2007 Canada broadcast TV realignment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

In 2007, significant ownership changes occurred in Canada's broadcast television industry, involving nearly every network and television system. In addition to the shuffling of television network affiliations and network mergers, several new broadcast translators and new television stations also took to the air.

Sale of CHUM Limited to Bell Globemedia[edit]

CHUM Television's (now CTV Limited's) headquarters at 299 Queen Street West in Toronto (then known as the CHUMCity Building)

In 2006, following the death of longtime chairman Allan Waters, CHUM Limited decided to shut down operations and sell its broadcasting assets to a willing bidder. Bell Globemedia (later CTVglobemedia and now Bell Media) announced a $1.7 billion takeover offer in July of that year.[1]

Bell Globemedia initially intended to retain CHUM's popular Citytv-branded stations and its numerous specialty channels, selling off the smaller-market A-Channel stations along with several specialty channels to a willing bidder.[1] Rogers Communications originally bid on the A-Channel stations; Brandon, Manitoba's CKX-TV; Alberta educational station Access; SexTV; and Canadian Learning Television. However, CTV's plans were denied by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), as all five Citytv stations are based in markets where CTV already has owned-and-operated (O&O) stations, and so CTV's retention of Citytv would have exceeded the CRTC's concentration of media ownership limits. CTV was, however, allowed to retain control of the A-Channel stations and all of CHUM's specialty channels.

Soon afterwards, Rogers placed a new bid to purchase the Citytv system as a complement to its own Omni Television, a system of multicultural-themed stations.[2]

CTVglobemedia[edit]

Bell Globemedia originally placed a bid to purchase CHUM Limited's Citytv stations, and sell off the A-Channel stations, CKX-TV, and several other digital specialty channels. However, this was denied by the CRTC, and CTV was told it could purchase A-Channel instead. With this outcome, CTV put the Citytv stations in trusteeship with corporate lawyer John McKellar while searching for an owner. Rogers Communications, which had originally bid on the A-Channel stations before the CRTC decision, offered a new bid for the Citytv stations a few days later, which was approved by the CRTC on September 28, 2007.

CHUM Limited officially ceased operations on June 22, 2007. All of the CHUM Limited properties (with the exception of the Citytv stations, and CHUM's interest in MusiquePlus and Musimax) are now fully owned by CTVglobemedia (now Bell Media).

CTV (now Bell Media) has also retained ownership of CHUM's cable specialty services, including MuchMusic, Star!, Space, Bravo!, CP24, and CHUM's radio stations.

A-Channel's original 2007-08 schedule was announced in early June, before the takeover was approved by the CRTC. By September, CTV had radically altered the schedule to give A-Channel broadcast rights to several series CTV had not been able to fit into its own fall schedule, including Two and a Half Men, Jeff Ltd., Scrubs and 30 Rock. The A-Channel system along with the Atlantic Satellite Network were later rebranded as A in 2008 and then to CTV Two in August 2011.[3]

CTVglobemedia announced on November 16, 2007, along with its co-owner Comcast, that it will sell the remaining interest of OLN to Rogers. The company announced on March 8, 2008, that it would sell Canadian Learning Television to Corus Entertainment.

BCE Inc. would eventually regain 100% of CTV's broadcasting arm in April 2011, thus becoming known as Bell Media.

Rogers Communications[edit]

Rogers Communications had wanted to gain a multicultural station in Vancouver for a long time, but was either denied by the CRTC and competitor station CHNM-TV (Channel M), or was out-bid for stations in the market. In 2005, opportunity arose when Rogers was given permission to purchase religious broadcaster Trinity Television, owner of the television station CHNU-TV and the Winnipeg license CIIT-TV.

