Cottage Life (TV channel)
|Launched||September 4, 2001|
|Owned by||Blue Ant Media|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Slogan||Where Every Day is the Weekend|
|Formerly called||Country Canada (2001-2002)
CBC Country Canada (2002-2008)
|Website||Cottage Life TV|
|Bell TV||Channel 641 (SD)
Channel 1730 (HD)
|Shaw Direct||Channel 512 (SD)|
|Available on most Canadian cable systems||Check local listings|
|FibreOP||Channel 267 (SD)
Channel 515 (HD)
|Bell Fibe TV||Channel 641 (SD)
Channel 1641 (HD)
|MTS||Channel 303 (SD)
Channel 449 (HD)
|Optik TV||Channel 178 (SD)
Channel 655 (HD)
|SaskTel||Channel 65 (SD)|
Cottage Life is a Canadian English language Category A specialty channel owned by Blue Ant Media. Operated as a spin-off of the co-owned magazine Cottage Life, the network airs a variety of programming focusing on the cottage and rural lifestyle genre within the core themes of DIY and design, food and entertaining, real estate, and outdoor living.
The network originally launched in 2001 as Country Canada, which primarily focused on programming of interest to rural Canadians, including news and lifestyle programming. After the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation bought out Corus Entertainment's stake in Country Canada, the network began to transition towards marketing itself as a companion to CBC Television, reduced the amount of rural-themed programming it aired in favour of entertainment programs and CBC Sports overflow, and eventually re-branded itself as Bold in 2008. In the midst of budget cuts at the CBC, Bold was sold to its current owners, Blue Ant Media, in April 2012; on September 4, 2013, Bold was re-launched by Blue Ant Media as Cottage Life.
In November 2000, a joint venture between Corus Entertainment (70%) and the CBC (30%) was granted a television broadcasting licence by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to launch a channel called Land and Sea, presumably the name taken from the CBC original series Land and Sea. The newly licensed channel was described as "a national English-language Category 1 specialty television service for rural Canadian families, with a focus on adults 25-54. The service will provide information, interaction and entertainment from a rural perspective."
The channel was launched on September 4, 2001 as Country Canada; based on the CBC Television series Country Canada. The channel held true to its CRTC-mandated nature of service by focusing on rural news, information, lifestyle, and entertainment programming suitable for the whole family. Such programs that were broadcast on the channel included CountryLine, a call-in talk show discussing various topics of interest to rural Canadians; CBC News: CountryWide, a national news program with both a morning and evening edition focusing on national news stories; Northern Exposure; All Creatures Great and Small; and the television rendition of Harrowsmith Country Life.
In July 2002, CBC announced it would purchase Corus' interest in the service, which was approved by the CRTC on October 24 of that year. The CBC took control of the service on November 1, 2002 and rebranded the service with a new logo and name, CBC Country Canada.
After the change in ownership, the CBC initially relied heavily on CBC Television programming to fill the channel's schedule, with a particular focus on news programs. This transition was the first step in the channel moving away from its mandate to focus solely on rural programming, instead, shifting towards a focus on general interest Canadian programming. New programming added to the schedule included all 14 30 minute regional editions of Canada Now, Venture, CBC News: Politics, amateur sports programming from CBC Sports, CBC News: Saturday Report, and Cross Country Checkup.
After the initial change in programming after the rebranding, news, although still present on the channel, became less significant as the channel began to air more lifestyle, entertainment, and documentary programming such as Food Chain, an original program discussing various aspects of food; Greatdocs.ca, a series of various Canadian-made documentaries; Johnny Canuck Cinema, a series of various Canadian films; An American in Canada; and London's Burning.
