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A message to the viewers of Thunder Bay Television

Recently, Thunder Bay Television (CHFD) underwent a major change that has had significant implications for our loyal viewers.
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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.

Respectfully,

Don Caron
Vice President & General Manager
Dougall Media