CFTV-DT, Community, Leamington
Southshore Broadcasting Inc.
Southshore Broadcasting Inc.
On November 19, Southshore Broadcasting Inc. was awarded a licence for a low-power primarily English-language community television station in Leamington. The new station would operate on channel 34 with a transmitter power of 400 watts.
After a period of testing, CFTV Channel 34 signed on the air in March. Studios and offices were located at 223 Talbot Street West in Leamington. The antenna was at the Leamington Kinsmen Recreation Complex. The station’s signal covers an area of about a 12 kilometer radius.
On July 12, the CRTC administratively renewed CFTV's licence until August 31, 2013.
On August 17, the CRTC approved an application by Southshore Broadcasting Inc. to amend the licence for the low-power, primarily English-language community-based television station CFTV-TV to add a digital transmitter to serve the area of Leamington. The new transmitter CFTV-DT Leamington would operate on channel 34 with an average effective radiated power of 356 watts (maximum ERP of 621 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 56 meters).
The Commission also approved the licensee's request for authorization to multiplex its digital television signal in order to provide four separate programming services offering the following types of local programming: local community programming as required under its current broadcasting licence; local French-language content from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Spanish-language programming for the Hispanic community from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.; local programming specifically produced for people with intellectual, mobility, hearing and visual disabilities, as well as Aboriginal programming from the local Caldwell First Nation; and local municipal programming (council meetings, town halls, events, public service announcements, emergencies and notices). Southshore indicated that the licence amendment and authorization to multiplex were necessary for the viability of the undertaking. The Commission noted that CFTV-TV was a small community television station serving the Leamington market, and that Southshore had a proven record of establishing community partnerships through various activities. In the Commission's view, the new and innovative multicast services proposed by the licensee could bring considerably more local programming to the service area and to underserved audiences within the community, thereby making a positive contribution to the community of Leamington and, by extension, to the Canadian broadcasting system as a whole. Since the issuance of the digital transition policy, the Commission had granted pay and specialty services the authority to add new multiplexes of their services, at their discretion, through standard conditions of licence applicable to all such services and without requiring that the licensee obtain a separate broadcasting licence for each multicast service. However, each service must individually meet all regulatory obligations (that is, regulatory obligations cannot be spread across the multicast services). In light of the above, the Commission did not consider it necessary to require Southshore to obtain a separate broadcasting licence for each proposed multicast service. However, in accordance with the digital transition policy, the Commission considered that each multicast service should be individually subject to the same programming requirements imposed on CFTV-TV regarding the broadcast of Canadian and local programming.
On May 22, the CRTC approved the application by Southshore Broadcasting Inc. to change the authorized contours of CFTV-DT by relocating the antenna and transmitter site, increasing the average effective radiated power from 365 to 587 watts (maximum ERP from 621 to 1,000 watts) and decreasing the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 56 to 27 metres.
In August 2012, the Commission approved an application by the licensee to convert from analog to digital transmission. The licensee explained that programming from the studio to the new transmitter was to be transmitted over a fibre-optic link, which would replace the existing microwave link for the analog program feed. The licensee noted that it had undertaken this change in a cost-effective manner by bartering for both the fibre link from an affiliated independent telco in the area and also the land use for the new transmission site.
On September 11, the CRTC approved CFTV's application to relocate the transmitter, decrease the average ERP from 587 to 434 watts (maximum ERP from 1,000 to 584 watts) and increase the EHAAT from 27 to 63.1 metres. The changes were necessary due to a transfer of ownership of the current transmission site.
On December 17, the CRTC gave CFTV-DT a licence renewal to August 31, 2021. The short-term renewal would allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with regulatory requirements. Among the Commission's concerns: Southshore was required by condition of licence to devote not less than 80% of the broadcast year to the broadcast of Canadian programming on CFTV-DT. Based on reports submitted by the licensee, for the 2013-2014 through 2016-2017 broadcast years, the amount of Canadian programming broadcast on the station was less than the required amount.