V (TV network)
- For the television channels in Asia and Australia, see Channel V.
|Type||Broadcast television network|
|Availability||Quebec (available in parts of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and eastern & northern Ontario via cable or antenna and nationally via satellite)|
|Slogan||Le divertissement à la puissance V|
|Launch date||September 7, 1986|
|Former names||TQS (1986-2009)|
|Official website||V (French)|
V is a Canadian privately owned French-language television network. The network has owned-and-operated and affiliated stations existing throughout Quebec, although it can also be seen over-the-air in some bordering markets in the provinces of Ontario and New Brunswick. It can also be received in some other parts of Canada by satellite, cable and IPTV.
The history of V goes back to 1968, when the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) first expressed interest in the establishment of a third French-language commercial television service in the province of Quebec along with the existing Télévision de Radio-Canada and the loose association of independent stations that eventually became TVA. However, at that time, the CRTC did not call on applications for licences.
In 1972, the CRTC said it was prepared to receive licence applications in order to authorize a third commercial television service in Quebec, although it was not until 1974 when the CRTC granted licences to Télé Inter-Cité Québec Ltée. to operate TV stations in Montreal and in Quebec City. However nothing came of this project.
On November 15, 1984, the CRTC launched another call for applications, and in 1985 it held public hearings in Montreal to examine competing applications from partners Cogeco Inc. (60.3%) and Moffat Communications (39.7%), and another application by the Pouliot family, owners of Montreal's CTV affiliate, CFCF-TV and radio stations CFCF (later CINW, now defunct) and CFQR-FM (now CKBE-FM). Both applications applied to launch television stations in both Montreal and Quebec City. On September 6 of that year, the CRTC approved the application of the Pouliot family and its company, Réseau de Télévision Quatre-Saisons Inc. TQS was authorized to operate a French-language TV station in Montreal with an effective radiated power of 566,000 watts on channel 35. While it was denied an application for a station in Quebec City, it was allowed to set up a repeater there.
The network was launched in 1986 as Télévision Quatre-Saisons ("Four Seasons Television"). The network spent most of its earlier years in severe financial trouble; at one point, the revenues from CFCF-TV were all that were keeping the network afloat. It was, however, able to upgrade its Quebec City repeater to a full-fledged station in 1989. In its early years, it was known for advertising in English on its then-sister radio stations.
In 1995, the Pouliots sold TQS to Quebec cable company Vidéotron, who already owned TVA, Quebec's other private commercial network. Due to monopoly ownership concerns, Vidéotron immediately turned around and sold TQS to Quebecor, a newspaper publisher.
Quebecor acquired Vidéotron itself in 2001, and put TQS back on the market. Later in 2001, TQS was bought by a joint venture of CTVglobemedia (then known as Bell Globemedia) and Cogeco, another cable company. Cogeco owned 60% of the venture and handled most of the operations, while CTVglobemedia owned 40%. The acquisition, in a sense, reunited it with CFCF, which had been bought by CTV a year earlier.
 Bankruptcy protection
On December 18, 2007, TQS filed for protection from its creditors in a bankruptcy-court filing. At this point the network was given 30 days in which to reorganize and revamp itself, with the goal of finding a viable solution to pay off its creditors. On January 16, 2008, a judge extended the grace period for an additional 45 days.
Montreal's newspaper La Presse reported on January 15 that Rogers Communications and RNC Media were each interested in acquiring some individual stations within the network, although RNC Media later denied the report and Rogers declined to comment. On February 25, 2008, the network confirmed that it had received four purchase bids, although it did not disclose the identities of the bidders.
 Remstar's takeover and rebranding of the network
On March 10, 2008, the Quebec Superior Court approved the sale of TQS to Remstar Corporation, a Montreal-based television and film producer and distributor. Creditors, who were owed more than $33 million, voted to accept the Remstar proposal in May. The CRTC approved the application on June 26, 2008.
Remstar announced on April 23, 2008 that 270 jobs would be cut at TQS, while the information services division would be abolished entirely — thus eliminating all newscasts from the network starting in September 2008. While the CRTC ultimately ordered Remstar to retain local news programming on the network, it did take the network's precarious financial situation into account by allowing a reduced amount of local news programming until the network's licence renewal hearing in 2011.
