BBC Canada

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BBC Canada
BBC Canada logo.svg
BBC Canada logo
Launched September 7, 2001
Owned by Shaw Media (80% & managing partner)
BBC Worldwide (20%)
(Jasper Broadcasting Inc.)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Slogan The Best and Boldest of British Television
Country Canada
Broadcast area National
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Website BBC Canada
Bell TV Channel 635
Shaw Direct Channel 534
Available on many Canadian cable systems Check local listings for channels
Bell Aliant TV Channel 266
Bell Fibe TV Channel 635
MTS Channel 304
Optik TV Channel 181
SaskTel Channel 145

BBC Canada is a Canadian English language Category B specialty channel. It focuses on British television series, many originally produced by or for the BBC. BBC Canada is a joint venture between Shaw Media and BBC Worldwide.


While BBC Canada is part-owned by the BBC, not all BBC programs air on BBC Canada. In general, while BBC Worldwide and its affiliated operations have a "first look" at the corporation's output, this right only applies so long as BBC Worldwide pays no less than what the BBC Commercial Agency, which is at arm's length, judges to be a particular property's value.[1] Furthermore, while BBC Canada serves a similar purpose to the BBC America channel available in the United States, there are also significant differences between the programming rights owned by the two channels.

This means that much of the BBC's output (and, for that matter, BBC America's original programming) airs on other Canadian channels which have either co-produced the programs or simply bid more for the Canadian broadcast rights. Conversely, many of the British series that do air on this channel are not from the BBC, with some having originally been produced by or aired on other British channels, such as the privately owned ITV or the independent public-service broadcaster Channel 4.

Despite its British focus, BBC Canada is licensed as a Canadian channel and is not exempt from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's (CRTC) broadcasting regulations requiring it to carry a quota of Canadian content. This means that in addition to British programs, it also broadcasts a number of Canadian series, which according to the channel's licence are required to "explore or [be] informed by Canada’s relationship to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth".[2] Canadian programs currently airing on the channel include repeats of Disaster DIY and Holmes Inspection. In the early 2010s, the channel began airing American series featuring British personalities, such as the American version of the Gordon Ramsay program Kitchen Nightmares (it has also in the past carried the British Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares), and repeat airings of the American dramas House and Elementary (each of which has a British actor in the lead role).

Many of the channel's programs, whether British, American, or Canadian, are shared with other Shaw Media channels such as Global, Showcase, HGTV and Food Network.

BBC Canada does not ordinarily carry BBC News programming, as the BBC World News channel is also widely available in Canada, and BBC News also has a long-standing content-sharing agreement with the CBC. On the rare occasions that BBC Canada does carry news coverage, coverage may be produced by Shaw-owned Global News instead of the BBC, such as with the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.[3]


Original owners, Alliance Atlantis (AAC), were granted a broadcast licence for BBC Canada by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in November 2000.[2] The channel was launched on September 7, 2001, under its current name as a joint venture between AAC and BBC Worldwide.

To promote the launch of BBC Canada's 2007 fall season, a 16-page British-style tabloid insert called the BBC Telly appeared in the Toronto Star. Toronto-based Pilot PMR created the campaign creative.

On January 18, 2008, a joint venture between Canwest and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners known as CW Media bought Alliance Atlantis and gained AAC's interest in BBC Canada.

On October 27, 2010, ownership changed once again as Shaw Communications gained control of BBC Canada as a result of its acquisition of Canwest and Goldman Sachs' interest in CW Media.[4][5]

Related properties[edit]

Apart from the television channel, BBC Worldwide directly operates a BBC Canada Shop website which sells merchandise related to British television series such as Top Gear, Little Britain and Doctor Who.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]