Shaw pulls plug on TV station purchase

Backs out of deal to acquire CTVglobemedia's TV stations

TORONTO -- Canada's continuing fire sale of local TV stations got rained on this week as cable operator Shaw Communications pulled plans to buy three over-the-air outlets from CTVglobemedia for $1 each.

Calgary-based Shaw in May first proposed to purchase the loss-making stations in Brandon, Manitoba, and Wingham and Windsor in Ontario just as CTVglobemedia pitched Canada's broadcast regulator on forcing cable and satellite TV operators to pay as much as $251 million annually for carriage of local TV station signals (HR, May 4).

But after the CRTC recently denied the fees-for-carriage bid, CTVglobemedia said it received word from Shaw that the deal for its three A Channel-branded stations was off.

CTV previously said it will close the three TV stations by Aug. 30 if buyers are not found.

Also this week, Canwest Global secured a deal with indie broadcaster Channel Zero for the sale of two E!-branded TV stations in Hamilton and Montreal for an undisclosed price (HR, June 30).

But Canwest Global still has three remaining stations in Alberta and British Columbia that are set to close if buyers are not found by the end of the summer.

An earlier CAN$25 million ($22.5 million) deal by Toronto-based ZoomerMedia group to purchase cable broadcaster Vision TV also included two over-the-air TV stations, Joytv 10 in Vancouver and Joytv 11 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.