Super Channel (Canada)

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This article is about the present-day Canadian premium channel owned by Allarco Entertainment. For the pay cable service in Western Canada formerly called Super Channel from 1983 to 1984 and 1989 to 2001, see Movie Central.
Super Channel
Superchannel.svg
Super Channel logo
Launched November 2, 2007
Owned by Allarco Entertainment[1]
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Country Canada
Language English
Broadcast area Nationwide
Headquarters Edmonton, Alberta
Website Super Channel
Availability
Satellite
Bell TV 326–329 (SD)
1277, 1278 (HD)
Shaw Direct 161–164 (SD)
270, 271 (HD)
Cable
Available on most Canadian cable systems Consult your local cable provider for channel availability
IPTV
FibreOP 584–587 (SD)
582, 583 (HD)
Bell Fibe TV 326–329 (SD)
1326, 1327 (HD)
MTS 511–514 (SD)
435, 436 (HD)
Optik TV 230–233 (SD)
635, 636 (HD)
SaskTel 210, 213 (SD)
510, 511 (HD)

Super Channel is a Canadian English language Category A premium cable and satellite television channel that is owned by the Allard family through Allarco Entertainment 2008, Inc. Super Channel's programming primarily includes theatrically released motion pictures and original television series, along with boxing and mixed martial arts matches, and occasional stand-up comedy specials.

The current Super Channel service was launched in 2007, and is not affiliated with the two pre-existing English-language premium channels which used the name at various times prior to 2001, which are now known as Movie Central (in Western Canada) and The Movie Network (in Eastern Canada). The Allards were the original owners of what is now Movie Central, and later re-acquired rights to the Superchannel trademark. Unlike these two regional services, Super Channel is authorized to operate across Canada, making it the country's only national general-interest pay television service (in legal technicalities, it is also one of two national pay television services in Canada, alongside Family Channel, although that service operates as a de facto basic tier specialty channel in most areas).

Super Channel is available on nearly all major cable and satellite providers including Telus Optik TV,Bell TV, Shaw Direct, Access Communications, Cogeco, Rogers Cable, Shaw Cable, EastLink and other providers. Super Channel was granted as a "must carry" service by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), meaning all television service providers must carry the service on their systems.

History[edit]

Allarco was one of four applicants for new pay television licences that were considered at a public hearing held by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on October 24, 2005.[2] Its competing applicants were:

  • BOOMTV, to be operated by the Archambault unit of Quebecor Media. While it was expected to compete directly with the existing general-interest services – The Movie Network and Movie Central (TMN/MC) in English Canada and Super Écran in French Canada – Archambault indicated that its services would have regularly favoured first-run dramatic series. Archambault was also the only applicant for a French-language service, but indicated that this licence would be worthless without an English counterpart.[3]
  • The Canadian Film Channel, proposed by Channel Zero Inc. It proposed to broadcast 100% Canadian content and be funded entirely by the operators of TMN/MC, in an amount equal to 12.9% of these services' gross revenues, to be required by condition of licence. Neither incumbent indicated approval for such a use of its revenues.[4]
  • Spotlight Television, to be controlled by George Burger, a former executive at Alliance Television, and professional sports mogul Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of the private investment company Kilmer Van Nostrand, which proposed a premium service much in the same vein as TMN/MC.[5] It is believed that, had Spotlight's application been successful, it would have been branded as a Canadian version of the American service HBO; an "HBO Canada" channel was launched in October 2008 under the auspices of TMN/MC.[6]

The Allarco application was approved on May 18, 2006, while the other three applicants were rejected.[7]

The Allard family were also the original owners of Movie Central, which during their stewardship until 2001 was known as "Superchannel", rendered as a single word title unlike the current service (for a time in the 1980s, First Choice (now The Movie Network) had also used the "Superchannel" name under a co-branding agreement). The "Movie Central" name was adopted shortly after Corus Entertainment acquired the service, but Corus maintained ownership of the "Superchannel" trademark. Just before the new channel's launch, the Allards re-acquired the rights to the "Superchannel" name under undisclosed terms.[8]

Super Channel was launched on November 2, 2007 on Bell TV as a six-channel service. Super Channel's parent company, Allarco Entertainment, entered into the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act on June 18, 2009.[9] On August 31, 2010, its creditors unanimously approved a restructuring plan for the company under the act. The restructuring plan, which needed approval of the court,[10] was later approved.

Channels[edit]

List of channels[edit]

Depending on the service provider, Super Channel provides up to eight multiplex channels – four 24-hour multiplex channels, all of which are simulcast in both standard definition and high definition – as well as a subscription video-on-demand service (Super Channel On Demand). Super Channel broadcasts its primary and multiplex channels on an Eastern Time Zone schedule, operating a singular feed for all channels, this results in the difference in local airtimes for a particular movie or program between two geographic locations being three hours at most.

Channel Description and programming
Super Channel 1 The flagship feed; this channel carries general interest films and television series.
Super Channel 2 This channel focuses on action, horror, science fiction and anime films, gaming and music programs and extreme sports.
Super Channel 3 This channel focuses on documentaries, film festival selections, world cinema, comedy films and television series.
Super Channel 4 This channel features premium programming, including Canadian content.

Other services[edit]

Super Channel HD[edit]

Super Channel HD is a high definition simulcast feed of Super Channel that broadcasts in the 1080i resolution format. In addition to its main channel, Super Channel also operates high definition simulcast feeds of all three multiplex channels. Initially, Allarco launched two high definition feeds upon the launch of the service in November 2007: Super Channel HD 1 and Super Channel HD 2. Super Channel HD 1 simulcasted the standard definition feed of the same name, while Super Channel HD 2 initially aired programming from the three remaining SD feeds. In February 2013, Allarco launched HD feeds for the remaining channels, Super Channel 3 and Super Channel 4, with each HD channel now simulcasting their standard definition equivalent.

Super Channel On Demand[edit]

Super Channel operates a subscription video-on-demand television service called Super Channel on Demand, which is available at no additional charge to new and existing subscribers of Super Channel. Content featured on the service includes movies, acquired foreign series and special features previously seen on the linear television network. Super Channel On Demand's rotating program selection incorporates select new titles that are added each Friday, alongside existing program titles held over from the previous one to two weeks. Super Channel On Demand launched in February 2008, on Cogeco Cable systems in Ontario. It is available nationally by satellite providers Shaw Direct and Bell TV, and regionally by cable providers Rogers Cable, Access Communications, Cogeco, Novus, Shaw Cable, Westman Communications, Source Cable, EastLink and Vidéotron, and IPTV providers Telus TV, Bell Aliant TV, Bell Fibe TV, MTS TV and SaskTel.

Programming[edit]

Super Channel has positioned itself as a complementary service to The Movie Network and Movie Central. The channel offers a diverse selection of television series[11] and niche programming. Its lineup includes various top British and American series, live concerts, anime, foreign films and documentaries. It also airs live championship boxing and mixed martial arts events from Showtime and Hennessy Sports under the "Super Channel Fights" brand.[12][13]

The network has program supply deals with Starz, Channel 4, and Maple Pictures.[14][15] Unlike The Movie Network and Movie Central, Super Channel has pledged to reinvest 100% of its profits in funding Canadian programming.[16][17]

List of programs broadcast by Super Channel (Canada)[edit]

Includes current and past programming.

Acquired programming[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]