Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-562-2
PDF version
Additional references: 2009-562 and 2009-562-1
Ottawa, 25 May 2012
Conditions of licence for competitive Canadian specialty services operating in the genres of mainstream sports and national news – Definition of “broadcast day” for mainstream sports services
The Commission sets out revised conditions of licence for competitive Canadian specialty services operating in the genres of mainstream sports and national news. The revisions permit specialty Category C services operating in the mainstream sports genre to choose between an 18- or a 24-hour broadcast day. The appendices to this document replace those set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-562-1.
Introduction
1.***** In Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2012-65, the Commission called for comments on a request by Bell Media Inc. (Bell Media) for an amendment to the definition of “broadcast day” applicable to the standard conditions of licence for competitive mainstream sports specialty services, as set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-562-1. Specifically, for the purposes of these conditions, “broadcast day” is defined as having the same meaning as that set out in the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987, which is “the period of up to 18*consecutive hours, beginning each day not earlier than six o’clock in the morning and ending not later than one o’clock in the morning of the following day, as selected by the licensee.”
2.***** Bell Media proposed that the above-noted definition be amended to allow licensees of specialty Category C services operating in the mainstream sports genre to choose between an 18- or a 24-hour broadcast day, as is permitted for licensees of specialty Category B services. Bell Media indicated that if this request were approved, it intended to file applications to amend the licences for its specialty Category C services Le*Réseau*des sports (RDS) and The Sports Network (TSN) to adopt a 24-hour broadcast day.
3.***** In support of its proposal, Bell Media argued that Category C services should be accorded the same flexibility as Category B services. Bell Media also noted that services such as RDS and TSN offer a high level of live programming, the start times or program lengths of which are difficult to predict. Bell Media submitted that restricting these services to an 18-hour broadcast day was a disincentive to investing in and broadcasting live Canadian programming. For example, under the existing rules, coverage of high-profile sporting events such as the 2012 Olympics could result, according to Bell Media, in RDS and TSN only being able to claim partial Canadian content hours due to differences in corresponding start times between events. More specifically, Bell Media submitted that the proposed amendment would provide these licensees with the scheduling flexibility required to accommodate live programming based in Western time zones, an issue that affects mainstream sports services throughout the broadcast year. Bell Media further argued that its proposal would allow licensees to maximize potential revenue opportunities, which in turn would result in more programming dollars being returned to the Canadian broadcasting system.
4.***** The Commission received a comment in support of Bell Media’s proposal from Rogers Broadcasting Limited. The complete record of this proceeding is available on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc under Public Proceedings.
Commission’s analysis and decision
5.***** The Commission considers that it is appropriate to provide specialty Category C services offering mainstream sports with the flexibility to choose an 18- or a 24-hour broadcast day given the high level of live Canadian programming that they provide. Accordingly, it has amended the definition of “broadcast day” to read as follows (change in bold):
“broadcast day” shall have the same meaning as that set out in the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987, unless otherwise approved by the Commission;
6.***** This new definition is set out in Appendix 1 to this document.
7.***** Licensees of existing specialty Category C services offering mainstream sports that would prefer a 24-hour rather than an 18-hour broadcast day as defined in the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987 should submit an application to the Commission. Such applications will be processed using the administrative route. They may implement the 24-hour broadcast day once the application is approved.
Secretary General