|Launched||October 18, 2001|
|Owned by||Bell Media|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Slogan||Man's Best Friend.|
|Formerly called||MTV Canada (2001–2005)
|Bell TV||Channel 577|
|Shaw Direct||Channel 590|
|Available on most Canadian cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
|Bell Fibe TV||Channel 577|
|Optik TV||Channel 254|
MTV2 is a Canadian English language Category A cable and satellite specialty channel. Similar to its American counterpart, MTV2 is a lifestyle and general entertainment channel aimed at youth and teen audiences. The channel is owned by Bell Media, with the MTV2 name and branding used under a brand licensing agreement with the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom.
On November 24, 2000, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced the licensees of the new, much-sought after, Category 1 digital services. Craig Media, in partnership with TD Capital Group Ltd, was granted a licence for a youth lifestyle service known as Connect. One of the licence's conditions was that the channel could not devote more than 10% of its schedule to the airing of music videos and music programming, in order to avoid direct competition with MuchMusic, owned at the time by CHUM Limited.
Nonetheless, in August 2001, Craig Media announced that it had reached an agreement with MTV Networks to license programming and the MTV brand in Canada for the channel, prompting a pre-launch name change to MTV Canada. Prior to the channel's launch, Craig purchased TD Capital Group's interest in the channel. The channel launched as MTV Canada on October 18, 2001. Shortly afterward, Craig sold a minority interest in the service to MTV Networks. MTV Canada aired a mix of Canadian-produced programs (including Pepsi Breakout and MTV Select), as well as shows from the American MTV channel (such as TRL and The Real World).
CHUM soon filed complaints with the CRTC, arguing that MTV Canada was violating its conditions of licence, exceeding its limit of 10% music videos, becoming a direct competitor to MuchMusic. Craig was later forced to make changes to reduce its percentage of music video and music-related programming.
However, these changes were soon rendered moot as Craig was acquired by CHUM Limited on December 1, 2004, prompting MTV Networks to exercise its right, due to a clause in its contract, to terminate the licensing agreement with Craig if a change in control were to occur. CHUM was required to pay CAD$10 million in licensing fees to MTV Networks for the time remaining in their contract. The contract termination also meant that MTV Networks was no longer able to retain interest the channels (except for TV Land Canada, indicating that Viacom's sale of their stake since the purchase could also be because of the company's strained relationships with CHUM Limited concerning the MTV-branded music channels because CHUM (with Cablevision's Rainbow Media) launched MuchUSA to compete against MTV).
On June 9, 2005, CHUM announced it would rebrand the channel as Razer, a change that took effect on June 30 of that year. The new channel was built on interactivity, allowing its audience to "program, host and contribute to elements to the service and make it their own". In addition to the new programming slate, Razer debuted RazerTXT, a new programming block where viewers could play a selection of SMS games while watching the shows. Razer would later debut Kamikaze, the branding and programming block used for various anime titles as well as shows such as Happy Tree Friends.
Meanwhile, Bell Globemedia (later CTVglobemedia) struck a licensing agreement with MTV Networks to launch its own MTV channel (previously known as talktv) in early 2006. In July 2006, Bell Globemedia announced that it would purchase CHUM for an estimated CAD$1.7 billion, including its interest in Razer. The sale was approved by the CRTC on June 8, 2007, with the transaction completed on June 22.
On August 1, 2008, Razer was relaunched as MTV2. Unlike the original channel (now known as Juicebox), with the vast majority of its programming consisting of music videos, the new channel became much closer in format to its U.S. counterpart. Because of their respective licences, it can air music videos and music programming unlike the current main MTV channel in Canada.
Ownership changed hands again when on September 10, 2010, BCE (a minority shareholder in CTVglobemedia) announced that it planned to acquire 100% interest in CTVglobemedia for a total debt and equity transaction cost of CAD$3.2 billion. The deal was approved by the CRTC on March 7, 2011 and was finalized on April 1 of that year, when CTVglobemedia was rebranded as Bell Media.
Presently, MTV2 airs a mix of sitcoms, documentaries, and dramas. While the channel does not carry the original programs produced by its American counterpart, some of its acquired shows have aired in syndication on MTV2 in the U.S or were produced by its sister channel, MTV.
- CRTC Decision 2000-462
- TV Land, MTV and Craig Broadcast Systems to Launch New Canadian Services in September; PR Newswire; 2001-08-21
- Channel Introduction: MTV Canada Channel Canada 2002-06-30
- Chum complaint "an exercise in turf protection" Mediacaster Magazine 2002-02-01
- CHUM completes $265 million purchase of Craig Media and financing Fasken Martineau
- "CHUM to launch interactive, automated music video station". The Globe and Mail. 2007-06-29.
- "CHUM Debuts Razer, PunchMuch". Billboard.com. June 8, 2005. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
- "MTVs become Razer and PunchMuch". Cartt. June 8, 2005. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
- "SMS TV gaming from Razer". Cartt. October 7, 2005. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
- "Razer Kamikaze". June 2007. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
- MTV Returns to Canada Bell Globemedia press release 2005-09-28
- Bell Globemedia acquires CHUM; Fasken Martineau; 2006-07-12
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-165; CRTC; 2007-06-08
- MTV2 to Launch in Canada Mediacaster Magazine 2008-07-17
- Bell Canada (2010-09-10). "Bell to acquire 100% of Canada's No.1 media company CTV". CNW Group. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- CRTC approves BCE's purchase of CTVglobemedia
- Bell completes acquisition of CTV, launches Bell Media business unit CNW 2011-04-01
- "MTV2 (Canada)". Yahoo TV (Zap2it). Retrieved 2014-08-11.
- www.mtv.ca/mtv2 – MTV2 official website