Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: October 30, 2017

Anticipated CRTC releases this week

Broadcasting Decisions:

Applications by RNC MEDIA Inc. to renew and to amend the broadcasting licence for the French-language commercial radio station CHXX-FM Donnacona and its transmitter CHXX-FM-1 Sainte-Croix-de-Lotbinière

An application by Radio Markham York Incorporated to change the authorized contours of the commercial radio station CFMS-FM Markham, Ontario

An application by 8384860 Canada Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language commercial radio station CHLG-FM Vancouver

Application by DARR FM Radio Ltd. to renew the broadcasting licence for the English-language commercial specialty (Christian music) radio station CJRP-FM Saint John

Application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language radio station CBZF-FM Fredericton

CRTC requirements to hold a license

Last week, the FCC voted to eliminate the “main studio rule” first adopted almost 80 years ago, requiring broadcasters to have a physical studio in or near the areas where they have a license to transmit TV or radio signals. According to an informed source we checked in with, the CRTC eliminated this condition years ago.

The general eligibility to hold a licence here is that the CEO has to be Canadian, 80% of the board has to be Canadian, and 80% of the outstanding voting shares have to be held by Canadians. There's a lesser threshold for holding companies. 

That's the only requirement to hold a broadcast licence. You don't have to have a studio/office in the community which you serve, although, practically speaking, almost all stations do, certainly the ones in the larger markets.

These are the rules for general eligibility to hold a licence; individual licences may have their own requirements as well.

FCC rule change likely to fuel further media consolidation

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to fight media mergers that concentrated more power in fewer hands. But his Federal Communications Commission is paving the way for huge broadcasting companies to get even bigger.

Last week, the FCC unveiled a proposal to relax its media-ownership rules. The plan would lift a ban preventing companies from owning both a broadcast station and a newspaper in the same market, and ease restrictions on the number of television and radio stations a single owner can control in a market. The FCC is expected to vote on the proposal during its open meeting next month, and with Republicans in the majority at the agency, it will likely pass – Klint Finley, Wired

Cable company failures have led to the Comcast creep in Canada

Canadian cable companies collectively lost at least $571 million trying, and failing, to invent made-in-Canada products. And while foreign ownership rules prevent U.S. cable companies from directly setting up in Canada, these licensing agreements expand Comcast’s reach to nearly half of Canadian television subscribers if, of course, they adopt the new technology – Emily Jackson, Financial Post

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