Burgeo Broadcast System (BBS)

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History of the Burgeo Broadcast System

During the late 1960's, the Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Limited operated a 10 watt transmitter at Ramea about 9 miles from the town of Burgeo. This facility rebroadcast programming from the present station located at St. John's, Newfoundland. The parent station was a CTV affiliate and so the area was served reasonably well by the CTV network. In addition, a 5 watt transmitter located in the same area rebroadcast the signal from the CBC station located at St. John's. By 1971, both of these transmitters had fallen into disrepair and Burgeo was without television service of any kind. The towns of Burgeo and Ramea then began to try and get the services repaired but were told that the repairs would be too costly. This continued for three years. Finally in 1974, a commitment was received from the local CBC management that a new facility would be constructed in Ramea to provide programming for the two towns. This service went on the air in September 1976. During 1977, the town councils of Burgeo and Ramea undertook the task of trying to repair the existing equipment in order to provide an additional service for the towns. The maintenance carried out was sufficient to restore the service but because of the general state of despair of the equipment, the service lasted only two weeks. The towns were then left with only the Programming offered by CBC. During the next four years, this situation continued despite repeated approaches for the local CTV affiliate for help in correcting the problem and even the CRTC for assistance in obligeing the affiliate to provide service. All of these approaches were to no avail.

It was brought to the attention of Lloyd Walters,(who was then the Mayor of the town of Burgeo) in 1980 that Cancom was preparing a presentation to the CRTC for provision of Television Services to remote and Northern communities via satellite. This approval was given in April, 1981. After the awarding of the network license to Cancom, a public meeting was held in Burgeo on May 19, 1981 to organize a community group to co-ordinate the provision of this service to the residents of the town. The intention was to set up a non-profit company that would be incorporated under the laws of the province of Newfoundland. There would be a Board of Directors elected by the subscribers at the Annual meeting each year. This board would make the decisions affecting the company for that year. The rates to be charged for service would be determined by the subscribers at the annual meeting. Any profits left over at the end of each year would go into improvements to the system or the addition of new channels as they become available.

Permission was received from the CRTC in the Spring of 1982 for Burgeo Broadcasting System to service the town with television signals received via satellite. When we went on the air in the fall of 1982 we began to broadcast the television signals CHCH from Hamilton, Ontario, BCTV from British Columbia, CITV from Edmonton, Alberta and CBC from St. John's, Newfoundland. Today we offer our subscribers ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS from Boston, ASN from Nova Scotia, NTV from St. John's, The Family Channel, Muchmusic, History Television, WTBS, The Sports Network, The Weather Network, The Nashville Network, CMT, CBC Newsworld, Arts & Entertainment, CITY-TV, WGN, Discovery Channel as well as The Movie Network-Pay TV. We also offer two community channels. One of these channels is a free ad channel whereby persons can use this service for ads such as: Wanted To Buy, For Sale, Public Notices etc. We also provide approximately eight to ten hours of community programming each week. We offer a children's program called "Pansy's Garden". This show airs Saturday mornings at 11:00 A.M. and features an in studio craft maker, storyteller and a puppeteer. Another program offered is called "The Bandwagon". This is an entertainment program in which local residents come to our studio and perform songs, skits etc. We also offer a weekly news program called "This Week In Review". This program looks at all the happenings within our town throughout the week. All of these programs are produced by our Program Director, Marie Rose.


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