CKNW seeks nested FM repeater in Vancouver

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CKNW seeks nested FM repeater in Vancouver

Postby radiofan » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:32 am

(CRTC) CKNW 980 SEEKS NESTED FM REPEATER IN VANCOUVER

Corus has applied for a nested FM repeater in downtown Vancouver to rebroadcast CKNW 980 New Westminster. The new station will operate on 99.7 with 1,940 watts (6,000 watts maximum ERP). Antenna height will be 75.4 metres (EHAAT) with the radiation pattern being directional. The antenna will be located on the roof of the south tower at Pacific Centre.

Corus states that this will allow CKNW to provide a reliable high quality signal on the FM band to listeners in downtown Vancouver who are no longer able to obtain satisfactory reception of the AM signal, whether in their homes, cars, on public transit or at their place of employment.

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Re: CKNW seeks nested FM repeater in Vancouver

Postby jon » Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:43 am

The timing of this application is undoubtedly related to last month's announcement that CKEE-FM Whistler is looking for a Vancouver repeater on 99.9 MHz.

Obviously, both cannot be approved for the frequencies they are asking for. Nothing is stopping the CRTC from approving both, but requiring one of the two to find a new frequency.

It will be difficult for the CRTC to turn down CKNW in this situation. Some of the previous Corus applications in other markets have involved high power FM repeaters, but this one falls in line with how the CBC has obtained nested FM repeaters in the past.

It is also worth mentioning that 99.7 is a clever choice by Corus, in the sense that Corus owns CFOX on 99.3, and would surely intervene against anyone else requesting a license only 0.4 MHz away. The CRTC and Industry Canada have looked favourably on "same company" applications for frequencies that close together in the same market, leaving it is up to the common owner to work out any interference issues.

Of course, approval would open the floodgates to applications by major market AM stations across the country.

In this case though, it seems more likely to invite Interventions suggesting that the AM transmitter be moved to Richmond or Delta, given how problematic its current location is. Although I hate the U.S. IBOC approach to HD Radio, this would be an ideal use of an HD channel on CFOX or CFMI. The only problem, of course, is that the only (99% of) HD Radios in Canada are in cars, and cars are not where the majority of the downtown listeners are. And, even then, there aren't very many HD-radio-equipped cars.
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Re: CKNW seeks nested FM repeater in Vancouver

Postby Alan A » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:16 am

Short of getting an approval for 99.7, why doesn't NW just relocate their transmitter to the AM 730 site in Delta and twin 980 and 730 like Bell did with 1410 and 1040?

Or has been suggested many times over the years on this board, just move NW to 730 and either move the all traffic format to 980 or sell the frequency.
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Re: CKNW seeks nested FM repeater in Vancouver

Postby skyvalleyradio » Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:48 pm

Nested repeater?? Outrageous & ridiculous. This is more like a new Class A signal. I could see applying for 100-200 watts on an UNPROTECTED frequency to serve downtown, but this?? What a complete waste of spectrum & as jon states, it could set a precedent that other AM broadcasters will jump at. If the AM signal is so challenged, why doesn't Bore-Us just get on with it - change the calls & format of either CFOX or CFMI & put CKNW on a full-powered FM? Sell or LMA 980 & 730. I can think of 3 third-language broadcasters that would have interest in these. I certainly hope the CRTC doesn't give Bore-Us ANOTHER license for Vancouver - they already have 4 signals. Although I have slight reservations about the objectives, I would much rather see deserving "indie station" CKEE receive a license for the north shore. If the CRTC is actually concerned about efficient spectrum utilization as they always rant about, they should insist AM 980 get moved to a new site with better city coverage- perhaps the old CISL site would work well for 980?? Purchase or lease the AM 600 site?? :sad3: Southwest BC already has plenty of overlapping over-use of frequencies by the CBC. Surely this repeater doesn't need to add more RF congestion to the overcrowded FM dial. :sad3:
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Re: CKNW seeks nested FM repeater in Vancouver

Postby radiofan » Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:07 pm

skyvalleyradio wrote:Nested repeater?? Outrageous & ridiculous. This is more like a new Class A signal. I could see applying for 100-200 watts on an UNPROTECTED frequency to serve downtown, but this?? What a complete waste of spectrum & as jon states, it could set a precedent that other AM broadcasters will jump at. If the AM signal is so challenged, why doesn't Bore-Us just get on with it - change the calls & format of either CFOX or CFMI & put CKNW on a full-powered FM? Sell or LMA 980 & 730. I can think of 3 third-language broadcasters that would have interest in these. I certainly hope the CRTC doesn't give Bore-Us ANOTHER license for Vancouver - they already have 4 signals. Although I have slight reservations about the objectives, I would much rather see deserving "indie station" CKEE receive a license for the north shore. If the CRTC is actually concerned about efficient spectrum utilization as they always rant about, they should insist AM 980 get moved to a new site with better city coverage- perhaps the old CISL site would work well for 980?? Purchase or lease the AM 600 site?? :sad3: Southwest BC already has plenty of overlapping over-use of frequencies by the CBC. Surely this repeater doesn't need to add more RF congestion to the overcrowded FM dial. :sad3:


