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Rogers Media to buy Saskatchewan Communications

A customer's shadow casts on the sidewalk as he leaves a Rogers Plus store in the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Darren Calabrese/Darren Calabrese/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Rogers Media Inc. said Tuesday it would buy Saskatchewan Communications Network, the province's educational broadcaster, and relaunch it as a Citytv station based in Regina.

The division of cellphone and media giant Rogers Communications didn't disclose a price for the transaction.

In 2010, Ontario-based Bluepoint Investments' paid $700,000 for SCN's assets, a move that kept it on the air after the Saskatchewan government announced it was cutting funding and closing the operations. The station's learning services were transferred to SaskTel.

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Rogers said the acquisition expands Citytv's national footprint with added local content and supports SCN's historical role offering educational programming.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval which is expected in the spring.

Early in the new year, SCN began to air Citytv programming between 3 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.

Rogers said it will maintain all of SCN's educational broadcast obligations and continue to air commercial-free educational content between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m.

"Acquiring SCN was motivated by our desire to expand our national reach for Citytv content, allowing us to more effectively compete with other national broadcasters," stated Scott Moore, president broadcast for Rogers Media.

The company added that a tangible benefit package will be directed exclusively to independent producers in the prairie province. It will also invest in production upgrades, including a high definition signal.

Rogers Media operates 55 radio stations, five Citytv stations, five OMNI multicultural stations, Sportsnet and the Shopping Channel. It also publishes magazines including Maclean's, Chatelaine and L'Actualite.

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