|CTV Two Alberta|
|Launched||June 30, 1973|
Former affiliations: Independent (1973–2011) (see below)
|Owned by||Bell Media
(Learning and Skills Television of Alberta Limited)
|Formerly called||Access (1979–2011)|
|Sister channel(s)||CFRN-DT, CFCN-DT|
|Website||CTV Two Alberta|
|Bell TV||Channel 267|
|Shaw Direct||Channel 351/23|
|Shaw Exo TV||Channel 13/212 (SD/HD - Calgary)
Channel 9/212 (SD/HD - Edmonton)
|Available on most Albertan cable systems||Check local listings, channels may vary|
|Telus Optik TV||Channel 13 (Calgary)
Channel 9 (Edmonton)
|City of license||CJAL: Edmonton, Alberta
CIAN: Calgary, Alberta
CJAL: 9 (VHF)
CIAN: 13 (VHF)
|First air date||Cable: June 30, 1973
CIAN: January 9, 1984
CJAL: December 1, 1986
|Last air date||August 31, 2011 (transmitters terminated)|
|Call letters' meaning||CJAL: ALberta
CIAN: Access Network
|Sister station(s)||CFRN-TV, CFCN-TV|
|Former affiliations||Independent (1973-2011)|
|Transmitter power||CJAL: 15 kW
CIAN: 9.9 kW
|Height||CJAL: 168.1 m
CIAN: 246.3 m
CTV Two Alberta (formerly Access) is a Canadian English language entertainment, information, and educational television channel in the province of Alberta. It is owned by Bell Media as part of its secondary CTV Two television system.
The channel is licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as an educational programming service for the province of Alberta, and was formerly a public broadcaster owned by the Alberta government. Since becoming a private broadcaster, it has aired a mix of educational programming along with entertainment programming more favourable to advertisers and viewers.
The channel is also designated as a "satellite-to-cable undertaking" serving the whole of Alberta, and is therefore carried throughout the province on cable and licensed IPTV services on each service's basic tier. It is also available on both national satellite services, Bell TV and Shaw Direct. In addition, the station formerly operated two terrestrial transmitters, CJAL-TV (channel 9) in Edmonton, where the channel's main studios are located, and CIAN-TV (channel 13) in Calgary.
The channel was launched on June 30, 1973 as Access by the Alberta government through the Alberta Educational Communications Corporation (AECC) alongside CKUA Radio. Prior to this point, English-language educational programs aired on Radio-Canada's television station CBXFT in Edmonton. At its launch, Access was only available through cable, and did not broadcast over-the-air.
On January 9, 1984, AECC was granted a licence from the CRTC for a television station in Calgary (CIAN) and on December 1, 1986, AECC was granted another licence for a television station in Edmonton (CJAL) to rebroadcast the programs from CIAN. Both stations rebroadcast the Access feed.
After re-evaluating all provincial funding recipients, the Government of Alberta announced in 1993 that it would cease to directly fund Access past 1994. As a result, in 1995, Access was privatized and sold to Learning and Skills Television of Alberta Limited (LSTA), which is 60% owned by CHUM Limited. In February 2005, CHUM Limited acquired the remaining 40% interest in LSTA (and renamed it Access Media Group), giving the company 100% of its shares, including its ownership in Access.
On July 12, 2006, CTVglobemedia (CTVgm) announced that it would make a friendly takeover bid to buy CHUM Limited. Due to CTVgm's plans to keep CTV and Citytv, Rogers Communications was expected to purchase Access (along with CHUM's A-Channel stations, CKX-TV in Brandon, Canadian Learning Television and SexTV: The Channel) as announced on April 9, 2007, pending CRTC approval (and approval of CTVgm's purchase).
With the CRTC electing to force CTV to sell the Citytv stations instead, the Rogers deal was rendered void. As such, CTVgm retained Access along with the A-Channel stations, CKX-TV and all of CHUM's specialty channels, and sold the Citytv stations to Rogers. The takeover transaction was finalized on June 22, 2007. The A-Channel stations were rebranded as "A" on August 11, 2008; on the same date, Access debuted a new A-styled logo and began airing programming from "A" during certain primetime hours.
As part of Canada's transition to digital terrestrial television, broadcast television stations in Calgary and Edmonton were required to convert to digital broadcasting or sign off completely by August 31, 2011. Prior to this deadline, the station had in place an analog over-the-air television transmitter in each of those two markets. The station did not have any other over-the-air transmitters.
As the channel is licensed as a satellite-to-cable undertaking, it is not required to offer over-the-air transmitters. Due to this, the costs of converting the two Access transmitters in Calgary and Edmonton to digital, and because the network already must be carried by cable and IPTV providers in the area as the province's designated educational broadcaster, CTV Two shut down its over-the-air television transmitters on August 31, 2011.
CTV Two Alberta airs a variety of educational and informative programs along with entertainment programs all of which include children's programs, documentaries, feature films, talk shows, dramas, comedies and more. Since August 2008, CTV Two Alberta (known then as Access) has aired programming from Bell's secondary television system A (and additionally modified its branding to more closely resemble A's), while maintaining its educational mandate.
Specifically regarding its edcational programming, the channel produces, promotes, and delivers television-based multimedia learning opportunities to learners of all ages, in partnership with Alberta Learning, educational institutions, and educators. Many of the programs, including all of the dramas, are connected to and promote formal courses of study offered by the province's universities and colleges or the formal learning objectives of Alberta Learning.
The above programming includes primetime series from CTV Two, as well as syndicated shows, much of which must be related to some sort of educational aim. For example, in fall 2008, Access broadcast Mad Men and Pushing Daisies, tied to an English course at Mount Royal University titled "Reading the Popular", as well as Fringe as part of Lethbridge Community College's "Basic Television Production" course.
Starting March 9, 2009, Access began airing a province-wide news and current affairs magazine program called Alberta Primetime, from the CTV/Access studios in Edmonton. Resources from CTV's owned-and-operated stations in Edmonton (CFRN-TV) and Calgary (CFCN-TV) will be used to produce the program.
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