The CRTC opened a consultation Wednesday on the licence renewals for large broadcasting groups. Last spring, the commission announced a new policy for the renewal of licences for private, English-language broadcasting groups that generate more than $100 million in annual revenues. The broadcasting groups that will be under consideration at the hearing will be CTVglobemedia Inc., Shaw Media Inc., and Rogers Broadcasting Ltd., all of which own and operate conventional television stations and specialty channels. The commission said Corus Entertainment Inc. has also requested to renew its licences in the proceeding. The CRTC said the key issues for consideration in the proceeding will be Canadian programming expenditures; spending on programs of national interest; broadcasters’ terms of trade with producers; and the transition to digital television broadcasting. The deadline for written comments for the proceeding is Jan. 28, 2011. A public hearing is scheduled for April 4, 2011. The CRTC said the aim of the group-based licensing policy is to provide more flexibility in the allocation of resources. The commission also takes into consideration “factors such as the total audience reached by a broadcasting group, the totality of its revenues and of its programming commitments and obligations,” it said.