|Launched||September 2, 1986 (share channel space with TVJQ)
September 1, 1988 (separate 24-hour channel)
|Owned by||Pierre Boivin, blind trust
(sale pending to Remstar)
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
|Bell TV||Channel 141 (SD)
Channel 1876 (HD)
|Shaw Direct||Channel 775 (SD)|
|Available on many Canadian cable systems||Check local listings|
|FibreOP||Channel 603 (SD)|
|Bell Fibe TV||Channel 130 (SD)
Channel 1130 (HD)
|Optik TV||Channel 421 (SD)|
MusiquePlus is a Canadian French language Category A specialty channel formerly owned by Astral Media and currently in blind trust operating from Montreal, Quebec. MusiquePlus is devoted to music and music related programming from various genres including pop, rock, RnB and focuses on a younger demographic than its sister station, MusiMax. It was the French language equivalent to MuchMusic (which is now owned and operated by Bell Media), and was once its sister station until it was purchased by Astral Media. Due to the difference of programming from MuchMusic over the year, MusiquePlus look more of an French equivalent to the Canadian MTV (in reality series programming) and E! channels than MuchMusic (except for the similar music programmings and acquired specials programmings).
The channel has only discretionary status outside of Quebec, meaning that cable companies may choose to offer it if there is a sufficient local audience for French programming, but are not required to do so. Within Quebec, however, the channel has mandatory cable carriage rights.
Launching on September 2, 1986, MusiquePlus first originated with only an eight-hour schedule, sharing channel space with TVJQ (a predecessor of VRAK.TV); it consisted of music videos and interviews and performances that were taped from a studio on Boulevard St. Laurent in Montreal. Four hours of this programming was produced from MuchMusic's studios in Toronto and sent to Vidéotron for broadcast in Quebec to subscribers of MuchMusic. This programming repeated once daily.
CHUM later submitted an application with the CRTC in 1987 for a licence to operate MusiquePlus as a dedicated 24-hour channel. The CRTC approved its application, and MusiquePlus was launched as a separate channel on September 1, 1988. The channel was a joint venture between CHUM Limited and Radiomutel—each owning 50%. Radiomutuel was acquired by Astral Media in June 1999.
In July 2006, CTVglobemedia announced it would make a bid to buy CHUM Limited. Initial plans were to keep MusiquePlus and MusiMax, although CTVglobemedia soon announced that it would sell its stake in MusiquePlus and Musimax. On April 11, 2007, Astral announced that it would acquire the remaining 50% in MusiMax and MusiquePlus from CTVglobemedia, giving it full ownership—separating the network from its original parent. This deal was completed on June 30, 2007—to signify its independence from MuchMusic, MusiquePlus adopted a new logo the following year in September 2008.
While MusiquePlus has operated separately from MuchMusic ever since the deal, the network was almost re-united with its former parent in 2012 when CTVglobemedia's successor Bell Media attempted to acquire Astral Media for an estimated $3.38 billion. However, the proposed deal was rejected by the CRTC. On March 4, 2013, following the Competition Bureau's approval of a revised deal to acquire Astral Media, Bell announced that it would put MusiquePlus and five other Astral channels (Family, Disney XD, Disney Junior's English and French services and MusiMax) up for sale. On December 4, 2013, Remstar, owners of the French television system V, announced that it would acquire MusiquePlus and MusiMax for an undisclosed amount.
Music and programming
In the beginning of MusiquePlus, its programming relied heavily on music videos which came from a much more diverse selection of genres because MusiquePlus was the only French language music service available at the time. With the launch of MusiMax, a sister channel aimed at an older demographic (and similar to MuchMusic's sister channel MuchMore), MusiquePlus began to cater its programming to younger viewers. As the channel grew over time, dependence on music videos decreased and programming began to include films, reality TV series and more.
On August 23, 2010 Astral launched a HD feed of MusiquePlus called MusiquePlus HD, although most of its content is 480i video upscaled to 1080i. It is available on Cogeco, Vidéotron, Bell TV and Bell Fibe.
- Claude Rajotte
- Chéli Sauvé Castonguay
- Réjean "Rej" Laplanche
- Denis Talbot
- Nicolas Tittley
- Sabrina Cournoyer
- Philo Lirette
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon - distributed on SPM Telecom systems.
- Sturgeon, Jamie. "ell snaps up Astral Media for $3.38-billion". Financial Post. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-574". CRTC. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- BCE takeover of Astral OK’d by Competition Bureau, The Montreal Gazette (via The Canadian Press), March 4, 2013.
- "Bell Media signs deal to sell MusiquePlus and MusiMax to V Media Group". Canadian Press. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- MusiquePlus et Musimax en HD, enfin! (French)
- MusiquePlus (French)