At the network's fall upfronts presentation for 2009, the network announced a repositioning plan, including a shedding of the TQS moniker and its black sheep logo in favour of the name "V", complete with a black-and-gold circle logo with a stylized letter V. The V name reflects the channel's new mission of "vedettes" (stars), "vitesse" (speed), "voyages" (trips), and "vice ou vérité" (vices or truths).
The new program lineup includes the daily news and discussion programs Le show du matin, hosted by Gildor Roy, and Dumont 360, hosted by Mario Dumont. V's rebranding took effect on August 31, 2009 at 6 am ET after the infomercial block.
V has long been a distant third in the ratings to TVA and Société Radio-Canada. Most of its affiliates are on UHF, and operate at moderate-to-low power compared to their TVA and Radio-Canada counterparts. However, it has produced a number of major hit series in Quebec.
From the network's launch to its 2008 restructuring, the nightly Le Grand Journal formed the core of V's news programming. Jean-Luc Mongrain anchored the program from 1999 until its final edition aired on August 29, 2008. Benoît Dutrizac also anchored a 10 p.m. news talk show, Dutrizac, in the later half of the 2000s.
News programming continues in a reduced form on V, now produced by independent producer ADN5. News summaries of approximately three minutes are inserted into the network's morning and noontime programming, along with a 30-minute newscast weekend evenings.
V has long aired a nighttime sports show, beginning with Sports Plus (1986–1998), then 110% (1998–2009), followed by L'attaque à 5 (2009–2010).
Its carriage of live sporting events began with Super Bowl XXI in 1987. It has carried games of the National Hockey League, including the Quebec Nordiques from 1988 to 1994 and the Montreal Canadiens from 1994 to 2002. It also aired games of the Montreal Expos from 1994 to 1998.
In February 2005, V (and then sister-broadcaster RDS) was part of the consortium that won the Canadian broadcast rights to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics. V will share morning coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics with RDS, followed by its own unique afternoon and evening programming. Due to V not being carried on many cable systems outside of the province, unlike previous rights holder Télévision de Radio-Canada, the non-profit public affairs network CPAC gained special authorization from the CRTC to allow its French coverage of the 2010 games to be simulcast on the network, which enjoys mandatory cable coverage across Canada.
The network is known to many English Canadian viewers for Bleu Nuit, a showcase of softcore pornography which formerly broadcast late Saturday nights, similar to the old Baby Blue Movies that once aired on Toronto's Citytv. In fact, V was once considered the French counterpart of Citytv.
 Prime time
 Programming on V's O&O stations outside Montreal and Quebec City
Since the rebranding of the TQS network to V, on August 31, 2009, all of V's owned and operated stations (O&O) outside Montreal and Quebec City have dropped all non-network programming and become de facto repeaters of Montreal's V O&O, CFJP-DT. Unlike O&O stations, non-owned affiliates of the V network, such as CFGS-DT in Gatineau, CJPC-TV in Rimouski, CFTF-DT in Rivière-du-Loup and CFVS-DT in Val-d'Or, continue to broadcast local programming.
Unlike TVA, V does not have mandatory cable carriage rights outside of Quebec, but may be offered at a cable company's discretion if there is a sufficient local market for French-language television programming. Consequently the network is not widely available outside of Quebec, although some communities in Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia receive V affiliates on cable.
CFGS in Gatineau is part of the Ottawa television market, and is carried in both analog and digital on cable systems in nearly all of Eastern Ontario. EastLink systems in Northeastern Ontario also carry V in both analog and digital. Rogers Cable systems in Central Ontario, Southwestern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area offer CFGS on their digital tier. CFTF in Rivière-du-Loup has a rebroadcaster in Edmundston, New Brunswick—the network's only over-the-air transmitter outside of Quebec—and is carried in both analog and digital across most of northern New Brunswick.
To ensure that the network's coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics reached the vast majority of Canada's francophones, the network was simulcast on CPAC, which has mandatory carriage on the basic service of all Canadian cable and satellite providers, from February 12 to 28, 2010.
