Industry Update – CRTC News: Licence Renewal Amendments – Blue Ant, Super Channel, Stornoway


Various companies
Section 3 – Licence renewal applications of independent conventional, pay and specialty television services
Broadcasting Notice of Consultation filed: January 21, 2013
Deadline for comments: February 20, 2013

I’m not going through the entire list of renewals. Many of the channels listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2013-19 will simply ask to renew their licences, under their current terms of service. There are a few channels here that want to amend their terms of service, so that is what I will focus on.

Unless otherwise stated, the licences for the channels mentioned in this article expire on August 31, 2013. Of particular interest to me is Blue Ant Media’s bid to take a Rogers/Shaw/Bell-like form. Blue Ant’s under-the-radar now, but if there’s a marginal channel it figures it can turn around, Blue Ant will make a play for it. I still don’t know how it will turn bold around.

Allarco Entertainment 2008 Inc.
Super Channel

Super Channel is required by the CRTC to invest thirty-two percent of its total gross revenue each year on Canadian programming. Super Channel wants to change this to at least twenty-two percent, based on the number of Super Channel subscribers. When 820,000 people or more subscribe to Super Channel, this will trigger the full thirty-two percent commitment. Allarco claims this is in keeping with The Movie Network and Movie Central’s previous Canadian programming expenditures, before they were fully established.

Allarco wants to lower Super Channel’s $1-million-per-year commitment to regional outreach programs, reducing the commitment to $500,000. It wants to bring its other licence commitments in line with current commitments from The Movie Network, and Movie Central.

Allarco wants to delete a condition requiring it to spend as much each year for Canadian programming as it makes in operating profit. The argument is that Super Channel has operated at a loss ever since it launched in 2007, and that any money made by Super Channel will be used to pay down its deficits. It should be noted that Super Channel first made a profit in 2011. In its first three full years, Super Channel recorded a total pre-tax loss of almost $100 million.

Stornoway Communications Limited Partnership
The Pet Network

The Pet Network will increase dramatic and comedic content, from twenty to twenty-five percent. ichannel will air sports, music-related material, and variety shows, as well as increase its dramatic and comedic content.

ichannel also wants a relief from its current Canadian programming expenditure requirements. The argument is that Stornoway Communications, as a small-time player in Canadian television, can’t afford ichannel’s present CPE level. ichannel’s CPE will fluctuate from year to year – in a worst-case scenario, ichannel will spend ten percent less than its average CPE level of thirty-seven percent. In case of a yearly deficit, the next year’s CPE will make up for that deficit.

The GameTV Corporation (Insight Sports)

GameTV will expand into “Reporting & Actualities,” as well as music and dance programs, variety shows, entertainment/human-interest shows, and reality television. In effect, Game TV wants to air awards shows, dance contests – anything that will keep the channel from going under. The channel can’t live on Talk About and Bumper Stumpers reruns forever.

World Fishing Network ULC
World Fishing Network

WFN will become more of a hunting, fishing and “sportsman lifestyle” channel.

ZoomerMedia Limited
Vision TV

Vision TV is mentioned in an earlier Industry Update piece, but if Vision TV doesn’t earn mandatory carriage, it will reduce its religious programming requirements to seventy-five percent. During the broadcast day, only half of the programming will be Canadian, and ZoomerMedia/Vision TV’s Canadian programming expenditure requirements will be limited to 12.64%. A rule “limiting the number of minutes of solicitation of funds in Cornerstone and Mosaic programming” will be removed, and twelve more minutes of dramatic-programming commercial time will be added.

In short, if Vision TV doesn’t earn mandatory carriage, the channel will slash its commitments considerably – less religion, more Downton Abbey and EastEnders.

Blue Ant Media Partnership
Travel + Escape

Blue Ant Television Ltd.
bold (pending)
Oasis HD

Blue Ant Media, through its two divisions, wants a group-based approach to its Canadian programming expenditures. In essence, its eight properties will have their original productions count towards a group-based CPE. Blue Ant argues that Rogers Media, Shaw Media, and Bell Media do it, so it might as well get in that game.

In addition, AUX does not agree with a thirty-five percent cap on music videos, arguing that for the service it provides – music videos from “emerging artists” – it doesn’t compete directly with MuchMusic. Bite wants to air more long-form documentaries, miniseries and specials, and variety shows. Former High Fidelity HDTV channels eqhd, HIFI, Oasis HD, and radX will shift to more general-interest programming.

Finally, AUX’s current licence – which expires August 31, 2015 – will be revoked, so that in the future, all Blue Ant properties will be renewed on the same date.

Fifth Dimension Properties Inc.
Penthouse TV

TEN Broadcasting Inc.
Hustler TV
Red Hot TV

All three channels will broadcast in 3D, when available. Boi-oi-oi-oi-oi-oing!


Other CRTC News

Blue Ant Media Inc., on behalf of Blue Ant Television Ltd.
Transfer of bold from Blue Ant Media Partnership to Blue Ant Television Ltd.
Broadcasting Notice of Consultation filed: January 22, 2013
Deadline for comments: February 15, 2013

Blue Ant Media already owns bold. This is a corporate reorganization, placing bold in the same corporate division as former High Fidelity HDTV channels eqhd, HIFI, Oasis HD, and radX. I’m not sure why CRTC wants a hearing on this reorganization, to be honest. Perhaps, this is related to the group-based CPE?

Shaw Television Limited Partnership
CIII-DT-41 Toronto and its transmitter CIII-DT Paris – Technical change
Approved: January 22, 2013

Global’s Paris, Ontario repeater will soon change from channel 6 to channel 17. The maximum effective radiated power of the transmitter increases from 4,000 to 165,000 watts, while the average ERP increases from 4,000 to 97,000 watts. The average height above average terrain decreases, from 311.3 to 272 metres. Essentially, this means the Kitchener area will get Global a lot better.


One thought on “Industry Update – CRTC News: Licence Renewal Amendments – Blue Ant, Super Channel, Stornoway”

  1. Super Channel
    I think the Crtc should and will agree with there request.

    Vision Tv
    It sounds odd but the best thing would be for there request to get rejected more shows like Eastenders would be what most want.

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