Asset acquisition and a scramble for category 2 licences are two main issues that will dominate a marathon hearing at the CRTC next month, where 27 applications will be under the microscope. Of the applications the CRTC will be examining, seven deal with asset acquisition. The applications were filed by big names in the broadcast industry such as CTVglobemedia, Videotron, Quebecor Media, TVA Group, and Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. The companies cite corporate reorganization as the reason for the acquisitions. The assets to be acquired are pay-per-view services on cable, television stations, specialty programming, cable distribution undertakings and a radio station. CTVglobemedia Inc., on behalf of its subsidiary CTV Limited, seeks to acquire the assets of English-language specialty programming CablePulse24, from CTV and its partners. CTVgm has also expressed interest in the assets of the education station ACCESS in Edmonton, and its transmitters CIAN-TV Calgary and CJAL-TV, Edmonton. Quebecor Media Inc. wants to acquire CKXTV-Toronto and its transmitters in London, Ottawa, and Hamilton. Quebecor is also eying Toronto television station CKXT-DT and its transmitters in London, Hamilton, and Ottawa. For its part, Videotron has expressed interest in national French-language general interest Canal Indigo, a pay-per-view service operated by TVA Group Inc. The hearing, which will kick off on Sept.29, at the commission’s Gatineau headquarters in the National Capital Region, will also consider six applications for category 2 licences. Top on the list is a controversial application by Seabridge Media Inc., a company with offices in Toronto and Vancouver. The CRTC has said Seabridge, which offers television services to the Korean community, changed its ownership without following proper procedures and without approval from the commission. In a notice, the CRTC says on April 14, 2008 Seabridge filed an application seeking a change in ownership, a move that involved the transfer of shares to a new owner. Ho Seong Kim became the new owner following a transfer of shares from Matt Han (50%), Frank Quo Vadis (25%), and Joon Han (15%). However, the CRTC later discovered that ownership had been effected on Jan. 29, 2008, after the board of directors resigned and Kim was named director. In November, the CRTC reminded Seabridge that it had to comply with regulations. Although the CRTC approved the application, it was conditional as Seabridge was required to submit a tangible benefits proposal in the value of $59, 241 within 30 days. “This condition was not complied with. Furthermore, several attempts by the Commission to contact Seabridge were left unanswered,” the CRTC states. Another letter sent on April 24 of this year was unanswered, according to the CRTC. In addition to changing its ownership without CRTC approval, Seabridge will also be required to furnish the regulator with logs and records, annual returns, and compliance with conditions of licence. The other issues to be discussed at the hearing include applications for specialty ethnic channels, French language broadcasting, reduction of local programming, and name changes. Regarding reduction of local programming, CBC television is seeking permission to amend the licence of CBVT-TV Quebec to reduce local programming obligations from nine hours to seven hours and 30 minutes per week on a yearly basis. CBC also wants permission to transfer CBVT-TV Quebec’s transmitters to regional station CJBR-TV in Rimouski. The list of companies and issues to be heard at the hearing can be accessed on this link.