Citytv Saskatchewan
CountryCanada
Broadcast areaSaskatchewan
National (via satellite)
NetworkCitytv
Former affiliations:
Educational independent (1991–2012)
HeadquartersRegina, Saskatchewan
Programming
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Ownership
OwnerRogers Sports & Media
ParentRogers Communications
Sister channelsSportsnet West
History
LaunchedMay 6, 1991 (33 years ago) (1991-05-06)
Former namesSaskatchewan Communications Network (1991–2012)
City Saskatchewan (2012–2018)
Links
Websitewww.citytv.com/saskatchewan

Citytv Saskatchewan (formerly the Saskatchewan Communications Network, or SCN) is a Canadian English language cable television channel in the province of Saskatchewan. Headquartered in the provincial capital of Regina, the channel is owned by the Rogers Sports & Media subsidiary of Rogers Communications and operates as a de facto owned-and-operated station of its Citytv television network. Its studios are shared with CBC's Regina studios on 2440 Broad Street in Downtown Regina.

Citytv Saskatchewan is licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as an educational programming service for the province of Saskatchewan. It was formerly operated by the government of Saskatchewan as a public broadcaster. In March 2010, the government announced that it would shut down the network due to low viewership. In June 2010, the government announced that it would instead privatize and sell the network to Bluestone Investment Group. Under Bluestone, SCN was converted to a format similar to Alberta's Access network, airing commercial-supported entertainment programming during the late-afternoon and prime time hours, and commercial-free educational and cultural programming from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. In late-December 2011, SCN announced that it would affiliate with Rogers' Citytv network for its entertainment programming beginning on January 2, 2012. In June 2012, Rogers would acquire SCN entirely, maintaining the same programming model implemented by Bluepoint.

Because it is licensed as an educational broadcaster, Citytv Saskatchewan is required to be distributed as part of the basic cable service in Saskatchewan, and is also available on Bell Satellite TV and Shaw Direct. The channel is defined as a satellite-to-cable television programming undertaking, meaning that it has full simultaneous substitution rights for its programming in Saskatchewan, but does not operate any over-the-air transmitters.

History

Public television

In February 1991,[1] the Government of Saskatchewan (led at the time by Premier Grant Devine) was granted a broadcast licence for a non-commercial educational service by the CRTC. The channel, Saskatchewan Communications Network (SCN), was launched on May 6 of that year. (Ontario's TVOntario was launched on September 27, 1970; British Columbia's Knowledge Network was launched on January 12, 1981; and Alberta's Access, which is now the privately owned CTV 2 Alberta, was launched on June 30, 1973.)

SCN's first logo, used from 1991 to 2001.
SCN's second logo, used from 2001 to 2007.

As a publicly owned entity, SCN received funding from the Government of Saskatchewan and from the general public in the form of donations. At the time, SCN frequently stopped between shows to ask for pledges like other public broadcasters such as PBS in the United States.

Noted programming on the channel included the music performance series The Neighbors Dog.[2]

Privatization

The Government of Saskatchewan (then led by Premier Brad Wall) announced on March 24, 2010, that it would wind down SCN's operations, citing low ratings, with some operations such as distance education broadcasts to be transferred to SaskTel.[3] The channel was to have shut down at the end of April, but it was later decided to keep the channel in operation while offers to buy SCN were evaluated.[4] On June 21, 2010, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the channel would be sold to Bluepoint Investment Corporation. During the CRTC approval process, Bluepoint requested several amendments to SCN's licence, which would allow the channel to air limited amounts of non-educational programming with commercials.[5] The CRTC approved the sale of SCN to Bluepoint and the licence amendments on December 23, 2010.[6] The transaction was completed shortly thereafter, and at that point, SCN lost its original revenue streams of government funding and viewer donations.

SCN's third logo, used from 2007 to 2009.
SCN's fourth logo, used from 2009 to 2011.
SCN's fifth and final logo, used from 2011 to 2012 under Bluepoint ownership.

