Manitoba TV station will be shuttered

Deal for CKX-TV fell through Friday

TORONTO -- CKX-TV in Brandon, Manitoba, is set to close Friday after a deal to purchase the struggling free, over-the-air TV station fell through.

Veteran Canadian advertising executive Bruce Claassen, whose holding company Bluepoint Investment Corp. was to purchase loss-making CKX-TV from CTVglobemedia for $1, said a failure to secure direct-to-home satellite distribution for the local TV station means it will shut down after its supper-hour newscast Friday.

"I hate to say goodbye to the (CKX-TV) staff. We worked our butts off and spent a lot of money to ensure it worked," he said Friday of his failed takeover bid.

Claassen added the deal for the local TV station, first unveiled in July, was undercut by recent regulatory changes that no longer guarantee automatic DTH carriage for at least one indie TV station in each Canadian province.

CKX-TV is the only indie TV station in Manitoba, so Bluepoint Investment expected to receive DTH carriage when it agreed to purchase the local TV station.

Instead, the CRTC, Canada's TV regulator, recently said it will review its DTH policy and put key carriage rules in abeyance to 2011.

The Manitoba TV station is the latest to shut down as domestic broadcasters deal with an economic downturn and a TV ad slump.