When YTV was licensed in 1987 to a group of cable companies and producers of children's and youth programming, Rogers Cable and Geoff Conway's CUC Broadcasting were the two major shareholders.  YTV was launched on September 1st 1988, with eight major cable operators committed to carrying its program service. In 1995, Shaw Communications' acquisition of CUC Broadcasting Limited brought with it a 34.3% interest in YTV and by 1998 Shaw owned 100% of the specialty channel. 

W Network

Originally licensed by the CRTC in 1994 to Moffat Communications, and launched in January 1995 as WTN, for Women’s Television Network, the specialty channel was acquired by Shaw Communications in 2001 along with ownership of  Moffat, and the following year it was Shaw subsidiary Corus Entertainment who took over WTN, and rebranded it as the W Network.  Still focusing on a predominantly female audience, Corus immediately set about targeting a slightly younger female demographic, with what they described as “smar

W Movies

On July 15th 2009, Corus Entertainment Inc announced that it had agreed to purchase the specialty channel SexTV from CTVglobemedia, subject to CRTC approval. On September 29th, Corus president John Cassaday said that if the application was approved, Sex TV would be replaced with W Movies early in 2010.


Another in the strong portfolio of specialty channels owned at the time by Toronto’s CHUM Limited, CLT was licensed in 1996, but did not begin broadcasting until September 1999.  It was Canada’s only national educational television specialty service, and was owned by Edmonton’s Access Media Group, which was in turn owned by CHUM Limited.  Many of its programs (including repeats of some US network series) were connected to credit courses at various Canadian universities.

Treehouse TV

A program block on Corus Entertainment’s YTV, called Treehouse, was the jumping off point for an application to the CRTC for a speciality channel of that name, to be dedicated to programming for pre-school children. A licence was granted in 1996, and Treehouse began broadcasting in 1997.  The channel uses both original Canadian production and the best of pre-school programming from around the world

Teletoon Retro

While licensed as a digital channel in 2000, Teletoon Retro remained an element in the parent Teletoon Channel until 2007, when it was launched on October 1st as a separate entity.  The channel offered classic cartoons at least ten years old, including such favourites as Fat Albert, Superfriends, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Bugs Bunny, the Flintstones, Scooby-Doo and Tom and Jerry.

 Like Teletoon, Teletoon Retro was owned 50% by Astral Media and 50% by Corus Entertainment.


Teletoon, a channel established to present animated film and tape productions,was originally licensed in 1996 to a group consisting of Astral Communications, WIC, YTV, Cinar and Nelvana.


While Telelatino is primarily a digital channel, it is available on analogue in parts of Ontario and Quebec. The channel, known as TLN, was launched in 1984, and is licensed to provide a national program service in Italian, Spanish, English and French.  100% of the programming is required to serve an ethnocultural audience, with a minimum of 75% in third languages, and no more than 25% in English or French.

Sundance Channel

On December 8th 2009, Corus Entertainment and Rainbow Media announced that they had finalized a licensing agreement that would enable Corus to add Sundance Channel to its portfolio of Canadian specialty services. Under the creative direction of Robert Redford, Sundance Channel featured a broad range of programming, from niche, genre-focused cinema to socially provocative films, documentaries and original series.

The Sundance Channel was scheduled to  launch on Monday, March 1, 2010, replacing the previous Drive-In Classics channel.

Sex TV - The Channel

Originally licensed to CHUM Limited in 2001 as a specialty channel to be titled Relationships, the service eventually launched as Sex TV; The Channel, and by the time it was acquired by CTVglobemedia in 2007 as part of the acquisition of the assets of CHUM Limited (see below), Sex TV was describing itself as “…a unique mix of informative, educational and cutting-edge features about the human sexuality experience.” On July 12 it was announced that Bell Globemedia would pay C$1.7 billion for CHUM Ltd., in a deal that would see the company become part of the BCE-owned media conglomerate, subje



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