|Type||Terrestrial television network|
|Availability||National, northern U.S. (terrestrial), parts of U.S. and Bermuda (via pay television)|
|Slogan||We Got This|
(President and CEO of Corus Entertainment)
(Vice President of News)
|January 6, 1974|
(launch of CKGN-TV; now CIII-DT)
(as the CanWest Global System)
August 18, 1997
(national launch of Global brand)
|CanWest Global System (used in the 1990s on non-Global branded Canwest stations)|
|Global News: BC 1|
|Global Television Network|
The Global Television Network (more commonly called Global, or occasionally Global TV) is a privately owned Canadian English-language terrestrial television network. It is currently Canada's second most-watched private terrestrial television network after CTV, and has fifteen owned-and-operated stations throughout the country. Global is owned by Corus Entertainment — the media holdings of JR Shaw and other members of his family.
Global has its origins in a regional television station of the same name, serving Southern Ontario, which launched in 1974. The Ontario station was soon purchased by the now-defunct CanWest Global Communications, and that company gradually expanded its national reach in the subsequent decades through both acquisitions and new station launches, building up a quasi-network of independent stations, known as the CanWest Global System, until the stations were unified under the Ontario station's branding in 1997.
The network has its origins in NTV, a new network first proposed in 1966 by Hamilton media proprietor Ken Soble, the co-founder and owner of independent station CHCH-TV through his Niagara Television company. Financially backed by Power Corporation of Canada, Soble submitted a brief to the Board of Broadcast Governors in 1966 proposing a national satellite-fed network. Under the plan, Soble's company would launch Canada's first broadcast satellite, and would use it to relay the programming of CHCH to 96 new transmitters across Canada. Soble died in December of that year; his widow Frances took over as president of Niagara Television, while former CTV executive Michael Hind-Smith and Niagara Television vice-president Al Bruner handled the network application. Soble had originally formulated the plan after failing in a bid to acquire CTV.
The original proposal was widely criticized on various grounds, including claims that it exceeded the board's concentration of media ownership limits and that it was overly ambitious and financially unsustainable. As well, it failed to include any plan for local news content on any of its individual stations beyond possibly the metropolitan Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver markets.
By 1968, NTV put forward its first official license application, under which the original 96 transmitters would be supplemented by 43 more transmitters to distribute a separate French language service, along with provisions for the free distribution of CBC Television, Radio-Canada and a new noncommercial educational television service on the network's satellite. Transponder space would also be leased to CTV and Télé-Métropole, but as competing commercial services they would not have been granted the free distribution rights the plan offered to the public television services. However, after federal communications minister Paul Hellyer announced plans to move forward with the publicly owned Anik series of broadcast satellites through Telesat Canada (later privatised and acquired by Loral Space and Communications, merging with Loral Skynet in the process) instead of leaving the rollout of satellite technology in the hands of private corporations, Power Corporation backed out of the application and left NTV in limbo.
Bruner was fired from Niagara Television in 1969, purportedly because his efforts to rescue the network application were leading him to neglect his other duties with the company's existing media operations. He then put together another investment team to form Global Communications, which carried the network application forward thereafter. By 1970, the Canadian Radio and Television Commission had put out a formal call for "third" stations in several major cities. Global Communications put forward a revised application under which the network would launch with transmitters only in Ontario, as an interim step toward the eventual buildout of the entire network originally envisioned by Soble. Because Niagara Television and CHCH were no longer involved in the proposal, the 1970 application also requested a license to launch a new station in Toronto as the chain's flagship.
The network license was approved by the CRTC on July 21, 1972. The group was granted a six-transmitter network in Southern Ontario, stretching from Windsor to Ottawa. They had also sought a seventh transmitter in Maxville that could reach Montreal, but were turned down because of a CRTC moratorium on new stations in the Montreal market. The transmitters would all be fed from a central studio in Toronto. The group promised a high level of Canadian content and agreed not to accept local advertising.
