citynews to launch news channel; ctv to launch ctv two

The summer season (filled with cast-offs, second-rate dramas and third-rate reality shows) hasn’t even begun, but major Canadian broadcasters announced yesterday the new fall line-up as well as some new networks that are coming down the pipe.

Rogers-owned Citytv announced that they will finally launch their CP24 clone called CityNews Channel that will be — as you may have guessed — exactly like CP24. There had been some rumblings about it launching a while ago, but that never got off the ground until now.

Of course, Rogers spins it differently than calling it a clone of the wildly popular CP24, but let’s be honest, after CTV and Rogers split up the once-mighty CHUM empire a few years ago, CTV (Now Bell Media) cleaned up when they acquired not only all the specialty channels like Much, Bravo and Space, they also netted CP24. If you didn’t know, CP24 is probably the most watched channel in the entire city of Toronto.  Don’t believe me? Go into any bar or restaurant that has a TV and tell me what they are showing. I can almost guarantee that at least one set somewhere in that bar is locked into CP24.

So now Rogers is banking on the fact that Toronto-folk will suddenly decide to make the switch over to CityNews Channel. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that old habits die hard – and finding a remote control in a bar is next to impossible. So I doubt that Rogers will get the numbers they are hoping for.

In case you’re planning to set your PVRs, CityNews Channel will simulcast the CityNews broadcasts, Breakfast Television and provide round-the-clock news coverage.

Bell Media, not to be outdone, is re-branding their A networks as CTV Two across the country. Not much will change and presumably most employees will keep their jobs, and the shows that the main networks didn’t want will still have a home.

I always like seeing new networks start up. It gives hard working people much needed jobs and broadens the landscape for TV viewers. I personally don’t watch a lot of television myself, but it’s still interesting to watch the ever-changing local and national media.

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