E! (Canadian TV channel)
|Launched||September 10, 1999|
|Owned by||Bell Media|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
|Slogan||Pop of Culture|
|Formerly called||Star! (1999–2010)|
|Bell TV||Channel 621 (SD)
Channel 1736 (HD)
|Shaw Direct||Channel 527 (SD)|
|Available on most Canadian cable systems||Check local listings, channels may vary|
|FibreOP||Channel 212 (SD)
Channel 455 (HD)
|Bell Fibe TV||Channel 621 (SD)|
|MTS||Channel 113 (SD)|
|Optik TV||Channel 9333 (SD)
Channel 333 (HD)
|SaskTel||Channel 76 (SD)
Channel 376 (HD)
E! is a Canadian English language Category A specialty channel that is owned by Bell Media. Based on the U.S cable network of the same name, the channel is devoted to entertainment programming including news, film, television, celebrities and fashion. NBCUniversal licenses the name and programming for the channel under a brand licensing agreement, but it doesn't hold an ownership interest.
The channel was licensed in 1996 by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and was launched on September 10, 1999 as Star!, which was originally owned by CHUM Limited. On June 22, 2007, CTVglobemedia gained full control of Star! as a result of a takeover of CHUM Limited. That fall, Star!'s daily entertainment news program Star! Daily was cancelled and replaced with its CTV-produced competitor, etalk. As a result of the changes, the Citytv stations were sold to Rogers Media that same year.
The channel broadcast programming from the equivalent American cable channel E! until 2007, when that channel licensed its name to Global's secondary television system CH and transferred its programming to that service, which became known as E!. Although the broadcast version of E! Canada ceased operations in 2009, Canwest is believed to have retained Canadian rights to E! (U.S.) programming (despite not airing it on any of its channels), preventing these series from returning to Star!. Instead, the channel's schedule in these years consisted mostly of second-run talk shows and entertainment news shows repeated from CTV and its secondary A system (formerly A-Channel, now CTV Two), including FashionTelevision, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and TMZ.
On November 1, 2010, CTVglobemedia announced it had signed a multi-year and multi-platform deal with Comcast, to bring the E! brand back to Canada. Under the agreement, Star! was relaunched as E!: Entertainment Television on November 29, 2010. Ownership changed hands again, when on April 1, 2011, Bell Canada gained full control of E! as a result of a takeover of CTVglobemedia, with the latter company becoming known as Bell Media.
At E! U.S's upfronts presentation on April 30, 2012, the network unveiled a new logo and slogan, "Pop of Culture", to debut on July 9, 2012. On the same day, Bell announced that the Canadian version of the channel would adopt E!'s new branding on the same day as its debut in the U.S. On July 12, 2012, E! Canada launched a high definition simulcast feed. It is currently available on Bell TV, SaskTel, Telus Optik TV, Bell Aliant FibreOP TV and EastLink.
While E! is very similar to its American counterpart, it also incorporates reruns of shows that have aired on other Bell Media services including, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Reign, Being Human, and Supernatural.
- CTV and Comcast International Media Group Partner to Bring E!, World's Top Entertainment Brand, Back To Canada CTVglobemedia press release, November 1, 2010.
- "E! Canada Unveils The Network's Next Brand Evolution, Day-and-Date with E! U.S.". Press release. Retrieved 10 July 2012.