Tuesday, April 12, 2011

CBC Television in Saskatoon To Be Eliminated

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After television transmitters move from analog to to digital on August 31st, over the air TV viewers in Saskatoon will find the number of stations picked up with antennas has gone from four down to just two.  CBC is going to shut down the analog transmitters sending out the signals from CBKST (English television) and CBKFT-1 as mandated but will not be replaced with digital transmitters to take their place.  The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation considers the Saskatoon transmitters as rebroadcasting the signals that originate from CBKT and CBKFT from Regina and not actual TV stations as the reason for eliminating the Saskatoon transmitters. That will leave CFQC (CTV) and CFSK (Global) as the only two over the air TV stations that serve the Saskatoon market.

Cable providers that will mean making arrangements to bring in an alternative CBC feeds to replace the English and French channels that are being terminated. Most likely that will mean bringing in CBKT and CBKFT from Regina.  For the homes that only use over the air signals for television programming, even though it's a small percentage in a coverage area of over 300,000 people that means 20,000 or more will not have access to CBC's most popular programming, Hockey Night in Canada.  Is that something the National Hockey League would care about?

The cost of upgrading would be high, that cost would be recovered quickly due to the lower power requirements of digital television broadcasting.  Any attempt to blame the elimination of CBC television in Saskatoon on not getting the carriage fees from cable and satellite providers is yet another red herring, since CBC television gets both advertising revenue and taxpayer support.  Losing CBC television has nothing to with funding, it's all politics.

CBC's official announcement: "CBC will not be installing a digital transmitter in Saskatoon"


Mike V said...

Happening in Lethbridge AB, London ON, Saint John and Moncton NB too. It sucks. I'm lucky enough to live where there is a transmitter and the hockey games look great on digital over-the-air.

Anonymous said...

Lots of people outside of the urban area use roof antennas, like we do. I guess CBC is no longer my station. Maybe I can get it via internet...