|Vancouver, British Columbia
|Branding||CTV Vancouver (primary general)
CTV British Columbia, CTV BC or CTV 9 (alternate general)
CTV News Vancouver (newscasts)
|Slogan||Your Home. Your News.|
|Channels||Digital: 32 (UHF)
Virtual: 32 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||CTV (O&O; 2001–present)|
|First air date||September 22, 1997|
|Call letters' meaning||C
|Sister station(s)||TV: CIVI-DT
Radio: CKST, CFTE, CFBT-FM, CHQM-FM
|Former callsigns||CIVT-TV (1997–2011)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
32 (UHF, 1997–2011)
33 (UHF, 2006–2011)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1997–2001)|
|Transmitter power||33 kW|
CIVT-DT, UHF channel 32, is a CTV owned-and-operated television station located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The station is owned by Bell Media, as part of a twinstick with Victoria-based CTV Two owned-and-operated station CIVI-DT (channel 53). CIVT maintains studio facilities located at 969 Robson Street (alternatively known as 750 Burrard Street; the former site of the Vancouver Public Library's central branch) at the intersection of Robson Street and Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver (which also houses the British Columbia operations of the CTV network itself, including the CTV News Vancouver bureau), and its transmitter is located atop Mount Seymour.
On cable, the station is available on Shaw Cable channel 9, Telus TV channel 250 and Rogers Cable channel 112. On satellite, the station is also available on Shaw Direct classic lineup channel 321 or advanced lineup channel 004 and (corporate sister through parent company Bell Canada) Bell TV channel 250. There is also a high definition feed on Shaw Cable digital channel 210, Telus TV digital channel 1151, Shaw Direct classic lineup channel 004 and advanced lineup channel 504, and Bell TV channel 1151.
CIVT is the only full-fledged CTV station in British Columbia, as well as in the Pacific Time Zone. However, the station only maintains one terrestrial transmitter. Despite transmitting at an effective radiated power of 33 kW, it only reaches Vancouver, Victoria, and neighbouring Whatcom County, Washington. Accordingly, the station relies exclusively on cable and satellite distribution to reach the rest of British Columbia, making it something of a weak link in the CTV network. In the Mountain Time Zone portion of the province, CIVT is either carried on a higher channel number or is unavailable altogether. Calgary sister station CFCN is the default CTV station for southeastern British Columbia and has long operated rebroadcasters in this region, while Edmonton sister CFRN serves as the default CTV station for the northeastern part of the province. Until 2012, when CBC Television owned-and-operated station CBUT-DT (channel 2) shut down its rebroadcasters due to funding reductions, CIVT was the only Vancouver station out of Canada's three major television networks to be cable- and satellite-exclusive outside of the city.
CIVT was the only CTV network station to broadcast its primary signal on UHF prior to the digital transition. Although Industry Canada technically requires Canadian television stations to identify themselves over-the-air by their call letters, this rule is rarely enforced, and most Canadian stations identify themselves by their brand name rather than their callsign. On-air, CIVT identifies itself simply as "CTV". Where a channel reference is warranted, it uses "Channel 9", its primary cable channel number on most cable systems in southwestern British Columbia.
The process that led to the launch of CIVT began when Rogers Communications and Canwest Global Communications filed separate applications with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), respectively in August 1995 and January 1996, to launch new television stations in the Vancouver/Victoria market. Following the commission's usual practice, the CRTC issued a general call for applications in March 1996, with a public hearing that September. In all, five applications were considered:
- Rogers proposed a multicultural station similar to its CFMT in Toronto, to replace an existing regional specialty channel, Talentvision;
- Canwest, then-owner of what is now the Global Television Network, proposed a new station in Victoria, in parallel to its existing Vancouver station CKVU (channel 10), purportedly to gain parity with the market's existing twinstick of CHAN (channel 8) and CHEK (channel 6) under the ownership of Western International Communications (WIC);
- Three other companies each proposed to launch a new, local independent station focused on Vancouver:
The commission's decision, released on January 31, 1997, approved the Baton/Electrohome application and denied the others. The prospective Rogers station was denied largely because it would have replaced some of Talentvision's existing ethnic programming with U.S. syndicated fare. Moreover, Talentvision's existing owner (the company now known as Fairchild Media Group) indicated there was "no plan to abandon [the current Talentvision licence] at this time". As for Canwest, the commission determined that the existence of the CHAN/CHEK twinstick did not justify licensing a new station to a company already serving the market.
The three proposals for an independent station in Vancouver were all determined to be high-calibre. However, the deciding factor in favour of Baton/Electrohome was a commitment to air new Vancouver-produced programming (which ultimately manifested as, among other programs, the Vicki Gabereau Show and Cold Squad) across all of Baton's and Electrohome's stations, a promise that the smaller CHUM and Craig station groups could not match.