The old CISL site isn't available. CISL has moved to the old 600 site on Westminster Hwy & Nelson.

As was mentioned earlier, CKNW should move either move down the dial to 730 or move NW's TX to the AM 730 site in North Delta and twin them.

The FM frequency shouldn't be an option when they already have two full power FMs in the market.
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Re: CKNW seeks nested FM repeater in Vancouver

Postby jon » Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:50 pm

Stepping back for a moment, I have to ask about the technical feasibility of putting a synchronized AM repeater in the downtown core. The concept is for a second transmitter to be used on the same frequency, but specially set up so that, should there be a mixing of signals with the main transmitter, the signals are in phase electronically, so they don't cancel each other out, as well as making sure the audio is identical to prevent an echo effect.

I'm only really familiar with their use on FM, where some of the major Los Angeles FM stations have repeater transmitters on the same frequency in Oceanside or some place like that, to serve San Diego.

From what I've been told, very low powered AM transmitters have, at one time or another, been used in B.C. Place for stations that carry that carry the play-by-play of the game currently being played in the stadium. I'm less clear on the history of use of slightly higher powered transmitters, in the 20 watt range, to cover areas where a station has a Null at night but is licensed for coverage. Both CISL and CBU talked about repeaters in White Rock, but, at least in CISL's case, it never actually happened. CJVB wanted a repeater in the Fraser Valley, but that was turned down, and it probably wasn't for the same frequency.
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Re: CKNW seeks nested FM repeater in Vancouver

Postby Mike Cleaver » Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:38 pm

This amounts to giving a corporation a third FM license in a market.
Better to take one of their loser FMs off the air and put the dead dog on it instead if they feel it's even necessary to carry on.
The co-siting with 730 would work but would be a huge expense.
Anyone see the bills for the co-sited sports stations?
Not worth it for the declining audience on one of the AMs and the non existent audience on the other.
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Re: CKNW seeks nested FM repeater in Vancouver

Postby Dave L » Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:24 pm

skyvalleyradio wrote:Nested repeater?? Outrageous & ridiculous. This is more like a new Class A signal. I could see applying for 100-200 watts on an UNPROTECTED frequency to serve downtown, but this?? What a complete waste of spectrum & as jon states, it could set a precedent that other AM broadcasters will jump at. If the AM signal is so challenged, why doesn't Bore-Us just get on with it - change the calls & format of either CFOX or CFMI & put CKNW on a full-powered FM? Sell or LMA 980 & 730. I can think of 3 third-language broadcasters that would have interest in these. I certainly hope the CRTC doesn't give Bore-Us ANOTHER license for Vancouver - they already have 4 signals. Although I have slight reservations about the objectives, I would much rather see deserving "indie station" CKEE receive a license for the north shore. If the CRTC is actually concerned about efficient spectrum utilization as they always rant about, they should insist AM 980 get moved to a new site with better city coverage- perhaps the old CISL site would work well for 980?? Purchase or lease the AM 600 site?? :sad3: Southwest BC already has plenty of overlapping over-use of frequencies by the CBC. Surely this repeater doesn't need to add more RF congestion to the overcrowded FM dial. :sad3:


I can't agree more. CORUS asking for more coverage to broadcast declining content is ludicrous. It's undoubtedly a pre-emptive strike against CKEE's north shore application. CORUS is not in a no-other-alternative situation yet this application systematically jeopardizes CKEE's only way in. As it stands, they've effectively put the economic squeeze on an indie who has clearly proven they can provide a service which has been woefully lacking in the lower mainland.

To uphold CORUS and deny CKEE would be tantamount to obsolescence of the CRTC and the monopolistic nature of corporate radio, at everyone else's expense and loss.
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Re: CKNW seeks nested FM repeater in Vancouver

Postby Bigbangboom » Fri Oct 31, 2014 6:54 pm

Not that I agree with the Corus application, but I don't really agree with the CKEE app either. In fact, I don't frankly agree with the CFUN rebroadcaster but hey - what's done is done.
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