Application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to amend the broadcasting licences for the ICI Musique (formerly “Espace Musique”) and CBC Radio 2 networks and stations to allow these radio services to continue to broadcast paid national advertising until 31 August 2023.
The conditions of licence in question read as follows:
The licensee shall not broadcast any advertising (category 5) except:
For the purposes of this condition, the licensee may not broadcast more than four minutes of paid national advertising in any clock hour.
Music programming may not be interrupted more than twice during any clock hour for paid national advertising. For the purposes of this condition, the mention of a sponsor’s name or the inclusion of a promotion that includes the name of a sponsor shall not qualify as an interruption of the music programming.
In each broadcast month, the licensee shall broadcast no less than 3,000 distinct musical selections on Espace Musique and no less than 2,800 distinct musical selections on Radio 2.
For the purposes of this condition, “broadcast month” means the total number of hours devoted by the licensee to broadcasting during the aggregate of the broadcast days in a month.
In order to facilitate the verification of compliance with this condition, the licensee must provide the music lists requested by the Commission pursuant to section 9(3) of the Radio Regulations, 1986, in a popular spreadsheet format.
Conditions of licence 11 and 12 expire on 31 August 2023. Effective 1 September 2023, the licensee shall not broadcast any advertising (category 5) except:
The licensee proposes to delete condition of licence 13 to extend the authorization to broadcast national advertising on its ICI Musique and Radio 2 networks to coincide with the licence renewal of CBC’s radio and television services, which are set to expire on 31 August 2023.
In Broadcasting Decision 2013-263, the Commission noted that the CBC’s proposal to introduce advertising on ICI Musique and Radio 2 was met with considerable opposition from listeners and broadcasting industry representatives. As a result, the Commission authorized the introduction of a limited amount of national advertising. Moreover, given that the introduction of advertising was a significant change with effects that were difficult to predict, the Commission limited this authorization to three years, expiring on 31 August 2023.
The Commission stated that if the CBC wished to continue to broadcast advertising after that period, it would need to file an application and provide evidence that advertising has not had an undue negative impact on the advertising markets, that advertising has not been unduly disruptive to listeners, that the CBC’s level of investment in radio has been maintained and that the variety and diversity of the service that ICI Musique and Radio 2 provide has not been diminished. Such evidence would provide the Commission, the CBC and Canadians with an opportunity to evaluate the impact of advertising on the programming of ICI Musique and Radio 2 and on the Canadian broadcasting system.