Rogers expands Citytv into Quebec and Western Canada


Rogers Media continues to roll out its Citytv over-the-air TV station brand across the country.

The broadcaster on Thursday unveiled a deal to acquire ethnic TV station Métro14 Montréal from indie broadcaster Channel Zero, and inked an interim affiliate agreement between Citytv and Métro14 Montréal , ahead of securing CRTC approval for the deal.

The interim agreement will see Citytv programming will air on the Montreal station starting June 4, with a regulatory decision on the acquisition expected in fall 2012.

“It is our goal to become a full national network in the near future, and this is without question, an aggressive and essential step in the right direction. Having a direct presence in Quebec offers a more consistent and reliable viewing experience with local and acquired programming not available on any other network,” said Rogers Media broadcast president Scott Moore in a statement.

Cal Millar, president and COO of Channel Zero, said his company initially balked at selling Métro14, due to audience and revenue growth.

“However, after much consideration, we saw the sale of Métro14 to Rogers Media as a win-win,” he added.

The programming lineup will feature original and acquired Citytv programming, including CityLine (pictured) and The Bachelor Canada and primetime hits New Girl, Hell’s Kitchen and Modern Family.

Separately, Rogers Media said it has pacted with Vancouver-based Jim Pattinson Broadcast Group in an affiliation agreement that brings Citytv programming to all three stations in western Canada – CFJC TV 7 in Kamloops, B.C., CKPG TV in Prince George, B.C., and CHAT TV in Medicine Hat, AB.

Beginning Sept. 1, the Pattinson stations will air Citytv primetime programming and select daytime programming.

The regional station will follow the Citytv Vancouver programming grid and air the Breakfast Television morning show.

The Jim Pattinson Group will continue to produce and broadcast local newscasts at noon and in the evening.

“This is a pivotal step en route to achieving our goal of Citytv becoming a national network,” said Rogers Media’s Moore.

“The deal also offers national advertisers better value and a more robust reach,” he added.

According to Rogers Media, the deals unveiled Thursday will make Citytv available in 9 million homes throughout Canada.

In March, Rogers announced its intent to purchase the Saskatchewan Communications Network (SCN) to launch Citytv Saskatchewan, a deal that also awaits regulatory approval.