Posted in Montreal, TV

Rogers Media to buy CJNT, turn it into Citytv station

Rogers announced today it is buying Montreal multi-ethnic station CJNT from Channel Zero.

I just wrote a story about it for The Gazette, so rather than rewrite it for a blog post, I’ll just point you there.

I may have more analysis here later.

21 thoughts on “Rogers Media to buy CJNT, turn it into Citytv station

  1. Marc

    If approved it would mark Rogers’ debut in Quebec broadcasting. I forsee a heavy load of opposition to this.

    Reply
  2. MBR

    I would have thought they would make it a City/Omni station… unless Rogers actually takes advantage of multicasting and have Citytv on 14.1 and Omni on 14.2 OTA…

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I would have thought they would make it a City/Omni station

      They will, at least in the short term. The station will carry both Citytv content and OMNI content.

      unless Rogers actually takes advantage of multicasting and have Citytv on 14.1 and Omni on 14.2 OTA…

      That would require a license amendment from the CRTC, which might not look too kindly on taking ethnic programming off the main channel.

      Reply
      1. ATSC

        Actually it would still be one channel offering two program streams at once.

        CJNT-DT (Montreal)
        62.1 – CityTV programming
        62.2 – Omni programming

        But, one thing that popped into mind is that if Omni ethnic programming is used for the ethnic content requirements of CJNT’s license, what outlet would the Montreal ethnic communities have since most, if not all Omni ethnic programming is Toronto based. Not that CJNT-DT has been very active in local ethnic programming. I’ve seen some stuff on there with copyrights in the credits going back several years.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          Actually it would still be one channel offering two program streams at once.

          Whether you call it a channel or a “program stream” it still requires a license to the CRTC. It’s not clear if the ethnic programming requirements would apply only to the main stream or to all of them.

          But, one thing that popped into mind is that if Omni ethnic programming is used for the ethnic content requirements of CJNT’s license, what outlet would the Montreal ethnic communities have…

          CJNT has multiple requirements when it comes to programming. There’s the local ethnic programming requirement, and a total ethnic programming requirement. The OMNI stuff would be used to fill that second part.

          Reply
      2. William

        Frankly, new ethnic productions on an SD subchannel sure beats three-year-old reruns of analog stuff on Metro14.

        I suspect the issue with the conversion to CITY (with or without an OMNI subchannel) is the change in balance between English and French stations in Montreal.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          I suspect the issue with the conversion to CITY (with or without an OMNI subchannel) is the change in balance between English and French stations in Montreal.

          Not really. CJNT is, as far as the CRTC is concerned, neither an English or French channel. Channel Zero got a license amendment in 2009 removing the requirement for some non-ethnic programming to be in French, clearing the way for it to be an English channel outside of its ethnic programming. CJNT has been airing American programming during primetime for years now.

          Reply
  3. ATSC

    Good news. I guess?

    So, basically CJNT-DT 62.1 will become a CityTV affiliate next month? And possibly a Rogers Media station if the CRTC approves the sale later on.

    Does this mean that we can expect a local Montreal version of CityTV News, and Breakfast Television!

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      So, basically CJNT-DT 62.1 will become a CityTV affiliate next month?

      Yes.

      Does this mean that we can expect a local Montreal version of CityTV News, and Breakfast Television!

      There are no plans for a daily newscast, because Montreal’s anglo market already has three. But a morning show is likely, even though Global is also planning to launch one.

      Reply
  4. ?

    I knew it was one of those stations that would be passed from owner to owner within the course of a few years.

    Reply
  5. WrongCoast

    I predicted this on Twitter months ago, though you insisted it would become OMNI if it happened, and CJNT’s Twitter said Rogers had no interest in the station (which is unsurprising as I doubt social media monkeys would be party to these negotiations).

    Seriously, though, this has to be a good thing, right? A morning show means more, diverse local content, and some competition to encourage Global to produce a good product. While I doubt it’s news will be investigative, it should at least provide a platform to promote local music and community events. I just hope that (surprisingly) like CTV’s new morning shows in the West, it realizes that Montreal’s music scene extends beyond the Bell Centre and Metropolis.

    It seems like the schedule will be a Morning Show, 2 hours of ethic programming in the afternoon, and Citytv’s simulsub schedule in primetime, all sandwiched by syndicated Cancon reruns. It will be great that the OTA void in Montreal will be filled. (Community! 30 Rock! Parks & Rec!) Ethnic programming will probably lose primetime spots, but it will likely benefit as a higher rated station may provide more exposure, and Rogers may be more inclined to produce some new programming, or at least repurpose programming from OMNI.

    Reply
    1. WrongCoast

      Of course, that hypothesized schedule is assuming that Rogers will be lobbying heavily to remove the 75 per cent ethnic programming from 8 to 10 p.m, which seems obvious, right? If the CRTC cannot be pursaded to allow it to be moved to the afternoon, perhaps establishing an early-primetime block of ethic programming from 6 to 8pm would be acceptable?

      Reply
    2. Fagstein Post author

      I predicted this on Twitter months ago, though you insisted it would become OMNI if it happened

      It does seem odd that Rogers would buy an ethnic station and not make it an OMNI one. But I underestimated the company’s determination to bring Citytv to the Montreal market.

      Seriously, though, this has to be a good thing, right? A morning show means more, diverse local content, and some competition to encourage Global to produce a good product.

