If you’re looking for a low cost entry to television station ownership, how about $3 for three stations? That’s what Canadian cable MSO Shaw Communications is paying to get into the over-the-air broadcasting business.
Shaw made its offer after CTVglobemedia told federal regulators it would close down its stations in Windsor, Ontario; Wingham, Ontario and Brandon, Manitoba because it could not find anyone to buy them, even for $1 per station. Shaw, which has been engaged in public disputes with Canadian broadcasters over such issues as whether to institute a version of the US retransmission consent payments, stepped up and said it would take a deal on those terms.
“I think it’s great,” said Ivan Fecan, President and CEO, CTVglobemedia, and CEO, CTV. “We’ve accepted their offer of $1 per station. Cable is rolling in money and can obviously afford to underwrite the losses. Good for them. I’m sure they will live up to the existing conditions of licence placed on these stations which is wonderful news for the employees and for the people of Windsor, Wingham and Brandon,” he added in a snide press release.
Shaw insists that its offer is genuine. It will have to await regulatory approval before handing over three bucks ($2.53 US) to take title to CKX-TV Brandon, CKNX-TV Wingham and CHWI-TV Windsor-Wheatley.