These guidelines are meant to assist you in fulfilling the criteria set for a complete and easily understandable application.
- When you apply for a commercial broadcast licence, the Broadcasting Commission will review your application to determine whether you can operate a viable media enterprise. This is why you are asked to submit: financial, technical and administrative information.
- You are asked to use the appropriate form provided, along with supporting documents and any additional information you may think is relevant to your application.
N.B. All information will be treated as confidential.
- Check all your material against the requirements of the regulations, the application form, and these guidelines.
- A non-refundable fee of J$110,000 must accompany the application form. This must be paid by manager’s cheque.
Applicants are advised to read: The Broadcasting and Radio Re-Diffusion Act, and The Television and Sound Broadcasting Regulations, 1996. See ‘Commercial Broadcasting and Radio Re-Diffusion System’, p.p. 140 –144. Children’s Code for Programming
Application forms are available from the Broadcasting Commission, which is located at:
5th Floor Victoria Mutual Building
53 Knutsford Boulevard Kingston 5
WHO CAN APPLY FOR A LICENCE
- The company applying for the licence may be owned and controlled by Jamaican or CARICOM nationals, as well as by foreign individuals who can have a controlling interest in the applying company.
- A commercial service broadcasts material with the intention of influencing the consumer behaviour of listeners or viewers. Advertising is the major source of revenue for this kind of service.
- Completed application form
- Business plan – the following documents are required: - trading profit & loss schedule - projected balance sheet (years 1 & 2) - projected revenue schedule (establishment, operating and administrative) - projected cash flow schedule - loan repayment schedule - investment schedule
- Implementation plan and timetable
- Technical plan and documentation - service area map - propagation plan - equipment listing, including specifications - provisional permit from Spectrum Management Authority for use of intended STL/TTL frequencies for period to be determined by the SMA
- Programming Plan
- Permits for programming use - letters of intent - signed contracts
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Articles of Association
- Memorandum of Association
- Certified copy of list of directors (Form 12)
RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS
As an applicant, you are responsible for ensuring that you submit all the necessary documents. However, the Commission will verify, on receipt, that a complete package has been presented. If your application is missing any documents, the Commission will immediately advise you what material needs to be provided before your application can be evaluated. Please note that at this point the Commission officers only verify completeness. This is NOT A GUARANTEE that your application meets the required standard for the Commission’s recommendation that the Minister of Information grant you a licence.
Make sure that your documents are in the right order, secured firmly, and properly labelled.
The Commission will not attempt to guess the meanings of unmarked and/or ambiguous documents, including maps. The Commission also will not attempt to identify pages that are out of sequence.
Ownership and Control
The composition of the major shareholding interest must be clearly stated. The nationality of the directors and principal shareholders must be provided, along with the stake of each individual in the company.
Clearly state who is the head of the company, as well as the person responsible for the day to day operations.
If there is no company secretary, state who will be responsible for managing the company’s official documentation and shareholding information.
Management The professional qualifications of the Chief Executive Officer must be provided. Please attach a resume and copies of professional and academic certification.
Provide the same information for the Chief Technical Officer.
Explain the departmental structure of the planned operation, and the proposed reporting relationships within and between the areas specified including:
- Programming (including news and current affairs)
- Technical Financial General Administrative
Provide detailed information on the professional record and qualifications of the persons who will head the departments, as well as the expected number and qualifications of staff.
PROVISION OF SERVICE
Implementation Plan Provide a clear schedule of activities relating to the establishment of service. Both actual and expected timeframes should be stated.
For completeness, ensure that timeframes are given for all of the following:
- Sourcing of funding
- Completion of property arrangements for an office and transmitter site(s)
- Purchase/lease and delivery of equipment
- Installation of equipment
- Employment of staff
- Test transmissions, including arrangements to acquire a frequency
- Negotiations for programming
- Official start of broadcast
A number of technical diagrams are required for this aspect.
On a map, show the proposed area to be covered, identifying all transmitter sites with respective frequencies and details of how they will be linked. Studio to transmitter links (STL) and transmitter to transmitter links (TTL) are to be shown. (A provisional permit from the Spectrum Management Authority for use of intended frequencies must be submitted along with your licence application.)
A diagram must be provided for each transmitter site, showing the signal levels expected at various distances from this site. These distances should be represented by the half power points. Signal levels should be based on actual conditions present in the proposed area of coverage and must be quoted in micro volts per meter.
In addition, the following information must be included on the individual propagation plans:
- Antenna output in dBi
- Half power points in dBm – (3dB from the antenna and each successive contour as necessary to cover the service area)
- Minimum power at the boundary of the area being served in micro volts per meter (V/m)
Explain clearly and in detail how you plan to implement your broadcast system using the equipment listed in Part 3 of the Application Form. Diagrams and other illustrations should be included.
Please provide information on the technology to be used to implement the Children’s Code for Programming, including audio (and video) delay systems.
State how you plan to maintain your technical systems, including the capacity to carry out tests, e.g. field strength tests.
Clearly describe the format of programmes that will be offered throughout the broadcast day, e.g. news, magazines, talk shows, request programmes. Please note that broadcast licensees are required to transmit for a minimum of eight hours.
Name the sources of your programming. Will programmes be bought or developed in-house? If so, make sure that you have stated the facilities and staffing required.
Please explain what provisions have been made to ensure the rating and scheduling of programmes, as well as transmitting advisories ― all of which are requirements of the Children’s Code for programming.
If you plan to buy programming, you must attach letters of intent and/or agreements with the owners to use their material.
- It is important that information is arranged in an orderly manner to facilitate easy understanding of your business plan.
- Check all statements and calculations for accuracy.
- Document all of your assumptions used to arrive at projected revenue and expenditure. Assumptions must be realistic.
With respect to the availability of funds, state clearly how the company will be financed. This information should include the amount of money that shareholders will invest. The business plan should show how any possible shortfall would be met if the capital were not adequate to operate the business. If the company is to use debt capital, e.g. loans, to fund the shortfall, the loan terms must be stated and a commitment letter provided.
When indicating projected revenue from production, state:
- the intended market
When indicating projected income from advertising, state:
- the intended market
- proposed rate structure including costs for prime time and other time slots
Give detailed information on other expected sources of revenue, such as agency fees from the subcontracting of staff for production projects, and/or rental of studios, equipment and other in-house facilities.
The operating cost must be clearly outlined and as much documentation as possible should be given to support assumptions made in arriving at the costs. It is important that the projected costs are consistent with the level of operation. If the project is to be financed partly by debt capital, e.g. loans, the projected profit and loss statement should include the cost of interest and other charges.
The cash flow proposed in the business plan must be consistent with expected revenue and projected expenses. It must incorporate all loan proceeds and repayments (if any).
Profit and Loss
It is important to ensure that all the items included as expenses are genuine expense items. In particular, the repayment of loan principal cannot be considered as an expense and therefore should not be included in the expense items.
The figures must be consistent with all other projections made. For example, if all equipment is not purchased in the first year of operation, the equipment purchased in subsequent years should not be included in the first year’s projected balance sheet.
Clearly explain how your media service will relate to your target broadcast market, providing as much documentation as possible to support your explanation.
Any other additional information that you think will be useful in the evaluation of your application should be provided.