Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2017-160
Ottawa, 18 May 2017
Notice of hearing
16 October 2017
Renewal of the broadcasting licences for terrestrial broadcasting distribution undertakings that will expire in May 2018
Deadline for submission of interventions/comments/answers: 27 June 2017
[Submit an intervention/comment/answer or view related documents]
The Commission will hold a hearing commencing on 16 October 2017 at 9 a.m. at the Conference Centre, Portage IV, 140 Promenade du Portage, Gatineau, Quebec, to consider the licence renewal applications of the terrestrial broadcasting distribution undertakings listed in Appendix 1 to this notice.
Attend the hearing or listen to it online.
- The Commission is pursuing its public proceeding to consider the renewal of the broadcasting licences for the terrestrial broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs) listed in Appendix 1 to this notice.
- In Broadcasting Decision 2017-159, also issued today, the Commission administratively renewed these licences from 1 December 2017 to 31 May 2018.
- In Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2016-197, the Commission launched the first phase of a two-phased BDU licence renewal process. The scope of Phase 1 was limited to:
- the review of all licensees’ practices in regard to the small basic service and flexible packaging requirements;
- the imposition of conditions of licence relating to the Wholesale Code, the Television Service Provider Code and participation in the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services Inc.; and
- the renewal of those licences on a short-term basis.
- The Commission also announced its intention to examine all other matters regarding the licences in Phase 2 of the renewal process, including any issues with respect to compliance.
- In Broadcasting Decision 2016-458 resulting from Phase 1 of the renewal process, the Commission renewed the licences from 1 December 2016 to 30 November 2017, imposed the above-noted conditions of licence and set out a list of best practices for BDUs to follow to help Canadians form their own value proposition for TV services, regardless of what services or products they choose.
- The Commission also stated that it would monitor, among other things, how BDUs promote and offer the small basic service, pick-and-pay and small package options and take any necessary remedial action when it examined the renewal of the licences for most BDUs in 2017.
- The Commission is now initiating Phase 2 of the renewal process, in which it intends to examine, among other things:
- the renewal of the licences for BDUs listed in Appendix 1, with a focus on compliance with respect to requirements related but not limited to:
- practices relating to the small basic and flexible packaging options;
- community channels; and
- requests for licence amendments, including the addition, amendment or deletion of conditions of licence.
- the renewal of the licences for BDUs listed in Appendix 1, with a focus on compliance with respect to requirements related but not limited to:
- The public record for each of the items being considered is available on the Commission’s website. The renewal application forms, related documents and responses to requests for additional information can be found by clicking on the application numbers provided in Appendices 1 and 3 of this notice. The logs submitted as part of the community channel monitoring exercise can be found by clicking on the locations in Appendix 2 of this notice. Certain related documents, including, among other things, the public record relating to the complaints regarding community channels, are available on the Commission’s website.
- Although the hearing will be held in the National Capital Region, the Commission will consider providing videoconference or teleconference links should it receive requests in this regard.
- Additional documents may be added to the public file following the issuance of this notice of consultation. Interested parties are accordingly advised to consult the public record on an ongoing basis.
- As directed by the Commission in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2016-147, licensees listed in Appendix 1 have submitted their renewal applications, which also include requests to retain, add, amend and/or delete conditions of licence. Further details are available in the applications. In addition, the Commission has also requested clarifications and further information from licensees on various matters, including those outlined below.
Practices relating to the small basic service and flexible packaging options
- As previously noted, the Commission is pursuing its review of licensees’ practices relating to the small basic service and flexible packaging options to ensure that they are offering services in a manner that is consistent with the requirements set out in the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations (the Regulations)Footnote 1 and with the objectives set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-96.
- In addition to the above-noted requirements, which came into effect on 1 March 2016, the Commission will consider whether and how licensees have implemented the requirement to offer all discretionary services both on a stand-alone basis and in packages of up to 10 programming services, which came into effect on 1 December 2016.