Eventually, beginning in 2005, with the change in programming to focus more on general Canadian programming rather than solely rural-programming, the channel began to continuously promoted itself and its programs as a channel, according to its website, dedicated to "celebrating Canada, its land, people, regions and passions". This shift included an increase in dramatic television series from Canada and Britain that had little to no relation to the rural lifestyle, and an increase in amateur sports coverage including alpine skiing, curling, snowboarding, Toronto FC, and Canada national team soccer, among others. In further continuation with this shift, in early 2007, CBC Country Canada began to no longer promote itself as a rural lifestyle service, rather as a secondary general entertainment service to the CBC, touting, according to its website "the new home of exclusive dramas and world championship sports, from home and around the world. From provocative documentaries to a new series of investigative thrillers, CBC Country Canada has something for everyone." Programs at this point in time included such series as Vincent, Sensitive Skin, Monkey Dust, This Is Wonderland, and 72 Hours: True Crime.
On March 27, 2008 at 12:01 a.m. EST, CBC Country Canada was rebranded as bold to better reflect the programming direction CBC Country Canada was moving in, and to focus its programming on drama, comedy, the arts, and sports rather than an informational and lifestyle service for rural Canadians.
Nature of service dispute
Prior to rebranding the service as bold, the CBC informed the CRTC in October 2007 of its intentions and new programming directive for the service. Following this correspondence, the CBC and the CRTC exchanged correspondence back and forth in an effort to clarify how the change in programming for bold met the nature of service bold was intended to meet when it was originally licensed in 2000. The CRTC ultimately was not satisfied with the CBC's argument and called a public hearing into the matter in June 2009.
Prior to the hearing, the CBC contacted the CRTC to inform them that they did not contest the CRTC's view that the service did not meet the requirements of its nature of service and informed the CRTC that it would like to file an application to modify Bold's nature of service to state it is "a national English-language Category 1 specialty television service for rural Canadians. The service will provide information, interaction and entertainment."
During the separate hearing for the application to modify Bold's nature of service at a later date, the CRTC examined the request and found several issues with the change in nature of service, primarily being that it would allow the service to morph into a general interest service instead of a niche service for rural Canadians, since it would not require the channel to be from "a rural perspective", implying a service defined as "for rural Canadians" would be too broad in nature. Subsequently, the CRTC denied its application and required the CBC to inform the CRTC within 30 days of a new programming proposal to ensure its meets the channel's nature of service.
In response to this decision, the CBC filed yet another application to amend Bold's nature of service, this time reading as "a national English-language Category A specialty television service with a focus on adults 25-54. The service will provide information, interaction and entertainment programming dedicated to reflecting Canada’s various regions, including Canada’s rural and non-urban regions, to national and regional audiences. The mandate of the service will be to reflect in its programming the unique tapestry of Canada’s regions, including programming that reflects the living realities of rural Canadians." Within this application, the CBC also requested to define rural Canadians using Statistics Canada definition, reading as "individuals from rural non-metro adjacent areas, rural metro adjacent areas and rural northern areas."
Although the CRTC raised some concerns over the proposed schedule the CBC submitted as part of this application, the CRTC ultimately approved the application and was satisfied with the changes, stating that the new definition of rural Canadians was more appropriate since it reflected their geographical location, rather than their occupations as the previous nature of service defined; and to ensure the programming reflected Canada’s various regions, as per the new nature of service, the CRTC added a definition of such programming.
Blue Ant Media purchase
On April 4, 2012, the CBC announced, in the wake of a $115 million government funding budget cut to be phased in over the next 3 years, that it would sell Bold as a measure to cope with the budget shortfall since the service's licence conditions no longer fit the CBC's strategy nor complement the other programming streams. On August 17, 2012, Blue Ant Media announced that it would purchase the channel for an undisclosed amount, later revealed at $10 million. As a federal crown corporation asset owned by the CBC, the deal also required approval from the Governor-in-Council, which was approved in February 2013. On November 17, 2012, the CRTC approved the sale of Bold to Blue Ant Media. As a condition of the acquisition, Blue Ant stated that it would fund the production of programming that reflects Canada's rural and non-urban regions.