In 2007, both Multivan Broadcasting (CHNM-TV's owner) and Rogers submitted bids for television stations in Edmonton and Calgary during the most recent call for applications of broadcast licences by the CRTC. The licences were awarded to Rogers, which launched CJCO and CJEO in the fall of 2008. Shortly thereafter, Multivan entered a tentative deal to sell CHNM to Rogers, citing the loss of the Calgary and Edmonton licenses as leaving the company no longer able to compete as a standalone station. Rogers also announced the intention to sell its two religious stations (Vancouver's CHNU-TV and Winnipeg's CIIT-TV) to S-VOX on November 6, 2007.[4] Rogers' acquisition of CHNM[5] and its sale of CHNU and CIIT to S-VOX were both approved by the CRTC on March 31, 2008.

CHNM was relaunched as an Omni Television station (OMNI British Columbia) on September 1, 2008,[6] while S-VOX's CIIT (CIIT 11) and CHNU (CHNU 10) stations were relaunched as Joytv 11 and 10 respectively on the same date.

In addition, Rogers applied to purchase the Citytv stations for an estimated $375 million.[2] Media analysts have suggested that with a more powerful media conglomerate such as Rogers behind them, the Citytv stations will effectively become Canada's fourth full-fledged commercial television network, in effect if not immediately in name. The Citytv transaction was approved by the CRTC on September 28, 2007, and Rogers officially became Citytv's new owner on October 31. Rogers acquired the remaining interest of OLN from CTVglobemedia and Comcast on August 31, 2008.

The Citytv system eventually expanded into Western Canada in 2009 when Jim Pattison Group signed a deal to carry the systems programming in Kamloops, Prince George, and Medicine Hat from Canwest's E! system[7] only for Rogers signed a long-term affiliation renewal agreement as of September 2012 allowing to carry 90% of primetime programming and the majority of morning and daytime programming from the programming grid of CKVU-DT, including simulcasts of the Vancouver edition of Breakfast Television. Unlike CKVU, the Pattison stations will continue to produce midday and evening local newscast.[8] However, Rogers gained two more stations in Saskatchewan and Montreal from Bluepoint and Channel Zero respectively to broaden and expand its national coverage beginning in 2013 effectively transforming City from a television system to a television network. [9] [10] The CJNT sale and conversion was unanimously approved by the CRTC in December 2012 as Rogers producing 15.5 hours of local programming a week for CJNT (including a morning news program) in 2013, and will contribute funding and programming to a new independent multicultural station in Montreal.[11][12] Coinciding with the changes, Citytv has simply became City in late 2012 with a new logo consisting only of the name "City", and some promotions using the verbal branding "City Television" instead of Citytv. The new City branding was launched on December 31, 2012.[13]

CanWest Global[edit]

CH becomes E![edit]

Canwest Global's CH television system was rebranded as E! on September 7, 2007,[14] following an agreement from the American E! owner Comcast which saw the two broadcasters share certain programming. At the same time, the system's local O&Os revived their call signs as their local programming branding.[15][16][17] Red Deer, Alberta O&O CHCA-TV was also granted permission to expand its signal to Edmonton and Calgary, a request that the CRTC had previously denied.

The E! television system was disbanded in 2009 amidst Canwest's financial woes,[18] with its O&Os being sold off,[19][20] converted to a Global O&O,[21] or (in the case of CHCA-TV) closed down.[22] The trio of Pattison Group E! stations joined the Citytv system.

The E! brand would eventually return to Canada, when CTVglobemedia (later owned by Bell Media) struck a deal with Comcast (later owned by NBCUniversal) to re-launch its existing entertainment-focused specialty channel Star! as E! in November 2010.[23]

Acquisition of Alliance Atlantis[edit]

CanWest, in conjunction with Goldman Sachs, also applied to the CRTC to purchase the assets of Alliance Atlantis, a broadcasting and film production company which operated 13 licensed cable channels and was a partial owner of seven more.

The transaction was approved by the CRTC in early January 2008. CanWest sold off the production division, but retained ownership of the cable channels. Shaw eventually took control of Canwest's television arm in late October 2010 following Canwest seeking creditor protection in late 2009, thus becoming Shaw Media.

