In November 2000, NetStar Communications Inc. was granted a licence by the CRTC for a national English-language Category 1 specialty television service called Women's Sports Network. It would be dedicated entirely to sports that featured female athletes and participants, including coverage of professional and amateur sporting events, magazine shows, documentaries and instructional programs. The channel launched at WTSN on September 7 of 2001. At some point NetStar was renamed CTV Specialty Television Inc. It was a joint venture between Bell Globemedia (80%) and ESPN (20%).


In November 2000 the CRTC approved the awarding of a licence to Craig Broadcast Systems for a specialty channel to be known as Retro, which would be devoted to classic television programming.   By the time the channel launched in September 2001, Viacom International had acquired a minority interest in the channel, and it was titled TV Land, mimicking Viacom’s similar U.S. cable service.

Punch Much

Craig Media was awarded a licence in November 2000 for a package of five cable specialty channels to be called Music Five, which would offer “a package of five separate music video channels,  eachpunchmuch focussed on a specific musical genre: pop, dance, urban, R & B and hot hits."  From this emerged MTV2, a single music video channel that launched in 2001 through a deal between Craig and Viacom, who owned the MTV title.  

OLN - Outdoor Life Network, The

Owned by CTV, Rogers Media and Comcast, OLN was licensed in 1996 and began its service in the following year. The channel offers factual entertainment with an emphasis on series and OLNdocumentaries under six main categories: Adrenaline, Road Warriors, Survival, True Grit, Adventure and Rough Stock, plus an anthology block, OLN Big Screen, as well a live events such as The Tour de France., the Dakar Rally and the Iditarod Dog Sled Race.  OLN’s target audience is men aged 25 - 54.


Another of the CHUM Limited MuchMusic spin-offs, MuchVibe was licensed in November 200 and launched on September 7th 2001.  The licence described the planned programming as “dedicated tomuchvibe Urban music – HipHop, Rap, R & B, Soul and Reggae”. The channel invited viewers to “tune in for a hype mix of the old school, true school and the new school in contemporary urban music”.


MuchMusic was one of the first cable specialty channels to be licensed in 1983, and its owners CHUM Limited launched it in the following year as Canada’s first 24-hour music specialty channel, muchmusicoffering music videos from Canadian and international sources, plus concerts and studio performances as well as news and features about the music business and the people who make it all happen.  The programming originated from the storefront studios located at the CHUM/CITY-TV headquarters on Queen Street


Dedicated to music videos and other recorded performances of the eighties and nineties, MuchMoreRetro was yet another channel in the MuchMusic franchise to be spun off by CHUM Limited, and wasmuchmoreretro launched in  September 2003. The target audience was those who grew up watching their music on television.


Licensed to CHUM Limited in 1996, MuchMoreMusic began broadcasting in 1998.muchmoremusic
The speciality channel, a sister to CHUM’s long-running MuchMusic, offers adult contemporary and classic rock videos, plus international specials, documentaries and movies, as well as original programming produced by and for the channel.


Another spin-off for CHUM Limited from their highly successful MuchMusic channel was MuchLoud, which was licensed by the CRTC in December of 2000 to provide “a…… television service dedicatedmuchloud exclusively to alternative, hard rock, metal and punk music or alternative music-related programming.”  The channel launched in September 2001.


MTV 2 - see MTV listing.

Written by Pip Wedge - August, 2008



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