CRTC Awards 2 FM Licenses in Calgary

The CRTC finally handed down their decision today (24 May) following a public hearing commencing on 6th February 2012 in Calgary. There were 11 applications in total looking for a FM license. Corus wanted to add an FM stick for its CKQR AM operation, but that was denied because it would undermine the Common Ownership Policy by adversely affecting competitive balance and diversity in this market according to the CRTC.

The winners were Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation Inc. (MBC) who are a new entrant to the Calgary radio market, and in the Commissions’ view are well-financed and experienced broadcaster whose experience would contribute to its ability to establish itself in that radio market. They will have a limited signal in the market. Here are the details:

Type: Ethnic commercial FM radio programming undertaking
Technical parameters: 106.7 MHz (channel 294B), average effective radiated power (ERP) of 1,100 watts (maximum ERP of 8,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 236 metres)
Format: Ethnic programming directed to a minimum of 23 cultural groups in a minimum of 19 different languages
Target audience: South Asian community (primary); Filipino, Arabic and Vietnamese communities (secondary)
Canadian content (music): 10% of all category 3** musical selections aired during ethnic programming periods over the broadcast week***
Local programming per broadcast week
: 120 hours
Spoken word programming per broadcast week: 50 hours, 24 minutes
News**** programming per broadcast week: 7 hours, 45 minutes (70% local)
Canadian content development contribution (over the basic annual contribution): $553,000 over seven consecutive broadcast years

The Champaign corks will be popping in Vancouver today as the other big winner is Pattison who got a 100,000 stick at 95.5. they will run a AAA format similar to The Peak in Vancouver. The Commission commented that they are a new entrant to the Calgary radio market, are well financed and would benefit from regional synergies with its other Alberta-based operations. Consequently, this applicant should be well placed to operate as a standalone operator in this very competitive radio market. Pattison shocked most broadcasters by promising to contribute $12.25 million (including $8.75 cash) in CCD over 7 years. The financials showed a net loss after taxes of just over $6 million in the first term of license. Here are the details:

Type: English-language commercial FM radio programming undertaking
Technical parameters: 95.3 MHz (channel 237C1), average effective radiated power (ERP) of 36,000 watts (maximum ERP of 100,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 180.3 metres)
Format: Adult Album Alternative (AAA) music, with a primary focus on new and emerging artists, and a secondary focus on alternative music from the last decade
Target audience: women from 25-49 years of age (primary target, women from 25-34 years of age; secondary target, women from 34-44 years of age)
Canadian content (music): 40% category 2* over the broadcast week*** and between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
Local programming per broadcast week: 126 hours
Spoken word programming per broadcast week: 21 hours, 18 minutes
News**** programming per broadcast week: 3 hours, 7 minutes (percentage of local regional news programming not specified)
Canadian content development contribution (over the basic annual contribution): $8,750,000 over seven consecutive broadcast years
Emerging artists programming per broadcast week: 15%

The full desison can be viewed here