The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that Videotron’s community channel MAtv must take concrete steps to better serve the diverse cultural communities in Greater Montreal. Furthermore, the CRTC has granted Videotron permission to launch an English-language community channel in Montreal.
Community channels must meet requirements in terms of local and access programming. Local programming must reflect the reality of the community, and access programming must be produced by an individual or group residing in the area in which the cable company operates.
After receiving a complaint, the CRTC consulted the logs submitted by Videotron for the week associated with the complaint. The CRTC concluded that MAtv devoted only 30.2% to access programming (the required percentage is 45%) and 37.2% to local programming (the required percentage is 60%). Furthermore, the CRTC concluded that MAtv does not adequately reflect Montreal communities, particularly the diversity of linguistic, ethnic and cultural communities, as well as Aboriginal communities.
Videotron must take steps to comply with the local and access programming requirements before its next licence renewal in August 2015. Videotron is also required to form a citizens’ advisory committee, which will be responsible for ensuring that the programming better serves Greater Montreal communities.
At the same time, the CRTC today approved Videotron’s application to create an English-language community channel. However, Videotron will not be permitted to reallocate any additional contributions to fund the project. The funding reserved for the existing community channel MAtv is sufficient to serve all Greater Montreal communities. Moreover, Videotron has not provided any valid reasons to justify such additional funding. The CRTC will be reviewing the regulatory framework for community television policies in 2015-2016.
With the contributions that have already been allocated, Videotron may either operate a new, separate channel, or use the existing MAtv channel to serve both linguistic communities.
– The CRTC has concluded that Videotron is not complying with the minimum percentages required for access and local programming on its MAtv channel.
– The CRTC has concluded that MAtv does not adequately reflect Montreal communities, particularly the diversity of linguistic, ethnic and cultural communities, as well as Aboriginal communities.
– Videotron’s community channel MAtv must take concrete steps to better serve the diverse cultural communities in Greater Montreal.
– At Videotron’s request, the CRTC has authorized the creation of an English-language community channel in Greater Montreal.
– Videotron has two options for reflecting Greater Montreal communities:
– Operate a new, separate English-language community channel by the name of MYtv, or;
– Use the existing MAtv channel to serve both linguistic communities.
“Community television continues to play an important role in many communities in Canada. It must reflect local identity and let people know what’s happening in their region and around the world. With this decision, the CRTC is making sure that all Greater Montreal communities are better served by their community television, so that they can see themselves reflected in it and participate if they want to.”
Tom Pentefountas, Vice-Chairman of Broadcasting, CRTC