Among the measures adopted under the new policy are:
all OTA television stations will be required to broadcast a
minimum level of local news and to allocate a percentage of their
previous year's revenues to such programming;
all local programming must be "locally relevant"
(i.e., of interest to the community or market served), while all
local news must be "locally reflective" (based on
specified criteria that ties the programming to the local market);
the CRTC adopted "Local Presence Guidelines" to
ensure that local TV stations fulfil their obligation to provide
"locally reflective news" through practices such as
employing full-time journalists on the ground in the market.
However, given the CRTC's focus on consumer affordability
and choice in its 2015 Let's Talk TV rulings, the CRTC
refused to impose additional fees or levies on Canadian viewers to
finance local programming. If additional support is required to
finance local programming, the CRTC determined that it should come
from a reallocation of existing contributions made by broadcasters,
which are already paid for by Canadians in a variety of ways.
The CRTC has also tailored new measures that distinguish between
smaller, independent television stations (i.e., those with no
affiliated broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs)) and
large, vertically integrated (VI) ownership groups (i.e., entities
operating both BDUs and local television stations). The CRTC has
adopted what it refers to as a "holistic" view of the
resources of VI groups and how they can be leveraged to ensure that
Canadians continue to have access to locally produced and locally
reflective programming, including local news.
Increased consolidation in the Canadian broadcasting industry
over the last decade has enabled the critical mass to ensure the
production and promotion of diverse and high-quality Canadian
programming and its distribution through traditional and digital
media. The CRTC found that VI broadcasters have a special
obligation to ensure that the system reflects the national
identity, contributes to democracy and enhances safety and
Financial Support for Local News
BDUs serving metropolitan markets will be permitted to
reallocate funding between community channels in other markets
and/or direct such resources to fund local news programming by
local television stations. For non-metropolitan markets, a 50% cap
on the above reallocation rules has been adopted.
The CRTC also announced direct support for the creation of
locally reflective news and information by independent stations
through the "Independent Local News Fund" or ILNF. The
ILNF replaces the Small Market Local Production Fund as of
September 1, 2017.
However, private OTA television stations belonging to VI
ownership groups will be ineligible to receive funding from the
ILNF. The CRTC determined that, based on the operational
differences between VI and independent stations, the synergies and
efficiencies that VI groups enjoy put them in a position to support
the production of local news without the need to access a fund.
The CRTC will amend the current BDU contribution regime in the
Regulations by taking into account the minimum required
contribution to the ILNF of 0.3% of the previous year's
broadcast revenues (which should generate aggregate contributions
from BDUs of $20 million into the ILNF).
The CRTC made some "policy adjustments" to the
Community TV Policy to ensure that community channel operators make
use of the most efficient distribution methods to focus on content
rather than on facilities. The CRTC has gradually increased the
minimum proportion of local expression expenses that BDUs must
allocate to direct programming costs. Citizen advisory committees
for community channels operating in markets with a population of
over one million people will also be mandated.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Software license agreements generally require the customer to pay fees for the software license and related services, which fees are usually based upon the duration of the license and the manner in which the customer is allowed to use the software, together with applicable taxes and withholdings.
In less than nine months, on July 1, 2017, persons affected by a contravention of Canada's anti-spam legislation will be able to invoke a private right of action to sue for compensation and potentially substantial statutory damages.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).