CRTC gives broadcasters more time to file their annual returns

The CRTC is giving broadcasters more time to file their annual returns. A note on the CRTC website today says

Given the intermittent down time and delays that occurred over the last 10 days, the last day to file the 2010 Broadcast Survey is being extended to December 15, 2010. This filing extension will facilitate compliance with reporting requirements associated with broadcast licenses. This extension applies to annual returns for Radio, Television, Pay and Specialty Services, and Broadcast Distribution Undertakings.

Most broadcasters probably a support an on-line filing system that is quicker and more efficient and saves printing those long reports and sending them off to Ottawa before the deadline. However the new “Access Key” system is very slow, cumbersome and kicks you out after 10 minutes. Most stations have to complete 5 to 7 on-line forms so this is a time consuming process. But any station to files late can expect a short term renewal and possibly even a fine given the comments made by Ontario regional CRTC Commissioner Rita Cugini who asked that the law be amended to allow the Commission to fine broadcasters who break the terms of their licences. Right now, she said, the only CRTC power is to shorten or to deny a licence renewal which she says is inadequate and ineffective.