As Vancouver Television
CIVT first signed on the air on September 22, 1997, under the brand "Vancouver Television" (or "VTV"). The station's newscasts initially emulated the format of CityPulse on Toronto's CITY-TV, with a morning programme (VTV Breakfast) and evening newscasts (Vancouver Live), in which the anchors stood up and moved throughout the studio. The Toronto station's founder, Moses Znaimer, went so far as to claim that his former protégé, Baton chief executive Ivan Fecan, had stolen CITY's format outright for CIVT. The noon newscast that debuted with the station only lasted for several months after the launch. CIVT began moving towards a more conventional news operation in 1999, and retitled its newscasts to simply VTV News.
Upon launch, CIVT took over the provincial rights to programming from the Baton Broadcast System (BBS), some of which had previously aired on CHAN (such as Disney's One Saturday Morning). However, CHAN and CHEK retained their existing long-term affiliation agreement with CTV, leaving CIVT with a 40-hour gap in its schedule. To fill these holes in the schedule, CIVT also carried some series and movies sourced from CITY-TV in Toronto through the end of the 1999-2000 season. This was possible because CHUM didn't have a station in southwestern British Columbia at the time. As well, some CTV-owned series that did not air nationally due to low expectations and/or scheduling constraints aired instead on CIVT (two notable examples were the first episodes of Ally McBeal and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, whose distribution expanded nationally by midseason). Previously cancelled Canadian dramas that had already aired on the main network were sometimes aired to fulfill Canadian content obligations.
By the end of 1997, Baton Broadcasting had bought out Electrohome's broadcasting operations, and gained full control of both CIVT and the CTV network. Indeed, CIVT had signed on just a few months before Baton closed on its acquisition of controlling interest in CTV, and as a result the "BBS" brand was not implemented locally in Vancouver. By early 1998, the BBS schedule had in effect merged with CTV's national schedule; CIVT would cover up the CTV bug at the lower-right corner of the screen with its own "VTV" logo. It soon became an open secret that CIVT would become Vancouver's CTV station at the first opportunity. However, the network's affiliation agreements with CHAN and CHEK were not scheduled to expire until September 2000; due to complications surrounding the breakup of WIC (including Canwest's acquisition of the CHAN/CHEK twinstick and the resulting sale of CKVU), this was later extended by an additional year.
As a CTV O&O
On September 1, 2001, as part of a major network shuffle in the southwestern B.C. television market, CIVT became a full CTV network station, while CHAN became a Global owned-and-operated station (O&O) and CHEK joined Canwest's secondary system, CH (later known as E!). Since then, CIVT has not deviated significantly from the national CTV schedule (except for the issues with The Oprah Winfrey Show, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! discussed below). While CHAN had blanketed the province with a massive rebroadcaster network, CTV opted not to build any new rebroadcasters for CIVT outside the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, and as of 2014 has no plans to do so (see above).
Upon becoming a full network station, CIVT adopted the brand "BC CTV". This caused some confusion among viewers with CHAN, then known as "BCTV", which had long been the province's dominant station. While the latter station changed its main on-air branding to "Global BC", it retained the "BCTV" name for its newscasts until 2006. Given CTV's desire to steal market share from CHAN, there was some speculation that the confusion was deliberate. Indeed, CIVT had just hired Pamela Martin and Bill Good, the respective former anchors of CHAN-TV's 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. newscasts, to co-anchor its 6:00 p.m. newscast.
On July 1, 2002, CIVT stopped using the "BC CTV" ID on-air, and began to identify itself only as "CTV," following the lead of several other CTV-owned stations (such as CKCK-TV in Regina and CFQC-TV in Saskatoon). The sub-brand "CTV 9" is often used to refer to CIVT informally, and was for a time incorporated into the station's website domain name (ctv9.ca), but it was never officially used as the station's on-air brand. In March 2004, CIVT became the first television station in Western Canada to operate a full-time news helicopter, branded as "Chopper 9". In January 2008, CTV began producing a Western Canada edition of Canada AM at the CIVT studios; however due to low ratings, it was cancelled in June of that year.
For its first ten years as a CTV O&O, CIVT was the only such station not to carry The Oprah Winfrey Show, due to historical issues related to how Canadian rights to the programme were distributed. In the 1990s, almost all CTV stations acquired local rights to Oprah, as well as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! – however, the rights in each market were always held by individual stations, not the network. This meant that CHAN, which had acquired the B.C. rights to all three programs, was not required to give them up upon disaffiliation from CTV. CHAN would keep Oprah on its lineup until the programme ended in 2011. During this period, CIVT used a number of stopgap measures to fill this "hole" in CTV's national schedule, eventually resorting to airing The Ellen DeGeneres Show (now broadcast nationally by CTV) in the 4:00 p.m. timeslot instead.
Similarly, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! did not air on CIVT during the years that most other CTV O&Os carried the programs, even though CHAN elected not to keep them either as a Global station, initially relegating them to its then-sister station in Victoria, CHEK. The Vancouver-area rights to both series changed hands several times in the subsequent years before eventually returning to CHEK in 2012. CIVT was left out of that rotation, making it the only English-language, non-religious station in the market not to have carried the two game shows, despite the series' long association with CTV elsewhere.