      From the perspective of local English programming, it might be a good thing. We’ll have to see what their actual plans are. But for local ethnic programming, it might be yet another setback. Channel Zero said it was in discussions with a producer to restart local ethnic programming this fall. Rogers won’t even say if it will keep CJNT as an ethnic station.

      It seems like the schedule will be a Morning Show, 2 hours of ethic programming in the afternoon, and Citytv’s simulsub schedule in primetime

      Except the license requires 75% of programming form 8 to 10 p.m. to be ethnic. Rogers may try to change that, which is another reason why it’s too early to talk about schedules.

      It will be great that the OTA void in Montreal will be filled. (Community! 30 Rock! Parks & Rec!)

      Those are all NBC shows and still on WPTZ unless I missed something. CJNT’s transmitter still isn’t very powerful, but I suspect the goal is to get on cable more than over the air.

      Reply
      1. WrongCoast

        Rogers won’t even say if it will keep CJNT as an ethnic station.

        You are right that it is too early to speculate, but this would have to be the most unlikely scenario, right? The CRTC rejected a Canwest proposal to reduce ethnic programming requirements a couple of years ago.

        Out of curiosity, what is the general timeline for any license modifications. Is it likely that, assuming the sale is approved, Rogers would have enough time for any license modifications to be approves this summer as well, ahead of the new Fall season?

        Those are all NBC shows and still on WPTZ unless I missed something. CJNT’s transmitter still isn’t very powerful, but I suspect the goal is to get on cable more than over the air.

        True, WPTZ is one of the stronger American stations (though reception downtown is very hit or miss for me). Citytv does carry a lot of ABC and FOX programming, which is not so easily available OTA. Plus, they recently started airing Shameless from Showtime, and Rogers has been very agressive in its acquisitions lately.

        CJNT has always been a very strong signal for me. I get it even stronger than Global, which is odd, as it is both lower powered, and is only transmitting from a building near the Mount Royal tower, than the actual tower itself.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          You are right that it is too early to speculate, but this would have to be the most unlikely scenario, right? The CRTC rejected a Canwest proposal to reduce ethnic programming requirements a couple of years ago.

          Multiple Canwest proposals, in fact. Commercial owners of CJNT have been trying to pry open the door for more American programming for a decade now.

          Out of curiosity, what is the general timeline for any license modifications. Is it likely that, assuming the sale is approved, Rogers would have enough time for any license modifications to be approves this summer as well, ahead of the new Fall season?

          If Rogers wants to change the license, it would probably ask for those changes with the ownership change application. The CRTC would then call for comments and probably schedule a hearing, which means at least a couple of months. Fall isn’t unrealistic for a decision, but it may be optimistic.

          Rogers has been very agressive in its acquisitions lately.

          And they will be even more so. Because it pays about the same for rights no matter how many stations it has, the more stations it can air the content on the more money it will make. The Montreal station reaches about a million households, which increases their reach by more than 10%.

          Reply
          1. William

            I’m curious to know what Videotron Illico penetration is in Montreal, since it seems to me that both CITY-TV and OMNI1 are available on Illico.
            Are these “basic” digital channels? If so, how many more cable eyeballs does Rogers get by being on basic cable instead of being only on digital? (and the OTA viewers will be an added bonus, although many of them are already watching the American stations, except for WVNY.)

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              I’m curious to know what Videotron Illico penetration is in Montreal, since it seems to me that both CITY-TV and OMNI1 are available on Illico. Are these “basic” digital channels?

              Both are available, though it’s not clear if Videotron would keep Toronto’s CITY-TV and its associated HD channel if CJNT becomes a Citytv affiliate. They are not on the basic tier, but are available on a discretionary basis. There’s no figures on how many people watch it in Montreal, but I suspect it’s pretty low. There’s not much reason to get it if you have the American channels.

              Reply
          2. WrongCoast

            Multiple Canwest proposals, in fact. Commercial owners of CJNT have been trying to pry open the door for more American programming for a decade now.

            Maybe there is a way Rogers can try to make small changes here. Lowering the ethic requirement just 11%, to 64% of programming between 8pm and 10pm, would give them just over 5 hours of American programming per week, enough to simulsub 1 hour per day Monday to Friday. Their schedule could look something like:

            7pm: CityTV 9pm schedule in pre-release
            8pm: CitvTV 8pm programs in simulsub
            9pm: Ethnic programming
            10pm: CityTV 10pm programs in simulsub

            In cases where CityTV’s programming at 8pm is Canadian content, or the 9pm programming is stronger than what airs at 8pm, the timeslots could be swapped, with the 8pm programming going to pre-release at 7pm, and the ethnic programming going to 8pm.

            On Sundays and Saturdays, where CityTV seems to have very little simulsub programming, Rogers can air ethnic programming from 8pm to 10pm, with its regular schedule before and after this.

            In exchange for the decrease, Rogers may be able to offer something to make the deal palatable for the CRTC, such as increasing the ethnic programming requirement beyond the current miniums, or agreeing to produce new, local ethnic programming.

            Reply
  6. Not Ivan FitzanCFCF

    The file photo in your gazette piece is now on of our CTV buildings that was once branded as CityTv, but is no longer there. . The photo must be over three years old.

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Citytv comes to Montreal … kinda – Fagstein

  8. Pingback: Rogers proposes two television stations to replace CJNT – Fagstein

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>