2001 Vancouver TV realignment

In 2001, the Vancouver/Victoria, British Columbia, television market saw a major shuffling of network affiliations, involving nearly all of the area's broadcast television stations. This was one of the largest single-market affiliation realignments in the history of North American television, and had a number of significant effects on television broadcasting across Canada and into the United States.

Origins

2010-08 750 Burrard Street
CIVT's facilities at 750 Burrard Street.
2005-07 180 West 2nd Avenue
CKVU's studio at 180 West 2nd Avenue in Vancouver.

The realignment resulted from Canwest Global Communications's acquisition of Western International Communications (WIC) in 2000.[1] In most of the markets where a WIC-owned station was involved in the deal, the acquisition gave Canwest Global independent stations that were integrated into either the latter company's Global Television Network or the newly formed CH television system; in one case, a CTV-affiliated station (CFCF-TV in Montreal) was sold directly to CTV to become an owned-and-operated station (O&O) of the network.[2] In Vancouver, however, the acquisition gave Canwest Global one of the most lucrative prizes in the entire country: control of CHAN-TV (channel 8, more commonly known as "BCTV"), the market's CTV affiliate and highest-rated television station.

CHAN's relationship with the CTV network in the years prior to the realignment had been rocky. Historically, CHAN and some of the other affiliates in Western Canada had resented the dominance of the affiliates in the eastern part of the country, especially Toronto flagship CFTO-TV (channel 9), in the production of network programming, in regards to both entertainment shows and news programming.[3] The station had desired for years to host a national news program; when it was rebuffed by CTV, it instead launched the early-evening Canada Tonight on the WIC station group in 1993.[4]

These issues were exacerbated when the original owner of CFTO, Baton Broadcasting, which had been steadily buying out CTV affiliates across the country, took control of the network itself in 1997 and shortly thereafter revamped the CTV schedule to incorporate the programming of the former Baton Broadcast System. That same year, Baton launched a new Vancouver station, CIVT (channel 32, known on-air as "Vancouver Television" or "VTV").

Since CTV did not previously offer a network schedule covering the entire day (or even all of primetime), these changes meant that CTV now maintained two different programming streams: a base "network" schedule which aired on all CTV stations, both O&Os and affiliates, under the network's existing affiliation agreements; and a separate "non-network" block of programming which aired in its entirety on O&Os, although CTV would offer rights on a per-program basis to affiliates in markets where the company did not have a station of its own. In much of Canada, this was a meaningless distinction, as most CTV stations were already O&Os — but in Vancouver, the network programming aired on CHAN while the O&O programming aired on CIVT.

CHAN's Victoria-based sister station CHEK (channel 6) was itself a CTV affiliate and therefore carried the same stream of network programming as CHAN; however, since the Vancouver stations' footprint covered much of the Victoria area and vice versa, CTV network programs would usually air on CHEK on alternative nights and/or in different timeslots compared to CHAN.

This meant that for the four years between CIVT's launch and the 2001 realignment, CHAN and CIVT were effectively in competition with each other for programming to which CTV held the broadcast rights – the network sometimes reclassified programs from one stream to the other, possibly to help boost CIVT in the Vancouver ratings, in any event often leaving CHAN with little control over portions of its own program schedule. It was also widely expected, although not publicly confirmed by CTV until after Canwest announced its plans for CHAN, that the network would simply transfer all of its programming to CIVT when its affiliation agreements with CHAN and CHEK ended.

As a result of the WIC takeover, Global assumed ownership of CHAN and chose to retain it instead of its existing O&O CKVU-TV (channel 10), which had less transmitting power. Due to rules on media ownership set forth by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which prohibit common ownership of two or more English language stations in a major market that have the same city of license, Global could not retain both stations simultaneously with CHEK in Victoria, so it put CKVU on the market. CKVU's sale to CHUM Limited for CA$125 million was announced on April 13, 2001,[5] and was approved by the CRTC on October 15 of that year.[6]

CHAN and CHEK's affiliation agreements with CTV were originally due to end in September 2000; in view of the uncertainty surrounding the local media landscape, CTV and Canwest renewed those agreements for an additional year, set to expire on September 1, 2001,[7] which became the date for the affiliation switch.