The station's initial plan was to broadcast only during prime time hours from 5 p.m. to midnight, while leasing daytime hours to the Ontario Educational Communications Authority to broadcast educational programming. However, the OECA declined the offer, opting instead to expand the TVOntario network by launching its own transmitters.
The new Global Television Network, with the callsign CKGN-TV (now CIII-DT), launched on January 6, 1974 from studios located at a former factory in the Don Mills neighbourhood in North York (now in Toronto) at 6 p.m. local time. Global remains based there today. Although the Ontario station has always been based in Toronto, its main transmitter was licensed to Paris, Ontario; halfway between Kitchener-Waterloo and Hamilton, until 2009.
Global's original prime time schedule included Patrick Watson's documentary series Witness to Yesterday, Pierre Berton's political debate show The Great Debate, a Canadian edition of Bernard Braden's British consumer affairs newsmagazine The Braden Beat, William Shatner's film talk show Flick Flack, Sunday night Toronto Toros hockey games and a nightly variety series called Everything Goes, as well as a few imported American series including Chopper One, Dirty Sally and Doc Elliot. In March, the station drew a formal complaint from MP James McGrath against its airing of the 1969 Western film Heaven with a Gun, as the film featured scenes of violence which McGrath considered inappropriate.
The station ran into a financial crisis within just three months. Due to the CRTC decision, it was forced to launch at midseason. Many companies had already allocated their advertising budgets for the season and had little money left to buy time on the newly minted network, and even some of the advertisers who had booked time on the network backed out in light of the 1973 oil crisis. In addition, the short-lived American adoption of year-round daylight saving time in January 1974, and the Ontario government's refusal to follow suit, had unexpectedly forced Everything Goes, promoted as the network's flagship show, into airing directly opposite The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and thus attracting disastrous ratings. As a result of the crisis, the station quickly lost access to its line of credit.
Unable to meet daily expenses, Global initially approached potential bidders including Channel Seventynine, Denison Mines, Standard Broadcasting and the Jim Pattison Group, and was soon bailed out by IWC Communications, a syndicate which included Toronto businessman Paul Morton, broadcaster Allan Slaight and Izzy Asper, a Manitoba politician turned broadcaster. Asper's company, CanWest Capital, owned CKND-TV in Winnipeg, which was already carrying some of Global's programs under a syndication deal.
A considerable number of programs featured on Global's schedule were cancelled in the spring of 1974. By that fall, it was obvious that Global's original model was unsustainable, and it was forced to pick up a large amount of American programming to fill in the gaps. With American imports filling as much of the schedule as Canadian content rules would allow (60% Canadian overall, 50% Canadian in prime time), Global had effectively become "another CTV." With the exception of the nightly newscasts, few other Canadian-produced programs remained on the station, and the ones that did exist were largely criticized as cheaply-produced filler. John Spalding, the station's original program director, quit in 1975 after being unable to convince the station's owners to invest more money into higher-quality production.
Over several years, the prime late evening newscast shifted between 10 and 11 p.m., and between 30 and 60 minutes. CKGN changed its callsign to CIII-TV in 1984.
Asper bought controlling interest in 1985, making him the first western-based owner of a major Canadian broadcaster. In 1989, Asper and Morton tried to buy each other out, a struggle which was resolved in favour of Asper and Canwest.
The network continued to be limited to its six-transmitter chain in Ontario for its first decade. However, soon after Asper bought controlling interest in Global, he seemed eager to grow his chain of stations into a third national network. He started by launching two stations in Saskatchewan, and winning a legal battle for a station in Vancouver during the second half of the 1980s. He also acquired a fledgling system in the Maritimes in the early 1990s. Canwest's stations now reached seven of Canada's ten provinces. The Canwest stations purchased many of their programs collectively, and consequently had similar – although not identical – broadcast schedules. They did not share common branding, however — although stations were sometimes indicated as being part of the "CanWest Global System" as a secondary brand, throughout the 1980s and early 1990s they each retained their own branding and continued to function as an ownership group of independent stations rather than as a fully unified network.
