CRTC says yes to CanWest and Rogers

As CTV was reviewing its options following a problematic CRTC decision on Friday, the regulator gave go-aheads to CanWest Media Works and Rogers OMNI Television for their expansion plans in Alberta.

The CRTC will allow CanWest Media Works to expand its Red Deer signals into Calgary and Edmonton, while Rogers OMNI Television was given the go-ahead for multilingual licences in both cities.

Rogers OMNI Television is effectively allowed to establish local ethnic stations in both markets. The two stations will deliver local, regional and national perspectives through news, community and cross-cultural programming. Details and launch dates will be announced in the coming months.

For CanWest MediaWorks, expanding the CHCA Red Deer signal to Calgary and Edmonton is good news for the fall launch of the E! network (re-branded from the former CH). The approval will enable CHCA Red Deer to receive simulcast broadcasts in both cities.

CanWest MediaWorks president of television Kathy Dore said: ‘By making the Red Deer signal available off-air in these markets, consumers who do not subscribe to cable or satellite will have another Canadian programming viewing option. This decision represents another important step in our plans to expand and rebrand the CH network as E! in September 2007.’