Wow, I got behind on this thread and I am not sure where to start. I must say, while I am disappointed that the CBC won't be transitioning more transmitters sooner, I must say I am not surprised. I do agree with El Gran Chico and this will turn into a big game of Chicken. Unfortunately, if the CRTC doesn't flinch, they will still end up loosing as the media will take the broadcaster's side. I also wouldn't be surprised if CTV and maybe even Global will join the game. The only good outcome (IMHO) would be if the federal government coughs up more money for the CBC for them to speed up their transition before the other networks join in.
Regarding analog repeaters, there may be an argument to keep them operating in mandatory markets (the CRTC didn't include them when counting if a market had 2 stations when determining if it was a mandatory market, so the station may argue that they can stay in analog). Even if they must shut down, I am sure the CBC's primary objective is to preserve licenses. It is much easier to add a repeater back to a license later than it is to get a license for a whole new station. The biggest loss for shutting down a repeater is the loss of simultaneous substitution in those markets, but that is less important to the CBC than the other networks.
So, with this in mind, lets have a look at the CBC's owned-and-operated stations (the privately owned affiliates are not CBC's responsibility). According to Wikipedia, the CBC owns and operates 19 stations; 6 of them will be transitioned by August 31, 2011 and another 8 by August 31, 2012, so that leaves the following 5 stations with an unknown fate (likely they will be shut down):
- CBIT - Sydney, NS,
- CBKST - Saskatoon, SK,
- CFWH - Whitehorse, YK,
- CHAK - Inuvik, NT and
- CFFB - Iqaluit, NU.
CBIT and CHAK are not in mandatory markets, so they could, in theory, remain on air (though possibly as repeaters). I suspect CBKST will be merged with CBKT in Regina to make one provincial station. Similarly CFWH and CFFB (plus maybe CHAK) will likely be merged with CFYK in Yellowknife to have one station for all three territories.
This is a step backwards I know, but is anyone really surprised?