Ici Radio-Canada Télé
Ici Radio-Canada Télé (previously Télévision de Radio-Canada or Radio-Canada Télévision until September 8, 2013; more commonly known simply as Radio-Canada) is the French language broadcast television network run by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It is the French-language counterpart to co-owned CBC Television.
Until 2012, Radio-Canada was the only francophone television network to broadcast over-the-air in all provinces of Canada (another French-language network, TVA, is available via cable, satellite and IPTV across Canada, but broadcasts over-the-air only in Quebec), but it has since shut down its analogue rebroadcasters in all provinces (including those in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador) and now relies on cable, satellite and IPTV to transmit its signals outside of originating centres. It airs mostly Canadian content (most of which is produced in Quebec) with a few French-dubbed off-network American shows and movies. All shows airing on Radio-Canada are closed captioned.
Radio-Canada is time shifted for each Canadian time zone, except the Atlantic and Newfoundland time zones which receive the Eastern feed instead, thereby airing one hour later in the Atlantic Time zone (comprising New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, most of the Labrador part of Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec's Magdalen Islands and the Côte-Nord region east of the 63rd meridian), and ninety minutes later in the Newfoundland Time zone (comprising the island of Newfoundland and a southeastern portion of Labrador).
After introducing a 15-year plan in 1947 for developing television in Canada, the CBC launched Télévision de Radio-Canada on September 6, 1952 with their first station, CBFT in Montreal, Quebec, which then aired a bilingual schedule of French programs from Radio-Canada and English programs from CBC Television.
The CBC, as both the state-owned broadcaster and broadcasting regulator in Canada at the time, was at first unwilling to allow privately-owned television stations on the air. Due to not having enough funding then to put more of its own stations on the air across the country, however, the Corporation decided to licence private TV stations to go on the air in cities not already served by a Radio-Canada station, under the condition that those stations affiliate with Radio-Canada and carry at least a minimum amount of 40 hours per week of Radio-Canada programming on their schedules. The first such station to sign on was CFCM-TV in Quebec City, Quebec, which began operations on July 17, 1954. CBFT went French-only on January 10, 1954 with the launch in Montreal of the English-language CBMT. The first Radio-Canada-owned station outside of Quebec, CBOFT in Ottawa, Ontario, launched on June 24, 1955. In 1958, live Radio-Canada programming on all Radio-Canada stations became a reality with the establishment of a coast-to-coast microwave network. On December 21, 1959, CBAFT went on the air in Moncton, New Brunswick to serve the Maritimes' French-speaking Acadian population. On April 24, 1960, the first Radio-Canada station in western Canada, CBWFT in Winnipeg, Manitoba, signed on.
The CBC's dual role as broadcaster and regulator ended in 1958 with the establishment of the Board of Broadcast Governors as the new Canadian broadcasting regulator, which soon paved the way for the end of the CBC's monopoly on Canadian television when, in 1960, the BBG began inviting applications for second TV stations in Canada's major cities, which would operate independently of CBC Television and Radio-Canada. The first independent French-language station went on the air on February 19, 1961 when CFTM-TV signed on in Montreal, later joined by CJPM-TV in Chicoutimi (now part of Saguenay), Quebec on April 14, 1963. The two independent stations soon established a program-sharing agreement later in 1963 and were joined in 1964 by newly-independent CFCM (which had been replaced by CBVT as the Quebec City Radio-Canada station upon its launch that year), which eventually led to the formation of private commercial network TVA on September 12, 1971.
After TVA's launch, privately-owned TV stations which had previously been Radio-Canada affiliates began to disaffiliate from the network, with those stations joining TVA as that network's local affiliates. When those stations left Radio-Canada, the CBC would establish its own stations in major cities in Quebec, or set up rebroadcasting transmitters of the nearest owned-and-operated (O&O) station in smaller cities and towns, or privately-owned Radio-Canada affiliates would likewise set up a retransmitter in smaller cities, to continue Radio-Canada service in those cities. In some cases, the CBC would purchase a privately-owned affiliate and turn it into a Radio-Canada O&O station with a new CB_T call sign (with the third letter representing the city or region the station is in), which is the standard for CBC O&Os (or in the case of Radio-Canada O&O stations outside of Quebec, the call sign CB_FT was used). Color television was introduced in Canada in September 1966, and Radio-Canada heralded its arrival with the introduction of a multicolored butterfly logo, which was used at the beginning of programs broadcast in color (similar to the use of the American NBC network's peacock logo).
