The CBC is proposing a new digital television transmitter for the Fredericton, N.B. area that will leave Saint John, N.B. without over-the-air television services. The CRTC opened a broadcasting consultation on Jan. 13 in which the CBC proposed to amend the broadcasting licence of its English, over-the-air television station, CBAT-TV Fredericton, to add a new digital transmitter. The digital transmitter will replace an analog tower on Mount Champlain that now serves Fredericton and Saint John. But the new transmitter will only serve Fredericton. “The proposal would therefore result in a loss of over-the-air television service to the residents of Saint John,” the CRTC said in its notice of consultation. The commission said the change would reduce the number of potential viewers in the region from 303,465 to 113,930, or by 62.5 per cent. The CRTC added that the application also proposes to use channel 19, which is not consistent with Industry Canada’s regulatory plan for the allotment of channels following the Aug. 31, 2011 deadline for the transition to digital television broadcasting. The station has been allotted channel 42, the commission said. The CRTC added that the CBC application is inconsistent with commission broadcasting policy 2010-69 because the broadcaster is not proposing digital coverage that matches its existing analog coverage. “In this regard, the Commission stated broadcasters should, to the greatest extent possible, ensure that Canadians do not lose access to free over-the-air television services as a result of the transition to digital television,” the CRTC said. The deadline for commenting on the public consultation is Feb. 17.