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2010-02-18 at 16:42

A message to the viewers of Thunder Bay Television

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Recently, Thunder Bay Television (CHFD) underwent a major change that has had significant implications for our loyal viewers. In order to help with your understanding of the change, I would like explain some of the reasons behind the move and events surrounding it.

Thunder Bay Television (CHFD) has operated as an affiliate of the CTV Network since it's inception 37 years ago. It has been a long and productive association for both sides. Unfortunately, that association has come to an end.

Our previous agreement with CTV lapsed in August of 2009. Talks aimed at reaching a new deal were commenced in April of last year and continued through to the end of November. Under the terms and conditions offered by CTV in those discussions, Thunder Bay Television would have been faced with a significant loss in revenue. We were ultimately faced with the option of accepting a CTV agreement that may have placed our ability to maintain operations in question, or seeking a deal with a new program supplier that would provide greater stability. It was at this point that we filed an application with the CRTC for permission to end our affiliation with CTV.

Separate and distinct from our negotiations on extending the affiliation agreement were talks surrounding the rights to broadcast Olympic Games coverage. As everyone is aware, CTV has paid a premium price for those broadcast rights, and understandably, were hoping to maximize their financial return on that investment. Because of the high level of interest among our viewers, we pursued acquiring local broadcast rights vigorously. But as with the affiliation talks, and despite the best efforts of both sides, we were unable to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

Because of the length of these discussions, we found ourselves in a difficult position. While our initial filing with the CRTC had already asked for the affiliation agreement to end at the end of February, we were left without any programming options during the Olympic period. This compelled us to expedite implementation of our new agreement with Global Television. With the CRTC disaffiliation process already underway, including the public comment provisions of that process, we have been constrained until now from speaking publicly about the developments, so as not to be seen as trying to influence the proceedings.

In recent days several viewers have expressed their frustration over an inability to view the Olympic Games on Thunder Bay Television. To those viewers, we extend our sincere apologies. We know how important being able to enjoy the spectacle in Vancouver is to you, and hope you will understand honest efforts were made to secure the Olympic broadcast rights. We regret being unable to do so.

We have now entered into a new era where Global-Thunder Bay will be bringing you Global Television's exciting roster of programming. It is a tremendous broadcast schedule and we trust you will grow to enjoy it.

We also hope we will be able to continue to meet your viewing needs for many years to come, as we have for the past 37 years.


Don Caron
Vice President & General Manager
Dougall Media

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We've improved our comment system.
Escroft says:
CTV in general needs to be broken into pieces. They're nothing but greedy. I am saddened by the loss of programming, but I trust that Global will fill the city's needs. Good luck.
2/18/2010 4:58:46 PM
face palmed says:
Glee is a lot better than Canadian Idol or So you Think you can Dance Canada.

Honestly, I know Global is more American program heavy ... but I enjoy American progams a lot more than American reality programs with Canada splashed in the title.

2/18/2010 5:10:54 PM
canuckman55 says:
damn no more corner gas reruns? Whatever will we do?
2/18/2010 6:11:02 PM
thebard says:
Escroft : This is no big deal. Nobody lost anything, unless you are still using bunny ears. CTV programs are still very much available on Dish or Cable.

Deep pocketed Jim Shaw has just purchased Global, so we now have three solid Canadian Nets. No need to break up anybody.

I personally have enjoyed watching the Olympics on CTVglobemedia. First off the fan has several choices. CTV, TSN, Rogers-Sports net, give us a choice between different events.

If that isn't enough their on-line web coverage has been superb. I think the integration of the Web, TV and print media with the Globe and Mail has really enhanced the viewers enjoyment. Further, reading tweets from thousands of people from around the world in real time as the event unfolds is extra cool.