Affiliation changes and new stations

Callsign Channel Former affiliation New affiliation Notes
CHEK-TV 6 CTV CH (Global) CH was rebranded as E! in September 2007; CHEK became an independent station in October 2009 following the demise of the E! system. CHEK shared the CTV affiliation with CHAN.
CHAN-TV 8 CTV Global Shared the CTV affiliation with CHEK.
CKVU-TV 10 Global Independent, then Citytv Nominally an independent station before its sale from Canwest to CHUM Limited was finalized (see below)
KVOS-TV 12 Independent;
Citytv (secondary)
Independent Licensed to Bellingham, Washington, but targets the Vancouver/Victoria market. KVOS carried some Citytv programming; it is currently a primary affiliate of H&I (Heroes & Icons).
CIVT-TV 32 Independent CTV Already owned by CTV, but operated as an Independent known as "Vancouver Television" before the affiliation switch.
CIVI-TV 53 new station NewNet Launched in October 2001 as "The New VI", and rebranded in August 2005 as "A-Channel", as "A" in August 2008, and again as CTV Two from August 2011 to September 2018, now CTV 2 in September 2018
CHNU-TV 66 new station Independent Launched in September 2001 as "NOWTV", rebranded in September 2005 as "OMNI 10", rebranded as "CHNU 10" in October 2007, and again as "Joytv 10" in September 2008

At the time, the only broadcast television stations in Vancouver and Victoria to be unaffected by the switch were CBC Television O&O CBUT and Télévision de Radio-Canada O&O CBUFT (CHNM-TV, currently part of the Omni Television system, did not sign on until 2003). Further complicating the situation were the launches of CHNU in Fraser Valley on September 15[8] and CIVI in Victoria on October 4,[9] which caused various changes to cable channel lineups within the region.

CKVU became a de facto Citytv station on the date of the affiliation switch, with its programming immediately provided and scheduled by CHUM Limited. However, as its sale to CHUM had not yet been finalized, the station was branded as "ckvu13" and did not officially adopt the Citytv brand name until 2002.[10]

Effects in Vancouver

Ckvu-joeleary1
"We can get rid of this baby!"
CKVU-TV reporter Joe Leary removes the Global mike flag from his microphone on the station's last day as a Global O&O.

The affiliation switch took place on September 1, 2001. However, as that date fell on the Labour Day long weekend, some changes resulting from the switch (such as the new 5:00 to 7:00 a.m. timeslot for CIVT's morning newscast, for example) did not occur until September 4.

CHAN's local newscasts had historically been the overwhelming ratings leader in the Vancouver market, leaving CIVT's news team in the position – a rarity for CTV – of having to build a reputation and an audience against the market dominance of another station. To that end, CIVT recruited Bill Good and Pamela Martin from CHAN to serve as its primary anchor team. CIVT also adopted "BC CTV" as its on-air branding; it is widely believed that this brand name was deliberately chosen to confuse viewers, as CHAN had previously been branded "BCTV" and continued to call its news operation BCTV News on Global until 2006 (although CHAN began to de-emphasize the hybrid branding in 2003). CIVT changed its on-air brand to simply "CTV" exactly ten months later on July 1, 2002; "CTV British Columbia" (or, occasionally, "CTV9," in reference to CIVT's channel number on most Vancouver area cable providers) is used where disambiguation from the network or other CTV O&Os is warranted.

CIVT's news ratings rose significantly: the station's 6:00 p.m. newscast attracted around 36,000 viewers in 2002;[11] that number improved to 72,000 viewers by December 2010,[12] and occasionally reaches as high as 100,000,[11] though still well behind that of CHAN's 303,000 viewers from the same period.[12] CIVT effectively became Vancouver's second-place television news operation, replacing CKVU, which lost approximately half of its audience and dropped to last place when it adopted the CityPulse format. CKVU's newscasts continued to struggle in the ensuing years, and the 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts were cancelled in 2006, ahead of CHUM's merger with CTVglobemedia[10][13] and the subsequent sale of the Citytv stations (including CKVU) to Rogers Media in 2007[14] (CKVU continues to produce Breakfast Television, which was launched in 2002 in conjunction with the Citytv brand).