In 1997, Canwest bought controlling interest in the CBC affiliate in Quebec City, CKMI-TV, from TVA, which retained a 49% interest until 2002. With the acquisition of CKMI, Canwest now had enough coverage of Canada that it seemed logical to rebrand its station group as a network. Accordingly, on August 18, 1997, Canwest scrubbed all local branding from its stations and rebranded them as the "Global Television Network," the brand previously used solely by the Ontario outlet. On the same day, CKMI disaffiliated from CBC, set up rebroadcasters in Montreal and Sherbrooke, and became the Quebec outlet of the newly minted network. It also built a new studio in Montreal and moved most of its operations there, though the license nominally remained in Quebec City until 2009. Canwest's purchase of CKMI extended Global's footprint to eight of Canada's 10 largest markets (though Ottawa and Montreal were only served by rebroadcasters).
Even so, Global was still not a fully national network, as it did not have stations in Calgary and Edmonton. The CRTC turned down bids by Canwest for stations in those cities in the 1980s. As a result, Global continued its long-standing secondary affiliations in those cities on independent stations CICT and CITV, respectively. Similarly, Global lacked a full-time station in St. John's, where Global programming was carried by longtime CTV affiliate CJON-TV.
In 2000, Canwest acquired the conventional television assets of Western International Communications (WIC). WIC's stations in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge had been airing some Global programs since 1988, and those stations formally joined the network on September 4, 2000.
The following fall, WIC's long-dominant Vancouver station CHAN-TV was brought into the fold after its existing affiliation agreement with CTV expired, setting off a massive realignment of television affiliations in southwestern British Columbia. Indeed, one main reason why Canwest bought WIC's television assets was because of CHAN's massive translator network, which covered 97% of British Columbia. Global's previous Vancouver station, CKVU-TV, as well as WIC-owned Montreal CTV affiliate CFCF-TV, were sold off. WIC's remaining stations were maintained as twinstick stations and were eventually integrated into a secondary system known as CH (rebranded as E! in 2007 in a partnership with the American channel of the same name), although financial pressures forced Canwest to sell or fold the E! stations in 2009.
Full network service is still not available over-the-air in Newfoundland and Labrador. However, CJON, having disaffiliated from CTV in 2002, now clears the vast majority of Global programming in that province, most recently adding the network's national newscast in mid-2009. Any remaining programs there may be accessed on cable or satellite through Global stations from other markets (most commonly Edmonton's CITV), or through the network's website.
Following Canwest's purchase of Southam Newspapers (later Canwest Publishing) and the National Post from Conrad Black in 2001, their media interests were merged under a policy of cross-promotion and synergy. Journalists from the Post and other Canwest papers made frequent appearances on Global's news programs, passengers on the now-defunct serial drama Train 48 habitually read the Post, and Global programs were promoted in Canwest newspapers. However, this practice has now been largely abandoned, particularly after Canwest's breakup in 2010.
In late 2004, with CTV beginning to dominate the ratings, Canwest reorganized its Canadian operations and hired a number of new executives, all formerly of various U.S. media firms, leading to a major overhaul of Global announced in December 2005. The most obvious change was a new logo, replacing the "crescent" with a new "greater than" logo, with the Global wordmark in a new font, that was introduced on February 5, 2006 (coinciding with Global's broadcast of Super Bowl XL). New logos and graphics were designed for news and network promotions, and several newscasts received new timeslots and formats. The crescent, which had been used as a common design element in many Canwest logos, was subsequently removed from other properties owned or sponsored by the company over time.
On April 10, 2008, the network announced that its Toronto and Vancouver stations would start broadcasting their over-the-air signals in those markets in high definition. CIII and CHAN officially started transmitting in HD on April 18, 2008. The network has also launched digital signals at its stations in Calgary (CICT-DT) and Edmonton (CITV-DT) as of July 2009.