- As requested by the Commission, licensees listed in Appendix 1 have provided an update on the responses regarding their small basic service and flexible packaging options provided during Phase 1 of the proceeding. These responses have been placed on the public record.
- In letters dated 28 July 2016 and 1 August 2016, Commission staff indicated that the various complaints filed against certain BDUs as Part 1 applicationsFootnote 2 would be examined in Phase 2 of the BDU licence renewal proceeding. These relate to the apparent non-compliances of several community channels operated in various markets by Shaw Cablesystems Limited (Shaw), Cogeco Connexion Inc. (formerly Cogeco Cable Canada LP) (Cogeco), Bragg Communications Inc., carrying on business as Eastlink (Eastlink), Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (formerly Rogers Cable and Data Centres Inc.) (Rogers) and Videotron Ltd. and 9227-2590 Québec inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Videotron G.P. (Videotron).
- Consistent with these letters, the interventions and documents already filed in the context of these applications have been placed on the record of this BDU licence renewal proceeding.
- Further, as part of a monitoring exercise launched in October 2016, Commission staff requested that the above-noted licensees provide logs and audio-visual recordings of programming aired on their community channels serving licensed and exempt systems to allow the Commission to assess compliance with the requirements set out in the Regulations and Broadcasting Order 2015-544, including local and access programming.
- The logs are available for consultation on the Commission’s website. For the duration of this proceeding, interested parties may consult the audio-visual recordings at CRTC headquarters during business hours upon request.Footnote 3 The Commission further directs licensees to make these recordings available to interested parties, upon request, by providing an electronic version or an electronic link to the recordings within two business days.
- The Commission intends to examine the compliance of the community channels operated by Shaw, Cogeco, Eastlink, Rogers and Videotron listed in Appendix 2 as part of this proceeding.
- In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2016-224, the Commission stated its intention to impose conditions of licence on licensed BDUs operating community channels that would require them to caption 100% of original licensee-produced programming by the end of their next licence term. Although all licensees listed in Appendix 1 confirmed that they would adhere to the closed captioning requirement, with the exception of Videotron, some noted the challenges of meeting this requirement in light of the reductions in funding for the community channel. Videotron’s alternate proposal, as well as the responses from licensees, are available on the public record.
Contributions to Canadian programming
- Starting in 2014, the Commission issued letters to various licensees, including Cogeco, Eastlink, Rogers, TELUS Communications Company and 2251723 Ontario Inc., informing them of the results of its audit of the annual returns for the 2009-2010 to 2013-2014 broadcast years. The Commission identified one or more areas of non-compliance with the contribution requirements under sections 34 and 35 of the Regulations and directed these licensees to pay the shortfalls. While these shortfalls have since been paid, the audit for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 broadcast years is still in progress.
- The Commission is taking these non-compliances into consideration as part of this proceeding. The above-noted Commission letters and the licensees’ responses to a request from Commission staff to indicate what measures they have taken to prevent further non-compliance relating to Canadian programming contributions have been placed on the public record.
Set-top box audience measurement system and industry working group
- In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-86, the Commission required the industry to form a working group to develop a set-top box-based audience measurement system. This group was to report back to the Commission on its conclusions regarding the data to be collected, a governance structure, privacy protocols (including whether aggregation of data addresses all privacy issues) and a system for addressing the funding and cost recovery.
- The Commission considers it appropriate to evaluate the working group’s progress in this regard in the context of the BDU licence renewals. Accordingly, Commission staff has taken the opportunity to request information from licenseesFootnote 4 with respect to their contributions towards the development of a set-top box-based audience measurement system. In addition, the Commission has requested information on the capabilities and uses of the data collected from their set-top boxes. The responses can be found on the public record.
Outcomes of this proceeding
- All matters regarding the licensees for which the broadcasting licences will expire on 31 May 2018, including any issues with respect to compliance, are being dealt with as part of this licence renewal proceeding. Where non-compliance is identified, the Commission will take the appropriate measures, given the facts of each application.
