commissioned programming and then, some come from YouTube. So, my question is because of the nature of your service and it's a diverse range of topics, including technology, fashion music, environment, we saw that on your video, everything seems to be widely available via licence service or Internet.
2124 So, why would you need, why would you want to have a 9(1)(h) to provide viewers with that kind of programming if it's already available somewhere else?
2125 MR. PRASUHN: I'll start and then maybe ask Andrew again to jump into. Again, the key being the youth perspective programs that are made by people in the actual age of the people that we hope will watch it.
2126 That's not the way most of the program genres that you are describing are generally manufactured in Canada or elsewhere. There is always exceptions. Of course, great shows like Street Sense or ZeD or others that over time have popped up on occasion and kind of enlisted that sort of youth energy, innovation and creativity in the system, but those are one off.
2127 This is we're talking about a whole channel, an entire home essentially for that kind of production methodology and we believe that will create a tangible difference in terms of what the programs look and feel like and what their content is and how they are received.
2128 As Peter said earlier, you know, we are looking at the trends and watching youth slowly watching less Canadian television in terms of the numbers and, at the same time no one could argue, I think, that youth are not interested in video because they are exploding on the Internet. So, if you add the two together, youth are avid consumers of video.
2129 But so part of our conclusion is it may be that those programs that you are describing, while they are well done and very professional and then offered in a variety of different, you know, thematic channels and the like, are not as relevant to youth as they might be.
2130 And so, they are starting to move away from the system, even though our research told us youth like specialty channels. They like it as a format, but they are simply not watching as much of it as other demographics.
2131 MR. CROMEY: And I'll just say as well and say that the reason why we have a lot of students, a lot of our people are going on to YouTube, and a lot of the people within the courses that we have taught are going on to YouTube because there is no hope for them to get any of that content on TV.
2132 So, they go to YouTube, they upload it there and they send it out to people and, you know, they might even have some film festivals, but there have been tons of films that have won awards and they haven't been seen on television.
2133 The only ones that really have-- like, even some shorts that have gone to the Academy Awards may play on Bravo between two shows and they are excellent work, but it won't play anywhere else.
2134 So, they'll throw it on YouTube because that's the easier place to see it, send out a link that's, you know, a five-minute movie or a twelve-minute film and that's an easier vehicle for that. So, what we are trying to do is create a vehicle where we can have shows that are like ZeD or even have pure science and technology shows which are just-- like something like Discovery Canada's Daily Planet where we have a host and-- but instead of having university professors we have youth that are talking more about how is science and technology affecting youth.
2135 So, youth are more tech savvy these days. They understand how cell phones work, they understand how Internet works, how computers work. You'd be surprised of like how many students that we have in the class that can, you know, re-wire a Mac Pro, you know. They can do all the things that, you know, the trained people spent ten years doing.
2136 So, they understand technology a lot more, but for them to produce something and let's say it's even exceptional quality, it could play on Discovery Channel, well, they would-- they could try and sell it, but it's not going to get there because they would have to intern for four years and it would take forever, whereas we can do work directly with them and say, hey! maybe it's 80 percent, can't go on television yet, but if we work a little bit with you and message it a bit more, then yes, it will be 100 per cent that we can definitely put this on broadcast television.
2137 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Um-hm. So, let's talk about the youth as a target group because this is the one you are aiming to with this 9(1)(h) distribution and they moved away from TV. Do you have numbers that show that they have moved away from TV? Do you have some data on that?
2138 MR. LYMAN: We filed as part of our filing, it was Strategic Inc Research and certainly, you know, keep findings of that particular study which looked at other studies, showed, and then I'll expand a little bit more than what I did in the opening presentation, but for instance, over the last three-- two to three years, dealing about young people downward which I mentioned decline as deep as 10 percent in weekly hours viewed and a two-hour drop in per capita tuning.
2139 And, you know, it's a slope down. I don't know if it's, you know, down to nothing, in fact we don't believe that at all and I think, you know, the conversation you were having with FUSION this morning, we would echo that part of it, in that TV is still a very powerful medium for the youth and our research tended to point to indicators of it slipping among particularly the teen demographic.
2140 But, actually in the last two three years, although teens went down by 10 percent, the 18 to 25 and another demographic above that went down maybe four or five percent or something like that. So, I mean, it is a decline.
2141 What you see is a huge leap forward in like 50 and 60 percent is watching up loaded videos, which is mainly by YouTube and others. So, they are consuming more and just a little bit less TV.
2142 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So bringing them back to the good old TV seems to be for you an exceptional need for the broadcasting system?
2143 MR. LYMAN: Well, I know everybody else wants to jump on this, but bringing them-- we hesitate to be that-- you know, we are not backing or we are not going to turn around YouTube or the Internet. That's-- we see it as something alongside of it.
