CRTC Hearings on Rogers TV Licence Renewals Start Tuesday

Apr 7, 2014

Source: Broadcaster Magazine

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will consider Rogers' applications, at a public hearing, starting Tuesday, April 8, 2014, to renew the licences of 17 Rogers'  television stations. The services include the conventional television services City and OMNI, as well as the specialty services The Biography Channel, G4techTV, Outdoor Life Network, Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet World and Sportsnet.

Rogers requested that its City television stations and specialty Category A services, including Sportsnet 360, be treated as a designated group for the purposes of the Commission’s group-based approach to setting program expenditures and making local programming investments.

At the hearings, the CRTC will take a look at its group-based approach and Rogers’ commitments to Canadian programming expenditures and expenditures on programs of national interest for its City stations and specialty Category A services at the end of the current licence term --  August 31st  2014.

Rogers has proposed that, in light of its expenditure commitments, its current expenditure requirements on incremental local programming be deleted. The company says its proposed spending targets are only possible if Sportsnet 360 is included in the designated group.

The CRTC will also look at Rogers OMNI multi-cultural stations, following Rogers’ announcement of programming changes to its ethnic television stations, and the role of these stations in providing programming to the communities they serve, as well as the local programming offered by these stations.

Changes at OMNI have meant the cancellation of several third-language newscasts, magazines and weekly programs, a development that caused Unifor (formerly the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada) to file a complaint with the Commission against Rogers.

Rogers has already provided its consent for the revocation of the current broadcasting licences for the OMNI television stations and the issuance of new licences, in advance of the hearings.

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