2/18/2010 6:40:43 PM
lucky says:
Thunder Bay Television is a business at like many businesses they are forced to make difficult decisions at times. Once the people of Thunder Bay get a chance to see some of the programming that Global has to offer they will be happy with the changes. Funny that the local newspaper has to comment so much on the lack of Olympics, I guess no one can cover the Olympics with as much impact as television!
2/18/2010 7:09:17 PM
krispycreme says:
Hey lucky!
Thunder Bay liking change.
Good "luck" with that one.
2/18/2010 9:12:52 PM
tbay87 says:
I believe Shaw made channel 23 CTV Toronto, so for people with cable this may actually be a good thing: all 3 major networks are on basic cable (although one isn't local). Granted, Global doesn't have a whole lot that people couldn't see on cable before (most of it is American programming on the American channels we have now), so I don't think it's much of a change really. But in the end, it will be nice to have CBC, CTV, and Global all on basic cable and if it helps keep TBTV in business, great!

For people without cable, I think this is a modest improvement. While some CTV programming will be missed, Global has a stronger selection of American programs in my opinion.
2/18/2010 10:17:09 PM
saynotonegativity says:
"Funny that the local newspaper has to comment so much on the lack of Olympics, I guess no one can cover the Olympics with as much impact as television!"

CTV was the network which won the rights to broadcast the Olympics, from Opening Ceremonies, to the events, to the closing ceremonies. To anyone who doesn't have cable or satellite (especially those living in rural Thunder Bay, where cable service is not provided) this has left them with no coverage. The majority of rural Thunder Bay, do not have broadband internet, they are serviced by dial up, making it difficult to recieve any updates, except by watching the local news, which would than only give little tidbits of information. That is not the same as watching live coverage. As well, The Olympic Committee has copyrighted all coverage, and as such, any video broadcasts are immediately removed from the internet! CTV is a good network, and I really don't mind Global, in fact, it is a chance at new programming. What I am not impressed with is the timing of the switch from CTV to Global. This took place on Friday, February 12, the same day the Opening Ceremonies aired. Bad timing has left many people without coverage of the Olympics. This could have waited until February 28th, when the Olympic Closing Ceremonies will be held, keeping everyone satisfied.
2/19/2010 10:14:50 AM
tsb says:
If you read the article, Dougall Media claims they couldn't afford to air the Olympics. CTV had to pay hundreds of millions for those rights, and they want their affiliate stations to support that cost.
2/19/2010 1:40:40 PM
Escroft says:
Thebard, I live in Southern Ontario now, but I always keep up with news from my hometown. I lived and breathed Thunder Bay for 25 years, it was time to move on. But I still keep close tabs. Down here, we don't get shaw, and I am too far South to get Rogers either. It's either Bell or Cogeco (which believe me, are no Shaw. Maaan, 120 bucks for cable/internet/telephone).
2/19/2010 3:31:50 PM
drayton lad says:
Northern Ontario-$57.00 Bell telephone
$102.00 Shaw TV
$32.00 Shaw Internet

Fort Saskatchewan Alberta-$40.00 For everything,TV,Internet,Phone,unlimited long distance for those of us that are away working.Competition out here is stiff,so Shaw went cheap!With those back home paying prices they do,no wonder they can afford it out here!
2/19/2010 4:04:09 PM
myopic not foolish says:
Dougall Media has had a TV monopoly for years. I don't buy this we're on hard times story, since they run both CBC and CTV out of one station at the cost of running one station. CTV just is a Canadian license for American programming. Frankly I wouldn't care if they ran CTV or Global. Basically, they hijack the Superbowl and we're subjected to insipid local commercials
2/19/2010 5:03:47 PM
thebard says:
Myopic : The low budget local ads have always been an irritant during Super Bowl. I watched the game in French.

Escroft. The Shaw Dish ( Formerly called Star Choice) has channel 304 and 314 dedicated for Thunder Bay stations. I know a lot of people who watch Thunder Bay local news all winter from their Florida condos. Simply pay Shaw $ 99 bucks for a new dish, and join the HOME AWAY FROM HOME PLAN.

You may not even need to do that. Check you local dish provider the Thunder Bay stations may be offered already.

2/19/2010 11:59:28 PM
DjMz says:
"myopic not foolish says:
Dougall Media has had a TV monopoly for years."

How can you call it a monopoly when there's been no applicatoin for another tv station? www.crtc.gc.ca check it out
2/21/2010 4:13:00 AM
Toodleoo Caribou says:

'A message to the VIEWER of Thunder Bay TV....'
2/23/2010 7:57:58 AM
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