OTTAWA-GATINEAU, Aug. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian
Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today issued a
new policy that will give Canadians more opportunities to participate in
their community television channels. The CRTC's policy will also ensure
that these channels better reflect the realities and interests of local
"Community channels give Canadians the unique ability to see themselves
and their neighbourhoods, towns and cities reflected on television,"
said Michel Arpin, the CRTC's Vice-Chairman of Broadcasting. "This can
only be achieved through equal partnerships between cable companies and
the communities they serve. Access to the broadcasting system must be as
open as possible, especially for people who are new to the production of
Under the new policy, the CRTC will require that community members must
be involved in the creation of at least half of a community channel's
programming. This means that the original idea for a program must come
from members of the community, who must also be involved in some aspect
of the production, whether in front or behind the camera.
Additionally, at least half of a channel's programming expenditures will
have to be devoted to this type of programming, as well as to community
outreach initiatives and the training and development of volunteers.
Given the significant changes to the policy, the CRTC has determined
that the new requirements will take effect on September 1, 2014.
The CRTC has also introduced measures to improve the accountability and
transparency of the funds cable companies allocate to the operation of
their community television channels. Cable companies will have to
provide this information on a yearly basis starting in 2012.
Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-622
The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and
supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2009-661
These documents are available in alternative format upon
Additional information on community television stations
The Canadian broadcasting system is made up of three basic elements:
private broadcasters, public broadcasters and community broadcasters.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's
community television policy is designed to:
ensure the creation and exhibition of more locally produced
programming that is reflective of the community, and
foster a greater diversity of voices and alternative choices by
facilitating the entry of new participants to the broadcasting system.
To meet these objectives, at least 30 per cent of the programming aired
each week by community channels must be created and produced by local
citizens and community groups. As of September 1, 2014, the minimum will
be raised to 50 per cent.
On that same date, the Commission will require that community channels
allocate 50 per cent of their programming expenditures to this type of
programming. Initiatives to promote and generate programming and to
train and develop volunteers will also qualify as eligible expenditures.
There are presently 119 cable systems funding community channels in
Canada. Unlike local television stations, community channels are not
permitted to air mainstream commercial advertising, with the exception
of sponsorship messages. Any revenues generated through sponsorship
messages must be reinvested in community programming.
As part of their total contributions to Canadian programming, the larger
cable companies may allocate up to 2 per cent of their gross revenues to
the operation of their community channels. This percentage resulted in
contributions of approximately $119 million in 2009. The Commission
considers that community channels have enough funds to achieve the
policy's objectives, and has decided to maintain funding at current
SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
For further information: For further information:
Tel: 819-997-9403, Fax: 819-997-4245
Tel: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218
Toll-free # 1-877-249-CRTC (2782),
TDD - Toll-free # 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)