Canada's Citytv Network Expands into Quebec and Western Canada
TORONTO – Just in time for the Los Angeles Screenings, Citytv has overnight become a virtual national Canadian network in direct competition with rivals CTV and Global Television.
Pending regulatory approval, the over-the-air broadcast division of Rogers Media is on the verge of reaching into 9 million homes countrywide after separate deals were unveiled Thursday to acquire TV station Metro 14 in Montreal, while also sub-licensing Citytv shows on three western Canadian TV stations run by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group.
Terms of the deal to buy Metro 14 from indie broadcaster Channel Zero were not disclosed. And Rogers Media signed an affiliate agreement with the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group for TV stations CFJC TV7 in Kamloops, CKPG TV in Prince George, both in British Columbia, and CHAT TV in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
Rogers Media in March inked a deal to turn to acquire the SCN channel in Saskatchewan and turn it into a Citytv over-the-air station. Breaking into the Quebec and western Canadian markets is part of a wider strategy by Rogers Media to spread the steep cost of deal-making at the upcoming Los Angeles Screenings over an increasingly national Citytv network.
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“It is our goal to become a full national network in the near future, and this is without question, an aggressive and essential step in the right direction,” Scott Moore, Rogers Media’s president of broadcasting, said Thursday.
The latest Rogers Media broadcast deals also follow a wave of industry consolidation that had the former Canwest Global Communications Corp. acquired by cable giant Shaw Communications and renamed Shaw Media, and CTV be acquired by phone giant BCE and rebranded as Bell Media. Montreal’s Métro14 station will start airing Citytv shows like New Girl, Modern Family and The Bachelor Canada from June 4 as part of an temporary affiliate agreement.