The station first aired on December 1, 1955. It was originally owned by Radio Saguenay, with the callsign CKRS-TV, and joined Radio-Canada's microwave network on October 28, 1957. The station was acquired by Cogeco on November 24, 1998, and adopted its current callsign the following year, on March 26, 1999. Shortly thereafter, Cogeco acquired control of TQS, to which Cogeco contributed its existing local stations. Radio-Canada took editorial control of the station's news programming in 2002, although it currently shares a studio with former TQS sister station CFRS.
In September 2007, Radio-Canada announced that it would not renew its affiliation agreement with its three Cogeco-owned affiliates — CKTV, CKTM in Trois-Rivières and CKSH in Sherbrooke — after their current agreement expires in August 2008. An application to directly acquire the stations was filed by Radio-Canada on April 25, 2008, concurrently with Cogeco's proposed sale of TQS to Remstar Corporation. The transaction was approved by the CRTC on June 26, 2008.
During the 1980s, CKTV was also the unofficial calls used by CTV affiliate CKCK-TV in Regina, Saskatchewan; also, CKTV was the original call sign (changed prior to launch) for the Victoria, British Columbia station that would become CHEK-TV when it signed on in 1956.