2144 There is not-- you know, if the world were different and you were up there licensing Internet television as well, you know you would have various ways in which you would try to get more canadian content in it. So, there is only going to be as much as the market will bear on unregulated video viewing.
2145 So, having a place where kids across the country can generate and have an outlet and them being part of the broadcast system, well, they will also put on YouTube, et cetera, but it seems to us as a way to really make a difference in broadcasting and among youth and get them to do that part of the conversation that, you know, all the probable social reasons that we talked about, but also broadcasting races, but then other will comment.
2146 MR. PRASUHN: Yes, I think that's well-said. Yes, we are not turning back the clock here, we know that's not possible and it's not our objective at all and, in fact, as I've mentioned briefly in my remarks, we think there is some powerful Internet synergy strategies that only a broadcast outlet can really unlock the potential of such a second screen, which really if you look around the landscape here in Canada, there is a lot more innovation going on elsewhere and we think there is lots of room to manoeuvre with that to really step it up and get some initiatives happening and we think this demo is the group to help lead that for sure because they are currently doing it online space, while not enlist their energies and enthusiasm for the benefit of the broadcast system as well.
2147 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So, let's move to the business plan now because you made many significant changes during this proceeding.
2148 At the beginning you were expecting, I think, 80 percent of your revenue from advertising and now it's marginal.
2149 How come you made such a big turnaround?
2150 MR. LYMAN: Well, it's called a "pivot", I guess.
2151 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. I love this word, pivot.
2152 MR. LYMAN: We first looked at it and to be fair, when it was filed on June 1, the process was a little bit unusual. We didn't know what to file exactly. So, a preliminary feasibility study was filed, which represented our thinking at that time.
2153 And if you asked about the advertising figures, there we looked at as a model, other proxies. And so, we've picked MTV1 and MTV2 as a proxy and showed how much advertising they got per sub and we applied that to ours as a forecast.
2154 In retrospective it is a bit faulty because MTV and MTV2 are quite-- obviously it's a different channel, but they are commercial entertainment driven and they have a brand and so, and so it was probably the wrong proxy to use.
2155 And then, we have looked further about what kind of channel we wanted to have and you notice other things in the business that the change from that period from the June to the August period, we invested a lot more on the programming and the development of programming and the relationship with the youth and the various partnerships that we have been discussing.
2156 So that we didn't-- we thought, we were starting to create an environment which was not as hospitable to a much more straightforward hit the youth market with the music and go after the advertisers and we said we would do a little bit better in sponsorship because of charitable organization we deal with better obviously and the foundations and maybe a partner with government at some point.
2157 So, it became extra source of revenue and we became quite conservative in the advertising and in fact, used more the other charitable based organizations as our proxies. For instance, I think we have started our ad at 10 percent of APTN level and then built up considerably from there.
2158 I know Mark can talk about his days at another charitable organization, Vision, and how that would build up.
2159 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: I would prefer to move to the second pivot you made in this whole file. While you projected programming expenditure in the range of one to two million dollars, now it's 8.9 million dollars, so what made you change this?
2160 MR. LYMAN: Well, the change, to be specific, is we-- our assumptions were far more oriented towards a, you know, UGC music type of channel where we started to figure out how we are going to do it in depth to make a greater better product.
2161 We went from, you know, some 2,000 hours to 10,000 hours, which is, you know, for a conventional network it's still much of a pittance, but I think you've heard the description of how we are going to do it off loading some of the costs to the youth as it were.
2162 So-- but it was just, you know, to be, to provide something of exceptional value, we need to put some investment into it and we figured that that was a better model and a better platform and I think it's because we talked to brother Mark for a long time and he, you know, stabilized some of the projections.
2163 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: In your business plan you also made some projection on different rates, .06 to .08 cents and then .03 to .04 and .05 to .07, so surprisingly all the expenses remain unchanged.
2164 How can that be?
2165 MR. LYMAN: Well, I think we have gone through how the programming expenses changed, of course. That's one area with a change. I think if you look at the numbers, our administration went up by 50 percent. Our assumptions as to-- we obviously, going from certainly can't be, we are going to try to scrabble up all the way through Toronto first and outwards. We went to a 9(1)(h) we-- you know, would right away get into the satellite game. So, those numbers changed as well.
2166 So, you know, the head count changed maybe modestly because that kind of programming methodology we had didn't necessitate major change there, but if you have any specific references, I can answer them more specifically.
2167 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Well, surprisingly, your expenses remain unchanged and your revenues are changing. Usually, we adapt the revenues to-- the expenses to the revenues and in the different tariffs you filed, the line, you keep on spending the same amount of money, so I wonder how that can be viable if we allow you to be distributed on the 9(1)(h) and we agree on a .03 cents or on a .05 cents or an .08 cents, how can you survive, if your expenses are the same and the revenues are different?