Rebranding as Cottage Life
In July 2011, Blue Ant Media purchased a 15% interest in Quarto Communications, with its intentions of launching several television channels based upon Quarto's magazine brands, in particular, Cottage Life. Later, in November 2011, Quarto was given approval from the CRTC to launch a channel titled Cottage Life Television, described as " a national, English-language specialty Category B service offering information and lifestyle programming about cottage communities and cottage activities such as boating, swimming, fishing, golfing, water sports and indoor games; information about buying, selling, renting and renovating cottage properties; and programs of special interest to the cottage owner dealing with such matters as shoreline, docks, decks, boathouses, water supply, wood stoves, cottage cooking and recipes, and the history of cottaging."
Blue Ant would later purchase the remaining shares in Quarto Communication and rename the company Cottage Life Media four months after it announced its intentions to purchase bold.
In April 2013, Blue Ant announced it would launch Cottage Life in the fall of 2013; it was speculated that the company would re-launch Bold as a Cottage Life channel, primarily because the rural-based nature of service complimented the subject matter that Cottage Life covered and bold had existing carriage deals on the majority of all digital television service providers in Canada due to its Category A status. However, Blue Ant did not confirm any rumours or its intentions for the channel.
Although still with no public announcement of the channel's re-branding from Blue Ant Media, it was indirectly confirmed through various television service providers (i.e., announcements on the respective TV provider's websites, statements confirming Cottage Life's television placement on the dial would be that of Bold's, etc.) that bold would be re-branded as Cottage Life on September 4, 2013. It was confirmed on August 22, 2013 by Blue Ant Media that bold would be rebranded on September 4 via a press release.
- A Park For All Seasons
- BBQ Crawl
- Buying Alaska
- Compete to Eat
- Cottage Life Television
- Farm Kings
- My Retreat
- Selling Big
- The Fabulous Beekman Boys
- Note: programs current as of October 2013.
- Decision CRTC 2000-453 CRTC 2000-12-14
- Country Canada schedule Internet Archive retrieved 2013-03-30
- CBC buys 100% of digi-net Country Canada Mediacaster Magazine 2002-07-26
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-336 CRTC 2002-10-24
- CBC Country Canada schedule Internet Archive retrieved 2013-03-30
- CBC Country Canada schedule Internet Archive retrieved 2013-03-30
- Internet Archive of CBC Country Canada's website Dated 2004-06-19 Retrieved 2011-12-04
- Internet Archive of CBC Country Canada's website Dated 2007-01-10 Retrieved 2011-12-04
- CBC launches two new digital channels Media in Canada 2008-03-28
- CBC Bold going HD for World Cup, CBC, 2010-06-02
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-214 CRTC 2010-04-14
- Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2009-132 CRTC 2009-03-11
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-286 CRTC 2011-05-03
- CBC sees government funding slashed by $115-million The Globe and Mail 2012-03-29
- CBC says it will cut 650 jobs Canoe.ca 2012-04-04
- CBC/Radio-Canada Budget
- Blue Ant to buy Bold Realscreen.com 2012-08-17
- CRTC approves $10 million Blue Ant deal for Bold Playback 2012-11-19
- Blue Ant gets Bold for $10 million Cartt.ca 2012-11-16
- Bold $4-million Sale to Blue Ant Media Approved Marketing Magazine 2013-02-21
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-630 CRTC 2012-11-16
- Quarto, Blue Ant Media team up on specialty channel venture. RealScreen, July 11, 2011.
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-713. CRTC, November 17, 2011.
- Blue Ant Media buys Cottage Life Media, terms not immediately available. Canadian Business, December 5, 2012.
- Blue Ant to launch Cottage Life TV channel this fall.. Cartt.ca, April 4, 2013.
- New TV Channel, Cottage Life, Launches Nationally September 4th. Yahoo Canada Finance, August 22, 2013.