Deadline for interventions, comments or answers
27 June 2017
- The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (the Rules of Procedure) apply to the present proceeding. The Rules of Procedure set out, among other things, the rules for content, format, filing and service of interventions, answer, replies and requests for information; the procedure for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure; and the conduct of public hearings. Accordingly, the procedure set out below must be read in conjunction with the Rules of Procedure and related documents, which can be found on the Commission’s website under “Statutes and Regulations.” Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-959 provides information to help interested persons and parties understand the Rules of Procedure so that they can more effectively participate in Commission proceedings.
- An intervention or an answer from a respondent must be filed with the Commission and served on the applicant on or before the above-mentioned date. An answer from a respondent must also be served on any other respondent.
- Interventions and answers must clearly identify the application referred to and indicate whether parties support or oppose the application, or, if they propose changes to it, include the facts and grounds for their proposal.
- The intervention or answer must include one of the following statements in either the first or the last paragraph:
- I request to appear at the public hearing.
- I do not want to appear at the public hearing.
- Parties are permitted to coordinate, organize, and file, in a single submission, interventions by other interested persons who share their position but do not wish to appear at the hearing. Information on how to file this type of submission, known as a joint supporting intervention, as well as a template for the covering letter to be filed by the parties, can be found in Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2010-28-1.
- The Commission encourages interested persons and parties to monitor the record of the proceeding, available on the Commission’s website, for additional information that they may find useful when preparing their submissions.
- Submissions longer than five pages should include a summary. Each paragraph of all submissions should be numbered, and the line ***End of document*** should follow the last paragraph. This will help the Commission verify that the document has not been damaged during electronic transmission.
- Pursuant to Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2015-242, the Commission expects incorporated entities and associations, and encourages all Canadians, to file submissions for Commission proceedings in accessible formats (for example, text-based file formats that allow text to be enlarged or modified, or read by screen readers). To provide assistance in this regard, the Commission has posted on its website guidelines for preparing documents in accessible formats.
- Submissions must be filed by sending them to the Secretary General of the Commission using only one of the following means:
by completing the
by mail to
CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
by fax at
- A true copy of each intervention or answer from a respondent must be sent to the applicant and, in the case of a respondent to an application, to any other respondent.
- Parties who send documents electronically must ensure that they will be able to prove, upon Commission request, that service/filing of a particular document was completed. Accordingly, parties must keep proof of the sending and receipt of each document for 180 days after the date on which the document is filed. The Commission advises parties who file and serve documents by electronic means to exercise caution when using email for the service of documents, as it may be difficult to establish that service has occurred.
- In accordance with the Rules of Procedure, a document must be received by the Commission and all relevant parties by 5 p.m. Vancouver time (8 p.m. Ottawa time) on the date it is due. Parties are responsible for ensuring the timely delivery of their submissions and will not be notified if their submissions are received after the deadline. Late submissions, including those due to postal delays, will not be considered by the Commission and will not be made part of the public record.
- The Commission will not formally acknowledge submissions. It will, however, fully consider all submissions, which will form part of the public record of the proceeding, provided that the procedure for filing set out above has been followed.
- Parties wishing to appear at the public hearing and parties requiring communications support must state their request on the first page of their intervention. Parties requesting appearance must provide clear reasons, on the first page of their intervention, as to why the written intervention is not sufficient and why an appearance is necessary. Only those parties whose requests to appear have been granted will be contacted by the Commission and invited to appear at the public hearing.
- Persons requiring communications support such as assistance listening devices and sign language interpretation are requested to inform the Commission at least twenty (20) days before the commencement of the public hearing so that the necessary arrangements can be made.
- All information that parties provide as part of this public process, except information designated confidential, whether sent by postal mail, facsimile, email or through the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca, becomes part of a publicly accessible file and will be posted on the Commission’s website. This information includes personal information, such as full names, email addresses, postal/street addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers, etc.
- The personal information that parties provide will be used and may be disclosed for the purpose for which the information was obtained or compiled by the Commission, or for a use consistent with that purpose.
