|Launched||February 1, 1983|
|Owned by||Bell Media|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Formerly called||Premier Choix|
Premier Choix: TVEC
|Bell TV||180-183 (SD)|
|Shaw Direct||780-782, 784 (SD)|
386, 389, 392 / 246, 249, 237 (HD)
|Available on many Canadian cable systems||Check local listings, channels may vary|
|Bell Aliant Fibe TV||881-884 (SD)|
|Bell Fibe TV||161-164 (SD)|
|Telus Quebec||401-404 (SD)|
Super Écran is a Canadian French language Category A premium television service owned by Bell Media. Super Écran airs a mix of commercial-free films and television series. Films are primarily sourced from the United States and Canada, while the television series consist of original series and programs from HBO and Showtime in the United States.
Launched on February 1, 1983 under the name Premier Choix, the channel was licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to provide a national 24-hour-a-day French-language pay television service. It was owned and operated by First Choice Canadian Communications.
Premier Choix had a difficult time attracting enough subscribers, as did a regional Quebec-based pay-television network called TVEC which was licensed in November 1982. Rogers Cable in Toronto couldn't add the channel until September 1983, and Videon Cable in Winnipeg didn't have the additional channel capacity to add it until its dispute with Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) over ownership of the cable plant was settled.
The network was granted authorization for national distribution across Canada in 1996.
On October 30, 2006 Astral Media launched an HD simulcast of Super Écran. Later, Astral launched HD feeds for all three remaining channels.
On March 4, 2013, the Competition Bureau approved the takeover of Astral Media by Bell Media. Bell filed a new application for the proposed takeover with the CRTC on March 6, 2013; the CRTC approved the merger on June 27, 2013.
Multiplexes and programming
Super Écran offers an extensive variety of Hollywood and Canadian movies, television series from HBO and Showtime, and original content. Super Écran operates four multiplex channels, numbered from 1 to 4 in standard and high-definition. A video on demand service, "Super Écran Sur Demande", is offered for digital cable and satellite subscribers, featuring programming from the Super Écran channels.
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon - distributed on SPM Telecom systems.
- "Here Comes Pay-TV". TV Guide. January 15, 1983.
- "New pay-Tv channel launched". Winnipeg Free Press. February 2, 1984.
- CRTC Decision 84-32
- CRTC Decision 97-18
- BCE takeover of Astral OK’d by Competition Bureau, The Montreal Gazette (via The Canadian Press), March 4, 2013.
- Astral and Bell Comment on New Acquisition Application to CRTC, Broadcaster Magazine, March 6, 2013.
- CRTC approves Bell-Astral merger, CBC News, June 27, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- Official website (in French)