TVO announced that it would decommission 8 over-the-air transmitters generating $1 million in ongoing annual savings. TVO will retain one transmitter in Toronto for the purposes of the CRTC licence and to minimize distribution costs.
“This announcement reflects the reality of today’s media environment”, said Lisa de Wilde, Chief Executive Officer of TVO. “TVO has to make tough choices about where to allocate resources in order to move forward with the strategic priorities of digital learning and high-quality current-affairs journalism, as well as cover inflationary pressures. TVO’s audiences overwhelmingly receive our content through cable, direct-to-home satellite or online platforms.”
This approach of redirecting resources to strategic priorities builds on the previous decommissioning of 100 low power and 14 medium power analog transmitters in 2012 that were costly to maintain and, being analog, had reached the end of an era.
This decision impacts transmitters in Belleville, Chatham, Cloyne, Kitchener, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Windsor. TVO will cease transmitting from these locations on July 31, 2017.
This announcement does not impact Ontarians with basic cable or satellite subscriptions, or those living in the GTA who receive television over-the-air. Given the prevalent access to TVO’s high-quality educational video content either through a subscription to a cable or satellite service or through access to a broadband internet connection, this decision will impact less than 1% of Ontario households.
This announcement also means that 7 Transmitter Maintenance positions will be eliminated.