CMT (Canada)

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CMT
CMT Canada 2010.png
Launched January 1, 1995 (1995-01-01)
Owned by Corus Entertainment (90%, managing partner)
Viacom (10%)
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Slogan Our Kind of Funny
Powered by Laughter
Country Canada
Language English
Broadcast area Nationwide
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario[1]
Formerly called New Country Network (1995–1996)
Website www.cmt.ca
Availability
Satellite
Bell TV Channel 575 (SD)
Shaw Direct Channel 583 (SD)
Cable
Available on most Canadian cable systems Consult your local cable provider for channel availability
IPTV
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.

History[edit]

CMT logo used from 1996 to 2000.
CMT logo used from 2000 to 2006.

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.[2]

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%).[3]

CMT logo used from 2006 to 2008.
CMT logo used from 2008 to 2010.

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.[3] 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.[3]

In March 1994, one year before the channel's launch, Maclean-Hunter had been purchased by Rogers Communications.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[6] 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.

Programming[edit]

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.[7] The CRTC dropped that requirement to 70% on February 28, 2001.[8] The percentage was further reduced to 50% on February 28, 2006,[9] 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).

CMT HD[edit]

CMT HD is a high definition simulcast feed of CMT, which broadcasts in the 1080i resolution format. In early 2014, Telus TV announced on its website that it would carry the HD feed of CMT Canada.[10]

Hosts/presenters[edit]

Current hosts[edit]

  • Paul McGuire – host of Chevrolet Top 20 Countdown and CMT's Hottest

Former hosts[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]