CBAT-DT is a Canadian local station in Fredericton, New Brunswick, owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and affiliated with CBC Television. It broadcasts on digital channel 31, displaying on tuners as virtual channel 4. Prior to the switchover of over-the-air Canadian television signals from analog to digital on August 31, 2011, it was one of the few CBC-owned stations which used the -TV suffix as part of its call sign as issued by Industry Canada.
CBAT signed on for the first time on March 22, 1954 in Saint John, New Brunswick as CHSJ-TV, a private CBC affiliate owned by the New Brunswick Broadcasting Company, a media group owned by New Brunswick's prominent Irving family. Under the ownership of New Brunswick Broadcasting, CHSJ-TV shared on-air and technical staff and resources with co-owned radio station CHSJ-AM. CHSJ-TV was originally located in the CHSJ Radio building on Church Street in Saint John, and transmitted at 25 kilowatts of power from nearby Mount Champlain.
In addition to CBC Television programming, CHSJ also produced local shows such as Time for Juniors (a children's program) and The Maritime Farmers (a country music show) and broadcast some syndicated shows. The station increased its power to 100 kilowatts video and 50 kilowatts audio in 1957. As the CBC affiliate serving the southern part of New Brunswick, CHSJ began expanding its broadcast reach in that part of the province when it put its first rebroadcaster, CHSJ-TV-1, on the air in Bon Accord on October 8, 1961, with more rebroadcasters added to its network between then and 1978.
In 1965, the CHSJ radio and television stations relocated to a new studio at 335 Union Street in Saint John. CHSJ-TV began airing network programs in color with the arrival of color television in Canada in September 1966, followed by the addition of local color shows in 1969. The CHSJ Union Street studio building was expanded in 1967 with the addition of new studios and offices. When Moncton CBC affiliate CKCW-TV switched networks to CTV on May 14, 1969, CHSJ added a rebroadcaster, CHMT-TV, in Moncton to continue CBC service in northeastern New Brunswick while CKCW added a semi-satellite, CKLT-TV, to bring CTV to Saint John and nearby Fredericton on September 21 that year.
In 1972, CHSJ drew controversy for dropping the CBC-carried popular PBS children's program Sesame Street in favor of local programming in order to fulfill Canadian content requirements (ironically, that same year, CBC began producing an edited version of Sesame Street featuring Canadian content, including some segments filmed in French, produced by several CBC stations across Canada for inclusion in the show). CHSJ further expanded its service area in 1976 with the addition of rebroadcasters in Campbellton and Newcastle (whose existing retransmitters, owned and programmed by CTV affiliate CKCW Moncton with a mix of CBC and CTV programs, then switched solely to CTV).
During most of its time as a CBC affiliate under Irving ownership, CHSJ carried only the minimum-required 40 hours of CBC Television programming, while the balance of the station's schedule was filled with locally-produced and syndicated shows. This arrangement continued as the Irvings signed on independent station CIHF-TV in Dartmouth/Halifax, Nova Scotia, on September 5, 1988; outside of the mandated CBC schedule, CHSJ began carrying some common syndicated programming with CIHF (drawn from the schedule of Global Television).
Kenneth Irving, the founder of New Brunswick Broadcasting (owner of CHSJ and CIHF), died at age 93 on December 13, 1992. That year, Canwest, the owner of Global TV, expressed interest in purchasing CHSJ and CIHF but had no desire to buy New Brunswick Broadcasting's radio stations, while the CBC, which had opposed a plan by CHSJ to move Moncton rebroadcaster CHMT from channel 7 to UHF channel 27 at a Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications (CRTC) hearing, announced that it intended to establish its own owned-and-operated station in New Brunswick by no later than August 31, 1998. The Irvings eventually got out of the television business when their New Brunswick Broadcasting sold its TV properties on August 27, 1994 when CIHF went to Canwest and became part of its then-Canwest Global System, while the CBC purchased CHSJ-TV, relocated its main studios to Fredericton (although Saint John remained as the city of licence) and renamed the station as CBAT, thereby clearing the full CBC Television schedule to air on the station. With the CBC purchase, the newly-renamed CBAT took on the new on-air brand CBC New Brunswick.
In line with other CBC-owned stations in Canada, CBAT began using the generic CBC Television network branding in 2002. Due to budget cuts by the CBC over the years, local programming on CBAT was limited until recently to the newscast CBC News: New Brunswick (which, when the station still operated as CHSJ under the Irvings, had previously been known as CBC News for New Brunswick and is now known as CBC New Brunswick News). It also previously carried the CBHT program Living Halifax (originally known as Living East), the regional version of CBC Television's Living regional lifestyles series franchise, until another round of budget cuts led to all Living programs ending production at the end of the 2008-2009 TV season. CBAT now also carries a local morning breakfast television program, CBC News: New Brunswick First (which airs from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m.), a late-night regional news update for the four Atlantic provinces, Atlantic Tonight, and a late-night discussion show, At the Table, which airs early on Friday mornings at 1:00 a.m.
On August 31, 2011, as part of the transition of Canadian television broadcasting from analog to digital, CBAT's channel 4 analog signal went off the air while CBAT-DT's digital signal signed on at channel 31. On July 31, 2012 as a result of a new round of budget cuts forcing the shutdown of all analog rebroadcasters of the main CBC-owned stations, CBAT closed most of its analog transmitters outside of Fredericton except for the one in Saint John, which continues to operate at reduced power to provide continued coverage to the area. CBAT is now available across New Brunswick via cable and satellite. In the spring of 2015, when CBC Television began using regional branding for its owned-and-operated stations again, CBAT returned to using its old on-air brand of CBC New Brunswick.
Current Prime-Time Schedule
Note: Schedule is subject to change due to live sports coverage and special programming.
|Monday||George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight||Coronation Street||Mr. D||The Ron James Show||Murdoch Mysteries||CBC News: The National||Atlantic Tonight||George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight|
|Tuesday||George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight||Coronation Street||Rick Mercer Report||This Hour Has 22 Minutes||Cracked||CBC News: The National||Atlantic Tonight||George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight|
|Wednesday||George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight||Coronation Street||Dragons' Den||Arctic Air||CBC News: The National||Atlantic Tonight||George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight|
|Thursday||George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight||Coronation Street||The Nature of Things||Doc Zone||CBC News: The National||Atlantic Tonight||George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight|
|Friday||George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight||Coronation Street||Marketplace||Rick Mercer Report||CBC News: The Fifth Estate||CBC News: The National||Atlantic Tonight||George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight|
|Saturday||Atlantic Tonight||Hockey Night in Canada: Hockey Tonight||Hockey Night in Canada (Game 1)||Hockey Night in Canada (Game 2)|
|Sunday||Heartland||Dragons' Den||Republic of Doyle||CBC News: The National||Atlantic Tonight||CBC News: The Fifth Estate|