Rogers purchases SCN, set to launch Citytv channel in Saskatchewan
The CRTC has approved Rogers Broadcasting Limited’s purchase of Saskatchewan Communications Network from Bluepoint Investment Inc. for $3 million.
Rogers plans to relaunch SCN as a Citytv station based in Regina, according to Canadian Business.
Bluepoint purchased SCN from the Saskatchewan government two years ago, and when that deal took place the station lost its government funding, though the CRTC allowed Bluepoint to broadcast commercial programming and advertising. Rogers will enjoy that benefit as well, though it has maintained the commitment to air commercial-free educational public information programming between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily as SCN currently does, according to a January report on the deal in the Financial Post. After 3 p.m., the station will now air Citytv-owned content such as CityLine, Modern Family and the upcoming Canada’s Got Talent, the Financial Post reports.
Bluepoint had made commitments to put $1.75 million per year into independent Saskatchewan production over the course of the license term plus $1 million per year into digital production in Saskatchewan – commitments that Rogers asked to be exempt from in its application to the CRTC to purchase SCN. In the release announcing the approval, the CRTC said that Rogers is expected to invest an additional $1 million into independent Saskatchewan production over the course of the license term. (With this purchase, the CRTC extended the SCN’s license until 2018.)
Rogers is also required to spend at least 23 per cent of its gross annual revenues on Canadian programming from independent producers in Saskatchewan and contribute $300,000 to a Rogers Digital Development Fund, as per CRTC rules on ownership transactions, which Michael Geist has explained in much more detail here.
SCN has had an affiliate program with Citytv since January of this year, according to the Financial Post, in which the network designated itself as “Citytv on SCN” whenever it was not airing educational content.
Bluepoint, a Toronto-based private holdings company, paid $700,000 to purchase SCN from the Saskatchewan government in 2010, according to Canadian Business.