July 23, 1970: Cable TV comes to city
THIS DAY IN JOURNAL HISTORY
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission gave the go-ahead for cable television in Edmonton.
The city, however, lost its bid to set up a cable TV undertaking when the commission awarded three-year licences to QCTV Ltd., and Capital Cable Television Co. Ltd.
In granting the licences, the CRTC split the city in two, giving the western half to QCTV and the eastern half to Capital Cable.
Mayor Ivor Dent reacted angrily to the decision, saying the CRTC should be disbanded. “We went ahead with applications (for a cablevision licence) in good faith, and it’s obvious we were not dealt with in good faith,” Dent said.
“My annoyance is not that the city didn’t get the licence, but that the citizens didn’t get the chance to share in the profits of cablevision.”
Both James Shaw, president of Capital, and Ed Polanski, president of QCTV, said their systems would be operating within 18 months. They stressed that the length of time before the cable systems ccould be set up depended on negotiations with the city for use of telephone poles, and with Alberta Government Telephones, which would be awarded the rights to carry U.S. signals.
QCTV would bring in the CBS network and charge customers $6.50 a month. Capital would distribute a signal from the NBC station in Spokane and charge $5 per month.