CICT-TV signed on October 8 1954 as CHCT, an affiliate of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), and the first television station in Alberta. The studios, offices and antenna were located on a hill seven miles west of the city. The station’s owners, Calgary Television Ltd., were a consortium of the three Calgary radio stations CFCN, CFAC and CKXL. The CT in CHCT stood for Calgary Television.
During the construction of the transmitter, the 70 foot, 5 ton antenna was being hoisted on the top of the 600 foot tower when the cable snapped and the antenna fell all the way down the tower to imbed itself 15 feet in the ground. Fortunately no one was injured, and the antenna was able to be repaired, but the station’s launch was delayed by 10 days.
A year later, CHCT moved its studios and offices from the transmitter site on Old Banff Coach Road, to a renovated badminton club/sea cadet drill hall on 955 Rideau Road S.W. Calgary.
Notable productions at the original studio include:
In 1957, CKXL Ltd. sold its share in Calgary Television Ltd., to Fredrick Shaw, who had recently sold his share in CKXL-AM to Tel-Ray Ltd. Just over a decade later, CHCT was purchased by Selkirk Broadcasting, and the station’s call sign was changed to CFAC-TV, linking it to co-owned CFAC-AM.
On September 1, 1975, CFAC-TV disaffiliated from the network, becoming independent. This led to the CBC launching its own station, CBRT. In 1979, the station branded itself as Channel 2&7, referring to its cable location. For a number of years afterwards, it continued to use the old CFAC "star" logo alongside the 2&7 logo.
1981 saw the station move to its new home, the Calgary Television Center, a move reflecting its growth since its disaffiliation from the CBC. After obtaining the television rights to the Calgary Flames National Hockey League franchise the year before, the station purchased a seven camera mobile soon after. The station has been the Flames’ television partner since 1980.
In 1989, Maclean Hunter Ltd. purchased Selkirk Communications, but due to ownership regulations at the time (Maclean-Hunter already owned CFCN-TV), CFAC-TV was sold to Western International Communications (WIC).
In March 1990, CFAC-TV was again given a new call sign, this time CKKX-TV. In 1992, CKKX’s news operations were expanded with the acquisitions of a satellite uplink truck and a fleet of electronic news gathering microwave trucks.
The Griffiths family holdings in WIC were sold to Shaw Communications Inc. and Canwest in 1998. This move required Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approval, the plans for which were filed in 1999 and approved in 2000. The assets were split between Canwest, Shaw and its radio offshoot Corus Entertainment.
On September 4, 2000, CICT joined the Global Television Network, along with fellow Alberta stations CITV-TV and CISA. By 2001, CICT-TV began relays in Drumheller (CICT-TV-1) and Banff (CICT-TV-2). The station had been airing some Global shows since 1988.
On April 11, 2007, the station became the first in Calgary with a news helicopter. Named Global 1, it provides traffic reports on the Morning News in combination with studio traffic segments. It is also intended to provide breaking news coverage. The helicopter is also shared with AM 770 CHQR during the morning and afternoon rush hour.
Global Calgary airs 38 hours of local news a week.
|Station||City of licence||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates|
|CICT-TV-1||Drumheller||8 (VHF)||0.009 kW||NA|
|CICT-TV-2||Banff||13 (VHF)||0.009 kW||NA|