|Launched||January 1, 1995|
|Owned by||Corus Entertainment (90%, managing partner)
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
|Slogan||Our Kind of Funny
Powered by Laughter
|Formerly called||New Country Network (1995–1996)|
|Bell TV||Channel 575 (SD)|
|Shaw Direct||Channel 583 (SD)|
|Available on most Canadian cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
|FibreOP||Channel 216 (SD)
Channel 423 (HD)
|Bell Fibe TV||Channel 575 (SD)
Channel 1575 (HD)
|MTS||Channel 109 (SD)
Channel 1109 (HD)
|Optik TV||Channel 9555 (SD)
Channel 555 (HD)
|SaskTel||Channel 14 (SD)|
CMT is a Canadian English language Category A cable and satellite specialty channel that is owned as a joint venture between Corus Entertainment (which owns a controlling 90% interest) and Viacom (which owns the remaining 10%), owners of the flagship CMT cable channel in the United States. The channel airs country music and family-oriented general entertainment programs in the form of music videos, award shows, concerts and sitcoms. It is one of two MTV-branded channels that are owned by Corus, the other being Nickelodeon.
Prior to the launch of CMT Canada, the American-based country television network, Country Music Television, had been available in Canada since 1984, one year after the channel's launch in the United States.
In June 1994, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) licensed a series of new Canadian specialty television channels; among the ones whose licence was granted was The Country Network, whose programming provisions required it to primarily feature country music videos (a minimum of 90%). The licence was granted to a partnership between Maclean-Hunter (which owned 60% majority control) and Rawlco Communications (which owned the remaining 40%).
At this time, the CRTC had a policy that if a Canadian specialty service was licensed and that service's format was competitive with a foreign service's format that was licensed to operate in Canada, the foreign service could be terminated from being permitted to be distributed in Canada. Due to Country Music Television's competitive format, the CRTC terminated CMT's eligibility rights in Canada as a foreign service on June 6, 1994. Television distributors such as cable and satellite television operators could continue distributing Country Music Television until The Country Network began operations.
On January 1, 1995, the channel launched as New Country Network (NCN). On that date, Canadian pay television service providers were no longer allowed to offer Country Music Television. In retaliation to being barred from Canada, the American service launched a complaint under the North American Free Trade Agreement and ceased carriage of videos by Canadian artists without major U.S. record deals.
After months of negotiations, the matter was settled when it was announced that CBS Cable, then owners of CMT, would purchase a minority stake in the service. NCN was relaunched as CMT Canada on October 31, 1996. The majority interest was acquired by Shaw Communications at the same time; it was later included in the spinoff of the broadcasting assets then owned by Shaw as Corus Entertainment in 1999. The controversy also resulted in an effective change to CRTC policy – if a foreign channel is already available in Canada and a new Canadian equivalent is subsequently licensed, cable providers are no longer required to drop the foreign service.
When CMT was launched as New Country Network on January 1, 1995, the CRTC required that 90% of the station's programming consist of music videos. The CRTC dropped that requirement to 70% on February 28, 2001. The percentage was further reduced to 50% on February 28, 2006, making it, more or less, like its American counterpart.
CMT airs music videos throughout the day in blocks titled My CMT Morning, CMT Music, Number 1s, CMT Social, CMT Rewind, Old School, Wide Open and CMT Spotlight, along with the weekly Chevrolet Top 20 Countdown. During the evening hours, CMT airs a mix of acquired programming consisting of sitcoms (such as Rules of Engagement, Reba and According to Jim), reality series (such as America's Funniest Home Videos, Wife Swap, Cash and Cari, Bayou Billionaires and Swamp Pawn), Canadian-produced programs (such as Deal with It, Just for Laughs: Gags, Wipeout Canada and Undercover Boss Canada) as well as original series (such as CMT's Hottest, Burger Wars, Cash Mob and Pick a Puppy).
- Paul McGuire – host of Chevrolet Top 20 Countdown and CMT's Hottest
- Casey Clarke (now at CIGV-FM in Penticton, British Columbia)
- Cliff Dumas (now host of the Weekly Country Countdown)
- Shannon Gaye
- Gnarley Charley (now at KSKS in Fresno, California)
- Stu Jeffries (now at CHBM-FM in Toronto)
- Nicola Jones (now at CHCH in Hamilton, Ontario)
- Ashley Kranz (winner of CMT Canada's "CMT Casting Call 2007" competition)
- Elissa Lansdell (now host of My Rona Home)
- Beverley Mahood
- Melissa Parrott (winner of CMT Canada's "CMT Casting Call 2009" competition)
- Hal Roberts (now with DailyWebTV for Torstar Communications)
- Colleen Rusholme (nowat CING-FM in Hamilton)
- Greg Shannon (now at CKGY-FM in Calgary, Alberta)
- Nancy Sinclair
- Brian "Hurricane" Smith
- Tamara Stanners (now at CKPK-FM in Vancouver)
- Lindsay Stone
- CMT (US)
- "VAP | CMT.ca". Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- "Will country music videos set off culture war? Some facts to keep in mind as U.S. trade negotiators threaten retaliatory strikes". Toronto Star. 1995-02-11.
- "Decision CRTC 94-284". CRTC. 1994-06-06.
- THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Canadian Media Giants to Merge The New York Times 1994-03-09
- "U.S. country TV drops Canadian videos". Toronto Star. 1995-01-10.
- "TRUCE DECLARED IN THE CANADIAN COUNTRY MUSIC WAR". CNN. 1995-08-21.
- Decision CRTC 94-284
- Decision CRTC 2001-154
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-52
- TV Highlights