|Channels||Digital: 47 (UHF)
(to move to 18 (UHF))
Virtual: 47 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||47.1 Omni Television|
|Affiliations||Omni Television (O&O; 2002–present)|
(Rogers Media, Inc.)
|First air date||September 3, 1979|
|Call letters' meaning||Canada's
|Sister station(s)||TV: CITY-DT, CJMT-DT
Radio: CFTR, CHFI-FM, CJCL, CKIS-FM
|Former callsigns||CFMT-TV (1979–2011)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
47 (UHF, 1979–2011)
Digital: 64 (UHF, 200?–2011)
|Former affiliations||Multicultural independent (1979–2002)|
|Transmitter power||22.2 kW|
CFMT-DT, UHF channel 47, is a television station that is the flagship of the Canadian multi-lingual network Omni Television, licensed to and serving the Toronto, Ontario, Canada television market. It is owned by the Rogers Media division of Rogers Communications as part of a triplestick (the only conventional television triplestick operated by the company) with sister Omni station CJMT-DT (channel 40) and City flagship owned-and-operated station CITY-DT (channel 57). All three stations share studio facilities located at Yonge-Dundas Square on 33 Dundas Street East in downtown Toronto; CFMT maintains transmitter facilities located atop the CN Tower in downtown Toronto.
Upon its launch, CFMT was the first multicultural television station in Canada.
On cable, the station is available on corporate sister Rogers Cable channel 4 and in high definition on digital channel 520; on satellite, the station is also available on Bell TV channel 215, and on Shaw Direct classic lineup channel 343 and advanced lineup channel 42, and in high definition on Bell TV channel 1055.
In December 1978, Dan Iannuzzi, founder of the Italian language daily newspaper Corriere Canadese and future recipient of the Order of Canada, received a licence to operate a multilingual television station, defeating rival applicants Johnny Lombardi and Leon Kossar. His company, Multilingual Television (Toronto) Ltd., had been producing multilingual television programs since 1972. Iannuzzi initially owned 30% of the station, and other investors included Jerry Grafstein (who was also one of the major investors that helped launch CITY-TV (channel 79, now on channel 57) in September 1972), Raymond Moriyama, Steve Stavro, Garth Drabinsky and Nat Taylor. The call letters CFMT were derived from "Canada's First Multilingual Television." English language programming was limited to one-third of the station's broadcast hours, with French language programming accounting for 7% and programming in about two dozen other languages providing the remaining 60%. The station was originally going to broadcast on UHF channel 45, but instead moved to channel 47 for technical reasons. The station first signed on the air on September 3, 1979, CFMT began broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as a multicultural independent station under the brand name "MTV" (for "Multilingual Television"); that branding was dropped in 1981 to avoid confusion with the upstart American MTV cable network. (The channel even broadcast a program called Video Singles, as of 1983.)
In August 1980, introduced The All-Night Show three weeks later. In 1985, CFMT became the first television station in Canada to broadcast in stereo. The following year, the station was sold to Rogers Communications. In 1993, CFMT installed rebroadcasters in London and Ottawa, respectively broadcasting on UHF channels 69 and 60. Under Rogers ownership, the station targeted English-speaking viewers at times that other stations did not aggressively target viewers.
In the past, CFMT-TV has identified itself on air as "Channel 47/Cable 4" (reflecting both its over-the-air channel number and its channel position in the Greater Toronto Area through Rogers Cable) and as "CFMT International". In September 16, 2002, Rogers launched CJMT (channel 40; which was branded as "OMNI.2") to provide additional multicultural programming, and rebranded CFMT as "OMNI.1". Programs airing on CFMT that were aimed at Asian and African communities were moved to CJMT, while CFMT kept programs aimed at European and Latin American groups.
In October 8, 2007, Rogers announced that the operations of the OMNI stations would relocate from 545 Lake Shore Boulevard West to 33 Dundas Street East. CFMT and CJMT integrated their operations into the building – which it shares with City flagship CITY-DT, which moved into the facility the previous month – on October 19, 2009.
The station broadcasts multicultural programming targeting European and Latin American communities throughout Southern Ontario. Among English-speaking television viewers in the region, CFMT is likely best known as home to various English language syndicated talk shows and sitcom repeats, including The Simpsons, Friends and Family Guy, airing nightly as counterprogramming to local newscasts and first-run primetime series on owned-and-operated stations of the major networks.
Until around 1990, CFMT was the original Toronto home of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!. At that time, both game shows moved to CTV flagship station CFTO-TV (channel 9) and remained on that station until 2004, when Wheel of Fortune moved to CJMT, then moved back to CFMT the following year; Barrie A-Channel (later A, now CTV Two) affiliate CKVR-TV (channel 3) carried the show in 2006. Jeopardy! remained on CFTO-TV for a few years until 2008, when CBC Television acquired the Canadian television rights to the game shows, moving once again to CBC flagship station CBLT (channel 5) until 2012, when both programs moved to independent station CHCH-DT (channel 11) in Hamilton.
CFMT-DT presently broadcasts five hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with one hour on weekdays). The station currently carries a local newscast aimed at Southern Ontario's Italian demographic. CFMT previously produced a Cantonese language newscast; the programme was moved to CJMT after that station signed on in September 16, 2002.
Current on-air staff
- Omni News: Italian Edition (weeknights at 8:00 p.m.)
|Station||City of licence||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates|
Virtual: 69.1 (PSIP)
|25 kW||197.6 m|
Virtual: 60.1 (PSIP)
|15 kW||202.3 m|
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|47.1||1080i||16:9||OMNI 1||Main CFMT-DT programming / Omni Television|
CFMT shut down its analogue signal, over UHF channel 47, on August 31, 2011, the official date in which full-power television stations in larger Canadian television markets transitioned from analogue to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 64, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to UHF channel 47 for post-transition operations. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analogue channel 47. CFMT's digital repeaters in London and Ottawa also relocated to new channels for the same reason behind the relocation of the main signal; these repeaters would use their former UHF analogue channel numbers (69 and 60) as their virtual channel numbers.
- "Ethnic TV: A Tower of Babel?," Robert Stephens, Toronto Star, June 4, 1979, p. C9,
- "Development Fact Sheet". Downtown Yonge BIA. Archived from the original on 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2008-05-31.
- RabbitEars TV Query for CFMT-DT
- Digital Television - Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) Archived 2008-09-16 at the Wayback Machine.