|Movie Central logo|
|Launched||February 1, 1983|
|Owned by||Corus Entertainment|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Slogan||This Is Premium TV.|
|Broadcast area||Western Canada & Territories|
|Formerly called||Superchannel (1983–1984, 1989–2001)
First Choice-Superchannel (1984–1989)
|Bell TV||320-323 (SD)
1261, 1262 (HD)
|Shaw Direct||621-624 (SD)
283, 297 (HD)
|Available on many Canadian cable systems||Check local listings, channels may vary|
|MTS TV||210-213 (SD)
431, 433, 457 (HD)
|Optik TV||240-243 (SD)
631, 632 (HD)
501, 503 (HD)
Movie Central (occasionally abbreviated as "MC") is a Canadian English language Category A premium television channel. Movie Central is designated to operate west of the Ontario-Manitoba border, including the territories. Movie Central is owned by Corus Entertainment.
Movie Central is carried by various Canadian cable, IPTV, and satellite television providers in Western Canada including Bell TV, Shaw Direct, Shaw, Access Communications, TELUS TV and Westman Communications Group, among others. Its programming is comparable to that of The Movie Network (TMN), a separately-owned pay service which is marketed to eastern Canada.
In 1982, the CRTC licensed Canada's first national pay television services. The commission licensed one national general-interest service – First Choice – as well as a number of short-lived niche channels, and several regional general-interest channels.
Allarcom Pay Television, owned by Charles Allard, was initially granted the regional concession for Alberta. However, by the time Allarcom's service, Superchannel, launched on February 1, 1983, Allarcom had apparently also gained control of a second regional channel, Ontario Independent Pay Television.
By January 1984, Superchannel had received approval to extend its signal to Saskatchewan (replacing Teletheatre, a province-wide pay-cable network that had been operating since the late 1970s), Manitoba, and what is now the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Allarcom also took control of Aim Satellite Broadcasting (British Columbia and Yukon) and provided the Superchannel signal in those markets on an "interim" basis while Aim could establish its own service.
By the spring of 1984, it became clear that the remaining pay operators were continuing to post substantial losses. In August, AIM and OIPT were merged into Allarcom's operations, and the resulting channel exited the Ontario market. Meanwhile, the formerly national service First Choice agreed to serve only Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. As part of their agreement, Allarcom and First Choice agreed to jointly market their services under the name First Choice Superchannel, in which the Superchannel "star" branding was predominant. This practice continued until 1989, at which point the "First Choice" name remained in the east and "Superchannel" was restricted to the west.
Allarcom was later acquired by Western International Communications, which launched a parallel classic-movie service, MovieMax!, in the Superchannel service area in 1994. Originally featuring movies from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, the channel later expanded to earlier movies (its licence actually allows the channel to air movies that are older than five years). When digital cable and satellite TV became available, Superchannel 2 and 3 were introduced (which were Superchannel 1 on two and four hour delays, respectively), plus MovieMax! 2 on satellite only (a two hour delay of MovieMax!). During the WIC years, there was a noticeable difference in quality between the WIC services and their eastern counterparts, due largely to a 1996 lawsuit against HBO for allegedly promoting the grey-market availability of U.S.-based satellite television providers. WIC was at the time also a significant shareholder in ExpressVu. In retaliation HBO refused to license any of its programmes to Superchannel.
The duelling takeover bids for, and eventual split of, WIC resulted in Superchannel and MovieMax! being transferred to Corus Entertainment, which settled the HBO lawsuit and began to license programmes such as The Sopranos. On April 1, 2001, Superchannel and MovieMax! were rebranded under the umbrella brand Movie Central, which consisted of six diverse channels: Movie Central, Adrenaline Drive (Action), Heartland Road (romance films), Shadow Lane (horror/suspense films), Encore Avenue (classic movies), and Comic Strip (comedy films). On March 1, 2006, the sub-brands were dropped (as customers did not understanding their meanings and found the names confusing), changing into four channels called Movie Central, and two channels called Encore Avenue, each of which are still diverse in their schedules. On the Encore Avenue stations, the films that are aired are now only from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, possibly due to the introduction of Turner Classic Movies in Canada.
On September 22, 2008, The Movie Network and Movie Central announced they would jointly begin offering a dedicated HBO multiplex channel, HBO Canada, on October 30.
Movie Central consists of a total of six multiplex channels: four standard definition and two high definition channels. MC operates as a separate service with a separate license from its sister network, Encore Avenue, although often Encore Avenue is sold together in a package with Movie Central.
