M3 (Canadian TV channel)
|Launched||October 5, 1998|
|Owned by||Bell Media|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
|Slogan||Where Stars Shine|
|Formerly called||MuchMoreMusic (1998–2009)
|Bell TV||Channel 571 (SD) Channel 1671 (HD)|
|Shaw Direct||Channel 581 (SD)|
|Available on most Canadian cable systems||Check local listings, channels may vary|
|FibreOP||Channel 217 (SD) Channel 520 (HD)|
|Bell Fibe TV||Channel 571 (SD) Channel 1574 (HD)|
|MTS||Channel 117 (SD)|
|Optik TV||Channel 9558 (SD) Channel 558 (HD)|
|SaskTel||Channel 13 (SD)|
M3 is a Canadian English language Category A specialty channel that is owned by Bell Media. Established in 1998 as MuchMoreMusic, the network began as a spin-off of the youth-oriented MuchMusic, targeting an older demographic with adult contemporary, classic hits, and classic rock music videos, along with music news programs and concert specials. Its lineup later expanded to incorporate pop culture programming (often sourced from the similar U.S. network VH1), reality shows, dramas and sitcoms.
In June 1993, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) began accepting applications to licence new Canadian specialty channels for the first time since 1987. On August 31, 1993, MuchMusic and CITY-TV co-founder Moses Znaimer announced on-air the proposal by CHUM Limited to launch a specialty channel called MuchMoreMusic as an adult music/lifestyle channel, quoted as offering music more "familiar, tuneful, [and] melodic" for an audience who "could do with a little less rock and rap and metal". This followed CHUM's earlier application for MuchCountry, a country music channel. "Melodic pop, soft rock, jazz, soul and blues" were to be some of the genres played by MuchMoreMusic; according to MuchMusic, the new channel would be able to provide such music to the "sizable" portion of its existing audience who enjoyed such softer music but could not find it reliably on MuchMusic.
At a subsequent February 1994 public hearing, the CRTC reviewed a total of seven applications for music channels, comprising five country music channels, MuchMoreMusic, and CHUM's MusiquExtra, which was to be a French-language adult contemporary counterpart. In a Canadian Press article, commissioner Adrian Burns noted concerns with giving one operator control of multiple music channels; Znaimer, meanwhile, claimed that there was no room for more than one operator of music channels in Canada. In June, the MuchMoreMusic application was denied by the Commission, as well as the MuchCountry and MusiquExtra proposals; out of the seven, the only application approved was Maclean-Hunter and Rawlco Communications' The Country Network, which has since become CMT. Subsequently, the CRTC was criticized for passing only 10 of the 48 total applications.
Then, in January 1996, the next round of licensing began, drawing another 44 applications; CHUM submitted nine of these, including MuchMoreMusic and the French-language adult contemporary channel, now called MusiMax (formerly MusicMax). The new application, delivered by MuchMusic programmer Denise Donlon on May 8, 1996, incorporated video testimonials by a number of Canadian musicians, including Anne Murray, Bruce Cockburn, Burton Cummings, Celine Dion, David Foster, Lawrence Gowan, Dan Hill and Marc Jordan, attesting to the need for the channel; Donlon conceded, in a Canadian Press article, that a number of Canadian musicians were no longer filming music videos because MuchMusic was not able to accommodate every music genre equally. On the same day, CHUM also made pitches for Canadian Learning Television and Computer Access, a later rejected computer education channel.
MuchMoreMusic was licensed by the CRTC in 1996 (as well as some of CHUM's other proposals rejected in 1994, including CablePulse24, Space, and Musimax) and was launched on October 5, 1998 under the ownership of CHUM Limited.
In January 1999, The Globe and Mail critic John Doyle commented on the channel's invariant hosting at the time: "It appears to be staffed by one person only, Jana Lynne White. The woman does everything -- interviews, running down the appalling video chart, promos, everything except come to your house and turn on the TV for you." The channel's early lineup also included the MuchMusic program ClipTrip, transferred to MuchMoreMusic, along with its host Diego Fuentes, the winner of MuchMusic's 1995 VJ search. In May 2000, Bill Welychka also transferred from MuchMusic, to host Freshly Pressed and later The Loop. In April 2000, full-time staff and programming was expanded, including daytime "information segments". Studio space, at 299 Queen Street West, was shared with MuchMusic until May 2000, when it was moved to the fourth floor.
