Videotron has announced it will shutter its MAtv community channel in Montreal next summer.
The Quebecor subsidiary said in an announcement Wednesday afternoon that it would be closing the channel “against a backdrop of fierce media competition and major financial challenges for the entire television industry.”
MAtv will continue to broadcast outside Montreal, maintaining its operations in the rest of Québec, including Bas-Saint-Laurent, Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Granby, Outaouais, Québec City, Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Sherbrooke and Sorel-Tracy.
Quebecor said the closure of MAtv Montréal will result in the elimination of the equivalent of five full-time positions, with three other jobs eliminated at its other stations.
Until its closure in summer 2024, the Montreal channel will broadcast programming already produced over the last few months. Quebecor said it will continue meeting its regulatory obligations, by consolidating spending on local news.
“Our steadfast support for MAtv over the years demonstrates our commitment to community TV in Québec’s regions,” said Pierre Karl Péladeau, President and CEO of Quebecor. “However, media outlets are operating in a precarious competitive environment and financial resources must be consolidated to protect the long-term viability of our business. We have made this decision on MAtv Montréal in order to support the local news programs produced by our over-the-air TVA channel for the benefit of the public. I would like to thank all the contributors to MAtv Montréal, which has been an important meeting place for the Montreal community and a springboard for many talented artists who are now known across Quebec.”
Broadcast on channel 9 (Helix and illico) and channel 609 in HD (illico), MAtv is also available via video on demand and online at MAtv.ca. The channel’s origins date back to the late 1970s as one of the province’s first community television stations, CF Cable Today, under founding owner Cablevision Nationale. Following the company’s acquisition by Videotron in 1980, Télé communautaire went through various incarnations, rebranding as MAtv in 2012. The channel, controversially, began to carry some English-language programming in 2015 to better reflect Montreal’s Anglophone population.
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