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Broadcasting Distribution Regulations (SOR/97-555)

Regulations are current to 2022-09-22 and last amended on 2022-09-16. Previous Versions

PART 1General (continued)

Prohibited Programming Content

  •  (1) No licensee shall distribute a programming service that the licensee originates and that contains

    • (a) anything that contravenes any law;

    • (b) any abusive comment or abusive pictorial representation that, when taken in context, tends to or is likely to expose an individual or group or class of individuals to hatred or contempt on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or mental or physical disability;

    • (c) any obscene or profane language or pictorial representation; or

    • (d) any false or misleading news.

  • (2) For the purpose of paragraph (1)(b), sexual orientation does not include the orientation towards a sexual act or activity that would constitute an offence under the Criminal Code.

  • (3) For the purpose of paragraph (1)(c), material is obscene if it has as a dominant characteristic the undue exploitation of sex or the combination of sexual content with one or more of the following subjects, namely, crime, horror, cruelty and violence.

  • SOR/2011-148, s. 4

Undue Preference or Disadvantage

  •  (1) No licensee shall give an undue preference to any person, including itself, or subject any person to an undue disadvantage.

  • (2) In any proceedings before the Commission, the burden of establishing that any preference or disadvantage is not undue is on the licensee that gives the preference or subjects the person to the disadvantage.

  • SOR/2001-75, s. 4(F)
  • SOR/2009-234, s. 3

Non-disclosure

  •  (1) A licensee that is distributing programming services of a licensed programming undertaking or that is negotiating terms of carriage with such an undertaking, or with an undertaking otherwise authorized to operate by reason of a Commission decision approving the issuance of a licence under paragraph 9(1)(b) of the Act, for its programming services, including new programming services, shall sign and provide to the other licensee or to the operator of the undertaking otherwise authorized an agreement that

    • (a) reproduces the non-disclosure provisions; and

    • (b) contains its consent to comply with the non-disclosure provisions for the benefit of the other licensee or the operator of the undertaking.

  • (2) A licensee that is distributing an exempt discretionary service of an exempt programming undertaking or that is negotiating terms of carriage with an exempt programming undertaking for an exempt discretionary service, including any new programming service that is an exempt discretionary service, shall sign and provide to the operator of the exempt programming undertaking an agreement that

    • (a) reproduces the non-disclosure provisions; and

    • (b) contains its consent to comply with the non-disclosure provisions for the benefit of the operator of the exempt programming undertaking.

  • (3) For the purposes of subsections (1) and (2), the non-disclosure provisions are those provisions set out in the Appendix to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2013-578, dated October 31, 2013 and entitled Standard clauses for non-disclosure agreements.

  • SOR/2014-206, s. 4
  • SOR/2015-239, s. 6

Inside Wire

  •  (1) A licensee that owns an inside wire shall, on request, permit the inside wire to be used by a subscriber, by another licensee, or by a broadcasting undertaking in respect of which an exemption has been granted, by order under subsection 9(4) of the Act, from the requirement to obtain a licence.

  • (2) The licensee that owns an inside wire may charge a just and reasonable fee for the use of the wire.

  • (3) The licensee that owns an inside wire must not remove it from a building if a request for the use of the wire has been made and is pending under subsection (1), or while the wire is being used in accordance with that subsection.

  • SOR/2000-356, s. 1

Information To Be Submitted to the Commission

  •  (1) On or before November 30 of each year, a licensee shall submit to the Commission a statement of accounts, on the annual return of broadcasting licensee form, for the 12-month period ending on the previous August 31.

  • (2) At the request of the Commission, a licensee shall respond to

    • (a) any complaint or request for resolution of a dispute filed by any person or any request for information regarding programming originated or distributed by the licensee or regarding the licensee’s technical operations, subscribership, financial affairs or ownership; and

    • (b) any request for information regarding the licensee’s adherence to the conditions of its licence, the Act, these Regulations, industry standards, practices or codes or any other self-regulatory mechanism of the industry.

  • (3) [Repealed, SOR/2011-148, s. 5]

  • SOR/2011-148, s. 5

Dispute Resolution

  •  (1) If there is a dispute between the licensee of a distribution undertaking and the operator of a licensed programming undertaking or an exempt programming undertaking concerning the carriage or terms of carriage of programming originated by the programming undertaking — including the wholesale rate and the terms of any audit referred to in section 15.1 — one or both of the parties to the dispute may refer the matter to the Commission.

  • (2) [Repealed, SOR/2011-148, s. 6]

  • (3) The Commission may require the parties to engage in mediation before the Commission accepts a referral of the matter for dispute resolution.