In September 2004, MuchMoreMusic launched a sister digital network, MuchMoreRetro, which focuses exclusively on classic music videos.
Sale to CTV
On June 22, 2007, CTVglobemedia gained control of MuchMoreMusic as a result of a takeover of CHUM Limited. On March 31, 2009, MuchMoreMusic was relaunched with a new on-air format and subsequently became known as MuchMore. The changeover took effect at 6:00 a.m. ET, with the first edition of the newly branded morning video flow series Juiced!
On September 19, 2013, Bell announced that MuchMore would be re-launched as M3 on September 30, 2013, shifting towards an entertainment-oriented "superstation" format with a focus on newly acquired dramas and comedy programs alongside music programming. Unlike MuchMore, which was marketed as a spin-off of MuchMusic, M3 is marketed as a separate brand from MuchMusic, to quell concerns over viewers incorrectly suggesting that the network was catered towards a youth demographic like MuchMusic due to its similar name. A high definition feed was also launched.
As part of the rebrand, MuchMoreRetro was re-branded as MuchRetro, aligning the channel with the Much brand. The MuchMore Countdown became the M3 Countdown and was relaunched with a new format on January 18, 2014. It is currently the only remaining original music-related show on the network; M3Top20.ca (formally known as MMTop20.ca), a viewer voted countdown show, was removed from the schedule in Spring 2014.
Programming on M3 primarily consists of dramas, sitcoms, reality shows, and theatrically-released films. Music programing includes daily video blocks and a top 30 countdown, featuring interviews with celebrities and in-studio performances. Originally, the channel covered more lighter genres of music. Following the rebrand, M3 has added more pop music to its video rotation.
As noted before, M3 is marketed as a superstation targeting older viewers and a separate brand from sibling network, Much. Though both channels have diverged from their original format in recent years, Much still retains its focus on music while expanding to focus on pop culture and adopting more younger-skewing programming.
- Matt Wells
- Gaby Henderson
- Bill Welychka
- Diego Fuentes
- Jana Lynne White
- Karen Bertelsen
- Karina Huber
- Richard Cazeau
- Traci Melchor
- Enchin, Harvey (September 13, 1993), "TV audiences in back seat: Channel applicant says priority is securing cable affiliation", The Globe and Mail: B3, ISSN 0319-0714
- Feschuk, Scott (September 16, 1993), "Bidding hot for TV licences: 5 or 6 channels up for grabs", The Globe and Mail: B1, ISSN 0319-0714
- Knight Ridder News Service (September 1, 1993), "Burt throws a tantrum on fictional talk show", Toronto Star: B6, ISSN 0319-0781
- Bronskill, Jim (February 24, 1994), "Two new music TV stations wouldn't give us stranglehold, MuchMusic creators say", The Gazette: D6, ISSN 0384-1294
- Atherton, Tony (February 8, 1994), "Country music channel tops list of CRTC TV applications Series", Ottawa Citizen: F1, ISSN 0839-3222
- Zerbisias, Antonia (June 11, 1994), "Broadcast blessings", Toronto Star: C1, ISSN 0319-0781
- Zerbisias, Antonia (January 13, 1996), "44 applicants seeking TV channel licences", Toronto Star: F3, ISSN 0319-0781
- Canadian Press (1996-04-25). "MuchMusic for boomers to be a kinder, gentler affair (MuchMoreMusic)". Canadian Press NewsWire.
- Zerbisias, Antonia (May 9, 1996), "Znaimer spins more music in licence bid", Toronto Star: C4, ISSN 0319-0781
- Doyle, John (January 23, 1999), "John Doyle's Critical List", The Globe and Mail: 4, ISSN 0319-0714
- LeBlanc, Larry (May 6, 2000), "AC channel M3 restructures to offer Canadian labels 'much more' choice", Billboard 112 (19): 63–64, ISSN 0006-2510
- "MuchMore changes the channel, rebrands as M3". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- "MuchMore channel to become M3 in the fall". Toronto Star. July 26, 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- "5 Days to Go: Counting Down to the New M3 COUNTDOWN Hosted by Matt Wells, Premiering Jan. 18". Bell Media. January 13, 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014.