South Asian Network International Limited (ATN)

In September 1996, South Asian Television Canada Limited received a licence for a regional specialty channel service for distribution in the province of Ontario. The applicant was a subsidiary of Asian Television Network International Limited, which was effectively controlled by Shan Chandrasekar. The applicant undertook to provide programming in 15 South Asian Languages, principally Hindi, as well as in English.  The licence required that at least 17% of the total programming be Canadian in content and origin.  In August 1997, South Asian Television applied for and received approval for the expansion of its service to national status, and the new service was launched in May 1998.                           

In subsequent years, ATN was licensed for and launched specialty channels for several other segments of the South Asian community in Canada (see separate listings), as listed below.   ATN also held licenses for additional channels that had not been launched at the time of writing.  

Zee Gujarati

Originally licensed in November 2000 to South Asian Television Network International Limited, the Gujarati Channel was positioned as a family channel for the Canadian Gujarati community, with programming to be 100% in Gujarati, much of it originating with the television station of that name in India.

Zee Cinema (Hindi Movie Channel Two)

Asian Television Network International Limited (ATN) was licensed in April 2005 to operate a new cable specialty channel to be known as ATN – Hindi Movie Channel Two (ATN having been licensed back in 2000 to operate Hindi Move Channel One, that later became B4U Movies).  The channel was to carry exclusively theatrical films in the Hindi language.  The Channel was later branded as ATN Zee Cinema, with material from the popular Indian Zee movie channel, as well as not less than 15% Canadian material. 

NDTV 24 x 7

In April 2005, Asian Television Network International Limited (ATN) was granted a licence to run a cable specialty channel to be known as ATN- South Asian News – English, to be devoted to news about the South Asian sub-continent, and broadcast entirely in English.  The now-standard requirement of a minimum of 15% Canadian content was a condition of the licence.  The channel launched on December19th 2005, renamed as ND (New Delhi) TV 24/7, with its schedule consisting largely of material originating in New Delhi.

Jaya TV (Tamil)

This cable specialty service was licensed to South Asian Television Network International Limited (later ATN)  in November 2000 to serve Canada’s Tamil-speaking community.   Much of the programming originated with Jaya TV in India, and the channel is known both as Tamil TV and Jaya TV in Canada.  The channel was proud of its family-oriented program schedule. ATN later added two additional Tamil channels.

Cricket Plus

In 2007 the Asian Television Network pleased thousands of South Asian cricket loving Canadians (and  many whose roots were from the rest of the world’s cricketing countries) by launching ATN Cricket Plus, offering current and archival cricket matches from around the world as well as from Canada.  The channel also carried small amounts of field hockey coverage.  This service complemented the cricket material already available to cable subscribers via ATN’s Commonwealth Broadcasting Network (CBN – see below).

CBN (Commonwealth Broadcasting Network)

Television Network International Limited (later ATN) was licensed in November 2000 to operate The Caribbean and African Network as a cable specialty channel dedicated to serving Canadian communities with those origins. The channel was launched in 2001, by which time it had been renamed the Commonwealth Broadcasting Network, and its program schedule was primarily dedicated to coverage of cricket matches and cricket news from Canada and around the world. In 2012, CBN relaunched as ATN Cricket Channel One.


Asian Television Network International Limited were licensed in January 2005 to operate a cable specialty channel to provide a service “devoted to programming of interest to persons who speak Bengali”.  Not less than 15% of the programming was required to be Canadian in content, with the balance originating from Dhaka, Bangladesh. The channel offered a full range of programming including movies, dramas, talk shows, news and variety.

B4U Music

Originally licensed to Asian Television Network International Limited (ATN) as ATN Music Network One,  and rebranded on being launched in April 2006, B4U (Bollywood For You) Music carried programming from a highly popular Hindi music channel, with movies, videos and specials interviews with artists, scenes from the production of their music videos and songs. The applicant noted that 100% of its programming would be in the Hindi language.  As with other channels of South Asian programming operated by ATN, B4U was required to provide a minimum of 15% Canadian content programming.

B4U Movies

Licensed to  South Asian Television Network International Limited (ATN) in 2000, and launched in 2001, B4U  (Bollywood For You) Movies offered the best of the movie programming offered by this popular Hindi channel, plus a proportion of Canadian-originated material  to meet Canadian content licence obligations. 

Written by Pip Wedge - June, 2007

Ary (Urdu)

A specialty channel to be known as the Urdu Channel was licensed in November 2000 to South Asian Network International Limited (ATN) to provide a service entirely in the Urdu language, with a proportion of Canadian content as a mandatory requirement of the licence. Subsequently the channel was rebranded as ARY Digital, and carried a large portion of the output of the Pakistan broadcaster of this name, plus the requisite amount of Canadian content.



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