Other changes[edit]

Crossroads Television System expansion[edit]

The Crossroads Television System, a religious broadcaster, also expanded in 2007, being granted licences to launch new stations in Calgary (CKCS) and Edmonton (CKES). Crossroads previously consisted of a single station, CITS in Southern Ontario.

SUN TV expansion[edit]

In 2007, Quebecor Media (owners of SUN TV in Toronto) had applied for licences to operate repeater transmitters in London and Ottawa, to bring it on par with fellow Toronto-area stations CITY-TV, CITS-TV, OMNI.1 and OMNI.2, as those channels currently operate translators in those cities. The reason for this request was that it would put the station on a level playing field in regards to simultaneous substitution. This request was accepted, and the new stations went on the air in London on channels 26 (analog) and 19 (digital), and in Ottawa on channels 54 (analog) and 20 (digital) in fall 2008.

Quebecor Media's new 24-hour news channel Sun News Network replaced SUN TV on April 18, 2011; the station would later voluntarily shut down on November 1, 2011 amid questioning by the CRTC on Quebecor's usage of the station to simulcast Sun News Network.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bell Globemedia makes $1.7B bid for CHUM, CBC News, July 12, 2006. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Rogers buys Citytv stations, Jim Byers, Toronto Star, June 12, 2007. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  3. ^ ‘A’ New Beginning: Fresh New Look for ‘A’ Unveiled Today, CTVglobemedia press release, August 11, 2008. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  4. ^ S-VOX purchases CHNU-TV and CIIT-TV from Rogers Media, Rogers Media press release, November 6, 2007. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  5. ^ CRTC Approves Rogers Acquisition of channel m, Rogers Media press release, March 31, 2008. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  6. ^ Rogers Media Rebrands channel m: Newest Rogers OMNI Television Station Re-launches as Rogers OMNI BC on September 1st, Rogers Media press release, August 28, 2008. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  7. ^ "Jim Pattison Broadcast Group solidifies Program Supply agreement for three independent stations serving BC and Alberta" (Press release). Jim Pattison Broadcast Group. 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  8. ^ Citytv and Pattison Group Sign Affiliate Agreement, Broadcaster Magazine, May 3, 2012.
  9. ^ http://www.financialpost.com/m/wp/fp-tech-desk/blog.html?b=business.financialpost.com/2012/12/20/rogers-fast-growing-tv-network-expands-citytv-into-montreal
  10. ^ Rogers to buy SCN, launch Citytv Saskatchewan
  11. ^ Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (2012-09-05). "Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-475". Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  12. ^ CRTC increases the diversity of voices in the Montreal market CRTC 2012-12-20
  13. ^ "Citytv drops two letters from its station identification after 40 years". Canada.com. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  14. ^ E! - Canada's Destination for Everything Entertainment, Canwest press release, September 7, 2007. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  15. ^ CHCH News To Relaunch in September with a Return to Historic Call Letters, Canwest press release, April 24, 2007. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  16. ^ CHEK NEWS To Relaunch in September with a Return to Historic Call Letters, Canwest press release, April 24, 2007. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  17. ^ CH Montreal To Relaunch as CJNT Montreal in September, Canwest press release, April 24, 2007. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  18. ^ Canwest announces strategic review of five conventional television stations, Canwest press release, February 5, 2009. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  19. ^ Channel Zero Inc. agrees to purchase CHCH-TV Hamilton and CJNT-TV Montreal from Canwest, Channel Zero press release, June 30, 2009. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  20. ^ CHEK-TV to be sold to employees; jobs saved, Canwest News Service, September 4, 2009. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  21. ^ Canwest closing TV stations in Alberta, B.C., CBC News, July 22, 2009. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  22. ^ CHCA-TV fades to black, Harley Richards, Red Deer Advocate, July 23, 2009. Accessed online May 15, 2010.
  23. ^ CTV and Comcast International Media Group Partner to Bring E!, World's Top Entertainment Brand, Back To Canada CTVglobemedia press release, November 1, 2010.
  24. ^ KRASHINSKY, SUSAN (August 18, 2011). "Sun News gives up over-the-air licence". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved August 18, 2011.