|Branding||CBC Montreal (general)
CBC Montreal News (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 21 (UHF)
Virtual: 6.1 (PSIP)
|Owner||Canadian Broadcasting Corporation|
|First air date||January 10, 1954|
|Call letters' meaning||Canadian
|Sister station(s)||CBFT-DT, CBME-FM, CBM-FM, CBF-FM, CBFX-FM|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
6 (VHF) (1954–2011)
|Transmitter power||107 kW (digital)|
|Height||259.9 m (analog)
300 m (digital)
CBMT-DT, virtual channel 6 (UHF digital channel 21), is a CBC Television owned-and-operated television station located in the province of Quebec. Licensed to Montreal, the station is owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as part of a twinstick with Ici Radio-Canada Télé outlet CBFT-DT (channel 2). The two stations share studios based at Maison Radio-Canada on René Lévesque Boulevard East in Downtown Montreal, CBMT's transmitter is located atop Mount Royal.
This station can also be seen on Vidéotron cable channel 6 and in high definition on digital channel 606. On Shaw Direct, the channel is available on 301 (Classic) or 056 (Advanced), and in high definition on channel 044 (Classic) or 544 (Advanced). It is also available on Bell TV on channel 206 and in high definition on channel 1030; and on Bell Fibe TV on channel 205 and in high definition on channel 1205.
CBMT first signed on the air on January 10, 1954, as Montreal's second television station; previously English and French-language programs had shared time on CBFT, Canada's first television station. By the end of 1953, Canada had about a dozen television stations either licensed or under construction, and American competition was about to arrive in Montreal with the construction of WCAX-TV in Burlington, Vermont and WIRI-TV in Plattsburgh, New York (now known as WPTZ). The CBC decided that it was imperative to stop time-sharing in English and in French, so CBMT was included in the network's expansion plans for television.
This station was branded in the late 1970s and early 1980s as "Montreal 6", becoming "CBC Television Montreal 6" by the mid-1980s, and "CBC Television Montreal" during the 1990s. Since 1997, CBMT has been the only full-fledged CBC station in the province of Quebec. Previously, the only other CBC station in the province had been Quebec City's CKMI-TV. However, in 1997, CKMI switched its affiliation to the Global Television Network. CBMT set up a full-power rebroadcaster, CBVE, on CKMI's old channel 5, while CKMI moved to channel 20.
CBMT transmits from the Mount Royal candelabra tower, in Mount Royal Park, overlooking the city of Montreal. As a result, channel 6 experiences severe multipath interference in parts of the city and South Shore.
It was also previously seen unscrambled on C-band satellite but this has since ended in the early-2000s, when it switched to a proprietary digital satellite signal. When the signal was sent unscrambled on the C-band, many American satellite viewers tuned into CBMT for a variety of news, entertainment, and sports – particularly CBC's Hockey Night in Canada and Olympic Games television broadcasts, which gave a different perspective than the American broadcasts. That Canadian signal is still available, but it requires the purchase of a dedicated and expensive receiver, or a grey market subscription to a Canadian satellite service. CBMT is also still available on many cable systems in Northern Vermont, Northern New York State, as far east as Bucksport, Maine, and as far west as Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
CBMT-DT presently broadcasts ten hours and 40 minutes of locally produced newscasts each week (with two hours on weekdays, a half-hour on Saturdays and ten minutes on Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the lowest local newscast output out of any English-language television station in the Montreal market. CBMT airs local news programming for Montreal seven days a week. On weekdays, the station airs a 30-minute newscast at 6:00 pm to 6:30 p.m. and a half-hour newscast at 11 p.m. On weekends, Montreal at 6 airs on Saturdays for 30 minutes and a ten-minute summary airs on Sundays at 11 p.m.
Notable current on-air staff
- Debra Arbec - weeknights anchor
Due to federal funding reductions to the CBC, in April 2012, the CBC responded with substantial budget cuts, which included shutting down CBC's and Radio-Canada's remaining analog transmitters on July 31, 2012. None of CBC or Radio-Canada's rebroadcasters were converted to digital.
Transmitters in mandatory markets were required to go digital or be taken off the air by the transition deadline of August 31, 2011. The CBC had originally decided that none of its rebroadcasters will transition to digital and instead will remain in analog. The CBC had rebroadcasters of CBMT in the following mandatory markets:
- CBVE-TV Quebec City
- CBJET Saguenay
- CBMT-3 Sherbrooke
- CBMT-1 Trois-Rivières
On August 16, 2011, the CRTC granted the CBC permission to continue operating 22 repeaters in mandatory markets, including the above, in analog until August 31, 2012, by which time the transmitters had to be converted to digital or shut down.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|6.1||720p||16:9||CBMT-DT||Main CBMT-DT programming / CBC Television|
CBMT-DT also operates a 2.75 MBps ATSC-M/H Mobile DTV feed.
CBMT began broadcasting its digital signal over-the-air in February 21, 2005. On August 31, 2011, when Canadian television stations in CRTC-designated mandatory markets transitioned from analogue to digital broadcasts, the station's digital signal remained on UHF channel 21. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display CBMT-DT's virtual channel as 6.1.
Audience outside Canada
CBMT also has substantial viewership in the United States, mostly from Maine to northeastern New York. It is also seen via cable television in Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and northern Minnesota; CBMT is the main CBC station for Charter Communications systems in Bay City, Midland, Mount Pleasant, Alpena and Marquette.
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