2168 MR. PRASUHN: Yes. I think one part of the answer would be that we were-- I believe we were modelling in response to a specific question posed by Commission staff.
2169 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
2170 MR. PRASUHN: So, we were trying to show different models and the effect of reductions to the rate.
2171 So, as Peter said, we did come up with a plan and what's in front of you is that the channel at the .06 cents increasing over the term up to .08 is, we believe, a very viable model that will allow us to create a critical mass of good quality programming, not poor quality, but good quality programming that's well packaged and with a licence with a cost of $10,000 an hour, which is we heard from other applicants today is actually above the level that some others were talking
2172 about today and certainly it's above levels I have worked with on national channels in the past.
2173 So, we are very confident of those numbers. Obviously, you're right, I mean, if we were to face a situation where we could-- we were given the privilege of launching the channel, but the economic-- the revenue situation change, we would adapt the business accordingly.
2174 Just as an example, when I came to launch one back in the beginning of 2001, I was handed a business plan from the previous management, which showed 2.25 million subscribers in the first year of operation and that was based on the assumption that years 1, 2, 3 of the 1990 would continue to roll out.
2175 And then, as we got closer to the September of 2001 launch BDUs started to talk about pick a pack and made it clear how cat. A would actually work in practice and we had to ratchet the projections down by 60 or 70 percent and obviously cut the expenses in line with that.
2176 So, we know how to operate a business and certainly we would adjust to the circumstances as they occur, absolutely.
2177 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: O.k. Thank you very much. Are you requesting mandatory distribution on the digital basic service by exempt BDUs?
2178 MR. PRASUHN: I would like Steven to jump in on that one.
2179 MR. ZOLF: Thanks, Mark. Yes, Commissioner Poirier, we would want to fall under that pool as well of exempt subscribers and I know you had that discussion with a previous applicant. The terms of the Commission's order amending that order recently after the vertical integration framework, there is a section for 9(1)(h) services although they are listed, they are enumerated. So, I think I would have to think about it. I think you would want to actually put the services in that exemption order to make sure that they fall under it.
2180 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. Let's talk about the wholesale rate. Would your wholesale rate apply to all Canadians, even in the French market?
2181 MR. PRASUHN: No. We would look at-- we would operate it as 50 percent discount as others have said and certainly again that's the norm I have operated with with other channels.
2182 And just as a footnote to that, I had some success in offering channels that were English language but where the subject matter would potentially resinate a bit in the market, there have been-- you know, there could be a take-up, we hope, in some systems on that, but obviously at a 50 percent discount.
2183 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Is there some French broadcasting on your project?
2184 MR. PRASUHN: No. It's an English channel, so--
2185 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: English channel.
2186 MR. PRASUHN: Yes.
2187 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Nothing in French.
2188 MR. PRASUHN: Absolutely, that's right.
2189 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: No, but I am asking because we had some other applicants who put some French throughout the day of broadcasting, so I was wondering. Would you accept a mandatory distribution through Canada except Quebec?
2190 MR. PRASUHN: Yes, I believe so.
2191 MR. LYMAN: Let me jump in. Well, I mean that's-- it's always a question of Quebec, you know, because-- I mean, I am a Quebecer myself and, you know, there is a ton of people who might appreciate this and among the youth and so, I guess if we're starting to get into the negotiation or whatever, I am not the person to deal with, but as I think that would-- personally I think it would be a bit rough justice to do that. I would rather be able to, you know, get the manager carriage without-- with a different price range for those that were designated with more French language people at a lower rate. But I am not the boss here, so--
2192 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So, I would love to hear it from the boss, then?
2193 MR. SMALL: I agree with Peter, yes, definitely right.
2194 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. You provided us with evidence that younger groups would be willing to pay .20 cents per month. So, I wonder what is the rationale behind that number because the whole sale rate you're asking is .08 cents, between .06 and .08?
2195 MR. LYMAN: Well, actually, I had some discussion with Mr. Debra McLaughlin on this and the way we looked at it was that there was no way in which this would be a single change in basic where, oh! we've had this hearing and now there is one service on and that's a single decision by a BDU.
2196 A BDU makes its rate calculations based on many factors, so if an annual increase which it feels they could make, it has to make a judgment of whether the subscribers-- what the subscribers reaction is going to be and it may attenuate some of the negative reaction by offering them new services.
2197 So, we really find it extremely difficult to come up with any kind of proxy for what that part of that fee would be. Different BDUs would do it differently.
2198 So, all we want to do is to get away from the notion that we were just doing a .06 to .08 cents increase and with the realistic notion that there is going to be some mark-up. So, we tested those two price at .20 and .40 cents, so it was just-- this is for market testing. It wasn't to-- as a signal to BDUs that that's the rate they should use in their business plans.
2199 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. And it's not related to your experience of the mark-ups that BDUs will take on the wholesale fee?
