|Channels||Digital: 10 (VHF)
Virtual: 10.1 (PSIP)
|First air date||February 19, 1961|
|Call letters' meaning||CF Télé-Métropole|
|Former affiliations||independent (1961-1971)|
|Transmitter power||11 kW|
CFTM-DT is a French language television station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, serving as the flagship of TVA. It broadcasts a high-definition digital signal on VHF channel 10 from a transmitter on Voie Camillien Houde (near Mont Royal Park).
Owned by the TVA Group subsidiary of Quebecor Media, its studios are located on Boulevard de Maisonneuve East and Rue Alexandre de Sève in Downtown Montreal. This station can also be seen on Vidéotron channel 7 (standard) or 4 (Illico), and in high definition on digital channel 604; Vidéotron also offers a 3-hour delayed feed to Illico subscribers on channel 401.
It opened on February 19, 1961, a few weeks after CFCF-TV went on the air for the first time. It was owned by Joseph Alexandre DeSève and his company, Télé-Métropole. At first it relied primarily on kinescopes from RTL, and also from Télé Monte Carlo, but it wasn't long before it settled into a more peculiar and local form. On April 14, 1963, CFTM started sharing programs with CJPM-TV in Chicoutimi in the Saguenay area when the day it was first signed on. They were joined by CFCM-TV in Quebec City in 1964. This was the informal beginning of TVA, though the network wasn't officially established until September 12, 1971. When DeSève died in 1968, the city government renamed the street in front of CFTM's studios rue Alexandre DeSève in his honour.
CFTM has always been by far the largest station in the TVA network. As such, it dominated the network long before Télé-Métropole bought majority control of TVA in 1990. At one point, CFTM produced as much as 90 percent of TVA's programming. Even today, TVA's network feed is little more than a retransmission of CFTM. Whenever CFTM has to interrupt its programming for breaking news or weather alerts in Montreal, the entire network usually gets interrupted as well.
CFTM-TV was essentially available on satellite beginning November 1, 1981 as TCTV, carried via Cancom by cable television operators across Canada, though not in most major cities. TCTV carried mainly the same programs as CFTM, but with some local news and programming from other TVA affiliates.
The TCTV service ended when the CRTC approved TVA for a national network license in 1998. Since May 1, 1999, all Canadian cable companies have been required to carry a TVA station. CFTM is the affiliate carried in most markets outside of Quebec — excepting some markets in Northern Ontario, Eastern Ontario and New Brunswick, which have long carried the stations in adjacent markets. The station also provides a time-shifted feed for cable companies in western Canada, delayed three hours after the original broadcast, matching up with Pacific Time.
Digital television and high definition
CFTM received CRTC approval in March 2006 for its request to broadcast digitally on UHF channel 59 and was granted a requested extension to August 31, 2009 to launch this service but the launch never occurred. On July 6, 2009, as part of a license renewal hearing, TVA was granted a second extension in which to launch CFTM-DT.
During the analogue television shutdown and digital conversion, which took place on August 31, 2011, CFTM silenced its analogue transmitter on September 1, 2011 at 12:01am during a movie's airing and began broadcasting a digital signal a few minutes later on its old analog channel number, 10.
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-78, 15 March 2006, re: TVA Group Inc, Montréal, Québec
- Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-0050-0 17 March 2008, approval of extension to 31 August 2009 to commence operation of transitional digital television at CFTM-TV Montréal