This page answers questions you may have about our application, what we are committing to do, and the CRTC licence renewal process.
The Weather Network’s current licence term is 7 years. We have applied for a new 7-year licence term, which will allow us the stability and predictability to make planned and future upgrades to our TV network as well as the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System.
We have applied to maintain The Weather Network and MétéoMédia’s distribution on the basic television package. We are committing, if our services remain on the basic service, to add regular programming content from and about Canada’s North that will teach Canadians about the ongoing impact of the weather on Canada’s most remote Indigenous communities, including the effects of climate change.
We are also committing to significantly enhance our localized TV offering by replacing our original standard definition (SD) localization equipment with equipment capable of delivering on-screen local forecasts to Canadian communities in both SD and High Definition. And, if we remain on basic we will be able to continue maintaining, funding and upgrading the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System.
Finally, we plan to undertake all of these enhancements and offer our essential local weather services, in both languages, across different feeds and with local forecasts to communities across the country, with no change to our wholesale subscriber fee, which has remained at $0.23 since 1993.
If The Weather Network and MétéoMédia are removed from the basic television service they would automatically be unavailable to many Canadians who cannot afford to pay for additional channels. With a reduced subscriber base and less advertising revenue, we would have to focus our offerings on the largest markets in Canada where the majority of subscription and advertising revenue is generated. Our planned upgrades would only happen on a limited and strategic basis, and many Canadians would unfortunately lose access to their local forecast. Finally, we would be unable to support and provide the NAAD System as part of its licensed undertakings, raising uncertainty about the availability, effectiveness and cost to Canadians of public alerting in Canada.
The CRTC has specific criteria for determining whether a programming service like The Weather Network should be part of the basic television service. Those criteria are outlined in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-629 Criteria for assessing applications for mandatory distribution on the digital basic service.
Overall, applicants must demonstrate how their service contributes in an exceptional way to achieving the objectives of the Broadcasting Act, which include:
The CRTC has found The Weather Network to make an exceptional contribution in the past and we believe we continue to do so.
The process for supporting our application is straightforward, but also very specific. Comments must be submitted through the CRTC’s website. We have provided instruction on how to do so here.
The Weather Network is a unique provider of local weather and safety services that maintains a concerted focus on providing the essential and most-frequently updated weather, environmental and safety information, in both official languages, that Canadians need to plan and stay safe . We deliver custom local forecasts to TV subscribers in more than 1,000 Canadian communities, something that no other broadcaster does. These forecasts are developed by our staff of 40 meteorologists and 60 technologists who analyze and adjust the forecast results 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Weather Network also makes a unique contribution to public safety by operating and funding the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System, the technical backbone of Canada’s national emergency alerting system.
While many Canadians access our services online or through a mobile device, many others do not or cannot due to availability, affordability and accessibility. For instance, 18% of Canadian households do not have a fixed broadband subscription and more than 10 million Canadians do not have a mobile data plan. Many seniors and others are simply more comfortable accessing information from television. Canadians also tune into our TV services during times of active weather for the up to date analysis provided by our on-air personalities.
Keeping The Weather Network on the basic television service means it is available for all Canadians when they need it.
Pelmorex operates Canada’s National Public Alert System infrastructure as part of our CRTC broadcasting licence for The Weather Network and MétéoMédia. We have developed and maintained the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System since its inception in 2010. This system allows emergency management officials to distribute alerts instantly and without charge to the public via all radio and television broadcasters, as well as cable and satellite distributors across Canada.
The alerts reach, through redistribution by broadcasters and others, virtually all persons within the affected communities within seconds of being issued. Roughly 50,000 public safety messages are distributed through our NAAD System each year.