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CKVU-DT is a Canadian local station located in Vancouver, British Columbia, broadcasting on digital channel 33, displaying on tuners as virtual channel 10. Rogers Communications owns the station, which is affiliated with Rogers' City network.
On July 18, 1975, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) awarded a licence for Vancouver's third English-language television station to Western Approaches, a consortium consisting of film and TV director and former CBC producer Daryl Duke, writer Norman Klenman and lawyer Gordon Lyall, along with more than 40 local businessmen. Western Approaches received the licence over competing applications from Channel Seventy-Nine Ltd. (the original owner of Toronto station CITY-TV, now the flagship station of the City network), Ten Television Ltd. (owned by Dr. Charles Allard, the original owner of Edmonton station CITV through his company Allarcom) and Pacific Rim Broadcasting (a consortium including future Canwest founder Izzy Asper). A previous round of applications in 1973 for a Vancouver station by Chako Broadcasting Ltd., Great Pacific Industries Ltd. (owned by Jim Pattison) and West Coast Broadcasting Ltd. and a Victoria station by the CBC, all requesting the use of channel 10, had all been denied by the CRTC that year.
In its 1975 application, Western Approaches had applied for either channel 10, its first choice, or UHF channel 26, which it was originally granted by the CRTC. On February 2, 1976, Western Approaches was authorized to change its station channel to 21 when the CBC requested channel 26 for use for its proposed French-language Vancouver station CBUFT. Channel 21 went on the air on September 1, 1976 as CKVU-TV, which initially branded as CKVU 13 due to its cable channel position in southwest British Columbia. For its first two-plus decades on the air, CKVU operated as an independent station. One of the first shows to be produced by CKVU, and which went on to become one of its most popular programs, was the nightly sports higlights program Sports Page, which debuted in September 1977.
CKVU came under the scrutiny of the CRTC in 1979 because of the station's lack of locally-produced programming and its reliance on newscasts from Global TV (then a regional system in southern Ontario), which the CRTC ordered CKVU to cease airing in favor of producing its own newscasts. Also that year, Allarcom bought 5% of common stock and 7% of preferred stock in CKVU. To prevent a takeover of the station by Allarcom, Canwest subsidiary Canwest Pacific loaned $4 million to Western Approaches to help reduce the station's debt (it had lost $3 million in its first year of operations alone). In 1982, Canwest loaned a further $8 million to Western Approaches, but with a condition added which gave Canwest the future option to buy Western Approaches' ownership share of CKVU.
On February 13, 1985, CKVU moved over to channel 10, which helped greatly improve both its coverage area and its audience, as well as to avoid potential signal interference with Seattle station KTZZ-TV, which was to begin broadcasting on UHF channel 22 on June 22 that year (channel 10, which was originally reserved for the CBC in 1976 for its own TV station in Victoria, became available in 1980 when the CBC surrendered that licence in favor of building retransmitters for its Vancouver station CBUT in the Victoria area). With the main channel 10 transmitter located on Saltspring Island and rebroadcasters located in Courtenay and Whistler, CKVU became more widely available over the air in southwest British Columbia and in some parts of northern Seattle and northwest Washington.
Canwest announced on December 6, 1985 that it had bought controlling interest in CKVU, pending approval from the CRTC. Western Approaches disputed the acquisition and tried to block the sale in court, leading to a dispute between Western Approaches, Allarcom and Canwest over the legal ownership of CKVU which lasted until the Supreme Court of British Columbia ordered the sale of Western Approaches' ownership stake in the station to Canwest on June 19, 1987. Following regulatory approval and the settlement of further legal issues, Canwest gained full ownership and control of CKVU on July 13, 1988. Later that year, CKVU received the new on-air branding of U.TV, and in 1990, it formed the Canwest Global System with Canwest's stations in Regina (CFRE-TV), Saskatoon (CFSK-TV) and Winnipeg (CKND-TV) and Global TV in southern Ontario for program-sharing purposes. On August 18, 1997, Global TV went national as all of Canwest's independent stations outside Ontario (including CKVU) dropped their local branding in favor of the generic Global brand from Toronto flagship station CIII-TV, making Global the first Canadian network to utilize generic network branding for all of its owned-and-operated stations (a trend later picked up by CTV, CBC Television and Citytv).
When Canwest acquired the broadcast TV interests of Western International Communications (WIC) in 2000, it was required by the CRTC to divest itself of CKVU in order to obtain WIC stations and CTV affiliates CHAN-TV Vancouver and CHEK-TV Victoria, which Canwest had wanted in order to increase its reach in British Columbia due to CHAN's vast provincial network of retransmitters. As a result, CKVU was placed in an ownership trust, CKVU Sub Inc., while Canwest sought a buyer for the station. On July 26, 2001, CHUM Limited, by then the owner of CITY-TV Toronto, applied to purchase CKVU Sub Inc. When CHAN's affiliation with CTV expired on September 1, 2001, the Global affiliation and its programming moved over to CHAN while CTV-owned Vancouver independent station CIVT-TV became the city's new CTV O&O and CKVU again became independent (with programming supplied by CHUM) and reintroduced its call sign branding, this time modified as ckvu13. Sports Page, CKVU's long-running late-night sports highlight show, moved over to CHEK (which became part of new Canwest-owned system CH on September 1) with the affiliation switch beginning on September 2.
On October 15, 2001, the CRTC granted approval to CHUM Limited to purchase CKVU, making it the sister station to CHUM's Victoria NewNet affiliate CIVI-TV. On July 22, 2002 at 6:00 a.m., CKVU became part of the new Citytv system as it adopted the branding of the system's Toronto flagship. That same day as part of its relaunch, the station debuted its version of CITY-TV morning program Breakfast Television. In July 2006, Bell Globemedia (later CTVglobemedia, forerunner of Bell Media) announced its acquisition of the assets of CHUM Limited (including CKVU and the other Citytv stations), which was approved by the CRTC on June 8, 2007 with the condition that CTVgm sell the Citytv stations (including CKVU) to another buyer, as all of the Citytv stations were located in the same cities as existing CTV O&Os. Rogers Communications subsequently announced its purchase of Citytv, which was approved by the CRTC on September 28, 2007 and was finalized one month later, on October 31.
On March 31, 2008, CKVU gained a new sister station when the CRTC approved Rogers' acquisition of multicultural station CHNM-TV from former owner Multivan Broadcast LP. On October 25, 2008, CKVU's channel 5 analog retransmitter near Courtenay, CKVU-TV-1, was destroyed by a fire at the transmitter site, knocking the transmitter's signal off the air. The CKVU-TV-1 retransmitter has remained off-air since then, as Rogers has not made a decision to date on whether to rebuild the transmitter or simply remove it from the station's licence entirely. CKVU signed its digital signal, CKVU-DT, on the air at channel 47 on March 2, 2010, and CHNM relocated its operations into CKVU's facilities at 180 West 2nd Avenue (where CKVU has operated since its 1976 sign-on) on September 7. On August 31, 2011, CKVU shut down its channel 10 analog signal while moving its digital signal to channel 33, and also added a digital retransmitter in Victoria (CKVU-DT-2) on channel 27, as part of the transition of Canadian television broadcasting from analog to digital.
Current Prime-Time Schedule
Note: Schedule is subject to change due to special programming.