Business News Network

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Business News Network
Business News Network logo.svg
Launched September 1, 1999
Owned by Bell Media
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV/16:9 Letterbox)
(1999-present, has aired in 16:9 Letterbox since late 2011)
Country Canada
Broadcast area National
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Formerly called Report on Business Television (1999–2007)
Sister channel(s) CTV
CTV News Channel
Website BNN
Bell TV Channel 504 (SD)
Channel 1568 (HD)
Shaw Direct Channel 508 (SD)
Available on most Canadian cable systems Check local listings, channels may vary
FibreOP Channel 238 (SD)
Bell Fibe TV Channel 504 (SD)
Channel 1504 (HD)
MTS Channel 142 (SD)
Optik TV Channel 93 (SD)
Channel 707 (HD)
SaskTel Channel 53 (SD)

Business News Network (BNN) is a Canadian English language Category A specialty channel. BNN broadcasts programming related to business and financial news and analysis. In December 2010, the station was based from 299 Queen Street West in Downtown Toronto and was owned by Bell Media. Its day-to-day operations are run by CTV News.


As Report on Business Television (ROBTv)[edit]

The network was licensed in 1996 to a joint venture of Thomson Corporation (50%), Western International Communications (25%), and Cancom (25%). It began broadcasting on September 1, 1999 under the name Report on Business Television (although using the abbreviation ROBTv), borrowing the name from The Globe and Mail's financial section "Report on Business".

In 2000, Canwest acquired WIC and its interest in ROBTv. As part of the agreement transferring WIC's interests in Cancom to Shaw Communications, CanWest acquired Cancom's share of the channel as well.

That same year, the two partners became in conflict with each other: CanWest acquired the Southam newspaper chain, including the National Post, the Globe's chief rival. Around the same time, Thomson transferred the Globe and its shares of ROBTv to Bell Globemedia, a newly formed media company which also included CTV, in which Thomson initially held a 20% interest. Following threats of legal action on both sides, in 2001, CanWest agreed to sell its 50% to BGM, in exchange for Bell ExpressVu agreeing to carry a new CanWest-owned digital business news channel, "Financial Post Television".[1] The latter channel never materialized.

Shortly thereafter BGM assumed full control of ROBTv in late 2001, the channel was given a new logo and began to use only the full name of Report on Business Television, dropping "ROBTv".

As Business News Network (BNN)[edit]

On March 12, 2007 Report on Business Television was renamed "Business News Network", although no channel format or schedule change occurred. The name change occurred to give exclusive rights to the "Report on Business" name to the Globe and Mail and for the channel to have its own identity. Network executives also stated that they were unhappy that viewers would sometimes pronounce the acronym ROBTv as "Rob" TV rather than "R-O-B" TV.

BNN moved operations from 720 King Street West to a new home at 299 Queen Street West on December 6, 2010, where CTV's MuchMusic and Toronto's 24-hour news service CP24 are based.[2]

With the Thomson family reacquiring control of the Globe (and by implication Report on Business) in late 2010, and the pending sale of CTVglobemedia's broadcasting assets to Bell Canada, the channel and the newspaper are no longer co-owned, although Bell will retain a 15% interest in the paper. On April 1, 2011, CTVglobemedia was replaced by Bell Canada's new business unit, Bell Media.


A large majority of the programming found on BNN is produced in-house, although it also carries content from other sources including Bloomberg Television. Originally it was the Canadian broadcast partner of CNNfn, an American business news channel, which closed in December 2004.

BNN features a televised stock ticker with real-time data from the TSX, NYSE, NASDAQ and many international exchanges. Based in Toronto, BNN also has news bureaus located at the NASDAQ Market Site in New York City's Times Square, and in Calgary.

BNN attracts approximately 5,000 regular viewers daily and has a strong viewership outside of the home (in gyms, restaurants, offices, etc.) which is not reflected in its ratings. This is a situation also faced by networks with high out-of-home viewing patterns such as CNBC.

Special programming[edit]

The network hosts a series of special presentations throughout the year, including valued specials for tax and RSP seasons. In Fall 2006, Report on Business Television hosted its first "Live On Location" event in Toronto where a studio audience was featured during two of the broadcaster's most popular shows, Market Call with Jim O'Connell and SqueezePlay with Kim Parlee and Andrew Bell. This marked the first time viewers had the opportunity to go live in person with the station during regular programming of Market Call.

In May 2008, the network re-launched, featuring its first-ever online contest called The $25,000 Challenge. The updated showcased a new video player allowing investors to search, sort and personalize BNN video; and the new player increased availability of past BNN video by allowing viewers to access content for an unlimited period of time online. Other added features on the site:

  • Blogs
  • Market Monitor
  • Feature Video on the Home Page
  • Online Stock Ticker
  • Hot Stocks
  • Guest Picks
  • Indices
  • Latest/Popular News tracking

Most programming aired on weekends is repeat episodes of various programming aired weekdays, along with infomercials, while during overnight hours, BNN broadcasts exclusively infomercials from Northern Response and Kingstar Media.

On-air hosts and contributors[edit]

  • Paul Bagnell
  • Andrew Bell
  • Larry Berman
  • Mark Bunting
  • Randy Cass
  • Martin Cej
  • Howard Green
  • Michael Hainsworth
  • Frances Horodelski
  • Michael Kane
  • Amber Kanwar
  • Patricia Lovett-Reid
  • Niall McGee
  • Jacquie McNish
  • Kim Parlee
  • Paul Waldie
  • Pamela Ritchie
  • Catherine Murray

BNN HD[edit]

On November 28, 2011, BNN launched BNN HD, a high definition simulcast of the standard definition feed. It is only available on Bell TV, Bell Fibe TV, Shaw Cable and Telus Optik TV. The channel airs in 1080i quality and airs in letterbox format on the SD channel.


Robtv1.svg Report on Business Television logo.png Business News Network logo.svg BNN HD.PNG
1999–2002 2002–2007 2007–present Original BNN HD logo (2011–present)


External links[edit]