In 1970, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (which succeeded the BBG in 1968) issued a network licence to Radio-Canada for the first time. On March 1 that year, CBXFT was signed on in Edmonton, Alberta, time-sharing between programs from Radio-Canada and English-language educational programming from the Metropolitan Edmonton Educational TV Association for its first three years until the launch of the Access Alberta educational network by the Alberta government in 1973. Satellite transmission of Radio-Canada began in 1972 with the launch of the Anik A1 communications satellite. In 1973, all main operations for Radio-Canada were moved over to the new Maison Radio-Canada in downtown Montreal. That same year, CBLFT began operations in Toronto, Ontario on March 23. With the transition of all programming on Radio-Canada to full color in 1974, a new CBC logo (nicknamed "the gem") was introduced on Radio-Canada in December that year, with a letter C in the middle to stand for Canada, and radiating parts of the C to symbolize broadcasting. In 1976, Radio-Canada added three more stations with the openings of CBEFT in Windsor, Ontario on July 16 and CBUFT in Vancouver, British Columbia and CBKFT in Regina, Saskatchewan, both on September 27. Radio-Canada and CBC Television were the host broadcasters for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, and for the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.CHOT-TV went on the air on October 30, 1978, In 1981, Radio-Canada introduced closed captioning for the hearing-impaired on Canadian television. It was the host broadcaster for the 1984 Canadian visit of Pope John Paul II. Radio-Canada, along with CBC Television, underwent an on-air identity reimaging on January 1, 1986 with the introduction of new network IDs featuring a translucent CBC logo against different background colors which corresponded to the time of day. On December 5, 1990, the CBC ended the local operations of its Quebec stations CJBR-TV Rimouski, CBGAT Matane and CBST Sept-Îles due to budget cuts and turned all three into retransmitters of CBVT. Another round of budget cuts in 1991 resulted in CBLFT and CBEFT becoming rebroadcasters of CBOFT. The CBC logo was modified into its present form and introduced on Radio-Canada in November 1992 as part of a new identification program. The network played host to the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, British Columbia, and in 1995, the CBC began establishing an Internet presence with its websites CBC.ca and Radio-Canada.ca.
In 2002, Radio-Canada and sister network CBC Television celebrated the 50th anniversary of the launch of Canadian television, and the long-running La Soirée du hockey (the French-language counterpart of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada) also celebrated 50 years of its Saturday night broadcasts on Radio-Canada, but ended with the former's cancellation in April 2004. Digital broadcasting of Radio-Canada began with the launch of CBFT-DT on March 22, 2005, followed by CBVT-DT in Quebec City later that year. In 2008, the CBC purchased three privately-owned Radio-Canada affiliates in Quebec (CKTV-TV in Saguenay, CKSH-TV in Sherbrooke and CKTM-TV in Trois-Rivières) and turned them into Radio-Canada owned-and-operated stations. On March 19, 2010, the CRTC authorized Radio-Canada to resume the operations of CJBR as an originating station, with CBGAT and CBST as its retransmitters. On April 28, 2010, CBLFT resumed operations as an originating station, with CBEFT becoming its retransmitter.
On April 4, 2012, the CBC announced that, as part of its latest budget-cutting strategy, it would be shutting down all of its 620 analogue CBC Television and Radio-Canada transmitters on July 31, 2012, with no plans to replace them with digital transmitters. As a result, the number of CBC-owned TV transmitters, all digital, was cut to 27 on the day of the analogue transmitter shutdown, and Radio-Canada now relies mainly on cable, satellite and IPTV to distribute its signals outside of its main markets. On March 25, 2018, Radio-Canada affiliate CKRN-DT in Rouyn-Noranda was shut down by station owner RNC Media due to that company's decision to concentrate on running its other two stations in that city, TVA affiliate CFEM-DT and V (now Noovo) affiliate CFVS-DT. The closure of CKRN left CKRT-DT in Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec as the last privately-owned Radio-Canada affiliate. In April 2021, CKRT owner Télé Inter-Rives announced that the CBC would not be renewing the station's Radio-Canada affiliation after its expiry on August 31, 2021; as Télé Inter-Rives already has stations affiliated with the two private French-language networks (TVA affiliate CIMT-DT and Noovo affiliate CFTF-DT) in Rivière-du-Loup, CKRT signed off permanently on August 31 as it had no other alternate programming sources available, now leaving Radio-Canada with only its O&O stations to carry its programming.
Radio-Canada affiliates (including city of licence and date of first sign-on)
|Station||City||First sign-on date||Notes|
|CBXFT-DT||Edmonton, Alberta||March 1, 1970||Formerly aired English-language educational programming from the Metropolitan Edmonton Educational Television Association in the daytime hours until 1973|
|CBAFT-DT||Moncton, New Brunswick||December 21, 1959|
|CBFT-DT||Montreal, Quebec||September 6, 1952||Originally a bilingual station with a combined CBC/Radio-Canada schedule until CBMT signed on in 1954; flagship station of Radio-Canada|
|CBOFT-DT||Ottawa, Ontario||June 24, 1955||Carried a secondary affiliation with French-language private network TVA from 1977 to 1978|
|CBVT-DT||Quebec City, Quebec||September 3, 1964|
|CBKFT-DT||Regina/Saskatoon, Saskatchewan||November 8, 1976||Originally a rebroadcaster of CBWFT in Winnipeg; became autonomous in 1985|
|CJBR-DT||Rimouski, Quebec||November 21, 1954||Semi-satellite of CBVT; formerly a privately-owned affiliate until purchased by Radio-Canada in 1977|
|CKTV-DT||Saguenay, Quebec||December 1, 1955||Formerly a privately-owned affiliate until purchased by Radio-Canada in 2008|
|CKSH-DT||Sherbrooke, Quebec||September 19, 1974||Formerly a privately-owned affiliate until purchased by Radio-Canada in 2008|
|CKTM-DT||Trois-Rivières, Quebec||April 15, 1958||Formerly a privately-owned affiliate until purchased by Radio-Canada in 2008|
|CBLFT-DT||Toronto, Ontario||March 23, 1973|
|CBUFT-DT||Vancouver, British Columbia||September 27, 1976|
|CBWFT-DT||Winnipeg, Manitoba||April 24, 1960|