 V stations
- 1) All V owned-and-operated stations signed on with the network in 1986;
- 2) Italicized channel numbers indicate a digital channel allocated for future use by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
 Owned-and-operated stations
|City of licence||Station||Channel
|Quebec City||CFAP-DT||2.1 (39)|
(de facto semi-satellite of CFJP-DT)
 Affiliated stations
|City of licence||Station||Virtual
(satellite of CFTF-DT)
 V HD
On June 4, 2007, TQS launched an HD simulcast of its Montreal station CFJP for cable subscribers. In December 2007, TQS officially launched a transmitter in Montreal making the HD simulcast of CFJP available over-the-air.
V HD is available nationally via satellite and on digital cable as well as for free via DTT using a regular TV antenna and a digital tuner (included in most new TVs) on the following channels:
- Montreal: CFJP-DT 42 (PSIP virtual channel 35.1)
- Trois-Rivières: CFKM-DT 34 (PSIP virtual channel 16.1)
 Identity and slogans
Beginning in 1997, TQS branded itself as le mouton noir de la télé (English: the black sheep of television), a slogan that could have served as the network's acknowledgment (or perhaps a badge of pride) that its history of financial difficulties, edgy programming, and limited availability outside Quebec had not always given it a prestigious place in the TV industry or in the eyes of the viewing public. The black sheep slogan was discontinued with the network's rebranding from TQS to V at the end of August 2009.
- 1987-1989: On grandit ensemble! (We grow together!)
- 1989-1995: TQS Au coeur de l'action! (TQS in the middle of action!)
- 1995-1997: Allumée! (Turned on!) (Literally, "Lit up!")
- 1997-2007, 2008-2009: Le mouton noir de la télé (The black sheep of television)
- 2007: Parce que vous êtes... différent! (Because you are... different!)
- 2009-2010: Laissez-vous divertir (Let yourself be entertained), to coincide with the rebranding to V on August 31, 2009.
- 2010: Le divertissement à la puissance V (Entertainment to the power of V)
 See also
- "TQS enterrée: place à «V»" (French). La Presse, August 19, 2009.
- "French-language television network TQS facing potential bidding war", The Canadian Press, January 16, 2008.[dead link]
- "TQS receives four formal bids for troubled Quebec TV network", CKGL, February 25, 2008.
- "Judge approves Remstar acquisition of TQS", Report on Business, March 10, 2008.
- "TQS creditors accept deal that would see them get $7 million of $33 million", The Canadian Press, May 22, 2008.[dead link]
- CRTC Notice of Public Hearing 2008-5.
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2008-129
- (French) "Les employés de TQS à fleur de peau", canoe.com, April 24, 2008.
- CRTC Decision 2008-129
- (French) "TQS changera de nom". Le Soleil, June 3, 2009.
- "New name, direction for TQS", posted on mediacanada.com 8/21/2009
- "Rétrospective des 20 dernières années de la station". TQS inc. Retrieved 2009-08-22. (French)
- "Ultimate Fighting Championship signe une entente avec TQS" (Press release). TQS inc. 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2009-08-21. (French)
- "TQS : Diffusion des galas de boxe du Groupe Yvon Michel" (Press release). TQS inc. 2009-08-05. Retrieved 2009-08-21. (French)
- "TQS : diffuseur officiel francophone des Jeux olympiques d’hiver de 2010 à Vancouver et de ceux d’été de 2012" (Press release). TQS inc. 2005-02-07. Retrieved 2009-08-21. (French)
- "Une équipe de diffusion olympique exceptionnelle pour une couverture olympique sans précédent" (Press release). TQS inc. 2009-01-15. Retrieved 2009-08-21. (French)
- CPAC and CTV Team Up to Deliver French Olympic Coverage, CPAC / COBMC press release, 2010-02-11
- CRTC letter to CPAC, 2010-02-11
- CPAC desservira les francophones hors-Québec, Radio-Canada, 2010-02-11 (French)
- CPAC and CTV Team Up to Deliver French Olympic Coverage, CPAC / COBMC press release, 2010-02-11
- from madnessbrewing.com
- Official website (French)
- Public information on TQS Insolvency made available by accounting firm RSM Richter
- V history at Canadian Communications Foundation