|Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Channels||Digital: 32 (UHF)|
Virtual: 32 (PSIP)
CTV British Columbia, CTV BC or CTV 9 (alternate general)
|Slogan||Your Home. Your News.|
|Affiliations||32.1: CTV (O&O; 2001-present)|
|Owner||Bell Media Inc.|
Radio: CKST, CFTE, CFBT-FM, CHQM-FM
First air date
|September 22, 1997|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
32 (UHF, 1997-2011)
33 (UHF, 2006-2011)
Call sign meaning
|HAAT||740.3 m (2,429 ft)|
CIVT-DT, virtual and UHF digital channel 32, is a CTV owned-and-operated television station licensed to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The station is owned by the Bell Media subsidiary of BCE Inc., as part of a twinstick with Victoria-based CTV 2 station CIVI-DT, channel 53 (although the two stations maintain separate operations). CIVT-DT's studios are located at 969 Robson Street (alternatively known as 750 Burrard Street; the former site of the Vancouver Public Library's central branch) at the intersection of Robson Street and Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver, which also houses the British Columbia operations of the CTV network itself, including the CTV News Vancouver bureau. The station's transmitter is located atop Mount Seymour.
CIVT is the only full-fledged CTV station in British Columbia, as well as in the Pacific Time Zone. However, the station only maintains one terrestrial transmitter. Despite transmitting at an effective radiated power of 33kW, it only reaches Vancouver, Victoria, and neighbouring Whatcom County, Washington. Accordingly, the station relies exclusively on cable and satellite distribution to reach the rest of British Columbia, making it something of a weak link in the CTV network. In the Mountain Time Zone portion of the province, CIVT is either carried on a higher channel number or is unavailable altogether. Calgary sister station CFCN is the default CTV station for southeastern British Columbia and has long operated rebroadcasters in this region, while Edmonton sister CFRN serves as the default CTV station for the northeastern part of the province. Until 2012, when CBC Television owned-and-operated station CBUT-DT (channel 2) shut down its rebroadcasters due to funding reductions, CIVT was the only Vancouver station out of Canada's three major television networks to be cable- and satellite-exclusive outside of the city.
CIVT was the only CTV network station to broadcast its primary signal on UHF prior to the digital transition. Although Industry Canada technically requires Canadian television stations to identify themselves over-the-air by their call letters, this rule is rarely enforced, and most Canadian stations identify themselves by their brand name rather than their callsign. On-air, CIVT identifies itself simply as "CTV". Where a channel reference is warranted, it uses "Channel 9", its primary cable channel number on most cable systems in southwestern British Columbia; during the VTV era, a white "9" in a red circle was frequently used on outside broadcast vehicles and in graphics alongside the main logo.
The process that led to the launch of CIVT began when Rogers Communications and Canwest Global Communications filed separate applications with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), respectively in August 1995 and January 1996, to launch new television stations in the Vancouver-Victoria market. In line with the commission's usual practice, the CRTC issued a general call for applications in March 1996, with a public hearing that September. In all, five applications were considered:
The commission's decision, released on January 31, 1997, approved the Baton/Electrohome application and denied the others. The prospective Rogers station was denied largely because it would have replaced some of Talentvision's existing ethnic programming with U.S. syndicated fare. Moreover, Talentvision's existing owner (the company now known as Fairchild Media Group) indicated there was "no plan to abandon [the current Talentvision licence] at this time". As for Canwest, the commission determined that the existence of the CHAN/CHEK twinstick did not justify licensing a new station to a company already serving the market.
The three proposals for an independent station in Vancouver were all determined to be high-calibre. However, the deciding factor in favour of Baton/Electrohome was a commitment to air new Vancouver-produced programming (which ultimately manifested as, among other programs, the Vicki Gabereau Show, The Camilla Scott Show, and Cold Squad) across all of Baton's and Electrohome's stations, a promise that the smaller CHUM and Craig station groups could not match.
CIVT first signed on the air on September 22, 1997, under the brand "Vancouver Television" (or "VTV"). The station's newscasts initially emulated the format of CityPulse on Toronto's CITY-TV, with a morning show (VTV Breakfast), as well as noon and evening newscasts (Vancouver Live), in which the anchors stood up and moved throughout the studio. The Toronto station's founder, Moses Znaimer, went so far as to claim that his former protégé, Baton chief executive Ivan Fecan, had stolen CITY's format outright for CIVT. The noon newscast that debuted with the station only lasted for several months after the launch. CIVT began moving towards a more conventional news operation in 1999, and retitled its newscasts to simply VTV News.