- Documents received electronically or otherwise will be put on the Commission’s website in their entirety exactly as received, including any personal information contained therein, in the official language and format in which they are received. Documents not received electronically will be available in PDF format.
- The information that parties provide to the Commission as part of this public process is entered into an unsearchable database dedicated to this specific public process. This database is accessible only from the web page of this particular public process. As a result, a general search of the Commission’s website with the help of either its own search engine or a third-party search engine will not provide access to the information that was provided as part of this public process.
Availability of documents
- Electronic versions of the applications are available on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca by selecting the application number in the appropriate appendix to this notice. They are also available from the applicants upon request by contacting the applicants at their email addresses, provided in Appendices 1 and 3 to this notice.
- Electronic versions of the interventions and answers, as well as of other documents referred to in this notice, are available on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca by visiting the “Participate” section, selecting “Submit Ideas and Comments,” and then selecting “our open processes.” Documents can then be accessed by clicking on the links in the “Subject” and “Related Documents” columns associated with this particular notice.
- Documents are also available at the following address, upon request, during normal business hours.
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
1 Promenade du Portage
Toll-free telephone: 1-877-249-2782
Toll-free TDD: 1-877-909-2782
- Various terrestrial broadcasting distribution undertakings – Administrative renewals, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-159, 18 May 2017
- Licence renewal of broadcasting distribution undertakings – Review of practices relating to the small basic service and flexible packaging options and imposition of various requirements, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2016-458, 21 November 2016
- Policy framework for local and community television, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2016-224, 15 June 2016
- Notice of hearing – Broadcasting licence renewals of terrestrial broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs) that will expire in 2016; implementation of certain conditions of licence and review of practices in regard to the small basic service and flexible packaging requirements for all BDU licensees, Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2016-197, 24 May 2016
- Call for licence renewal application: Submission of renewal applications for broadcasting licences of terrestrial distribution undertakings (BDUs) that will expire in 2016 and 2017; implementation of certain conditions of licence and review of practices in regard to the small basic and flexible packaging requirements for all BDU licensees,Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2016-147, 21 April 2016
- Review of the structure and mandate of the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services Inc., Broadcasting and Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2016-102, 17 March 2016
- The Television Service Provider Code, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2016-1, 7 January 2016
- Revised exemption order for terrestrial broadcasting distribution undertakings serving fewer than 20,000 subscribers, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-543 and Broadcasting Order CRTC 2015-544, 9 December 2015
- The Wholesale Code, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-438, 24 September 2015
- Let’s Talk TV: A World of Choice – A roadmap to maximize choice for TV viewers and to foster a healthy, dynamic TV market, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-96, 19 March 2015
- Filing submissions for Commission proceedings in accessible formats, Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2015-242, 8 June 2015
- Let’s Talk TV: The way forward – Creating compelling and diverse Canadian programming, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-86, 12 March 2015
- Guidelines on the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure, Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-959, 23 December 2010
- Changes to certain practices for filing interventions – Expansion of filing practices to include the filing of joint supporting comments for broadcasting policy proceedings, Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-28-1, 10 December 2010
Appendix 1 to Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2017-160
Terrestrial broadcasting distribution undertakings for which the broadcasting licences will expire on 31 May 2018
