(WINDSOR, ON) – Windsor and Chatham, along with six other Ontario cities, will continue receiving TV Ontario signals without the need for a cable connection. The Ontario government-funded broadcaster, of largely educational content, had planned to save money by shutting off its transmitters serving Ottawa, Belleville, Thunder Bay, Chatham, Cloyne, Kitchener, London, and Windsor.
However, based on feedback from these communities, from loyal viewers, donors, and others, the broadcaster caused the Ontario government, its major funder, to change its mind and curtail any plans to decommission the communities’ transmitters.
TVO had estimated turning them off would provide it with annual savings of $1 million, money it needs to meet its current financial targets. The Ontario government has agreed to cover the savings lost by keeping the transmitters on.
“We listened to the concerns of people who rely on over-the-air transmission to enjoy TVO programming and we consulted with our primary funding partner, the Government of Ontario, about the concerns we heard,” said TVO Chief Executive Officer Lisa de Wilde. “That resulted in the government’s decision to flow an additional $1 million to TVO to ensure we can continue to operate the transmitters, while still meeting our commitments to strategic priorities of digital learning and high-quality current-affairs journalism.”
The process of threatening the shut-down of the eight transmitters and the feedback was enough to convince the government the broadcaster had value.
“Ontarians value TVO’s dynamic educational programming,” said Education Minister Mitzie Hunter. “TVO will continue to be accessible over-the-air in these communities.”