Upon launch, CIVT took over the provincial rights to programming from the Baton Broadcast System (BBS), some of which had previously aired on CHAN. However, CHAN/CHEK retained their existing long-term affiliation agreement with CTV, leaving CIVT with 40 open hours in its weekly schedule compared to Baton/Electrohome's CTV affiliates. To fill these holes, CIVT also carried some series and movies sourced from CITY-TV in Toronto through the end of the 1999-2000 season. This was possible because CHUM didn't have a station in southwestern British Columbia at the time (they had been syndicating Citytv programming to KVOS-TV, located across the border in Bellingham, Washington, since the 1980s). As well, some CTV-owned series that did not air nationally due to low expectations and/or scheduling constraints aired instead on CIVT (two notable examples were the first episodes of Ally McBeal and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, whose distribution expanded nationally by midseason). Previously cancelled Canadian dramas that had already aired on the main network were sometimes aired to fulfill Canadian content obligations.
By the end of 1997, Baton Broadcasting had bought out Electrohome's broadcasting operations and gained full control of both CIVT and the CTV network. Indeed, CIVT had signed on just a few months before Baton closed on its acquisition of controlling interest in CTV, and as a result, the "BBS" brand was not implemented locally in Vancouver. By early 1998, the BBS schedule had in effect merged with CTV's national schedule; CIVT would cover up the CTV bug at the lower-right corner of the screen with its own "VTV" logo. It soon became an open secret that CIVT would become Vancouver's CTV station at the first opportunity. However, the network's affiliation agreements with CHAN and CHEK were not scheduled to expire until September 2000; due to complications surrounding the breakup of Western International Communications (including Canwest's acquisition of the CHAN/CHEK twinstick and the resulting sale of CKVU), this was later extended by an additional year.
On September 1, 2001, as part of a major network shuffle in the southwestern British Columbia television market, CIVT became a full CTV network station, while CHAN became a Global owned-and-operated station (O&O) and CHEK joined Canwest's secondary system, CH (later known as E!). Since then, CIVT has not deviated significantly from the national CTV schedule (except for the issues with The Oprah Winfrey Show, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! discussed below). While CHAN had blanketed the province with a massive rebroadcaster network, CTV opted not to build any new rebroadcasters for CIVT outside the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, and as of 2014 has no plans to do so (see above).
Upon becoming a full network station, CIVT adopted the brand "BC CTV". This caused some confusion among viewers with CHAN, then known as "BCTV", which had long been the province's dominant station. While the latter station changed its main on-air branding to "Global BC", it retained the "BCTV" name for its newscasts until 2006. Given CTV's desire to steal market share from CHAN, there was some speculation that the confusion was deliberate. Indeed, CIVT had just hired Pamela Martin and Bill Good, the respective former anchors of CHAN-TV's 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. newscasts, to co-anchor its 6:00 p.m. newscast.
On July 1, 2002, CIVT stopped using the "BC CTV" ID on-air, and began to identify itself only as "CTV", following the lead of several other CTV-owned stations (such as CKCK-TV in Regina and CFQC-TV in Saskatoon). The sub-brand "CTV 9" is often used to refer to CIVT informally, and was for a time incorporated into the station's website domain name (ctv9.ca), but it was never officially used as the station's on-air brand. In March 2004, CIVT became the first television station in Western Canada to operate a full-time news helicopter, branded as "Chopper 9". In January 2008, CTV began producing a Western Canada edition of Canada AM at the CIVT studios; however, due to low ratings, it was cancelled in June of that year.
For its first ten years as a CTV O&O, CIVT was the only such station not to carry The Oprah Winfrey Show, due to historical issues related to how Canadian rights to the program were distributed. In the 1990s, almost all CTV stations acquired local rights to Oprah, as well as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! - however, the rights in each market were always held by individual stations, not the network. This meant that CHAN, which had acquired the British Columbia rights to all three programs, was not required to give them up upon disaffiliation from CTV. CHAN would keep Oprah on its lineup until the program ended in 2011. During this period, CIVT used a number of stopgap measures to fill this "hole" in CTV's national schedule, eventually resorting to airing The Ellen DeGeneres Show (now broadcast nationally by CTV) in the 4:00 p.m. timeslot instead.
