2007 Canada broadcast TV realignment

2007 Canada broadcast TV realignment

In 2007, significant ownership changes occurred in Canada's broadcast television industry, involving nearly every network and television system. In addition to the shuffling of television network affiliations and network mergers, new broadcast translators and new television stations are also taking to the air.

Sale of CHUM Limited to Bell Globemedia

In 2006, following the death of longtime chairman Allan Waters, CHUM Limited decided to shut down operations and sell its broadcasting assets to a willing bidder. Bell Globemedia (now CTVglobemedia) announced a $1.7 billion takeover offer in July of that year.

Bell Globemedia initially intended to retain CHUM's popular Citytv-branded stations and its numerous specialty channels, selling off the smaller-market A-Channel stations along with several specialty channels to a willing bidder. Rogers Communications originally bid on the A-Channel stations, CKX-TV, Access, , and CLT. However, CTV's plans were denied by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), as all five Citytv stations are based in markets where CTV already has owned-and-operated (O&O) stations, and so CTV's retention of Citytv would have exceeded the CRTC's concentration of media ownership limits. CTV was, however, allowed to retain control of the A-Channel stations and all of CHUM's specialty channels.

Soon afterwards, Rogers placed a new bid to purchase the Citytv system as a complement to its own Omni Television network, a system of multicultural-themed stations.


Bell Globemedia originally placed a bid to purchase CHUM Limited's Citytv stations, and sell off the A-Channel stations, CKX-TV along with several digital speciality channels. This was denied by the CRTC, however. CTV was told it could purchase A-Channel instead. With this outcome, CTV put the Citytv stations in trusteeship with corporate lawyer John McKellar while searching for an owner. Rogers Communications, which had originally bid on the A-Channel stations before the CRTC decision, offered a new bid for the Citytv stations a few days later, which was approved by the CRTC on September 28, 2007.

CHUM Limited officially ceased operations on June 22, 2007. All of the CHUM Limited properties (with the exception of the Citytv stations, and CHUM's interest in MusiquePlus and Musimax) are now fully owned by CTVglobemedia.

CTV has also retained ownership of CHUM's cable specialty services, including MuchMusic, Star!, Space, Bravo!, CablePulse 24, and CHUM's radio stations.

A-Channel's original 2007-08 schedule was announced in early June, before the takeover was approved by the CRTC. By September, CTV had radically altered the schedule to give A-Channel broadcast rights to several series CTV had not been able to fit into its own fall schedule, including "Two and a Half Men", "Jeff Ltd.", "Scrubs" and "30 Rock".

CTVglobemedia announced on November 16, 2007, along with its co-owner Comcast, that it will sell the remaining interest of OLN to Rogers.

CTVglobemedia announced on March 8, 2008, that it will sell CLT to Corus.

The A-Channel stations along with Atlantic Satellite Network were officially rebranded as A on August 11, 2008.

Rogers Communications

Rogers Communications had wanted to gain a multicultural station in Vancouver for a long time, but was either denied by the CRTC and competitor station CHNM-TV ("Channel M"), or was out-bid for stations in the market. In 2005, opportunity arose when Rogers was given permission to purchase religious broadcaster Trinity Television, owner of the television station CHNU-TV and the Winnipeg license CIIT-TV.

In 2007, both CHNM-TV's owner Multivan Broadcasting and Rogers submitted bids for television stations in Edmonton and Calgary during the most recent call for applications of broadcast licences by the CRTC. The licences were awarded to Rogers, which will launch CJCO and CJEO (originally named CHXC and CHXE, respectively) in the fall of 2008. Shortly thereafter, Multivan entered a tentative deal to sell CHNM to Rogers, citing the loss of the Calgary and Edmonton licenses as leaving the company no longer able to compete as a standalone station. Rogers also announced the intention to sell its two religious stations (Vancouver's CHNU-TV and Winnipeg's CIIT-TV) to S-VOX on November 6, 2007. Rogers' acquisition of CHNM and its sale of CHNU and CIIT to S-VOX were both approved by the CRTC on March 31, 2008.

CHNM ("Channel M") was relaunched as an Omni Television station ("OMNI British Columbia") on September 1, 2008, the same date when S-VOX's CIIT ("CIIT 11") and CHNU ("CHNU 10") stations were relaunched as Joytv 11 and 10 respectively.

In addition, Rogers applied to purchase the Citytv stations for an estimated $375 million. Media analysts have suggested that with a more powerful media conglomerate such as Rogers behind them, the Citytv stations will effectively become Canada's fourth fully-fledged commercial television network, in effect if not immediately in name. The Citytv transaction was approved by the CRTC on September 28, 2007, and Rogers officially became Citytv's new owner on October 31. Rogers acquired the remaining interest of OLN from CTVglobemedia and Comcast on August 31, 2008.

CanWest Global

CH becomes E!

Canwest Global's CH television system was rebranded as E! on September 7 2007, after an agreement from the American E! owner Comcast, the two of which now share some programming. The stations revived their call signs as their local news branding.

The broadcaster was also granted permission to expand CHCA-TV's signal to Edmonton and Calgary, a request that the CRTC had previously denied.

Alliance Atlantis

CanWest, in conjunction with Goldman Sachs, also applied to the CRTC to purchase the assets of Alliance Atlantis, a broadcasting and film production company which operated 13 licensed cable channels and was a partial owner of seven more.

The transaction was approved by the CRTC in early January 2008. CanWest sold off the production division, but retained ownership of the cable channels.

Other changes

Crossroads Television System

The Crossroads Television System, a religious broadcaster, also expanded in 2007, being granted licences to launch new stations in Calgary (CKCS) and Edmonton (CKES). Crossroads previously consisted of a single station, CITS in Southern Ontario.

Sun TV expands

In 2007, Quebecor Media (owners of SUN TV in Toronto) had applied for licences to operate repeater transmitters in London and Ottawa, to bring it on par with fellow Toronto-area stations CITY-TV, CITS-TV, OMNI.1 and OMNI.2, as those channels currently operate translators in those cities. The reason for this request was that it would put the station on a level playing field in the competitive television industry. This request was accepted, and the new stations go on the air in London on channels 26 (analog) and 19 (digital), and in Ottawa on channels 54 (analog) and 62 (digital) in fall 2008.

See also

* List of Canadian television networks (table)
* List of Canadian specialty channels
* List of foreign television channels available in Canada
* List of television stations in Canada by call sign
* 2001 Vancouver, British Columbia TV realignment

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