  • (4) If the Commission accepts a referral of a matter for dispute resolution, the parties to the dispute are required to participate in a mediation with a person appointed by the Commission.

  • (5) [Repealed, SOR/2012-151, s. 14]

  • (6) When the Commission accepts a referral of a matter for dispute resolution, information provided by a party for the purposes of the dispute resolution may not be used by the other party to the dispute for any other purpose except with the prior consent of the party providing the information.

  • (7) During the dispute resolution process, the person appointed under subsection (4) may require additional information from the parties.

  • (8) A person appointed under subsection (4) may refer a matter to the Commission if a party does not comply with a request under subsection (7), and the Commission may require the additional information or attendance at a meeting in order to discuss the matters in dispute.

  • (9) If the dispute relates to the rates, terms or conditions, or any combination of them, surrounding a programming service that is being distributed in the absence of a commercial agreement and the matter proceeds before the Commission for dispute resolution, the licensee shall submit to having the dispute resolved in accordance with the procedural requirements established by the Commission in Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2019-184, dated May 29, 2019, and the rates, terms and conditions established by the Commission will apply as of the day on which the programming service was first made available to the distributor in the absence of a commercial agreement.

  • (10) If the dispute relates to the rates, terms or conditions, or any combination of them, surrounding a new programming service that is being distributed in the absence of a commercial agreement and the matter proceeds before the Commission for dispute resolution, the parties will be bound by the rates, terms and conditions established by the Commission for the duration of the contractual term established by the Commission.

  • (11) Despite subsections (9) and (10), the parties may reach an agreement with respect to rates, terms or conditions that differ from those established by the Commission.

 An agreement that is reached after dispute resolution must be in writing and be signed by all parties.

 If no agreement is reached by the parties, the person appointed under subsection 12(4) must submit a report to the Commission concerning all unresolved matters within the period established by the Commission.

 The Commission may, after accepting a referral of a matter for resolution under section 12, render a decision concerning any unresolved matters, including the wholesale rate.

Obligation During Dispute

  •  (1) During any dispute between a licensee and a person licensed to carry on a programming undertaking or the operator of an exempt programming undertaking concerning the carriage or terms of carriage of programming services or concerning any right or obligation under the Act, the licensee shall continue to distribute those programming services at the same rates and on the same terms and conditions as it did before the dispute.

  • (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a dispute exists from the moment that written notice of the dispute is provided to the Commission and served on the other undertaking that is party to the dispute and ends when an agreement settling the dispute is reached by the concerned undertakings or, if no such agreement is reached, when the Commission renders a decision concerning any unresolved matter.

  • SOR/2012-151, s. 15

Obligation to Programming Undertakings Regarding Distribution Without Agreement

 A licensee who distributes a new programming service with respect to which it has no commercial agreement shall abide by the rates, terms and conditions established by the operator of the concerned programming undertaking until a commercial agreement is reached between the parties or the Commission renders a decision concerning any unresolved matter.

  • SOR/2012-151, s. 15

Audit Access by Programming Services

 A licensee shall give access to its records to any Canadian programming undertaking that receives a wholesale rate for its programming services to enable the programming undertaking to verify subscriber information for its programming services in accordance with the terms prescribed in Appendix 2 to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2014-473, dated September 12, 2014 and entitled Provisions governing the timeframes and modalities for the conduct of audits of subscriber information held by broadcasting distribution undertakings.

  • SOR/2011-148, s. 7
  • SOR/2014-206, s. 5

Account Stacking

 If a licensee is required to pay a wholesale rate for a Canadian programming service that it provides to a single subscriber at two or more separate dwellings or other premises that are owned or occupied by the same subscriber, the licensee shall remit the wholesale rate to the Canadian programming undertaking for each dwelling or other premises served.

  • SOR/2011-148, s. 7
  • SOR/2017-160, s. 2(F)

Notice of Channel Realignment

 A licensee shall not realign the channel number on which a Canadian programming service is distributed unless, at least 60 days before the proposed effective date of the realignment, the licensee sends a written notice indicating the intended date of the realignment and the channel number on which the programming service will be distributed to each of the operators of the programming services whose channel placements will be affected by the channel realignment.

  • SOR/2011-148, s. 7

Cancellation Requested by Subscriber

[
  • SOR/2015-232, s. 1
]
  •  (1) The following definitions apply in this section.

    business day

    business day means a day other than a Saturday or a holiday. (jour ouvrable)

    cancellation request

    cancellation request means a request to cancel the programming services of one licensee and replace them with the programming services of another licensee. (demande d’annulation)

  • (2) The current licensee of a subscriber shall accept a cancellation request that is made to it by the subscriber or by a prospective licensee on behalf of the subscriber.

