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CBFT-DT, virtual channel 2 (UHF digital channel 19), is the flagship station of the French language service of Ici Radio-Canada Télé located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The station is owned by the Société Radio-Canada arm of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as part of a twinstick with CBC Television outlet CBMT-DT (channel 6). The two stations share studios and master control facilities based at Maison Radio-Canada on René Lévesque Boulevard East in Downtown Montreal, and CBFT's transmitter is located atop Mount Royal.

ICI Grand Montréal logo.png
Montreal, Quebec
BrandingICI Grand Montréal
SloganPour toute la vie, ICI Radio-Canada Télé
ChannelsDigital: 19 (UHF)
Virtual: 2.1 (PSIP)
AffiliationsIci Radio-Canada Télé (O&O)
OwnerSociété Radio-Canada
First air dateSeptember 6, 1952; 66 years ago (1952-09-06)
Call letters' meaningCanadian
Broadcasting Corporation
Sister station(s)CBMT-DT, CBME-FM, CBM-FM, CBF-FM, CBFX-FM
Former channel number(s)Analog:
2 (VHF) (1952–2011)
Former affiliationsSecondary:
CBC (1952–1954)
Transmitter power25 kW (digital)
Height300 m (digital)
Transmitter coordinates45°30′19″N 73°35′29″W / 45.50528°N 73.59139°W / 45.50528; -73.59139
Licensing authorityCRTC
WebsiteICI Grand Montréal

On cable, the station can also be seen on Vidéotron channel 2 in the Montreal area (channel 4 in standard definition), Charter Plattsburgh channel 5 and Comcast Burlington channel 22. There is also a high definition feed available on Vidéotron digital channel 602. It is also seen on direct broadcast satellite throughout Canada.



CBFT was the first permanent television station in Canada (an experimental station, VE9EC, had been on the air in Montreal in 1931). It launched on September 6, 1952 at 4 p.m., beating CBLT in Toronto by two days. The station went on the air with the movie Aladdin and His Lamp, followed by a cartoon, and then a French film, a news segment and a bilingual variety show.[1] The station aired programming in both French (60 percent) and English (40 percent), a practice common for many stations in Quebec at the time.

This continued until January 10, 1954, when CBMT was launched on VHF channel 6. At that time, all English programming moved to CBMT, while CBFT became the flagship of the Télévision de Radio-Canada network for francophone viewers. CBMT's sign-on was hastened by the planned launch of television stations across the border in Burlington and Plattsburgh.

Through its translator network that existed prior to the digital transition, CBFT's over-the-air footprint extended across most of Quebec, parts of Ontario, and most of northern Canada (Northwest Territories and Nunavut). Due to a lack of sources for alternative programming, most Radio-Canada stations—both O&Os and affiliates—are effectively semi-satellites of CBFT. For the most part, their schedules are largely identical to those of CBFT, other than commercials and regional news.


CBFT had over 30 analog television rebroadcasters throughout rural Quebec and Labrador. Due to federal funding reductions to the CBC, in April 2012, the CBC responded with substantial budget cuts, which included shutting down CBC's and Radio-Canada's remaining analog transmitters on July 31, 2012.[2] None of CBC or Radio-Canada's rebroadcasters were converted to digital.

Digital televisionEdit

Digital channelEdit

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3]
2.1 720p 16:9 CBFT-DT Main CBFT-DT programming / Ici Radio-Canada Télé

Analogue-to-digital conversionEdit

CBFT began broadcasting its digital signal in March 22, 2005.[4] On August 31, 2011, when Canadian television stations in CRTC-designated mandatory markets transitioned from analogue to digital broadcasts,[5] the station's digital signal remained on UHF channel 19. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display CBFT-DT's virtual channel as 2.1.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "CBC Television debuts". January 19, 2011.
  2. ^ Speaking notes for Hubert T. Lacroix regarding measures announced in the context of the Deficit Reduction Action Plan
  3. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for CBFT-DT
  4. ^ "Télévision de Radio-Canada Montreal (CBFT-TV)". Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-03-25.
  5. ^ "Digital Television - Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA)". Archived from the original on 2013-11-20. Retrieved 2013-06-29.

External linksEdit