Directions to the CRTC (Direct-to-Home (DTH) Satellite Distribution Undertakings) Order

SOR/95-319

BROADCASTING ACT

Registration 1995-07-06

Order Issuing Directions to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission Respecting Policy for the Licensing of Direct-To-Home (DTH) Satellite Distribution Undertakings

P.C. 1995-1105 1995-07-06

Whereas all classes and types of satellite broadcasting undertakings play a significant role in the implementation of the broadcasting policy for Canada set out in subsection 3(1) of the Broadcasting ActFootnote *;

Whereas DTH distribution undertakings will become increasingly important primary and alternative means for the distribution of Canadian programming services, in both official languages, as well as of foreign programming services to subscribers in all parts of Canada;

Whereas DTH distribution undertakings can, if appropriately regulated, develop into an important vehicle for the distribution of Canadian pay-per-view services as well as other new services and thereby make significant contributions to the development of independently-produced Canadian programming;

Whereas DTH distribution undertakings should operate through licensing in a dynamically competitive market, subject to appropriate requirements, including their contribution to the development of programming, in order to provide pay-per-view services and other Canadian and foreign programming services in competition with each other and with other distribution undertakings that provide programming services to Canadians;

Whereas the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission should not refuse to issue a DTH distribution undertaking licence on the basis of a concern for economic viability;

Whereas the contribution of DTH distribution undertakings should include a financial contribution of more than five per cent of gross annual revenues to the production of Canadian programming;

Whereas it is in the public interest to have DTH distribution undertakings licensed in Canada as soon as possible, recognizing that the appropriate committee of each House of Parliament has recommended that the licensing process be completed by September 1, 1995;

Whereas the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission should ensure the continuing integrity of the Canadian broadcasting system through implementation of the broadcasting policy set out in subsection 3(1) of the Broadcasting ActFootnote *;

Whereas, the Minister of Communications has, in accordance with subsection 7(6) of the Broadcasting ActFootnote *, consulted with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission;

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting ActFootnote *, notice of the proposed Order issuing directions to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission respecting policy for the licensing of Direct-to-Home (DTH) Satellite Distribution Undertakings, substantially in the form annexed hereto, was published in the Canada Gazette Part I on April 29, 1995 and interested persons were invited to make representations to the Minister of Communications with respect to the proposed Order;

And whereas, in accordance with paragraph 8(1)(b) of the Broadcasting ActFootnote *, a copy of the proposed Order was laid before each House of Parliament and forty sitting days of Parliament have since expired;

Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Communications, pursuant to section 7 and subsection 8(3) of the Broadcasting ActFootnote *, is pleased hereby to make the annexed Order issuing directions to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission respecting policy for the licensing of Direct-to-Home (DTH) Satellite Distribution Undertakings.

Short Title

 This Order may be cited as the Directions to the CRTC (Direct-to-Home (DTH) Satellite Distribution Undertakings) Order.

Interpretation

 In this Order,

CRTC

CRTC means the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission; (CRTC)

DTH distribution undertaking

DTH distribution undertaking means a Direct-to-Home (DTH) Satellite Distribution Undertaking; (entreprise de distribution par SRD)

DTH pay-per-view television programming undertaking

DTH pay-per-view television programming undertaking means a pay-per-view television programming undertaking licensed to provide pay-per-view services for distribution to subscribers through a licensed DTH distribution undertaking; (entreprise de programmation de télévision à la carte par SRD)

other distribution undertakings

other distribution undertakings includes cable distribution, Satellite Master Antenna Television (SMATV) and radiocommunication distribution undertakings that are licensed or exempted by the CRTC from the requirement for a licence under section 9 of the Broadcasting Act; (autres entreprises de distribution)

pay-per-view television programming undertaking

pay-per-view television programming undertaking means a pay television programming undertaking that provides a pay-per-view service. (entreprise de programmation de télévision à la carte)

Directions

 The CRTC is directed to promote, through licensing, a dynamically competitive market for DTH distribution undertakings.

 The CRTC is directed to ensure, by appropriate means, that, with respect to the operation of a licensed DTH distribution undertaking,

  • (a) substantially the same rules that are in effect for other distribution undertakings govern the selection of particular Canadian and foreign programming services that are offered by the undertaking to its subscribers;

  • (b) the undertaking is subject to the same generally applicable Canadian policy as other broadcasting undertakings in respect of the use of Canadian and foreign satellite facilities;

  • (c) the undertaking is subject to equitable obligations and makes maximum contributions to Canadian programming, including a significant financial contribution derived from a percentage of gross annual revenues to the production of Canadian programming, and that the financial contribution is administered independently of the undertaking;

  • (d) the undertaking is not prevented from or impeded in distributing to its subscribers the same or equivalent programming services offered by other distribution undertakings as a result of contracts or arrangements entered into by other licensees for the acquisition of rights to the distribution or exhibition of such programming services via other distribution undertakings within Canada;

  • (e) the undertaking is prohibited from distributing any pay-per-view service other than that offered by a DTH pay-per-view television programming undertaking;

  • (f) the undertaking is not prohibited from distributing a pay-per-view service referred to in paragraph (e) for the sole reason that a foreign satellite is to be used for the distribution of the non-Canadian programming of that pay-per-view service, provided that such use is consistent with generally applicable Canadian satellite policy; and

  • (g) where the undertaking decides to distribute one or more English-language pay-per-view services, the undertaking is required to distribute at least one French-language pay-per-view service as soon as that service becomes licensed for DTH distribution.

 The CRTC is directed

  • (a) not to authorize any person or class of persons to carry on a DTH distribution undertaking other than by means of a licence issued by the CRTC for that purpose; and

  • (b) following the conclusion of the licensing process referred to in section 7, to take all necessary and appropriate steps to ensure that no person is authorized to carry on a DTH distribution undertaking by any means other than a licence.

 The CRTC is directed not to refuse to issue a licence to an applicant to carry on a DTH distribution undertaking for the sole reason that the applicant holds a licence to carry on a DTH pay-per-view television programming undertaking.

 The CRTC is directed to call, immediately on the coming into force of this Order, for licence applications to carry on DTH distribution undertakings and, thereafter, to complete the licensing process in respect of those applications at the earliest time practicable and, in the absence of the most compelling of circumstances, not later than November 1, 1995.

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