Following Canwest seeking creditor protection in late 2009, Shaw Communications acquired Canwest's broadcasting assets on October 27, 2010 and folded them into a new division, Shaw Media, of which Global is the flagship. Canwest's newspaper assets had been sold off earlier in the year as Postmedia Network.
In television listings such as TV Guide, where space limitations usually require television networks to be referred to by a three-letter abbreviation, the abbreviations "GLO", "GLB" or "GTV" are commonly used, depending on the publication. None of these abbreviations has any standing as an official name for the network, however – the network's own shortform name for itself is always "Global".
Global News is the news and current affairs division of the Global Television Network, which is based in Vancouver. National programs broadcast by the division include Global's flagship national newscast Global National and newsmagazine shows such as 16x9. The network also offers various amounts of local news programming on its eleven O&Os. Local news programming on most of Global's O&Os mirror the newscast schedules of many U.S. television stations; most Global-owned stations carry a morning newscast of three or four hours in length, a noon newscast, supper hour newscasts of between 30 and 90 minutes and a half-hour to hour-long late evening newscast. Global-owned stations in certain major markets also carry locally based public affairs programs under the Focus brand.
In addition, Corus also operates several Global-branded news/talk radio stations across Canada under the Global News Radio moniker.
Global does not have what can be called a main schedule, apart from news. Even before the WIC purchase, the Global stations had widely varying program lineups, and the WIC purchase only exacerbated the differences. For example, CHAN held the British Columbia rights to many shows that aired on CTV until 2001, except for The Oprah Winfrey Show. Factors influencing the stations' programming include time zone differences, local programming, and ratings for non-Global shows.
Global has built its business on profitable entertainment programming produced in the United States, and has long been criticized for not investing enough in Canadian content. Canadian programming carried on the network, such as a revival of 1960s American science fiction series The Outer Limits, or the Chicago-set drama Zoe Busiek: Wild Card, has often avoided Canadian themes, presumably to focus on sales to United States and international cable or syndication markets – although Psi Factor did include Canadian themes, including a "killer wheat" episode and episodes set in Northern Quebec and Halifax. Series initially intended for the U.S. and international market are sometimes called "industrial" productions and largely disappeared with the collapse of the international action hour market.
From the late-1990s to the mid-2000s, Global aired somewhat more identifiably Canadian entertainment programming, including the long-running finance drama Traders, the British-Canadian animated comedy Bob and Margaret, the police procedural drama Blue Murder, the nightly improvised drama Train 48, the sitcom The Jane Show and the reality show My Fabulous Gay Wedding. In 2003, Global signed comedian Mike Bullard, host of the nightly Open Mike with Mike Bullard on CTV and The Comedy Network, to a multi-year contract for a new nightly talk show on Global, but that series was cancelled after 60 episodes amid poor ratings.
Global purchased the rights to produce a Canadian version of the popular entertainment magazine Entertainment Tonight; ET Canada launched on September 12, 2005. It also secured Canadian production rights to the American reality series The Apprentice, but a Canadian version of the program never came to fruition.
Notable American shows currently airing on Global include the NCIS franchise, Bull, Hawaii Five-0, SEAL Team, Instinct, 9-1-1, Survivor, S.W.A.T., Madam Secretary, Saturday Night Live, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Days of Our Lives, and The Young and the Restless. On July 21, 2006, Global signed a deal with WWE to broadcast a program from its new ECW brand, starting on August 11 and then every Friday night in a late night slot. ECW would continue to air in that slot on Global for three and a half years. For a brief period toward the end of its run, ECW was moved to an early Sunday morning slot. Following the cancellation of the ECW brand in February 2010, Global aired the first season of WWE's replacement for the show, NXT, in that early Sunday morning slot. NXT was then picked up by The Score Television Network starting with the second season which began in June 2010.
