THUNDER BAY – If you have ever wondered why Thunder Bay can’t get our cable television network coverage from the stations in Minnesota, the answer is it won’t be long now. The Canadian Radio Television Commission has approved an application by Shaw Cablesystems Limited to amend the broadcasting licence for its terrestrial broadcasting distribution undertaking serving Thunder Bay.
The CRTC in a decision released today states, “Specifically, the following condition of licence:
The licensee is authorized to distribute, at its option, WXYZ (ABC), WWJ-TV (CBS), WDIV (NBC) and WTVS (PBS) Detroit, Michigan, and WUHF (FOX) Rochester, New York, as part of the basic service, is replaced with:
The licensee is authorized to distribute WCCO-TV (CBS), KARE (NBC), KSTP-TV (ABC), KMSP-TV (FOX) and KTCI-TV (PBS) Minneapolis, Minnesota as part of the basic service, or alternatively for each signal, the signal of a different affiliate of the same network located in the same time zone and included in the List of non-Canadian programming services authorized for distribution, as amended from time to time.
In its application, Shaw stated that there are currently no major market U.S. 4+1 signals operating in the same time zone as Thunder Bay that share a community of interest with Thunder Bay. It argued that changing the source of the U.S. network signals to Minneapolis is appropriate given that there is a community of interest between Thunder Bay and Minneapolis; that the Minneapolis signals offer greater programming relevance; that there is significant demand from customers for those signals; and that the impact on Canadian broadcasters will be minimal. In support of its application, Shaw also provided the results of a customer survey that demonstates that its Thunder Bay customers would prefer to receive the U.S. network signals from Minneapolis rather than those from Detroit.