Saskatchewan pulls plug on SCN

Low viewership spells end to edu-channel, assets to be sold to SaskTel. Huge loss for local production, says union

Saskatchewan is exiting the educational broadcast business by shuttering SCN.

The provincial government says it will transfer certain SCN assets, including satellite distance education classes and broadcasts of the Legislative channel, to phone giant SaskTel in order to secure around $5 million in annual savings.

SCN fading to black in May will also mean the end of outstanding contracts with indie producers, and a possible sale of the CRTC licence to a new operator.

Around 35 SCN employees are affected, and will remain in their posts until June to wind down the channel. (Know more? Email us!)

‘SCN’s viewership is quite low, and we feel that there is no longer a role for government in the broadcast business,’ provincial Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Dustin Duncan said in a statement.

ACTRA Saskatchewan branch rep Mike Burns says the closure of SCN amounts to a huge loss for the local production scene.

‘SCN has been a home for Saskatchewan stories, for us to see ourselves and our own communities on TV. If we lose this voice, I don’t know how we will be able to see and celebrate our own culture,’ says Burns.