Vancouver, British Columbia
City Vancouver, British Columbia
Branding City Vancouver
Slogan Everywhere!
Channels Digital: 33 (UHF)
Virtual: 10 (PSIP)
Subchannels 10.1 City
Translators Digital: Victoria
Analog: Courtenay / Whistler
(see transmitter details)
Affiliations City (O&O; 2002–present)
Owner Rogers Media
(Rogers Broadcasting Limited)
First air date September 1, 1976
Call letters' meaning C
UHF (refers to original UHF allocation for analog signal and UHF allocation for digital signal)
Sister station(s) TV: CHNM-DT
Former callsigns CKVU-TV (1976-2011)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
10 (VHF, 1985–2011)
21 (UHF, 1976–1985)
47 (UHF, 2010–2011)
Former affiliations Independent (1976–1997 and 2001–2002)
Global (1997–2001)
Transmitter power 8.3 kW
Height 670 m
Transmitter coordinates 49°21′13″N 122°57′24″W / 49.35361°N 122.95667°W / 49.35361; -122.95667
Licensing authority CRTC

CKVU-DT, virtual channel 10 (UHF digital channel 33), is a City owned-and-operated television station located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The station is owned by Rogers Media, a division of Rogers Communications (through its Rogers Broadcasting Limited division), as part of a twinstick with Omni Television owned-and-operated station CHNM-DT (channel 42). The two stations share studio facilities located on West 2nd Avenue and Columbia Street (near False Creek) in downtown Vancouver; CKVU maintains transmitter facilities located atop Mount Seymour.

On cable, the station is available on Shaw Cable channel 13, Rogers Cable (a corporate sister to CKVU through Rogers Communications) channel 135 and Bell TV channel 253. On satellite, the station is available on Shaw Direct classic lineup channel 359 and advanced lineup channel 006. There is also a high definition feed on Shaw Cable digital channel 213, Bell TV channel 1153, and Shaw Direct classic lineup channel 005 and advanced lineup channel 505. Telus Optik TV also carries CKVU on channel 106 (HD) and channel 9106 (SD).


CKVU's history dates back to 1975, when Western Approaches Ltd. was awarded the third television station licence in the Vancouver market by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).[1] The station was originally assigned to broadcast on UHF channel 26, but it was instead given channel 21 prior to its launch. The station first signed on the air on September 1, 1976; originally operating as an independent station, it was the first station in Vancouver to transmit on the UHF band. In addition, CKVU was carried on cable channel 13, an assignment it retains to this day. In its first year of operation, CKVU lost more than $3 million.

In 1979, the station was approaching the break-even point. It was also under the scrutiny of the CRTC at that time due to its lack of local programming. According to the CRTC, CKVU did not produce its own newscasts, but instead relayed the Ontario-focused newscasts from the Global Television Network. That same year, Charles Allard, owner of CITV in Edmonton, purchased a 5% common stock and 7% preferred stock interest in CKVU through his company, Allarcom.[1] Canwest Pacific, a subsidiary of CanWest Broadcasting, loaned $4 million to Western Approaches so it could thwart a takeover attempt from Allarcom. Three years later, CanWest loaned another $8 million to Western Approaches to reduce the station's debt with the condition that CanWest would have the option to purchase Western Approaches' shares in CKVU.

CKVU moved to VHF channel 10 on February 13, 1985, which improved the station's coverage and ratings (channel 10 was originally reserved for a proposed CBC Television station in Victoria,[2] but that station never went on the air due to lack of funds, clearing the way for CKVU to move its channel allocation). The station moved to VHF to avoid interference with fellow independent station KTZZ (now MyNetworkTV affiliate KZJO) – which broadcast on UHF channel 22 – in Seattle, Washington, which signed on after CKVU's switch to channel 10. Until it was shut down on August 31, 2011 as part of Canada's digital television transition, CKVU's analogue signal, which transmitted from a very high location on Saltspring Island, could be received throughout much of southwest British Columbia and northwest Washington, as well as in some areas of northern Seattle. This analogue transmitter was replaced with two UHF transmitters serving Vancouver and Victoria, both with reduced coverage areas overall, but with improved coverage to those particular metropolitan areas. CKVU also maintained a rebroadcast transmitter located west of Courtenay, CKVU-TV-1, which is received over-the-air on North Vancouver Island.

