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CTV Television Inc. today announced that it will not seek to renew the licence for CBC affiliate, CKX-TV Brandon (and those of its rebroadcasters in Foxwarren, McCreary and Melita) when the licences expire at the end of August 31, 2009. This is also the date when CKX-TV's longstanding CBC affiliation expires.

This agreement, in which CBC purchased airtime to carry its network programs and commercials, helped support the cost of maintaining the transmitters and technical equipment that distributed the CBC Television service free over the air to the citizens of western Manitoba. CBC no longer wishes to pay for this service. CTV then offered CBC an opportunity to purchase the station, given that without CKX-TV's facilities there will be no over the air CBC service in the region. CBC declined citing they cannot afford the long-term operating obligations and paying for the government ordered transition to digital.

The station was founded in 1955 and provides the only local television news coverage in its area. Because of this unique community service, CTV will sell the business to anyone prepared to continue operating the station (subject to CRTC approval). This transaction would include the transition of staff and equipment. Real estate will be considered separately. If there are no takers within the next 30 business days, CKX-TV will cease broadcasting this summer.
 

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If there are no takers within the next 30 business days, CKX-TV will cease broadcasting this summer.
Wow...just wow.

This is why I'm checking out the forums here more and more of late.

The "good news" just keeps on coming for Canadian TV.

Perhaps the CRTC should reconsider their position on digital sub channels if smaller stations like this (or the E! channels) can't survive on their own with the double whammy of DTV and the new depression.
 

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Take a look at the front page of their website, the station being for sale is their lead story. It also says CTVglobemedia offered to sell the station to CBC for $1 and CBC refused. If Canwest wasn't in such bad shape, they could have got an E! station in Manitoba for almost free.
 

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This is all over the news in Winnipeg today along with the possible bankruptcy of CanWest Global.

I grew up with CKX, as it was the only channel in Westman until the mid 1970's when CKY (CTV) set up a repeat transmitter. CKND (now Global) came along in 1982. Brandon didn't get cable until about 30 years ago. It will be a big loss to Westman if it goes, so hopefully someone will step in.
 

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If its losing a ton of money, even getting it for free is no deal!
 

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If its losing a ton of money, even getting it for free is no deal!
I don't think that's the only issue. I suspect that the CBC wants to get extra capital from the government to cover the mandated digital transition. Each new former CBC affilliate that the CBC refuses to take over just provides more voters to complain to the government to get that funding -- first Kamloops, then Okanagan, Medicine Hat, and now Brandon. It's bad enough that the digital transition stalled after Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa, but now we're losing OTA CBC analog coverage.

TVl
 

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CKX-TV: Station for Sale!

wow.. one dollar? i wonder if they'd let ME buy it.... if so, who do i contact about it?
 

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Contact CTV but in order to buy ;) you'd likely have to show them and the banks that you can afford to lose hundreds of thousands annually operating the station.

With a million digital and specialty channels, I expect this type of thing will happen much more frequently in the future.
 

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With a million digital and specialty channels, I expect this type of thing will happen much more frequently in the future.
If the CRTC ever decided to allow carriage fees for distant signals (note that I'm just talking distant signals here and not locals so nobody gets upset since I realize it's a contentious issue around here) small stations could take a page out of the E! stations branding - each local station either branding itself with a foreign cable network like F/X or create their own specialty brand and use the profits from that to support local news coverage.

Sure there'd be 2-3 hours a day of local news on the national feed but that didn't seem to deter E! from being interested in getting into the Canadian market.
 

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I'd pay $50 for it... then sell all the station equipment on Ebay!
It's not for sale on those terms. Read the press release. You have to commit to maintaining the station -- otherwise CTV could just as well well it itself for the salvage value.

Also note that the real estate is not included.
 

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what to do with CKX-TV

first thing i'd do is i would immediately plop down a digital repeater in either the 'peg (Winnipeg), or in Portage La Prairie), and add a digital signal to brandon. i'd increase advertising... this one guy in Anchorage, AK converted a full-power TV station (KYES-TV, which has numerous repeaters) to digital for under 5000 dollars. it can't be THAT hard and expensive...

see, the repeater in winnipeg could be carried on cable... i'd increase the amount of A Channel (or whatever it's called now) programming to lure viewers in, and i'd consider asking for cable coverage in Yorkton, Prince Albert, and maybe even Regina...even if it's high-up on the dial.
 

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Save Your Station- Watch local channels

It is a shame.

If CKX was the only CBC available to that region of 120,000, either by cable or satellite 120,000 people would be able to support it.

There are much smaller stations in smaller markets in the US under much more protectionist FCC regulations still operating with a good heart beat.

Unfortunately for Brandon this is what centralized media giants do to small town Canada, by pulling the wool over the CRTC’s eyes and blaming the government.

(Not that the government cant be blamed for things)

I think that big media spread themselves too thin offering too much repeated programming over too many channels then offering time-shifting was likely the last straw; taking audiences away from local feeds.

If CKX is abandoned hopefully local groups may partner with WCGtv or create an alternate community channel and take-over the CKX studios. There might even be funding available to create free OTA independent community TV.

Or would big media ever allow the CRTC to let that happen?
 

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Honestly Western Manitoba has hundreds of stations available to it via satellite or cable so I really don't understand why this is a huge issue. The days of 2 or 3 channels is long gone and thank goodness. We can't have the 100 channel narrow casting universe and still subsidize a lot of local stations that don't have much viewership anymore and little advertising.

The only thing I see viewers losing out on is local news coverage but frankly radio does a good job of covering local news along with local newspapers. Without a local tv station, advertisers are more likely to advertise on local radio and newspaper which should make its news coverage even stronger.
 

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Wow Hugh - great idea:rolleyes:. I enjoy listening about all of our news on the radio - 60 YEARS AGO! Everybody wants to see the news not listen to it, and newspaper news is always a day old - thats not news! Besides by your reasoning if all the local radio and newspapers shut down too we can just enjoy more Toronto-centric news from the Globe and Mail and Sirius radio. Maybe the only website we need to visit is canoe.com - they cover media and electronics news - why bother with Digital Home - it seems so specific to my interests. canoe.com must be much better, it's part of a big national chain. Face it, without local TV, radio and newspapers there is no news that matters to anyone outside of Toronto. The CRTC has screwed up long enough - the balance needs to even out between the cable companies and OTA broadcasters.
 

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If we adopt the US system, timeshifting would no longer be an option as we would have to protect local markets at all costs. I don't think you can successfully have it both ways- as proven by the possibility of CKX going off the air.

Let's look at the economics of CKX. For simplicity sake, the population of Brandon is 40,000 people / 100 channel universe on Cable/ Sat TV. A net result of 400 viewers can't sustain a TV station... who would advertise on that channel?
Throw PVRs, timeshifting, torrents/ downloads/ webcasts and weak economy where major companies can't afford to advertise... it is not a winning combination.
 

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I think one of the answers to the problem in Canada may very well be to limit network feeds to one set of US networks (either East or West) and just the local channels in your viewing area.

The only thing is I don't think there will be much push for that unless you start to see independent broadcasters buy up all the A and E's from CTV and Canwest.
 
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