CRTC authorizes a major change to Quebec’s television broadcasting landscape
Today, the CRTC authorized Bell Canada’s application to acquire V Interactions and imposed conditions of licence to guarantee adequate levels of investments in local programming and original French-language Canadian programming.
The V Stations will have to broadcast 5 hours of local programming per week for the Montreal and Quebec City markets in 2020-2021. The number of hours will increase to 8 hours and 30 minutes in 2021-2022. The stations will also have to broadcast at least 5 hours of local programming per week for the Trois-Rivières, Saguenay and Sherbrooke markets.
The Bell Media Group will also be required to spend at least 40% of the previous year’s revenues in Canadian programming and at least 18% of the previous year’s revenues in programs of national interest. These new thresholds represent an increase since Bell Media’s current threshold for Canadian programming expenditures is 35%, while the V stations’ current threshold for programs of national interest is 10%.
The CRTC is also directing Bell to invest more than $3 million, which will be allocated to the Canada Media Fund and Bell Fund in equal annual payments over seven consecutive broadcast years.
CRTC authorizes Leclerc Communication to acquire radio station CJPX-FM Montreal
The CRTC also approved Leclerc Communication’s application to acquire the assets of radio station CJPX-FM Montreal from Musique ClassiQ.
The CRTC has authorized an amendment to CJPX-FM Montreal’s licence allowing it to change the station’s format from specialty classical music to mainstream music. The format proposed by Leclerc will allow many French Canadian artists, especially emerging artists, to increase their visibility.
These decisions were exceptionally published as decisions with rationale to follow. The decisions with rationale will be published at a later date.
V Interactions is the licensee of a French-language television network named “V” and of five French-language local television stations in the Montreal, Quebec City, Saguenay, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières markets.
With regard to the Bell and V Interactions transaction, the composition of each group will be maintained until August 31, 2020, to facilitate the required changes.
The Commission notes that Bell has committed to maintaining a corporate presence in Quebec.
Leclerc Communication currently owns two French-language commercial FM radio stations in the Quebec City market: CJEC-FM (WKND 91.9) and CFEL-FM (BLVD 102.1).
The Commission also directed Leclerc to pay tangible benefits amounting to more than $290,000.