General + Regulatory + Telecom + Media NewsCRTC approves Corus PNI relief request

CRTC approves Corus PNI relief request

The CRTC has approved a request from Corus Entertainment for regulatory relief on “an exceptional basis,” allowing it to shift some of its Canadian programming spending away from programs of national interest (PNI).

Corus filed the application in October, asking the commission to urgently consider two amendments to its conditions of service, it argued were crucial in the short-term.

The decision reduces Corus’ requirement related to expenditures on PNI from 8.5% to 5% of the previous broadcast year’s gross revenues; and extends its Canadian programming expenditure (CPE) under-expenditure repayment deadline beyond the end of the licence term.

The CRTC said in its decision that it considers the emergency request reasonable because it is tailored to Corus’ specific circumstances.

“Corus is a vital source of local news and local expression through the Global Television Network, and is also the largest provider of independent programming in Canada. The loss of Corus’ contributions would significantly impact the Canadian broadcasting system, which would affect audiences and creators,” the decision states.

“Corus is fundamentally different from other large ownership groups, as it is not part of a vertically integrated company that also has distribution assets,” it continued. “Also, Corus’ level of spending on PNI is among the highest of all private English-language ownership groups. Finally, as a result of the 2022 acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc. by Rogers Communications Inc., Corus is no longer associated with a broadcasting distribution undertaking (BDU). This means that Corus no longer benefits from the flexibility afforded to BDUs to devote part of their local expression contribution to the production of local news on local television stations.”

Any reduction in Corus’ PNI expenditures (which are a subset of CPE) will need to be matched by a corresponding increase in expenditures on other types of Canadian programming.

The commission noted in a separate letter that applications from other large television broadcast groups – including Quebecor, Rogers and Bell – seeking changes in condition of service, are being denied at this juncture and will be considered as part of an upcoming consultation on broader policy matters. That includes other aspects of regulatory relief sought by Corus.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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