Global profits due to Canada's simultaneous substitution (or "simsub") regulations, which allow content owners to control programming rights for a particular show in Canada. When an American broadcast network is broadcasting the same show at the same time that Global is (such as the programs mentioned above), Canadian cable subscribers may only watch the Global Television broadcast, even when trying to view the American stations. This law gives them double exposure for their content and a larger share of advertising revenue, effectively blocking American border cities from access to the Canadian market. This was done to help give money to the networks to fund Canadian content development. Global is not the only Canadian broadcaster to use simsubs; nonetheless, some complaints, specific to Global, have arisen due to the following related practices:
Global cross-promotes heavily with other Corus Entertainment properties in the markets where both services operate in parallel.
In 1979, Global – then a regional network in Ontario – purchased the Toronto Blizzard soccer team and produced and aired coverage of the team's games in-house. The team was not a success on the field, in attendance or ratings, and Global sold the franchise in 1981 but continued to broadcast seven games a year until 1983.
Aside from its brief experiment with soccer, the Global network has never had an in-house sports production division as do CBC and CTV/TSN. Network sports broadcasts are either simulcast with American networks or outsourced to independent producers such as Molstar. During the 1987 and 1988 Stanley Cup playoffs, Global aired NHL games syndicated by Carling O'Keefe. Global was the longtime broadcaster of National Football League football games in Canada, an association that ended in 2007 when CTV outbid Global for the NFL broadcast package. The network continues to air various PGA Tour events.
Beyond event coverage, many Global stations were well known for local late-night sports highlights shows, such as Sportsline in Ontario, Sports Page in Vancouver (later moved to former sister station CHEK-TV), and Sports Night in Edmonton. Most of these programs were later unified under the Global Sports brand. However, due to declining audiences, by fall 2005 all but the Ontario program had been cancelled, although stations continued to cover sports in their local newscasts. Global Ontario's sports program was finally cancelled in January 2007; at that point, the station closed its sports department entirely, and since then has outsourced sports news coverage to The Score (initially Sportsnet beforehand).
Some Global O&Os outside of Ontario (such as CHAN Vancouver and CITV Edmonton) continue to feature locally produced sports segments on their local newscasts. On the other hand, the sports segments aired during local newscasts on CIHF in Saint John and CKMI in Montreal are produced from CHAN's Vancouver studio, presented by that station's sports anchors.
Until the discontinuation of Fox Sports World Canada, CKND in Winnipeg also produced the Fox Soccer Report, which was seen on the network and Fox Soccer in the United States. It was replaced in 2012 by the Sportsnet-produced Fox Soccer News.
In 2015, Global broadcast coverage of the Canada West conference's university football championship, including coverage of one semi-final game, and the Hardy Cup game the following week. The telecasts were produced through Shaw TV's Canada West Football on Shaw package.
Global Video is an online internet television service offering programming that airs both on Global and many of Corus Entertainment's cable channels. The service is available both through traditional PC/Mac and iOS platforms.
In October 2004, Global launched an 1080i high definition simulcast feed of its Toronto station CIII-TV called Global HD and started airing select American programs in HD; some Canadian series such as Falcon Beach eventually began to be included among its HD programs. At the time, the service was only available via digital cable. On April 18, 2008, Global officially launched a digital transmitter in Toronto, making the HD simulcast of CIII-TV available over-the-air. The network also launched an HD simulcast feed of its Vancouver station (CHAN-TV) on the same day.
