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City Richmond, British Columbia
Broadcast area Metro Vancouver
Branding Sportsnet 650 Vancouver
Frequency 650 kHz
Repeater(s) 96.9 MHz HD3
(HD Radio)
First air date May 1, 1980
Format Sports
Power 20,000 watts (day)
4,000 watts (night)
Class B
Transmitter coordinates 49°08′39″N 123°03′37″W / 49.144261°N 123.060318°W / 49.144261; -123.060318 (CISL Tower)Coordinates: 49°08′39″N 123°03′37″W / 49.144261°N 123.060318°W / 49.144261; -123.060318 (CISL Tower)
Callsign meaning C ISL (reference to Lulu Island)
Former frequencies 940 kHz (1980-1985)
Owner Rogers Media
(Rogers Media, Inc.)
Sister stations Radio: CKWX, CJAX-FM, CKKS-FM
TV: CHNM-DT, CKVU-DT, Sportsnet Pacific
Webcast Listen Live

CISL is a Canadian radio station in Richmond, British Columbia, owned by Rogers Media. The station, which serves the Metro Vancouver media market, currently offers a sports radio format branded as Sportsnet 650 Vancouver broadcasting at 650 AM. The calls in its moniker are generally pronounced "C-Isle".

CISL's studios are located at 2440 Ash Street in the Fairview neighbourhood of Vancouver, while its transmitters are located on Lulu Island.


CISL originally signed in on May 1, 1980, at a frequency of 940 kHz and a power of 2500 watts. The licence was granted to South Fraser Broadcasting, a group controlled by Michael Dickinson,[1] whose previous broadcast experience included a stint at Vancouver radio stations CHQM AM/FM. While the original music content was primarily contemporary easy listening (and branded as "AM Gold Music Radio"), with its playlist consisting of music released from 1955 to the-then present, overall content placed an emphasis on the community of Richmond (the ISLand in CISL).

About 1985, the frequency was changed to 650 kHz (CFML's former frequency) and the daytime power increased to 10,000 watts, still at the same Richmond transmitter site (the antenna array was changed from four to three towers).[2][3] On December 27, 1988, CISL shifted to a full-time oldies format (with its playlist now featuring music from 1955 to 1975), and CISL 650 became a major player in the Vancouver radio scene. The original Richmond community programming expanded to include all of the lower mainland. CISL enjoyed its greatest ratings and sales success from 1986 to 1989. In 1990, South Fraser Broadcasting was issued an FM license, which went on the air as CKZZ-FM the following year. CISL and CKZZ were sold by South Fraser Broadcasting to Standard Broadcasting in May 1996.

Today, CISL broadcasts out of Richmond, British Columbia.

In September 2007, CISL stopped using the "Oldies 650 CISL" name and became "SuperHits 650 CISL". The format remained very similar.

On October 29, 2007, CISL along with the rest of the Standard Broadcasting stations were sold to Astral Media.

On November 10, 2008, at 9 a.m., after playing "Kiss and Say Goodbye" by The Manhattans, CISL flipped from oldies to soft AC/easy listening. The classic hits/oldies format moved to Rogers-owned CKKS-FM in September (that station has since moved to a CHR format). The move was a result of Jim Pattison Group flipping CKBD from its adult standards format to an adult album alternative format and switching to FM on November 13. The first song on "All Time Favourites" was "We've Only Just Begun" by The Carpenters.

On December 23, 2009, CISL filed an application with the CRTC, requesting permission to broadcast up to 20% of its programming in Russian during the 2010 Winter Olympics,[4] which is to be supplied by Moscow radio station AvtoRadio.[5] This application received approval on January 26, 2010.[6]

In March 2013, the Competition Bureau approved a proposal by Bell Media to acquire Astral Media, under the condition that it divest itself of several television services and radio stations. Following the closure of the merger in July 2013, CISL was placed in a blind trust pending its eventual sale.[7][8][9]

On August 26, 2013, Newcap Radio announced it would acquire CISL along with four other former Astral Media radio stations held under blind trust by Bell Media for $112 million.[10] The deal was approved by the CRTC on March 19, 2014 and the sale closed on March 31, 2014.[11][12]

On April 8, 2014, Newcap applied to move the CISL transmitter site to the former CKBD 600 AM site, due to the imminent expiry of the lease on the transmitter site in August, and the unstable ground at the site.[13] The application was approved on August 14.[14]

On August 25, 2014, CISL changed their branding to Smooth & Easy, CISL 650 AM.

Rogers acquisition, flip to sports[edit]

On April 25, 2017, Rogers Media announced that it would acquire CISL, and switch the station to a sports radio format branded as Sportsnet 650 later in the year. The move comes as Rogers had acquired the radio rights to the Vancouver Canucks beginning in the 2017–18 season. The station will also assume the Toronto Blue Jays radio rights in 2018. Both teams were previously broadcast by Bell Media's TSN Radio stations CFTE and CKST.[15]

Rogers unveiled the station's launch programming lineup on August 23, 2017.[16] The sale of the station was completed on August 27, 2017, with CISL ending music programming that day. The final song on CISL was "American Pie" by Don McLean. After a week off air, the station re-branded as Sportsnet 650 on September 4, becoming the first station from the Sportsnet Radio group to not use The Fan branding.[17][18]

On August 28, 2017, CISL began rebroadcasting its signal digitally on CJAX-FM-HD3.


Oldies 650 CISL.jpg SuperHits.png Cisl.svg CISL 650amsmoothandeasy logo.png
–2007 2007–2008 2008–2014 2014–2017


  1. ^ Decision CRTC 79-521, New AM radio station at Burnaby, CRTC, 1979
  2. ^ Decision CRTC 84-59
  3. ^ Decision CRTC 85-1212
  4. ^ Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2009-804
  5. ^ Etan Vlessing, "Russian radio broadcasting from Olympics", The Hollywood Reporter, 2010-01-28
  6. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-35
  7. ^ Biblic, Mirko. "Re: Voting Trust Agreement between BCE Inc. and Pierre Boivin, the trustee Application No. 2013-0243-9 – Approved". CRTC. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Competition Bureau OK's BCE-Astral deal, with conditions". CBC News. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  9. ^ "Bell moves closer to Astral with sale of TV assets". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Newcap signs agreement with Bell Media to acquire five radio stations in Toronto and Vancouver". CNW. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  11. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-129
  12. ^ "Newcap Radio receives CRTC approval to purchase stations in Toronto and Vancouver". Canada Newswire. March 19, 2014. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  13. ^ "CRTC Application 2014-0278-4". Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  14. ^ "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-431". Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Sportsnet launching all-sports radio station in Vancouver". The Province. Postmedia. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  16. ^ "Sportsnet 650 unveils its full lineup". The Province. 2017-08-23. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  17. ^ Brown, Scott (5 July 2017). "Vancouver radio: Steve Darling to co-host Sportsnet 650 morning show". Vancouver Sun. Canada. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  18. ^ "Sports talk showdown: Vancouver set to become 'radioactive' Monday". The Province. 2017-08-31. Retrieved 2017-09-04.

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