Wednesday, February 09, 2005

ACCESS-The Privatization of Educational TV in Alberta

ACCESS - The Education Station

ACCESS is Alberta’s provincial educational television broadcasting service, the only privately owned and operated provincial educational television service in Canada. Entertaining, informative and educational programs make up a competitive broadcast schedule that includes programs for children, movies and dramatic series, quiz shows, documentaries and talk shows.

ACCESS’s mandate is to produce, promote and deliver television-based multi media learning opportunities, products and services to learners of all ages, and do this in partnership with the provincial Ministry of education, Alberta Learning, and with Alberta educational institutions and educators. Many of the programs, including all the dramas, are connected to and promote formal courses of study offered by the province’s universities and colleges or the formal lifelong learning objectives of Alberta Learning. In addition, ACCESS operates a media resource centre that distributes curriculum-related video to Alberta schools and is increasingly developing and distributing online learning materials.

ACCESS has public service objectives similar to the public sector provincial educational broadcasters in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec, but achieves those objectives through a business model based on service contracts with Alberta Learning, commercial advertising and sponsorship, and other business revenues.

In 1994, the principals of Learning and Skills Television of Alberta acquired the provincial educational television service, Access Network, from the Alberta government. Licensed by the CRTC in 1995 and launched that fall, the new ACCESS The Education Station reaches approximately 95% of the population of Alberta, via VHF transmitters in Edmonton and Calgary, satellite to cable and direct-to-home satellite. In addition, it reaches direct-to-home satellite subscribers in all parts of Canada.

The new ACCESS introduced a new style and flair to educational television and technology-based learning, with gratifying results. Our educational partners are enthusiastic in their support of this unique private-public partnership, and work with us closely in developing plans for the future. Audience and customer satisfaction surveys consistently show very positive reactions from audiences, users and educational partners. Nearly 60% of Albertans watch ACCESS on a regular basis and 87% of those feel that ACCESS provides programming that is educational and entertaining. 100% of our educational partners rate ACCESS’s services as excellent or good and 94% report that ACCESS conveys a positive attitude and is focused on achieving educational results. A Learner Satisfaction Survey conducted in 2002 reported that 99% of respondents found ACCESS’s resources as being excellent or good.

ACCESS was awarded a new seven year broadcasting licence by the CRTC in 2003, from September 1 to August 31, 2010.


Learning and Skills Television of Alberta (LTA) is incorporated in the fall of 1994 to purchase Alberta’s privatized public sector educational broadcaster, ACCESS Network. LTA is majority-owned by CHUM Limited (60%).


ACCESS - The Education Station (formerly ACCESS Network) re-launches on September 1, 1995, with a commitment to market, promote and deliver television-based learning opportunities in partnership with other stakeholders in the educational community.


- April 12, 2004, CHUM announces the purchase of Craig Media Inc., which includes the three "A Channel" conventional television stations in Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg; CKX, a CBC-affiliate station in Brandon; the newly launched Toronto1 station in Toronto; and the MTV, MTV2 and TV Land digital specialty television channels, subject to CRTC and other approvals.

August 20, 2004, CHUM announces it has entered into a definitive agreement with TVA Group Inc. and Sun Media Corporation, both subsidiaries of Quebecor Media Inc., for the sale of Toronto television station, Toronto 1. CHUM Limited committed to the divestiture of Toronto 1 as part of its purchase of Craig Media Inc. The sale is subject to CRTC and other approvals

- November 19, 2004, CHUM receives CRTC approval for its purchase of all the shares of Craig Media Inc. and the subsequent sale of Toronto 1 to TVA Group Inc. and Sun Media Corporation.

- December 1, 2004, CHUM completes its purchase of Craig Media Inc. and its divestiture of Toronto 1 via sale of the station to TVA Group Inc. and Sun Media Corporation. The deal makes CHUM the new owner of A-Channel Calgary, A-Channel Edmonton, A-Channel Manitoba, CKX Television (Brandon), MTV Canada, MTV2, and TV Land.


- a television & multi media learning company -

ACCESS MEDIA GROUP is a television broadcasting and multi media learning company based in Edmonton, Alberta, that operates four television broadcasting services, television program and multi media production facilities, a multi media distribution company, and a school for continuing education and personal growth, all of which entertain, inform and educate.

ACCESS MEDIA GROUP provides and promotes lively and entertaining lifelong learning opportunities to Canadians in partnership with Canadian public and private sector agencies, institutions and organizations.

ACCESS MEDIA GROUP is the brand name for Learning and Skills Television of Alberta Limited (LTA), an Alberta Corporation established in 1994 to purchase and privatize the province’s educational television broadcasting service. LTA is the designated educational broadcasting Authority for Alberta for the purposes of Canada’s Broadcasting Act. The Corporation owns ACCESS, Alberta’s provincial educational broadcasting service, Canadian Learning Television, Canada’s national educational television specialty service, BookTelevision and CourtTV Canada, two new national digital television specialty services, The Learning Annex, a school for continuing education and personal growth, and Distribution Access, a multi media distribution company. LTA also has three licenses for new digital television channels, Academy, Careers TV and The Crime Channel which have not yet been launched. In addition, LTA, now using its brand name ACCESS MEDIA GROUP, presents an annual conference in Toronto, ideaCity, which is described as "the Mecca for lateral thinking."

LTA/ACCESS MEDIA GROUP, is majority owned by CHUM Limited, one of Canada’s premier media companies and content providers. The President and Chief Executive Officer is Dr. Ron Keast, with over 40 years experience in Canadian broadcasting and education. The Chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive producer is Moses Znaimer, former President and Executive Producer of Citytv in Toronto and CHUM’s conventional and specialty television services.

CHUM Television Overview

12 Local Independent Television Stations

21 Branded Specialty Channels

Each of our television stations telecasts the flavour of the community it serves: the serious commentary, the passionate oration, the opinion, the celebrations, the unpredictability. This is the essence of CHUM's open, inclusive, accessible style of broadcasting.

CHUM's local television stations include Citytv (Toronto), Citytv (Vancouver), The New VR (Barrie), The New RO (Ottawa and the National Capital Region), The New PL (London), The New NX (Wingham), The New WI (Windsor), The New VI (Victoria and Vancouver Island), A-Channel (Calgary), A-Channel (Edmonton), A-Channel (Manitoba) and CKX Television (Brandon).

Specialty analogue services include MuchMusic, MuchMoreMusic, MusiquePlus (50%), MusiMax (50%), Bravo!, Alberta's ACCESS* (60%), Edmonton based CLT* (60%), CablePulse24 (70.1%), SPACE: The Imagination Station and Star!.

Specialty digital channels include FashionTelevisionChannel, BookTelevision: The Channel* (60%), CourtTV Canada (60%), Drive-In Classics, SexTV: The Channel, MuchLoud, MuchMoreRetro, MuchVibe, MTV Canada, MTV2 and TV Land.

*access media group owns and operates education services ACCESS and CLT, in addition to newly launched digital channels BookTelevision: The Channel and CourtTV Canada. LTA is majority-owned by CHUM Limited."