U.TV logo, used from 1988-1997. The station's newscasts were known as U.News during this period. For the logo used while as Global, refer to the Global Television Network article.

On December 6, 1985, CanWest announced that it had purchased controlling interest in CKVU, subject to CRTC approval. Western Approaches went to court in an attempt to block the sale, which resulted in a dispute between Western Approaches, Allarcom and Canwest that lasted several years. On June 19, 1987, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ordered Western Approaches to sell its interest in CKVU to CanWest, subject to CRTC approval.[1] Once the sale was approved and all other legal issues were settled, CanWest gained 100% ownership and control of CKVU on July 13, 1988. It then began sharing programs with CanWest's other independent stations, as well as the Global network in Ontario. In 1990, CKVU and Canwest's other independent stations became known as the "Canwest Global System."

Under CanWest's ownership, the station was rebranded as "U.TV", and its audience and profits increased. The station had previously been branded as both "CKVU 13" and "VU13" (both referring to the station's cable channel) and more simply, the "CKVU" call letters. On August 18, 1997, Canwest dropped the more localized brandings from all of its stations and rebranded them as the Global Television Network, as part of a full expansion of the network outside of Ontario to the Canwest Global System stations. Accordingly, after nine years under the "U.TV" brand, CKVU rebranded as "Global Vancouver."

Transition to Citytv

"We can get rid of this baby!"
CKVU's former weather presenter Joe Leary takes the Global mike flag off his microphone on the station's last day as a Global O&O.

In 2000, Canwest acquired the television interests of Western International Communications, including CHAN-TV (channel 8) in Vancouver and CHEK-TV (channel 6) in Victoria. The CRTC approved the purchase on July 6, 2000 on the condition that Canwest divest CKVU.[3] The CRTC further approved the transfer of CKVU to a Canwest subsidiary, CKVU Sub Inc., on December 21, placing the station in a blind trust while the company looked for a buyer.[4] Indeed, Canwest had bought WIC's television interests specifically to increase its reach in British Columbia. CHAN (long known in the province under its "BCTV" brand) had been the dominant station in British Columbia for the better part of the last 30 years, and boasted over 100 transmitters across the province. In contrast, CKVU operated only three transmitters covering only the southwest quadrant of British Columbia.

CHUM Limited applied to the CRTC to acquire CKVU Sub Inc. on July 26, 2001[5] for $175 million, with the intention of making it a Citytv station, using a similar format as the company's flagship station, CITY-TV in Toronto. CHUM planned on spending $8.03 million on British Columbia-based independent productions, $5.95 million on local news and information programming, and $1.37 million on local culture, social policy and talent development over a period of seven years.

During its brief stint as an independent station from 2001 to 2002 (as well as from its first sign-on in 1976 to the early 1980s), the station was known as ckvu13, a reference to its callsign and its cable allocation in the Lower Mainland.

A large network shuffle occurred on September 1, when CHAN's contract with CTV expired. CHAN, now under Canwest ownership, switched affiliations from CTV to Global. As a result, CIVT (channel 32), an independent station owned by Baton Broadcasting, became a CTV owned-and-operated station, while CKVU was rebranded as "ckvu13". While CKVU began airing CHUM-supplied programming immediately following the switch, the station remained in trust pending regulatory approval of the sale. CHUM gained CRTC approval for its acquisition of CKVU Sub Inc. on October 15, 2001.[6] Because CHUM owned CIVI (channel 53) in Victoria, which was part of the NewNet system (now CTV Two), the CRTC imposed its usual licence conditions for large-market twinsticks: CKVU was prohibited from airing more than 10% of the programming aired on CIVI, and newscasts were required to be separately managed.

As Citytv/City Vancouver

At 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time on July 22, 2002, CKVU dropped the "ckvu13" branding and became the second television station in Canada to use the Citytv brand (as "Citytv Vancouver"), effectively turning Citytv into a television system. A new morning programme (Breakfast Television, based on the format originated on CITY-TV) was launched immediately after the rebrand, and the station's 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts were rebranded as CityPulse on the same day (later to be renamed CityNews in 2005).

