Rogers buys Citytv stations

Media and telecommunications giant Rogers Communications is buying the Citytv stations in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver from CTVglobemedia, which is in the process of buying them from CHUM Limited.

The sale comes just days after Canada’s broadcast regulator, citing rules against concentration of ownership, said CTVgm would have to sell the Citytv stations if it wanted CHUM. CTVgm’s media assets include the 21-station CTV television network and the Globe & Mail newspaper.

CTVgm had struck a deal to sell CHUM’s A-Channel television network to Rogers, but the regulator said that wasn’t good enough.

Rogers currently owns a number of specialty TV channels available over the air or by cable only. Its other interests include radio stations, magazines, mobile and landline phones, cable TV service and internet service.

CHUM Limited’s television operations comprise the five major-market Citytv stations, six small-market A-Channel stations, CKX-TV in Brandon and 21 specialty TV channels available on cable. It also operates 33 radio stations across Canada.

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CTV must sell Citytv, says regulator

From thestar.com:

OTTAWA – The federal broadcast regulator is allowing CTVglobemedia to buy broadcaster CHUM Ltd. but only if the broadcaster sells five Citytv stations, including its flagship operation in Toronto…

That’s one very big “but”.

CTVglobemedia, operator of the CTV television network, wanted to keep the Citytv stations included in the purchase of CHUM. It did, however, offer to sell CHUM’s A-Channel television stations to Rogers Communications if the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission approved the purchase of CHUM.

From thestar.com again:

In its announcement, the CRTC said the purchase would be “inconsistent” with the regulator’s policy for CTVglobemedia to operate more than one conventional television station in one language in a given market.

“The purpose of this policy is to maintain diversity of voices within the Canadian broadcasting system,” CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein said in a statement.

CTVglobemedia says it’s reviewing today’s CRTC decision.