2200 MR. LYMAN: Well, it's not related in a precise way. As we say, I mean, if you start of with Pay TV which there was a kind of a universal way to what the mark-up would be, but those are the days when they had single channels. Once you get to a pick-and-pay situation, to know the true mark-up as it were from all those channels on different packages, it changes and I don't think there is any standard or there is no number that I have seen that could proxy that and then there is all kinds of negotiations going on now with changes of the-- specially in the sports world, changes in the pricing of the wholesale rates. And it therefore has implication for retail.
2201 So, I mean, you know, a BDU really wants another major sports package might not change-- might not put any wholesale-- retail rate higher than the wholesale rate just because they don't want to get the higher the consumers you have to force to pay a higher rate, so, and then to work it in. So, it's a market.
2202 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes, okay.
2203 MR. PRASUHN: And just to add to that too, as you noticed, maybe you have noted in some of the interventions from BDUs, there were some who were critical of surveys where they felt the price had been artificially set too low to induce the consumer to be more likely to say yes.
2204 So in a sense we were trying to-- we kind of anticipated that might be a bit of an issue and so thought better to overshoot because, you're right, I mean certainly normatively we would expect kind of, say, a two-to-one, you know, the mark-up. If we offer it at six the retail might be $0.12 or something of that nature. But, as Peter said, we don't control that, we wouldn't have control over it and so we wanted to make sure there was a good cushion so no one could take us to task and say, well, you know, if you had only asked at a more accurate level you would have gotten a much less favourable response from Canadians to the offer.
2205 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: I only have two questions left.
2206 You are asking for only one term of mandatory distribution, but what are the changes that after a license term you could come back to us requesting a second term, and so on, continue term after term?
2207 What are the probabilities that one term would be enough?
2208 MR. PRASUHN: I know that Jason and maybe Peter will want to jump in on this, too, but just to start, we have very much built a plan on the assumption that we need to make this work within that kind of timeframe, not just because we thought that you might be willing to give us one term, but not necessarily entertain it again, but also the pace at which the world is changing and, you know, if the online video world keeps growing at 60 percent, the kind of hearings you have here generally may be quite different in a few years time.
2209 So we believe that seven years is really kind of an eternity, frankly, and it should be enough time for us, even as a start-up service, without advantages of strong branding and multi-billion dollar deep pockets behind us, to get a good foothold in the market and create that compelling offering with broadcast and online together and then whatever the world may bring in terms of seven years from now we will be more than ready for it.
2210 MR. SMALL: I agree. I believe that that would be enough time to build enough brand support and infrastructure.
2211 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: And could it be five years?
2212 MR. SMALL: I think we looked at that a bit, I think I said.
2213 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. Well, I don't want to discuss this issue more than that, but my final question is: How can you justify that Canadians will pay for that service, will want to pay for that service, because we are not targeting with the 9(1)(h) only the youth, we are targeting all the Canadians, so why do you think they would accept to pay that amount of money for your service?
2214 MR. LYMAN: I will just answer on the broader question of-- of course we asked that-- that's why we had the survey and meticulously went through that with all Canadians, I mean the thousand who represented all Canadians, all demographics and regions, so English Canada, and we were very pleased that when we described what it was that people-- the majority, as I said, 62 percent, had described it as, yes, it's a need and we accept that, you know, we need that kind of channel.
2215 So then you go down the line of, okay, we are willing to pay for is, yes. What if it's made mandatory? We still got a split decision among the non-youth about 50:50. So we thought-- I mean you are never going to get anything to be 100 percent, but the youth certainly were buying it at a 70-80 percent level, but the rest of subscribers, even though it was only going to be benefitting the youth-- because don't forget, this channel is not just another amusing channel for the youth, it's engaging our youth across the country in a number of things, especially youth at risk because we come from that-- Jason comes from that whole culture. So I think that's why it transcends just another kind of broadcast channel, but--
2216 MR. PRASUHN: Yes, I think that's well put. I mean I look at it and say in the $33-$35 a month that people are spending to get a basic package in Canada today, to say that $0.06 of that will go towards a channel that can empower youth and try to channel energies of youth generally and youth at risk in a positive direction, given the headlines of the day let alone anything else, I think it's a pretty cheap bargain relative to the potential social benefits.
2217 So looking at it coming from a charity that's mission-driven, has a social mission and is attempting to use media in a positive and constructive way to engage youths and channel those energies in a positive way, we think it's a bargain at that price.
2218 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you, gentlemen.
2219 THE CHAIRPERSON: It looks like those are our questions. Thank you very much, Mr. Small and your team, very interesting.
2220 That pretty much does our day for today. Thank you for hanging on to the end of it. I know it's tough being last spot.
2221 So we will adjourn until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.
2222 Thank you. Merci.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1805, to resume on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 0900
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