Similarly, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! did not air on CIVT during the years that most other CTV O&Os carried the programs, airing sitcom repeats and Access Hollywood in the 7-8 p.m. hour instead. However, CHAN elected not to keep them either as a Global station, initially relegating them to its then-sister station in Victoria, CHEK. The Vancouver-area rights to both series changed hands several times in the subsequent years before eventually returning to CHEK in 2012. CIVT was left out of that rotation, making it the only English-language, non-religious station in the market not to have carried the two game shows, despite the series' long association with CTV elsewhere.
CIVT now generally conforms to the standard CTV network schedule, aside from timeslot variances in the daytime schedule in order to maximize simultaneous substitution opportunities with stations in the adjacent Seattle market across the Canada-United States border. Since the 2011-12 season, there have been two significant exceptions. First, one hour of the CTV network daytime schedule Live with Kelly and Ryan (currently back-to-back repeats of Hot in Cleveland) is not cleared on the station; this was done to accommodate a new lunch-hour newscast on CIVT, along with an existing 5:00 p.m. newscast which most other CTV stations do not produce. In past years, when the preempted hour consisted of first-run programming, it would instead be carried by CTV 2 owned-and-operated sister station CIVI-DT (channel 53) in Victoria. Additionally, as with other CTV-owned stations in Western Canada, CIVT replaced Canada AM with a local morning show known as CTV Morning Live in November 2011. CIVT similarly does not air Canada AM's successor Your Morning.
CIVT-DT presently broadcasts 38 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with seven hours each weekday and 1½ hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the highest local newscast output among CTV's television stations (either owned-and-operated or affiliated), and the second-highest among the Vancouver-Victoria market's television stations, falling behind Global O&O CHAN-DT's weekly news total by seven hours.
At its launch as "VTV", the station operated news bureaus in Victoria, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Surrey and Richmond, alongside its main studio in downtown Vancouver. Most of these bureaus were closed by 2001, with the exception of the one in Victoria (which continues in operation to this day). On the other hand, the station added bureaus in the Fraser Valley and the Okanagan, and also operated a bureau in Whistler for coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
On November 23, 2009, beginning with its 5:00 p.m. newscast, CIVT became the first television station in Metro Vancouver and the fourth in Canada (after Toronto-based stations CITY, CBLT and CFTO) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in HD; with the upgrade, the station renovated its existing news set.
On March 18, 2010, CIVT unveiled a new set for its news broadcasts, which repurposed portions of CTV's set from its coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics. CIVT's newsroom was redesigned using the news desk, interview area and large screen monitors that were previously installed in the International Broadcast Centre. On December 7, 2010, Bill Good and Pamela Martin announced their resignation as anchors of the 6:00 p.m. newscast. Mike Killeen and Tamara Taggart were announced as their replacements the next day, and took over as anchors of the broadcast on January 3, 2011.
CIVT debuted an hour-long lunchtime newscast at noon on October 31, 2011. Two weeks later on November 14, the station debuted a 3½-hour weekday morning newscast under the CTV Morning Live banner. With the latter addition, CFCF-DT in Montreal and CTV's Toronto flagship station CFTO-DT are now the largest CTV owned-and-operated stations that have yet to carry locally produced weekday morning newscasts.
On April 9, 2018, Mike Killeen and Tamara Taggart were let go as the main CTV News Vancouver at Six anchors.
On January 31, 2020, CTV Chopper 9 news helicopter ceased operations after 16 years of service.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|32.1||1080i||16:9||CIVT||Main CIVT-DT programming / CTV|
CIVT's digital signal, sometimes known as CTV HD West, began broadcasting in 2005. CIVT shut down its analogue signal, over UHF channel 32, on August 31, 2011, the official date in which Canadian television stations in CRTC-designated mandatory markets transitioned from analogue to digital broadcasts. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 33 to its analogue-era UHF channel 32 for post-transition operations.
On February 19, 2009, CIVT-DT was approved to increase its maximum effective radiated power from 2.2 kW to 12.6 kW due to poor reception throughout the Greater Vancouver area, including Vancouver proper.