Global HD is available nationally via satellite and on digital cable as well as for free over-the-air using a regular TV antenna and a digital tuner (included in most new television sets) on the following channels:
|City||Station||OTA digital channel|
|Calgary, Alberta||CICT-DT||41 (2.1)|
|Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island||CHNB-DT-14||42 (42.1)|
|Edmonton, Alberta||CITV-DT||13 (13.1)|
|Fredericton, New Brunswick||CHNB-DT-1||44 (11.1)|
|Halifax, Nova Scotia||CIHF-DT||8 (8.1)|
|Kamloops, British Columbia||CHKM-DT||22 (6.1)|
|Kelowna, British Columbia||CHBC-DT||27 (2.1)|
|Lethbridge, Alberta||CISA-DT||7 (7.1)|
|Midland, Ontario||CIII-DT-7||7 (7.1)|
|Montreal, Quebec||CKMI-DT-1||15 (15.1)|
|Moncton, New Brunswick||CHNB-DT-3||27 (27.1)|
|Ottawa, Ontario||CIII-DT-6||6 (6.1)|
|Paris, Ontario||CIII-DT||17 (6.1)|
|Penticton, British Columbia||CHBC-DT-1||32 (13.1)|
|Prince George, British Columbia||CIFG-DT||29 (12.1)|
|Quebec City, Quebec||CKMI-DT||20 (20.2)|
|Regina, Saskatchewan||CFRE-DT||11 (11.1)|
|Saint John, New Brunswick||CHNB-DT||12 (12.1)|
|Saskatoon, Saskatchewan||CFSK-DT||42 (4.1)|
|Sherbrooke, Quebec||CKMI-DT-2||11 (11.1)|
|Thunder Bay, Ontario||CHFD-DT||4 (4.1)|
|Toronto, Ontario||CIII-DT-41||41 (41.1)|
|Vancouver, British Columbia||CHAN-DT||22 (8.1)|
|Vernon, British Columbia||CHBC-DT-2||20 (7.1)|
|Windsor, Ontario||CIII-DT-22||22 (22.1)|
|Winnipeg, Manitoba||CKND-DT||40 (9.1)|
The above noted transmitters were converted to digital by August 31, 2011, as part of Canada's over-the-air transition deadline in mandatory markets from analog to digital. As part of its purchase by Shaw Communications in 2011, Shaw committed to converting all of the network's over-the-air analog transmitters to digital by 2016.
The Global network has long been much more decentralized than either CBC or CTV. For most programs, there is no "network" feed per se, and in effect every commercial break is a station break. National advertising is certainly available, but such ads are seamlessly integrated into local ad blocks.
In fact, it is not uncommon to see different lengths of commercial breaks from one station to the next even during identical programming. This occurs even though all Global stations have had their master control operations centralized in Calgary since fall 2006.
From 2010 to 2016, with the exception of CIII-DT in Toronto, stations used sustained on-screen bugs using each station's full local brand as opposed to simply "Global". In September 2016, except for local newscasts, Global has updated its bug back to "Global" without an additional local station city below it.
|City of licence||Station||Channel
|Year of affiliation||Owned since||Notes|
|Calgary, Alberta||CICT-DT||2.1 (41)||1988
(as a secondary affiliate)
|2000||Master control hub for all owned-and-operated stations|
|Edmonton, Alberta||CITV-DT||13.1 (13)||1988
(as a secondary affiliate)
|Halifax, Nova Scotia||CIHF-DT||8.1 (8)||1988||1994|
|Kelowna, British Columbia||CHBC-DT||2.1 (27)||2009||2000|
|Kingston, Ontario||CKWS-DT||11.1 (11)||2016
(for news programming only; became full-time O&O in 2018)
|Lethbridge, Alberta||CISA-DT||7.1 (7)||1988
(as a secondary affiliate)
|Montreal, Quebec||CKMI-DT++||20.1 (20)||1997
(previously secondary 1982–1992)
(for news programming only; became full-time O&O in 2018)
|Peterborough, Ontario||CHEX-DT||12 (12)||2016
(for news programming only; became full-time O&O in 2018)
|Regina, Saskatchewan||CFRE-DT++||11.1 (11)||1990||1987|
|Saint John, New Brunswick||CHNB-DT||12.1 (12)||1988||1994|
|Saskatoon, Saskatchewan||CFSK-DT++||4.1 (42)||1990||1987|
|Toronto, Ontario||CIII-DT**||6.1 (6)||1974||1974|
|Vancouver, British Columbia||CHAN-DT**||8.1 (22)||2001||2000||Studio facilities based in Burnaby, British Columbia|
|Winnipeg, Manitoba||CKND-DT++||9.1 (40)||1975||1985|
Several O&Os predate the first appearance of the Global banner in 1974. Specifically, CKMI, CICT, CHBC, CHEX, CISA and CKWS launched in the 1950s as CBC Television affiliates, while CHAN-TV launched in 1960 and soon became Vancouver's original CTV affiliate. All of these were eventually supplanted by network-owned stations or transmitters.
