Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why Rogers' Purchase Of SCN Needs Strings Attached

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For the second time in under two years Saskatchewan Communications Network has been sold.  Just a year after buying SCN from the government of Saskatchewan, and just weeks making a deal with Rogers Media making SCN to turn SCN into Saskatchewan's CityTv affiliate, Bluepoint Investments is selling Saskatchewan's educational cable channel to Rogers making SCN a owned and operated CityTv station.  The new CityTV Saskatchewan will differ in a few ways from CityTV stations in other Canadian cities.  If Rogers maintains SCN's signal distribution system the way it exists, Saskatchewan's CityTV will be the only CityTV that will not be available over the air. Saskatchewan already has little selection of OTA TV as it is now. Nothing short of forcing Rogers Media to build tranmitters as a condition of approving the sale of SCN will improve the choice of TV stations available to over the air TV viewers. The other difference that other CityTV stations all have local newscasts, and Saskatchewan's CityTV most likely will not. Regardless of which signal supplier viewers subscribe to, Saskatchewanians have the fewest number of local newscasts to choose from. When Rogers' purchase of SCN gets approved it will need attach the condition to add a local newscast. Saskatchewan will finally get a fourth broadcast network but that should also bring a fourth choice for local and national news that needs to be available to all viewers.

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