CIVT now generally conforms to the standard CTV network schedule, aside from timeslot variances in the daytime schedule in order to maximize simultaneous substitution opportunities with stations in the adjacent Seattle market across the Canada-U.S. border. Since the 2011-12 season, there have only been two exceptions. First, one hour of the CTV network daytime schedule (currently back-to-back repeats of Hot in Cleveland) is not cleared on the station; this was done to accommodate a new lunch-hour newscast on CIVT, along with an existing 5:00 p.m. newscast which most other CTV stations do not produce. In past years, when the pre-empted hour consisted of first-run programming, it would instead be carried by CTV Two owned-and-operated sister station CIVI-DT (channel 53) in Victoria. The second exception is Canada AM being pre-empted for the local morning programme CTV Morning Live, as is the case with other CTV O&Os in western Canada. Canada AM remains available on CTV News Channel from 3:00 to 6:00 a.m. local time.
CIVT-DT presently broadcasts 38 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with seven hours on weekdays, and 1½ hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the highest local newscast output among CTV's television stations (either owned-and-operated or affiliated), and the second-highest among the Vancouver-Victoria market's television stations, falling behind Global O&O CHAN-DT's weekly news total by seven hours.
At its launch as "VTV," the station operated news bureaus in Victoria, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Surrey and Richmond, alongside its main studio in downtown Vancouver. Most of these bureaus were closed by 2001, with the exception of the one in Victoria (which continues in operation to this day). On the other hand, the station added bureaus in the Fraser Valley and the Okanagan, and also operated a bureau in Whistler in the run-up to and during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
On November 23, 2009, beginning with its 5:00 p.m. newscast, CIVT became the first television station in Metro Vancouver and the fourth in Canada (after Toronto-based stations CITY, CBLT and CFTO) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition; with the upgrade, the station renovated its existing news set.
On March 18, 2010, CIVT unveiled a new set for its news broadcasts, using elements from the set built by CTV for its coverage of the 2010 Olympic Games. CIVT's newsroom was redesigned using the news desk, interview area and large screen monitors that were previously installed in the International Broadcast Centre. On December 7, 2010, Bill Good and Pamela Martin announced their resignation as anchors of the 6:00 p.m. newscast. Mike Killeen and Tamara Taggart were announced as their replacements the next day, and took over as anchors of the broadcast on January 3, 2011.
CIVT debuted an hour-long lunchtime newscast at noon on October 31, 2011. Two weeks later on November 14, the station debuted a 3½-hour weekday morning newscast under the CTV Morning Live banner. With the latter addition, CFCF-DT in Montreal and CTV's Toronto flagship station CFTO-DT are now the largest CTV owned-and operated stations that have yet to carry locally produced weekday morning newscasts.
Notable current on–air staff
- Coleen Christie - weekdays and weeknights
- Tamara Taggart - weeknights
- Mi-Jung Lee - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
Notable former on–air staff
- Ravi Baichwal - anchor (now at WLS-TV in Chicago)
- Satinder Bindra - reporter (now at CNN)
- Steve Chao - reporter (now with Al Jazeera English)
- Monika Deol - anchor
- Vicki Gabereau - talk show host
- Bill Good - anchor (retired from CKNW in 2014)
- Rena Heer - weathercaster (now with CP24 in Toronto)
- Pamela Martin - CTV News at Six anchor (now Director of Engagement for Premier Christy Clark & Liaison to the Leader of the BC Liberal)
- Dagmar Midcap - weathercaster and traffic reporter (now at KNSD in San Diego)
- Blake Price - weekend sports anchor (now with sports radio station TSN Radio 1040)
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|32.1||1080i||16:9||CIVT||Main CIVT-DT programming / CTV|
CIVT's digital signal, sometimes known as CTV HD West, began broadcasting in 2005. CIVT shut down its analogue signal, over UHF channel 32, on August 31, 2011, the official date in which Canadian television stations in CRTC-designated mandatory markets transitioned from analogue to digital broadcasts. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 33 to its analogue-era UHF channel 32 for post-transition operations.
On February 19, 2009, CIVT-DT was approved to increase its maximum effective radiated power from 2.2 kW to 12.6 kW due to poor reception throughout the Greater Vancouver area, including Vancouver proper.
- Decision CRTC 97-39, January 31, 1997
- Susan Gittins, CTV: The Television Wars, Toronto: Stoddart Publishing, 2001 (p. 323).
- Public Notice CRTC 2000-94, July 6, 2000. Accessed online September 1, 2009.
- "CTV BC Fall 2011 Schedule" (PDF). FallTVPreview.com. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
- Ian Edwards (1997-09-22). "Special Report on Production in Vancouver: The brave new world of VTV". Playback. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
- CTV News - CTV BC goes high definition - November 23rd, 2009
- "CTV British Columbia unveils Olympic legacy set". CTV News. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- Martin, Good leave
- Taggart, Killeen take over
- CTV B.C. announces new shows, new anchors
- RabbitEars TV Query for CIVT
- Digital Television - Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA)
- Official website
- Canadian Communications Foundation - CIVT-DT History
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CIVT-DT
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for CIVT-DT