A Channel gets a relaunch as CTV Two

Remember the A Channel? Neither did I. It launched in the late 90’s targeting a 15 to 29 demographic, heavily male. It didn’t go far. In its latest iteration, CTV is trying it again, hitting 90 per cent of the English speaking market.

Rebranded CTV Two to launch Aug. 29

August 10, 2011 – 3:52pm — The Wire Report

The newly rebranded channels CTV Two will launch Aug. 29 and be accessible to almost 90 per cent of English viewers in Canada, Bell Media Inc. announced Wednesday.

CTV Two channels in Vancouver/Victoria, Alberta, Toronto/Barrie, London, Windsor, Ottawa and Atlantic Canada will replace the A channels in those markets.

The CTV Two stations will transmit in high definition and will feature series such as The X Factor, Two and a Half Men, Criminal Minds and Nikita, as well as local CTV News in most markets, the broadcaster said.

“As we stated to the CRTC, we are committed to the viability of the /A\ stations,” Kevin Crull, president of Bell Media, said in a statement in May.

“We are extending CTV, Canada’s strongest television brand, to our second network, so that these channels can resonate deeper with audiences, advertisers, and the communities they serve. Along with our investment in HD and our commitment to local programming, today’s announcement signifies a new beginning for this network.”

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Convergence: back to the future

Haven’t we seen this movie before, ten years ago? BCE bought CTV, and Torstar sold its share of the Globe to the Thomson family. All this in favoring of leveraging content over multiple platforms. I’m not sure why it’s going to work this time, after failing so spectacularly last time. I guess there’s a pent up demand from people who want to watch Avatar on their one-inch square cell phone. If I’m a shareholder of BCE, I’m selling.

Quebecor, CTV in CRTC tangle

Quebecor is trying to get the CRTC to whack CTV over its choice of programming (not Canadian enough) on the latter’s A channel affiliates, the ones that mainly show movies and satisfy CRTC Canadian content by loading up on local news. Not that it’s a bad thing, but CRTC is looking for more Canadian drama, comedy etc. than just news. More likely corporate posturing than anything else, but with TV ad revenue down significantly this year, all options are being explored to ram the enemy.

Sun media, July 12 2010

CRTC non-decision lays an egg

I’m back, and I’ll pass on Ann Coulter thanks (if you ignore them, they do go away.) Of more import is the CRTC’s non-decision on fee for carriage to dump the whole thing back to the two entities that can’t agree on it: over the air TV companies and cable companies. J-source rounds up the media opinion, which is universally negative (you’d think a regulator could actually regulate). Meanwhile, CBC-TV seems to be asking for its share of cable revenue as well. Pretty rich. We’re all paying for CBC TV through our taxes, then CBC wants us to pay for receiving it on cable. Talk about double taxation….

J-source, March 23 2010

Broadcasters’ group shuts down

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters, a lobby group for television and radio stations, is shutting down this June, the victim of the ongoing war between cable broadcasters and over-the-air broadcasters. Both are fighting before the CRTC, and cluttering up the airwaves, over whether cable companies should charge us, the consumer, with fees to carry the over-the-air companies (CTV, Global, CBC). It’s a bit rich that the CBC would get a cent, given that we’re already paying close to a billion annually for it. Anyway, CAB is gone, and likely not to be missed by many.

Globe and Mail, February 25 2010

CTV sells Brandon station for $1

Well, another $1 bidder for a small Canadian station has popped up, this one at least looking more credible than the PR-based Shaw proposal. A private investment firm has bought  CTV’s Brandon Manitoba outlet, meaning that it has a chance of continuing to exist. Interesting that small stations are being sold by major nets because they can’t make money, but smaller operators are convinced they can (this is the second sale in about a month of a small market station to a private operator.)

CTV, July 16 2009

Shaw backs out of deal on small stations

As predicted in this space a few months ago, the Shaw move to buy for $1 each small CTV stations in Windsor, Wingham and Brandon has fallen through. I noted it was just a cheap stunt for the benefit of the CRTC to argue that CTV/Global over-the-air stations don’t need fee-for-carriage and can be profitable without it. I suspect the bean counters at Shaw finally argued economic sense to senior management, and convinced them that buying money losing stations in an ad depression is a guaranteed money-loser. Interesting that the story comes out on a holiday and that Shaw management, in the manner of titans of industry who screw up everywhere, are unavailable for comment. Keep after them boys, to explain what happened to this. Meanwhile, CanWest sold its smaller stations in Montreal and Hamilton to something called Channel Zero, which has a radical approach to profitability: change the format to something they can afford, to wit all news during the day and movies at night. This will be good for news in those communities.

Globe and Mail, July 1 2009