CTV Specialty Television Inc. today announced it will close WTSN, effective Tuesday, September 30, 2003.
“This was a tremendously difficult decision,” said Rick Brace, President, CTV Inc. “A combination of lower-than-expected growth and limited access to advertising revenue led to this unfortunate decision, along with the high cost of running a sports service.”
Since 2000, when the women’s sports digital specialty channel licence was applied for and granted, WTSN has delivered an exceptional amount of women’s sports with coverage of the Canadian Hockey Association; Canadian Interuniversity Sports (hockey); Women’s National Basketball Association and Women’s United Soccer Association. In addition to airing world-class sporting events, WTSN has showcased female athletes and brought Canadians exclusive coverage of Hayley Wickenheiser’s debut in the Finnish men’s hockey league.
Some of the sports programming on WTSN will find a home on CTV’s other channels. TSN’s commitment to women’s sports currently includes high profile events such as the World Hockey Championships, Scott Tournament of Hearts, and both the Tennis and Figure Skating Canadian championships. TSN will increase its women’s programming by broadcasting 27 hours of the Women’s Curling Tour and the remaining LPGA events that were scheduled for WTSN including the Tour Championship.
As a result of WTSN’s closure, 11 positions are affected. Five of these positions will be reassigned within the company and other opportunities to place the remaining six positions are being sought.
“I’m grateful to Sue Prestedge for joining our team to launch and operate WTSN. She’s a terrific broadcaster and passionate about women’s sports. Under her leadership, WTSN brought Canadians some of the greatest moments in women’s sports since its launch,” said Bart Yabsley, Executive Vice-President, CTV Specialty Television Inc.