Bluepoint Investment Corporation and the Government of Saskatchewan have finalized the terms of the agreement for Bluepoint’s purchase of the assets and operations of Saskatchewan Communications Network (SCN). At the end of June, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that it had reviewed the bids for the province’s educational broadcaster and had selected the Bluepoint proposal as the best value for taxpayers and most beneficial for the province’s production industry.
“We are proud of the fact that as a relatively new company, we were able to win the respect and the acknowledgement of the Government of Saskatchewan,” says Bruce Claassen, Chairman and CEO of Bluepoint Investment. “I attribute that largely to the quality of the talent and staff that are part of Bluepoint.”
Claassen adds, “Going forward, Bluepoint is committed to maintaining the spirit and original vision of SCN, although commercialization of the station is required in order for it to be a viable business enterprise and to relieve the government of any financial commitment.”
“Today I am pleased to formally welcome Bluepoint Investment Corporation to Saskatchewan,” Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Bill Hutchinson said. “I believe Bluepoint saw the opportunity here. A province with a strong economy and a growing population, Saskatchewan is
a natural choice to start a new and exciting business venture.”
Bluepoint will continue to operate SCN as the province’s educational broadcaster but, at the same time, will work towards increasing its audience and appeal to the people of Saskatchewan. With the application to the CRTC for change of ownership, Bluepoint will also be filing for a change of condition of license to broaden the programming slate and to allow for the sale of advertising.
The programming model Bluepoint has proposed is based on Access Alberta, a system that has worked effectively for more than 15 years. This model combines community and educational programming with commercial programming that is focused mainly in primetime.
As is required with all broadcast acquisitions, SCN will continue to operate under an independent third-party trustee during the transition of ownership. It is unknown at this time when the change of ownership will be finalized but Bluepoint is asking the CRTC to consider the application as early as possible.
Bluepoint plans to keep the local production community involved and engaged in all SCN endeavours. In addition to the purchase of SCN’s physical assets and operations, the company has committed to spending not less than $1.75 million per year on Saskatchewan programming and $1 million in Saskatchewan on digital programming and content.
Claassen adds, “Bluepoint sincerely believes in the value of local television and wants to ensure that the people of Saskatchewan never lose that important resource.”