|Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
|Branding||CTV Northern Ontario
CTV News Northern Ontario (newscasts)
|Slogan||News for the North|
|Channels||Analog: 2 (VHF)
Digital: allocated 11 (VHF)
|Translators||7 CHBX-TV-1 Wawa|
|First air date||November 5, 1977|
|Former callsigns||CKCY-TV (1977-1985)|
|Transmitter power||CHBX-TV: 100 kW
CHBX-TV-1: 66.4 kW
|Height||CHBX-TV: 182.9 m
CHBX-TV-1: 163.7 m
|Website||CTV Sault Ste. Marie|
CHBX-TV is the CTV owned-and-operated television station in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada that is part of the network's CTV Northern Ontario sub-system. Owned by Bell Media, it broadcasts an analogue signal on VHF channel 2 from a transmitter near its studios on 6 Line East (just east of Peoples Road) in Sault Ste. Marie. This station can also be seen on Shaw Cable channel 11.
The station's signal also reaches the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and can be seen over-the-air as far south as Gaylord, Michigan. It is carried on Charter in St. Ignace on Channel 2, however, it is not seen on Charter in Sault Ste. Marie. CHBX essentially operates as a de facto semi-satellite of CICI in Sudbury, running the same programming as that station at all times (except for certain commercials and regional news inserts during its newscasts).
The station began broadcasting on November 5, 1977 as CKCY-TV. It was owned by Huron Broadcasting along with CBC affiliate CJIC-TV, and was a sister station of an AM radio outlet with the same call letters. Prior to the sign-on of CKCY, CTV programming was available in Sault Ste. Marie on cable from Sudbury's CKSO-TV (now CICI).
It adopted the current CHBX call sign in 1985, when the radio station was sold to Mid-Canada Radio. In 1990, Huron sold CHBX and its CBC twinstick CJIC-TV to Baton Broadcasting, which merged them into the MCTV system. Ironically, MCTV flagship CICI had been available on cable in the Sault for part of the 1980s; the two stations aired radically different programming at the time.
Baton became the sole corporate owner of CTV in 1997, and sold CJIC to the CBC in 2002.
Effective November 29, 2012, Bell TV customers will also be able to view CHBX-TV on channel 590.
CHBX also broadcasts on CHBX-TV-1 channel 7 in Wawa; this repeater was among a long list of CTV rebroadcasters nationwide to have shut down on or before August 31, 2009, as part of a political dispute with Canadian authorities on paid fee-for-carriage requirements for cable television operators. A subsequent change in ownership assigned full control of CTV Globemedia to Bell Canada Enterprises; as of 2011, these transmitters remain in normal licensed broadcast operation.
On February 11, 2016, Bell Media applied for its regular license renewals, which included applications to delete a long list of transmitters, including CHBX-TV-1. Bell Media's rationale for deleting these analog repeaters is below:
"We are electing to delete these analog transmitters from the main licence with which they are associated. These analog transmitters generate no incremental revenue, attract little to no viewership given the growth of BDU or DTH subscriptions and are costly to maintain, repair or replace. In addition, none of the highlighted transmitters offer any programming that differs from the main channels. The Commission has determined that broadcasters may elect to shut down transmitters but will lose certain regulatory privileges (distribution on the basic service, the ability to request simultaneous substitution) as noted in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-24, Over-the-air transmission of television signals and local programming. We are fully aware of the loss of these regulatory privileges as a result of any transmitter shutdown."
At the same time, Bell Media applied to conver the licenses of CTV2 Atlantic (formerly ASN) and CTV2 Alberta (formerly ACCESS) from satellite-to-cable undertakings into television stations without transmitters (similar to cable-only network affiliates in the United States), and to reduce the level of educational content on CTV2 Alberta.