List of channels 
- Movie Central: The main "flagship" channel that offers films, documentaries and TV series including content from the American pay service Showtime, along with Canadian programming.
- Movie Central 2: Films and TV series with a focus on action, thriller, horror and comedy genres.
- Movie Central 3: Films and TV series with a focus on drama and romance, including independent and foreign films.
- HBO Canada: Primarily original programming sourced from American premium service HBO.
Movie Central broadcasts the main channel and its multiplex services on a Pacific Time Zone schedule. Because Movie Central operates a singular feed and its license is restricted to broadcast solely in a geographical area largely covered by the Pacific, Mountain and Central time zones, a particular movie or program will air up to three hours earlier or later depending on the location.
HBO Canada 
On September 22, 2008, both The Movie Network and Movie Central announced they would jointly begin offering a dedicated HBO multiplex channel (in both standard definition and high definition formats), called HBO Canada, on October 30. For Movie Central subscribers, HBO Canada replaced Movie Central 4 and Movie Central 1 HD. For TMN subscribers, HBO Canada replaced MMore and MMore HD. The channel remains available at no additional charge to TMN / Movie Central subscribers and, moreover, is not available on a stand-alone basis.
The channel focuses on programming from the U.S. premium service HBO, including several HBO series, specials and sporting events not previously available in Canada; however, some programs that have aired on HBO Canada have aired in the United States on HBO's rival Showtime. A selection of Canadian films and series also airs to satisfy Canadian content requirements. HBO programming eventually airs solely on HBO Canada, as opposed to any of the other TMN / Movie Central multiplex channels.
The HBO Canada schedule is common to both services, with the exception of Eastern (TMN) / Mountain (MC) timeshifting. Although essentially operating as a joint venture of Corus and TMN's parent company Astral Media, the east and west feeds are technically separate channels wholly owned by the parent company of the applicable regional service. In any event, HBO/Time Warner is not a shareholder. and only licenses the name to Corus and Astral. Unlike the other multiplex channels offered by MC and TMN, both the standard-definition and high-definition HBO Canada feeds (East/West) are available nationally to those television providers who wish to carry them.
Other services 
Movie Central HD 
High definition simulcast feeds of Movie Central, which are broadcast in the 1080i picture format, are available for all three Movie Central multiplex channels and HBO Canada. In December 2004, Movie Central launched its first high definition channel called Movie Central HD which delivers simulcasted content from Movie Centrals various multiplex channels excluding EA and EA2. In 2006, MC launched its second HD simulcast feed called Movie Central 2 HD, which delivered an alternative schedule of HD content from Movie Central HD. In March 2012, Movie Central launched Movie Central 3 HD, a high-definition simulcast of its third multiplex channel.
Movie Central On Demand 
Movie Central operates a subscription video-on-demand service; Movie Central On Demand, to digital cable subscribers at no additional cost. Content includes films and television series from Movie Central and its four multiplex channels excluding the two Encore Avenue channels. HBO Canada operates a separate SVOD service, HBO Canada On Demand, providing feature films along with series content from American premium service HBO.
Movie Central offers an extensive variety of first-run films and television series, most of which come from the American services HBO and Showtime, as well as critically acclaimed original Canadian series as well, most of which are co-produced in partnership with The Movie Network. A selected time block branded Metro, airs independent, short, festival, foreign, and subtitled films, documentaries and original programming.
Films air on Movie Central approximately 10-12 months after they were in theatres, three-to-six months after pay-per-view and over 1½ years before regular television. Sports coverage is permitted, but in such limited amounts that it is rarely seen, in contrast to HBO and Showtime.
List of programs broadcast by Movie Central 
Original programming 
Acquired programming 
- Big Love
- In Treatment
- Stargate Atlantis
- Sleeper Cell
- Tell Me You Love Me
Duopoly issue 
For many years, the de facto pair of regional monopolies of Movie Central and The Movie Network has been subject to criticism. At the time, no other similar premium services broadcasted within Canada. Critics argued that this limits competition and consumer choice, while proponents say there is very little in content or functionality that it is not already offered by the existing services.
In July 2005, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the Canadian federal broadcast regulator, announced that public hearings would begin on October 24, 2005 on four broadcast group applications for new national pay TV licences. Each applicant said they would commit towards the creation of more Canadian program content.
On May 18, 2006, it was announced that the Allarco Entertainment application was accepted, while the other three were rejected. This approved application effectively ended Movie Central/The Movie Network duopoly in Canada. While on November 2, 2007, the new service launched as Super Channel.