|Launched||May 6, 1991|
Educational independent (1991-2012)
|Owned by||Rogers Media
(Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.)
|Picture format||480i (SD)|
national (via satellite)
|Formerly called||Saskatchewan Communications Network (1991–2012)
Citytv Saskatchewan (2012)
|Bell TV||Channel 266|
|Shaw Direct||Channel 352 (Classic)
Channel 31 (Advanced)
|Shaw (Saskatoon)||Channel 7|
|Available on most
|Check local listings for channel location|
|SaskTel (Regina and Saskatoon)||Channel 19|
City Saskatchewan is a Canadian English language cable television channel in the province of Saskatchewan. Headquartered in the provincial capital of Regina, the channel is owned by the Rogers Media division of Rogers Communications, and operates as a de facto owned-and-operated station of its City television network.
City Saskatchewan is licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as an educational programming service for the province of Saskatchewan, and was formerly a public broadcaster as the Saskatchewan Communications Network (SCN) owned by the Saskatchewan government. Since becoming a private broadcaster, it has aired commercial-free educational and cultural programming from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., along with entertainment programming (all currently sourced from City) more favourable to advertisers and viewers throughout the rest of the day.
For being licensed as an educational broadcaster, City Saskatchewan is required to be distributed as part of the basic cable service in Saskatchewan. The channel's broadcast licence is for satellite-to-cable programming only and is not available over-the-air unlike other similar services such as TVOntario or Télé-Québec. It is also available on both national satellite services, Bell TV and Shaw Direct.
In February 1991, the Government of Saskatchewan (led at the time by Premier Grant Devine) was granted a broadcast licence for a non-commercial educational service by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The channel, branded as SCN (for Saskatchewan Communications Network), launched on May 6 of that year, making it one of the newer English-language publicly funded broadcasters in Canada (Ontario's TVOntario was launched on September 27, 1970; British Columbia's Knowledge launched on January 12, 1981; and Alberta's Access, which is now the privately owned CTV Two Alberta, was launched on June 30, 1973).
While being a publicly owned entity, SCN received funding from the Saskatchewan government and from the general public in the form of donations. At the time, SCN frequently stopped between shows to ask for pledges like other public broadcasters such as PBS in the United States.
The Saskatchewan government (now led by Premier Brad Wall) announced on March 24, 2010 that it would wind down SCN's operations, citing low ratings, with some operations such as distance education broadcasts to be transferred to SaskTel. The channel was to have shut down at the end of April, but it was later decided to keep the channel in operation while offers to buy SCN were evaluated. On June 21, 2010, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the channel would be sold to Bluepoint Investment Corporation. During the CRTC approval process, Bluepoint requested several amendments to SCN's licence, which would allow the channel to air limited amounts of non-educational programming with commercials. The CRTC approved the sale of SCN to Bluepoint and the licence amendments on December 23, 2010. The transaction was completed shortly thereafter, and at that point, SCN lost its original funding streams of government funding and public donations.
Under Bluepoint's approved amendments to its licence, SCN was still required to air commercial-free educational programming from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.; after 3 p.m., the channel would be allowed to air entertainment-based programming with up to 14 minutes of advertising per hour – Bluepoint planned to use this new ability to air programming that could attract new advertising revenue to the channel, in a hybrid format similar to Access, an educational television network in Alberta. Initially, when Bluepoint took over control of the station, little changes were made to SCN's programming, other than introducing films seven nights a week starting at 9 p.m. during the summer of 2011. The first major changes to the channel occurred on September 12, 2011, when the channel introduced a new on-air brand, along with a new primetime lineup of current American network series' such as Supernatural and The Insider, in addition to classic series such as Danger Bay, Family Ties and Frasier.
On December 20, 2011, SCN announced it entered into an affiliation agreement with Rogers Communications to air Citytv programs from 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting on January 2, 2012, with educational, children's and locally produced programming continuing to air on SCN outside those hours (to fulfill the channel's licence as an educational station). The post-3 p.m. programming, branded as "Citytv on SCN", consists of entertainment programming sourced from Rogers' Citytv stations, including the television system's primetime lineup. With the Citytv affiliation, SCN is the second Canadian educational television service to carry entertainment programming from one of the major commercial networks or television systems (alongside Access, which completely took on the CTV Two name and lineup upon its relaunch in August 2011); it also gave the Citytv system affiliations in all provinces west of Quebec and south of the federal territories of Northern Canada (Rogers later expanded Citytv into Quebec when it affiliated with CJNT Montreal in June 2012, which the company also purchased).
The next year, Rogers Media announced its intent to acquire SCN outright from Bluepoint Investment Corporation. The sale was approved by the CRTC on June 21, 2012 and closed later that month, making the channel an owned-and-operated station of the Citytv system. Rogers officially relaunched the channel as Citytv Saskatchewan on July 1. Rogers plans to invest into improving the channel's infrastructure, and will also launch a high definition feed for the channel in the coming year. Despite the rebranding, Rogers still commits to the channel's requirement to air commercial-free educational programming from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. No regional news programming is planned for the channel under Rogers ownership; as such, Citytv Saskatchewan is the first Citytv owned-and-operated station to carry no localized news programming (all other Citytv O&Os carry, at minimum, morning newscasts under the system's Breakfast Television brand, while the system's Toronto flagship station, CITY, also carries weekday midday and nightly evening newscasts). Eventually, Rogers dropped the "Citytv" brand in favour of simply "City", with some on-air promo voiceovers using the phrase "City Television".
- CTV Two Alberta - a similar cable-only affiliate of CTV Two in the Canadian province of Alberta; formerly Access
- CTV Two Atlantic - a similar cable-only affiliate of CTV Two in Atlantic Canada; formerly the Atlantic Satellite Network (ASN) and A Atlantic
- The CW Plus - an alternate feed of The CW Television Network for small and mid-size television markets in the United States, consisting of privately owned digital multicast channels and cable-only affiliates, with syndicated programs supplied by the network in addition to CW network programming
- Decision CRTC 91-98 CRTC, 1997-02-14
- Government Provides SCN Core Services in More Efficient Manner, Government of Saskatchewan press release, 2010-03-24
- Neil Scott, SCN to remain operating while expressions of interest evaluated, Leader-Post, 2010-05-01, accessed 2010-05-01
- Sask. TV network sold to Ontario firm, CBC News, 2010-06-21, accessed 2010-06-21
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-965
- "Ontario Company Purchases SCN". Saskatoon Media Group.
- SCN Summer Schedule SCN press release 2011-05-03
- Claassen’s Bluepoint to introduce revamped SCN in September Marketing 2011-08-15
- Citytv and SCN Sign Affiliate Agreement CNW press release 2011-12-20
- Citytv expanding into Quebec & Western Canada, CityNews, May 3, 2012.
- Rogers Media Receives CRTC Approval to Launch Citytv Saskatchewan CNW press release 2012-06-21
- "Rogers to buy SCN, launch Citytv Saskatchewan". National Post. Retrieved 18 January 2012.
- Rogers buys SCN; set to launch Citytv channel
- "Citytv drops two letters from its station identification after 40 years". Canada.com. Retrieved 28 December 2012.