  • (3) The current licensee and the prospective licensee shall coordinate with each other to cancel and replace the programming services with a view to minimizing any service disruption to the subscriber.

  • (4) Unless the licensees otherwise agree, cancellation and replacement of the programming services shall occur within two business days after the day on which the cancellation request is made.

  • SOR/2012-37, s. 1

Cancellation Requested by Customer

  •  (1) A licensee shall accept a request that is made to it by a customer for the cancellation of all programming services that it provides to the customer.

  • (2) The cancellation shall occur on the day on which the request is received by the licensee.

  • (3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to a cancellation request as defined in subsection 15.4(1) that is made by a customer who is also a member of a household that is provided with the programming services for which the request is made.

  • SOR/2015-232, s. 2

PART 2Terrestrial Distribution Undertakings

Application

 Except as otherwise provided in these Regulations or under a condition of licence, this Part applies to the digital distribution of programming services by licensees that hold a licence to operate a terrestrial distribution undertaking.

  • SOR/2011-148, s. 8

Basic Service

 Except as otherwise provided under a condition of its licence, a licensee shall not distribute as part of its basic service any programming services other than those referred to in section 17.

  • SOR/2015-239, s. 7
  •  (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (3) to (5) or under a condition of its licence, a licensee shall distribute the following services in each licensed area as part of its basic service, in the following order of priority:

    • (a) the programming services of all local television stations that are owned and operated by the Corporation;

    • (b) the educational television programming services that are received by the licensee over the air or by some other method, the operation of which is the responsibility of an educational authority designated by the province in which the licensed area is located;

    • (c) the programming services of all other local television stations that are not being distributed under paragraph (a) or (b);

    • (d) the programming services of any regional television station that is owned and operated by the Corporation, unless the licensee is distributing, in accordance with paragraph (a), the programming services of a local television station that is owned and operated by the Corporation and that broadcasts in the same official language as the regional television station;

    • (e) the programming services of all regional television stations that are not being distributed in accordance with paragraph (b) or (d), except to the extent that the licensee is distributing, under paragraph (a), (c) or (d), the programming services of an affiliated television station or one that is a member of the same ownership group;

    • (f) if they are provided to the licensee by the programming undertaking and are not being distributed in accordance with paragraph (a) or (d), the programming services of at least one television station that broadcasts in English and at least one that broadcasts in French that are owned and operated by, or that are affiliates of, the Corporation; and

    • (g) the programming services of a programming undertaking that the Commission has required, under paragraph 9(1)(h) of the Act, to be distributed as part of the basic service.

  • (2) Except as otherwise provided under a condition of its licence, a licensee shall distribute the following services in each licensed area as part of its basic service:

    • (a) the programming services of the community channel if the licensee elects to distribute community programming under paragraph 20(1)(d), or the programming services of a community programming undertaking if one is licensed in the licensed area; and

    • (b) a programming service that consists of the proceedings of the legislature of the province in which the licensed area is located if the licensee elects to distribute that programming service, unless the programming undertaking that provides that programming service agrees in writing to its distribution on a discretionary basis.

  • (3) If a licensee receives programming services that are identical, it is required to distribute only one of them under subsection (1).

  • (4) If the programming services of two or more television stations rank equally in the order of priority set out in subsection (1), a licensee shall, unless the operators of the stations agree otherwise in writing, give priority to the programming services of those stations that have studios that are located in the province in which the licensed area is located or in the National Capital Region, as described in the schedule to the National Capital Act, in the order of the proximity of their main studios to the local head end of the licensed area.

  • (5) The licensee’s obligation to distribute the programming services of a local television station or a regional television station under subsection (1) also includes the obligation to distribute the digital programming service of that television station that is received by direct feed if the programming service of the local television station or regional television station is also received over the air by the licensee in its licensed area.

  • (6) Except as otherwise provided under a condition of its licence, a licensee may, in addition to the programming services required under subsections (1) to (5), distribute the following services as part of its basic service in the licensed area:

    • (a) the programming services of no more than 10 licensed television stations, including those stations whose programming services are required to be distributed under subsection (1);

    • (b) a 4 + 1 package of programming services that originates

      • (i) in the same time zone as that in which the licensee’s local head end is located, or

      • (ii) if no such package originates in that time zone, in any other time zone; and

    • (c) the programming service of any local radio station.

  • (7) A licensee that distributes a programming service under this section may also distribute the high definition version of that programming service.

  • SOR/2002-322, s. 2
  • SOR/2003-217, s. 5
  • SOR/2011-148, s. 8
  • SOR/2015-239, s. 8
  • SOR/2017-160, s. 3
 
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