Under Bluepoint's approved amendments to its licence, SCN was still required to air commercial-free educational programming from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.; after 3 p.m., the channel would be allowed to air entertainment-based programming with up to 14 minutes of advertising per hour – Bluepoint planned to use this new ability to air programming that could attract new advertising revenue to the channel,[6] in a hybrid format similar to Alberta's Access.[7] When Bluepoint took over control of the station, few changes were made to SCN's programming, other than introducing films seven nights a week starting at 9 p.m. during the summer of 2011.[8] The first major changes to the channel occurred on September 12, 2011, premiering a new prime time lineup of current American network series such as Supernatural and The Insider, and classic series such as Danger Bay, Family Ties, and Frasier.[9]

Affiliation with Citytv, acquisition by Rogers

On December 20, 2011, SCN announced that it had entered into an affiliation agreement with Rogers Communications to air Citytv programs from 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting on January 2, 2012, with educational, children's and locally produced programming continuing to air on SCN outside those hours (to fulfill the channel's licence as an educational station). The post-3 p.m. programming, branded as "Citytv on SCN", consisted of entertainment programming sourced from Rogers' Citytv stations, including the network's prime time lineup.[10] With the Citytv affiliation, SCN became the second Canadian educational television service to carry entertainment programming from one of the major commercial networks or television systems. The other was Alberta's Access, which adopted the CTV Two name and lineup upon its relaunch in August 2011. It also gave the Citytv system affiliations in all provinces west of Quebec and south of the federal territories of Northern Canada. (Rogers later expanded Citytv into Quebec when it affiliated with CJNT Montreal in June 2012, which the company also purchased.)[11]

The next year, Rogers Media announced its intent to acquire SCN from Bluepoint Investment Corporation. The sale was approved by the CRTC on June 21, 2012, and closed later that month, making the channel an owned-and-operated station of the Citytv system. Rogers relaunched the channel as Citytv Saskatchewan on July 1.[12] Rogers planned to invest into improving the channel's infrastructure, and to launch a high definition feed for the channel in the coming year. No regional news programming is planned for the channel under Rogers ownership; as such, Citytv Saskatchewan is the first Citytv owned-and-operated station to carry no localized news programming (All other Citytv stations air nightly CityNews broadcasts at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., as well as a national broadcast of Breakfast Television. Citytv stations in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver also air their own local versions of BT.)

Programming

Further information: List of programs broadcast by Citytv

In addition to airing Citytv's schedule of entertainment programming, Rogers committed when the channel was purchased to maintaining the channel's requirement to air commercial-free educational programming from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.[13] Children's programming airs from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. in a block branded as CityKids, with educational programming for adults and older youth aired from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. daily.[14]

See also

References

  1. ^ Decision CRTC 91-98 Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine CRTC, February 14, 1997
  2. ^ Jeanette Stewart, "Small is the new big; Series of house concerts filmed in Saskatoon". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, July 7, 2009.
  3. ^ Government Provides SCN Core Services in More Efficient Manner Archived March 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Government of Saskatchewan press release, March 24, 2010
  4. ^ Neil Scott, SCN to remain operating while expressions of interest evaluated Archived May 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Leader-Post, 2010-05-01, accessed May 1, 2010
  5. ^ "Sask. TV network sold to Ontario firm". CBC News. June 21, 2010. Archived from the original on April 1, 2024. Retrieved April 1, 2024.
  6. ^ a b "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-965". Archived from the original on December 28, 2010. Retrieved December 24, 2010.
  7. ^ "Ontario Company Purchases SCN". Saskatoon Media Group. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  8. ^ SCN Summer Schedule Archived August 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine SCN press release May 3, 2011
  9. ^ Claassen’s Bluepoint to introduce revamped SCN in September Archived December 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Marketing August 15, 2011
  10. ^ Citytv and SCN Sign Affiliate Agreement Archived September 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine CNW press release December 20, 2011
  11. ^ Citytv expanding into Quebec & Western Canada Archived May 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, CityNews, May 3, 2012.
  12. ^ Rogers Media Receives CRTC Approval to Launch Citytv Saskatchewan Archived July 27, 2013, at the Wayback Machine CNW press release June 21, 2012
  13. ^ "Rogers to buy SCN, launch Citytv Saskatchewan". National Post. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2012.
  14. ^ "Daytime Schedule". Citytv Saskatchewan. Archived from the original on October 8, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2018.