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CBFT basic facts

Le Telejournal 1986 CBC ID

Above: Le Téléjournal 1986 and Radio-Canada network ID.

Sounds of Radio-Canada

Click on a link to listen. (mp3)

Le TéléJournal 1986

The opening for Radio-Canada's popular 10 PM newscast.

La loi de Los Angeles

A promo for LA Law in French.

Recent developments

CBFT has lost La Soirée du Hockey (NHL lockout not withstanding). RDS and SRC have been unable to renew an agreement to split the Saturday night rights, like they did this past season. So next fall, RDS will really have the exclusive rights to all Canadiens games televised in French, at least in Quebec anyway. Viewers outside of the province will still be able to see the games on their regional SRC station, which will carry the RDS feed. La Soirée du Hockey (Hockey Night) has been on CBFT ever since the station signed on.


Channel Info: CBFT
Cable (West Montreal Montreal) 4
Cable (Central and East Montreal) 4
Cable (Digital Montreal) 2
Look TV 1
Bell ExpressVu 98
Star Choice 700
Cable (Burlington) 22
Cable (Plattsburgh) 5

CBFT channel 2 in Montreal is Canada’s oldest existing television station. It originally went on the air two days before CBC Toronto, on Saturday, September 6, 1952 at 4 pm with "Aladdin and his Lamp" in English. A cartoon followed, then a French film. At 7:30 a news program highlighting the events of the past summer. At 8 pm a bilingual variety show went on the air. An inauguration ceremony included Prime Minister St. Laurent and other prominent figures.

CBMT did not exist at this point and CBFT went on the air as a bilingual station. As a result, a lot of the rich history associated with the CBC’s English network actually aired on CBFT. For an example, Wayne and Shuster, who were already quite well known at the time through radio, made their Canadian television debut on CBFT television.

But perhaps the most famous program to air on this station in the 50’s was "Les Plouffe". At one point 81% of all TV sets in Montreal were tuned to the show. Its success is somewhat comparable to recent phenomenon "La Petite Vie", one episode of which broke a Guinness world record for highest market share.

The meaning of call letters

There's something almost politically incorrect about how Radio-Canada chooses it call letters. They are chosen the same way as they are chosen for the English network, ...from English words. But it's unlikely someone will ever make a big deal over this, considering that the owned-and-operated (O&O) stations no longer use their call letters in their IDs any way.

Almost all CBC & Radio-Canada O&O stations have call signs that begin with the letters CB and end with the letter T (T stands for Television). The F in CBFT stands for French, since it is the flagship station of the French network. As is the case for the English Network, the third letter often represents the market served by that station (i.e CBST for Sept-Îles). Other O&O stations, outside Quebec, use five letter calls instead of the standard four, using the same letters as their English-language sister stations, with an "F" added as the fourth letter. In other words, the call letters for Radio-Canada in Ottawa are CBOFT as in Ottawa French Television, similar to the CBC's CBOT in that same market. The Toronto station goes by CBLFT, while the CBC goes by CBLT, for Local Television. Also note that these rules don't apply to independently-owned CBC stations such as CKSH Sherbrooke and CKTM Trois-Rivières.

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