Most of these stations serve their entire province or region through a network of relay stations as a part of the key station's licence, although some of their transmitters may air separate advertising targeted to their local community.
|City of license||Station||Channel
|Year of affiliation||Owner||Notes|
|St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador||CJON-DT
(informal secondary affiliation)
|21.1 (21)||2002||Stirling Communications International||Nominally an independent station known as "NTV", CJON is sometimes considered a Global affiliate, as Global has been that station's primary source of programming since dropping its primary CTV affiliation in 2002. However, NTV does not always carry the full Global lineup, and continues to air some CTV specials, as well as national newscasts from both networks.|
|Thunder Bay, Ontario||CHFD-DT||4.1 (4)||2010||Dougall Media||Uses on-air brand "Global Thunder Bay", despite not being an O&O. Previously a CTV affiliate.|
|Lloydminster, Alberta/Saskatchewan||CKSA-DT||2.1 (2)||2016||Newcap Radio||Previously a CBC affiliate.|
|City of license||Station||Year of affiliation||Year of disaffiliation||Notes|
|Vancouver, British Columbia||CKVU-DT||1997||2001||Had to be divested in order to own CHAN-TV/Vancouver and CHEK-TV/Victoria, sold to CHUM Limited. Currently owned by Rogers Media as a Citytv O&O.|
|Kenora, Ontario||CJBN-TV||2011||2017||Shaw Communications elected not to renew the station's license. The station closed on January 27, 2017.|
Global previously maintained a secondary television system similar to CTV 2. CH was originally launched on February 12, 2001 by Canwest Global Communications after acquiring the Western International Communications properties in 2000. The system was launched in September of that year when the large network shuffle in Vancouver occurred, only to provide a secondary schedule parallel to Canwest's larger Global Television Network. It initially focused on airing programs from the U.S. broadcast networks that could not fit on Global's own schedule, in order to avail of simultaneous substitution opportunities. The system became "E!" in fall 2007, as a result of a deal with Comcast to carry programming from that company's U.S.-based E!: Entertainment Television, although it continued to air much the same American network series in primetime and the afternoon.
The E! television system ceased operations on September 1, 2009 due to low ratings and corporate financial difficulties that eventually led to Canwest filing for bankruptcy protection and selling its properties to Shaw Media; the E! O&O stations experienced varied fates (CHCH Hamilton and CJNT Montreal were sold to Channel Zero, CHEK Victoria was sold to an employee-led group; CHBC Kelowna remained with Canwest and was converted into a Global O&O, and CHCA Red Deer ceased operations outright), while the Pattison Group stations affiliated with the Rogers Media-owned Citytv system. As E!, local news and other regional programming, as well as most local community sponsorships on the O&O stations, used local branding (using the callsign branding scheme common with Canadian stations not owned by a network or television system). This decision was at least partly made to avoid confusion with E! News, but likely intended to ensure that local newscasts were not perceived as celebrity-oriented.
E! in the U.S. (now owned by NBCUniversal) later reached an agreement to bring the channel's brand and programming to Bell Media's Category 2 specialty channel Star! (which had a similar format to E! U.S. and had carried some of its programming prior to the 2007 rebranding of CH), rebranding it as a Canadian version of E! on November 29, 2010.
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