National impact

Across Canada, the most visible effects of the Vancouver realignment included:

  • The launch of Global National, Global's nightly newscast which originates from CHAN's Burnaby studios (the weekday edition was presented from Ottawa between 2008[15] and 2010), and the associated establishment of Global's national news division;
  • the integration of the former WIC-owned independent stations CHEK, CHCH (in Hamilton) and CJNT (in Montreal) into the CH television system; and
  • the transformation of Citytv from a single independent station in Toronto into a full-fledged television system.

CHAN had – and continues to have – a much larger network of rebroadcasters than CIVT, meaning that CTV lost almost all of its terrestrial coverage in British Columbia outside of the Greater Vancouver and Victoria area, and to this day still relies on cable television, not terrestrial transmitters, to reach most of the province. This gave a significant boost to Global, and a corresponding handicap to CTV, in the national television ratings during the early 2000s. However, with CTV generally outspending Global on hit television series over the next number of years, and continuing reductions in the number of viewers relying solely on over-the-air broadcasts, this advantage had largely dissipated by 2006. As a consequence of continuing reductions of over-the-air-viewers, CBUT shut down its network of rebroadcasters in 2012, although that was the result of budget cuts to the CBC.

Impact in the United States

The realignment also had some effects in the United States, where Bellingham, Washington station KVOS-TV (channel 12), which had previously carried some Citytv programming due to its proximity to Vancouver, lost this programming source now that Citytv had its own station in the market. KVOS was also displaced from its prime position on cable providers in both Vancouver and Victoria to make room for CIVI,[9] causing the station to lose significant market share in British Columbia.

Kevin Newman, then working for ABC News, left that network and returned to Canada as the anchor and executive editor of Global National; he held both positions until leaving Global in 2010.

References

  1. ^ "Canwest timeline: the empire Izzy Asper built". CBC News. January 8, 2010. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  2. ^ "CTV acquires CFCF-TV: $12M benefits package". PlayBack. September 17, 2001. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  3. ^ Michael Nolan (2001). CTV, the network that means business. University of Alberta. p. 194. ISBN 978-0-88864-384-1.
  4. ^ Susan Gittinspublisher=Stoddart Publishing Co. Limited (1999). CTV: The Television Wars. p. 296. ISBN 0-7737-3125-3.
  5. ^ "CHUM Ltd. buys CanWest's Vancouver TV station for $125 million" (Press release). Canadian Press. April 14, 2001. Retrieved September 1, 2009 – via CTVglobemedia.
  6. ^ "Decision CRTC 2001-647". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. October 15, 2001. Archived from the original on September 4, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  7. ^ "Public Notice CRTC 2000-94". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. July 6, 2000. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  8. ^ "Television Station History: CHNU-TV". Canadian Communications Foundation. Archived from the original on 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
  9. ^ a b "Television Station History: CIVI-TV". Canadian Communications Foundation. Archived from the original on 2007-11-07. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
  10. ^ a b "Television Station History: CKVU-TV". Canadian Communications Foundation. Archived from the original on 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
  11. ^ a b Doug Ward (December 7, 2010). "Bill Good and Pamela Martin stepping down as CTV co-anchors". Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on December 8, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  12. ^ a b Neal Hall (December 9, 2010). "Tamara Taggart and Mike Killeen take over anchor seats from Bill Good and Pamela Martin". Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on December 12, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  13. ^ Patti Summerfield (July 24, 2006). "CHUM swept by layoffs amid news overhaul". Playback. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  14. ^ Jim Byers (June 12, 2007). "Rogers buys Citytv stations". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  15. ^ "Global National -- from Ottawa". Ottawa Citizen. February 3, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2010.

See also

1994–1996 United States broadcast TV realignment

The 1994–96 United States broadcast television realignment consisted of a series of events, primarily involving affiliation switches between television stations, that resulted from a multimillion-dollar deal between the Fox Broadcasting Company (commonly known as simply Fox) and New World Communications, a media company that – through its then-recently formed broadcasting division – owned several VHF television stations affiliated with major broadcast television networks, primarily CBS.

