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TVOntario transmitters decommissioned in Belleville

By Stelios Pappas [1]

BELLEVILLE – TVO [2] is shutting down its over-the-air transmitters in most Ontario cites – except in Toronto.

As of July 31, transmitters in Belleville, Ottawa, Chatham, Cloyne, Kitchener, London, Thunder Bay and Windsor will cease operations. An article in the Ottawa Citizen [3] quoted TVO as saying that around 136,000 people will be affected by the towers shutting off.

Anyone who receives TVO through cable, satellite dish or the Internet will not be affected.

Belleville resident Arvin Kumard told QNet News that when he was growing up, informative television was important to his family, which had immigrated from Pakistan when he was 10. He had to learn English from school and TV.

“Our first experiences with the English language were all on television, and my father had gotten us TVO on a whim. I loved the shows, and would repeat what my favourite characters would say on those shows, such as The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon.”

But the removal of the over-the-air service won’t affect him, he said.

“I don’t think it is a big deal because all their shows are going to be online still.”

This is TVO getting with the era of online media, he said: “To me it’s just going with the times. You have so many things like Netflix and streaming– you can binge shows all you want as much as you want.”

Netflix [4] has over 90 million subscribers as of this month, according to an article in Business Insider [5] .

Belleville construction worker Scott Luffet had never heard of TVO before reading about the transmitte shutting down on Belleville’s Reddit page.

“To me Canada’s TV stations are Global and the CBC. Most of the shows we watch are from the States anyway,” Luffet said.

His son watches TVO shows like George Shrinks and Arthur, he said.

“When I heard about TVO stopping service, I thought I should check out their stuff online. And you know what? I really enjoyed it. They have such interesting material on their site, like documentaries.”

TVO will be saving $1 million annually by shutting down the eight towers. The jobs of seven transmitter maintenance workers will be eliminated.

The network, which has been on air since 1970, is Canada’s oldest educational broadcaster.

By keeping a Toronto tower, TVO will be able to keep its Canadian Radio-telecommunications Commission license and minimize distribution costs, it says.

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