Rogers Gets CRTC Blessings For New Montreal TV Station

by Gaurav Kheterpal on December 21, 2012

Rogers has shared a love-hate relationship with Canadian regulatory bodies this year. Things moved smoothly in the first half of the year as the Competition Bureau said it won’t challenge the MLSE deal and the CRTC gave Rogers a clean chit on network throttling controversy.

A month later though, the Competition watchdog found Rogers guilty of floating misleading ads. More trouble loomed as the CRTC set out to review the MLSE deal but it was really no surprise that the CRTC approved the proposed deal thereby paving way for the $1.32-billion acquisition of MLSE by BCE and Rogers.

And, it’s now turning from a good year to a great year for Rogers, at least in terms of dealing with Canadian regulatory bodies. The federal broadcast regulator yesterday approved an application by Rogers Communications Inc. to convert Montreal’s CJNT, an ethnic television station, into a Citytv station.

Astonishing as it sounds, it will be Montreal’s first new new TV station in 15 years.

The CRTC has approved the $10.3 million acquisition of CJNT by Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. as well as its conversion from an ethnic station into an English commercial station. CJNT will increase the number of Citytv stations, thereby enabling Rogers to beef up its presence in Quebec, which becomes especially important in the wake of looming Bell-Astral merger. The Montreal Citytv station will broadcast a morning program which will include local news. CJNT currently airs popular U.S. programs like How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family and Revenge, as well as original Citytv productions like Cityline, Canada’s Got Talent and The Bachelor Canada.

“These two television services will increase the diversity of voices in the Montreal region,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. “The English-language community as well as over 18 ethnic communities will benefit from these two new services.”

“The launch of Citytv Montreal is a crucial step in our overall strategy to deliver our premium original and acquired content to a national audience, and we are pleased that the CRTC recognizes Citytv’s commitment to local programming in Montreal,” said Scott Moore, President, Broadcast, Rogers Media. “Breaking into this key market gives Citytv the momentum to better serve and reflect Canadians through our programming and engage audiences across the country as we move towards our goal of becoming a fully national network.”

The CRTC also approved a new multilingual television station to be called International Channel/Canal International (ICI). It will run on a producer’s co-operative model, thereby allowing individual shows to buy airtime in half-hour blocks and then sell their own advertising.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby:RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.


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