The major impetus for the changes was to allow Fox to improve its local affiliate coverage, in preparation for the commencement of its rights to the National Football Conference (NFC) television package, which the National Football League (NFL) awarded to the fledgling network in December 1993. As a result of various other deals that followed as a result of the affiliation switches created by the deal between Fox and New World, most notably the buyout of CBS by Westinghouse, the switches constituted some of the most sweeping changes in American television history. As a result of this realignment, Fox ascended to the status of a major television network, comparable in influence to the Big Three television networks (CBS, NBC and ABC).

Nearly 70 stations in 30 media markets throughout the United States changed affiliations starting in September 1994 and continuing through September 1996 (although an additional affiliation switch would occur in February 1997, through the launch of an upstart station that gained its network partner through one of the ancillary deals), which – along with the concurrent January 1995 launches of The WB Television Network (a joint venture between Time Warner, the Tribune Company and the network's founding chief executive officer, Jamie Kellner) and the United Paramount Network (UPN) (founded by Chris-Craft/United Television, through a programming partnership with Paramount Television), both of which affiliated with certain stations that lost their previous network partners through the various affiliation agreements – marked some of the most expansive changes ever to have occurred in American television.

2001

2001 (MMI)

was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2001st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 1st year of the 3rd millennium, the 1st year of the 21st century, and the 2nd year of the 2000s decade.

2001 was designated as International Year of Volunteers.

2001 in Canadian television

This is a list of Canadian television related events from 2001.

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 network affiliations and mergers involving various networks, several new television stations and rebroadcast transmitters also signed on the air.

CHEK-DT

CHEK-DT, virtual channel 6 (UHF digital channel 49), is an independent television station located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, which serves the southwestern part of the province (including Metro Vancouver). The station is owned by the CHEK Media Group, a consortium made up of station employees and local investors. CHEK maintains studio facilities located on Kings Road in Victoria, and its transmitter is located atop Mount Warburton Pike on Saturna Island.

On cable, the station is also available on Shaw Cable channel 6 and Bell TV channel 255. On satellite, the station is available on Shaw Direct Classic tier channel 358 or Advanced tier channel 006. There is also a high definition feed available on Shaw Cable digital channel 215, and Shaw Direct Classic tier channel 005 and Advanced tier channel 505. Optik TV, IPTV channel 121 (HD), channel 9121 (SD).

Canada Tonight

Canada Tonight was a Canadian television newscast which aired on stations owned by Western International Communications (WIC) from 1993 to 2001. It was produced out of the studio of CHAN-TV (BCTV) in Burnaby, British Columbia. There were two versions of the newscast; the one seen outside BC was anchored by Tony Parsons, and the one seen in that province was anchored by Bill Good. The BC version, seen only on BCTV, featured more stories related to Vancouver and BC, as well as local weather and some national news reports sourced from CTV, which WIC's other stations were unable to use.

Repercussions of the 1994–1996 United States broadcast TV realignment

The 1994–96 United States broadcast television realignment consisted of a series of network affiliation switches and other transactions that resulted from a multimillion-dollar deal between the Fox Broadcasting Company (commonly known as simply Fox) and New World Communications, a media group that – in addition to its involvement in film and television production – owned several VHF television stations affiliated with major broadcast networks, primarily CBS.

The agreement between Fox and New World resulted not only in Fox affiliating with stations with histories as major network affiliates but also various other deals, most notably the buyout of CBS by Westinghouse, that caused several other broadcasting companies to reach affiliation deals that either extended ties with networks that were already aligned with some stations owned by the individual groups or created new relationships between at least one of the networks and the affected partner groups.

The repercussions of this realignment were gradual but swift, with nearly 70 stations in 30 media markets throughout the United States changing affiliations between September 1994 and September 1996. Fox ascended to the status of a major television network, comparable in influence to the Big Three television networks (CBS, NBC and ABC), while CBS was dealt the major blows of losing both its partial broadcast rights to the National Football League (NFL) and key affiliates in several major markets to Fox. All three major networks also wound up affiliating with stations that broadcast on the UHF band in a few cases, the vast majority of which operated as either Fox affiliates or independent stations prior to the switches; most of the new Big Three affiliates also created news departments from scratch or expanded their existing ones.

Broadcast television networks and systems in Canada
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
English-language commercial
French-language commercial
Multicultural
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Defunct
See also

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