In July 2006, Bell Globemedia (later known as CTVglobemedia and now Bell Media) acquired CHUM Limited and its assets, including CKVU and the four other Citytv stations. The acquisition was approved by the CRTC on June 8, 2007, on the condition that CTVglobemedia sell off CHUM's Citytv stations (including CKVU) to another buyer due to the fact the company had CIVT in the same base as the station;[7] Rogers Communications announced its intention to purchase the five Citytv stations three days later.[8] The transaction was approved by the CRTC on September 28, and the acquisition by Rogers was finalized on October 31, 2007.

On October 25, 2008, a fire occurred at CKVU's rebroadcast transmitter site southwest of Courtenay, knocking the analogue station's channel 5 over-the-air signal off the air; it has not broadcast since then and it is currently unknown if the station will replace the transmitter or simply delete it from its licence altogether. CBC Television O&O CBUT (channel 2) also operated a transmitter at the same site; it later filed an application to revoke the license for the transmitter at the Courtenay site, which the CRTC approved on October 12, 2011.[9] This application noted that the decision had been made not to rebuild the transmission site, which was destroyed in the fire.

In December 2012, the Citytv system started to begin being referred to as "City Television" in on-air promotions, although the Citytv branding was still heavily used in promos and on on-screen logo bugs. At the same time, CKVU's (and the entire system's) website and on-air graphics phased in the "City" name, effectively rebranding the station as "City Vancouver". The new City branding was launched on December 31, 2012, coinciding with the City New Year's Bash broadcast.[10]

News operation

CKVU's studio at 180 West 2nd Avenue in Vancouver

CKVU presently broadcasts 17½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week, all consisting of 3½ hours each weekday of a local version of City's local morning news programme franchise Breakfast Television.

The station's news operations underwent significant changes in July 2006 following the announcement of Bell Globemedia's acquisition of CHUM Limited;[11] CKVU's 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. evening newscasts were cancelled outright, while the station's morning programme Breakfast Television was expanded from three hours to four.

On January 19, 2010, Rogers Communications announced that it was laying off six employees at CKVU. The layoffs also resulted in the cancellation of the locally produced programs Lunch Television and The CityNews List, while Breakfast Television was reduced from four hours to three;[12] the latter programme was eventually expanded to 3½ hours in September 2011.

Notable current on-air staff

Notable former on-air staff


Station City of licence Transmitter Type Channel ERP HAAT Transmitter Coordinates
CKVU-TV-1 Courtenay Analog (destroyed, see below) 5 (VHF) 17.7 kW 82.5 m 49°35′36″N 125°0′41″W / 49.59333°N 125.01139°W / 49.59333; -125.01139 (CKVU-TV-1)
CKVU-DT-2 Victoria Digital 27 (UHF)
Virtual: 27.1 (PSIP)
2.75 kW 99.6 m 48°25′30″N 123°20′13″W / 48.42500°N 123.33694°W / 48.42500; -123.33694 (CKVU-DT-2)
CJWM-TV Whistler Analog 21 (UHF) 0.001 kW N/A (1710.6m ASL) 50°7′18.84″N 123°1′26.4″W / 50.1219000°N 123.024000°W / 50.1219000; -123.024000 (CJWM-TV)

Note: The Courtenay transmitter has been off-air since a fire destroyed the transmitter facility in October 2008. No announcement has been made as to whether this transmitter will be replaced.

Digital television

Digital channel

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[13]
10.1 1080i 16:9 CKVU-DT Main CKVU-DT programming / City

Analogue-to-digital conversion

On February 23, 2010, the station received approval from the CRTC to broadcast its digital transmitter from Mount Seymour, rather than from its existing analogue transmitter site on Saltspring Island.[14] This transmitter improved signal coverage for the Vancouver and Fraser Valley areas, but reduced reception in Victoria. CKVU's digital signal first signed on the air on March 2, 2010.[15]

CKVU shut down its analogue signal, over VHF channel 10, 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 was relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 47 to post-transition channel 33 (which previously served as the pre-transition digital channel for Vancouver-based CTV O&O CIVT-DT).[16] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display CKVU-DT's virtual channel as its analogue-era VHF channel 10.

CKVU improved its digital signal coverage on August 31, 2011, by broadcasting from a new transmitter in Victoria, which had been approved by the CRTC.[17] The Victoria and Mount Seymour digital transmitters replaced the majority of the coverage area previously covered by its channel 10 analog transmitter and improved coverage within the Vancouver and Victoria metropolitan areas.


External links

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