H2 (Canada)

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H2 TV logo.svg
H2 logo
Launched September 7, 2001
Owned by Shaw Media
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Slogan More 2 History
Country Canada
Broadcast area National
Formerly called mentv (2001–2010)
The Cave (2010-2012)
Sister channel(s) History
Website H2
Bell TV Channel 629 (SD)
Shaw Direct Channel 570 (SD)
83 / 583 (HD)
Available on most Canadian cable systems Check local listings, channels may vary
Bell Aliant TV Channel 279 (SD)
Channnel 545 (HD)
Bell Fibe TV Channel 629 (SD)
Channel 1629 (HD)
MTS Channel 163 (SD)
Channel 1163 (HD)
Optik TV Channel 9706 (SD)
Channel 706 (HD)
SaskTel Channel 165 (SD)

H2 is a Canadian English language Category A specialty channel dedicated to airing historic and non-historical programming of military, science, and technology interest. The channel is wholly owned by Shaw Media, with its name licensed from the American company, A+E Networks, owners of the American channel.


Original logo as mentv, 2001–2010
Logo as The Cave, 2010-2012

In November 2000, Groupe TVA and Canwest (through its subsidiary Global Television Network Inc.) were granted approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to launch a television channel called Men TV, described as "a national English-language Category 1 specialty television service dedicated to men's lifestyle. It will provide programming related to the luxury market, the gourmet market, men's beauty and fitness, the book and music market, outdoor adventures and leisure sports, from a Canadian men's perspective."[1]

The channel launched on September 7, 2000 under a slightly modified name, mentv. Despite Canwest's 49% minority interest in the service, Canwest was the managing partner of the channel from its inception until September 2008, when managing operations were handed over to Groupe TVA, who owned a 51% stake in the service.

Throughout its history as mentv, the channel maintained a programming slate of general interest programming aimed at a male audience. Programming included series focusing on themes such as crime and mystery, cuisine, leisure sports such as extreme sports and fishing, technology, and more. Due in part to the channel's licence requirements, the majority of the programming were documentary, reality series, talk shows, and other such non-scripted programming. Scripted programming such as films, variety shows, comedies, and television dramas did also air on the channel, however.

On August 2, 2010, with little marketing initiative behind it and little notice from the press, mentv was quietly rebranded The Cave, while maintaining mentv's programming strategy of a lifestyle service aimed at men. On October 27, 2010, Shaw Communications gained a 49% stake in the channel as a result of its acquisition of Canwest.[2][3]

On December 22, 2011, Groupe TVA announced its intention to sell its share of The Cave and Mystery TV to Shaw Communications, giving Shaw full control of the two channels.[4] It was revealed in regulatory documents, that the transaction for The Cave was valued at $2,000,000.[5] The deal was approved by the CRTC on April 25, 2012.[6]

On May 30, 2012, Shaw Media announced that it would be launching a Canadian version of the history-focused American channel, H2, on August 27, 2012. While no official word was made by Shaw Media, It was speculated that the channel would be a rebranded version of The Cave.[7][8] Indeed, The Cave was rebranded as H2 on August 27, 2012.

On May 29, 2013, Shaw Media launched H2 HD, a high definition simulcast of the standard definition feed. It is currently available on Eastlink, Shaw Direct, Shaw Cable & Bell Fibe TV.

In April 2015, it was reported that the U.S. H2 channel would be rebranded as "Vice" as part of a partnership with Vice Media.[9] With Vice previously announcing a Canadian partnership with Rogers Communications,[10] and with Rogers announcing it was converting The Biography Channel into VICELAND,[11] it is expected that H2 will remain with little in the way of changes to branding and programming.

Noted series[edit]


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