|Item||Licensee nameFootnote 5||Application number and location||Email address to request an electronic version of the application|
|1.||2251723 Ontario Inc.||2016-0944-7
Barrie, Greater Toronto Area (including Ajax, Aurora, Bolton, Brampton, Caledon, Claremont, Etobicoke, Georgetown, King City, Markham, Milton, Mississauga, Nobleton, North York, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Toronto, Vaughan and Woodbridge), Hamilton-Niagara, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Oshawa, Ottawa, Peterborough, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Windsor and their surrounding areas, Ontario
|2.||Access Communications Co-operative Limited||2016-0946-3
Regina (including White City), Saskatchewan
|3.||Atop Broadband Corp.||2016-0940-6
Majority of the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario
|4.||Cogeco Connexion Inc.||2016-0951-2
Burlington, Hamilton/Stoney Creek, Kingston, Niagara Falls, Sarnia, St. Catharines and Windsor, Ontario
Drummondville, Rimouski, Saint-Hyacinthe, Trois-Rivières and their surrounding areas, Quebec
|5.||K-Right Communications Limited||2016-0938-0
Halifax and surrounding areas, Nova Scotia
|Persona Communications Inc.||2016-0948-9
Winnipeg and surrounding areas, Manitoba
|7.||Rogers Communications Canada Inc.||2016-0950-5
Allardville, Clair, Fredericton, Moncton, Rogersville and Saint John and surrounding areas, New Brunswick and Deer Lake and St. John’s and surrounding areas, Newfoundland and Labrador
Barrie, Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Newmarket, Oshawa, Ottawa and Toronto and surrounding areas, Ontario
Regina (including Pilot Butte and White City) and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
|9.||Shaw Cablesystems Limited||2016-0959-6
Fort McMurray, Alberta
Red Deer, Alberta
Coquitlam, British Columbia
Duncan, British Columbia
Kelowna, British Columbia
Langford, British Columbia
Nanaimo, British Columbia
New Westminster, British Columbia
Vancouver (North and West), British Columbia
Vancouver (Richmond), British Columbia
Victoria, British Columbia
White Rock, British Columbia
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Thunder Bay, Ontario
|Shaw Cablesystems (VCI) Limited||2016-1009-8
|10.||TELUS Communications Inc., and 1219723 Alberta ULC in partnership with TELUS Communications Inc. in TELE-MOBILE Company, partners in a general partnership carrying on business as TELUS Communications Company||2016-0945-5
Calgary, Edmonton (including St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove and Stony Plain), Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie and Red Deer, Alberta
Kelowna, Nanaimo, Penticton, Prince George, Terrace, Vancouver (including Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Whistler), Vernon and Victoria, British Columbia
|11.||Videotron Ltd. and 9227-2590 Québec inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Videotron G.P.||2016-0969-5
Gatineau (Aylmer, Gatineau, Hull) and surrounding areas, Quebec
Québec and surrounding areas, Quebec
Montréal West, Quebec
Saguenay (Chicoutimi), Quebec
Appendix 2 to Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2017-160
Tapes and/or logs submitted as part of the community channel monitoring exercise
Appendix 3 to Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2017-160
Terrestrial and direct-to-home broadcasting distribution undertakings expiring after 31 May 2018 that provided responses regarding the set-top box audience measurement system and the industry working group
|Item||Licensee nameFootnote 6||Application number and location||Email address to request an electronic version of the application|
Fredericton and surrounding areas, Moncton and Saint John, New Brunswick; St. John’s, Paradise and Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador; and Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and Sackville, Nova Scotia
Greater Sudbury, Hamilton/ Niagara, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Oshawa, Ottawa, Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie, Stratford, Toronto, Windsor and their surrounding areas, Ontario
Chicoutimi, Drummondville (Centre-du-Québec region), Gatineau, Joliette (Lanaudière region), Jonquière, Montréal, Québec, Saint-Jérôme (Laurentides region), Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières (Mauricie region) and their surrounding areas, Quebec
|2.||Bell ExpressVu Inc. (the general partner) and Bell Canada (the limited partner), carrying on business as Bell ExpressVu Limited Partnership||2017-0201-9
|3.||Star Choice Television Network Incorporated||2017-0200-4
|4.||TELUS Communications Inc., and 1219723 Alberta ULC in partnership with TELUS Communications Inc. in TELE-MOBILE Company, partners in a general partnership carrying on business as TELUS Communications Company||2017-0199-6
Baie-Comeau, Gaspé, Montmagny, Mont-Tremblant, Rimouski, Sainte-Marie, Saint-Georges, Sept-Îles and their surrounding areas, Quebec
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