YTV (Canadian TV channel)

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Broadcast areaNational
Timeshift serviceYTV East
OwnerCorus Entertainment
ParentYTV Canada, Inc.
Sister channelsNickelodeon
Treehouse TV
LaunchedSeptember 1, 1988; 35 years ago (1988-09-01)
Streaming media
StackTVInternet Protocol television

YTV is a Canadian English language discretionary specialty channel owned by YTV Canada, Inc., a subsidiary of Corus Entertainment.[1] The channel and its programming is targeted at children and young teenagers; consisting of original live action and animated television series, movies, and third party shows from various U.S.-based kids networks such as Nickelodeon. Its name was originally thought to be an abbreviation for "Youth Television", though the channel's website has denied this.[2]

The channel was launched on September 1, 1988 by owners Rogers Media and CUC Broadcasting upon launch. In 1995, Shaw Communications acquired CUC's 34% stake and in 1998, it acquired Rogers' remaining interest of the channel, before Shaw's media division was spun off to form Corus Entertainment in 1999.

YTV operates two time shifted feeds, running on both Eastern and Pacific Time Zone schedules, and is available in over 11.0 million households in Canada as of 2013.[3]


The channel was licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1987 by Rogers Cable and CUC Broadcasting.[4][5]

The channel launched on September 1, 1988, at 7:00 p.m., with the first program being a special party celebrating the launch of YTV, hosted by John Candy.[6] At launch, Rogers held 75% of the channel while CUC owned 25%.[5]

In 1995, Calgary-based Shaw Communications acquired CUC's stake of 34% ownership of YTV. Shaw acquired Rogers' remaining share in 1998 to take full control of it. In 1999, the media assets of Shaw were spun off to form Corus Entertainment.[5]

Two Corus specialty channel applications for YTV extensions, YTV POW!, an internationally sourced kids' action, adventure and superhero genre, and YTV OneWorld, targeting children from age 9 to 17 with travel, humour, games, and STEM were approved on September 18, 2008.[7] The YTV Oneworld license was used to launch Nickelodeon Canada.[8]

On January 11, 2011, a high-definition feed was launched.[9]


Current YTV original programming include hosted programming blocks, such as The Zone. In addition to original programming, YTV has historically acquired and co-produced programming with the U.S cable network Nickelodeon.[10]

Programming blocks[edit]


  • Fam Fun (2021–present)[11]
  • The Zone (September 2, 1991[12]–present[13])
  • The Zone Weekend is co-hosted by Spencer Litzinger and Alex Wierzbicki.
  • Big Fun Movies (January 2, 2011[14]–present[15])


  • The Treehouse (1994–98)
  • YTV Jr. (September 7, 1998 – 2002)
  • YTV PlayTime (2010–12)
  • Bionix (September 10, 2004 – February 7, 2010)
  • CRUNCH (September 9, 2006 – September 28, 2013)
  • Big Fun Weeknights
  • Big Fun Fridays
  • 3 Hairy Thumbs Up (October 19, 2002 to August 31, 2008)[16]
  • Moovibot (September 5, 2008 – September 6, 2009)
  • ZAPX Movies (September 11, 2005 – November 7, 2010)
  • Vortex (September 15, 2001 – June 24, 2006)
  • Brainwash[17]
  • Snit Station[18]
  • Limbo (2000-2001)[19]
  • Toon Town Alley
  • The Alley
  • The Breakfast Zone (1995–1996)[20]
  • The B-Zone[21]
  • The Vault (1997)
  • YTV Shift[22]
  • Spine Chilling Saturday Nights (1998)
  • The Dark Corner[23]
  • Whiplash Wednesdays
  • Nickelodeon Sundays[24]
  • Famalama DingDong

Branding history[edit]

Initially, YTV utilized computer-generated graphics in their network IDs, which were normally set against different sky backgrounds that changed depending on the time of day. In addition, the channel also started using various slogans ("The Spirit of Youth", "Young as You Are" and "Canada's Youth Channel") to promote their youth demographic at the time.

Over the years, the channel continued to revise their branding and promotional material. In 1994, a number of different on-air logos were taken effect, which features the logo's text placed atop of random objects. One logo variant used on production credits (and presumably the "official" logo) features an arrangement of the logo's text placed on a red screen of a stylized purple television set.

In 1998, YTV started to use a Nickelodeon-style "gross-out" factor in its branding and adopted a new slogan, "Keep It Weird". The channel continued using various on-air logos featuring the same arrangement of the logo's text, this time on various bizarre and imaginative creatures. Many of YTV advertisements from this period often focused on promoting the brand through crude humour.

A new post-6:00 p.m. advertising style was developed for older audiences in Spring 2006, which used a much simpler logo and sleeker packaging with reduced "gross-out" tactics. The simple logo first appeared on YTV's promos and even appeared on credits of newer original programming before being later adopted for the entire channel in 2007.

In September 2009, the logo was changed slightly to have featured new colours, and the background was simplified. The bumpers were reduced and were later replaced by opaque digital on-screen graphics telling viewers which programs are coming next, and promotions of the programs.

On October 6, 2014, the channel underwent a brand refresh, with new graphics and bumps created by the Toronto-based Eloisa Iturbe Studio. In addition, the channel updated its logo by having it face upwards to the left instead of directly to the audience.[25]

Program jockeys[edit]

Beginning in September 1990, YTV called their program jockeys as "PJs" in the same vein as disc jockey (DJ) or video jockey (VJ).[26] Current hosts of these segments have since dropped the moniker as of the mid-1990s.

Current program jockeys[edit]

  • The Zone is co-hosted by Spencer Litzinger, Melony Manikavasagar and Kelsey Liem.[27]
  • Big Fun Movies is hosted by Kelsey Liem.[28]

Past program jockeys/hosts[edit]

Related services[edit]


Treehouse is a Category A cable and satellite specialty channel which airs programming targeted to preschoolers ages six and younger. It launched on November 1, 1997.[49] The channel's name is taken from YTV's now-defunct children's programming block, The Treehouse. Treehouse is carried nationwide throughout Canada and it broadcasts its programming without commercial interruption.


Nickelodeon is a Category B cable and satellite specialty channel that was launched on November 2, 2009, and is based on the U.S. cable channel Nickelodeon. Like its counterparts in the U.S. and elsewhere, Nickelodeon airs programs, including both live action series and animation, aimed at children to younger teenagers, specifically targeted to ages 7–11.


Vortex on Demand[edit]

In July 2005, Corus Entertainment partnered up with Comcast Corporation to launch a cable video-on-demand service called "Vortex on Demand" in the U.S. The deal consisted of 393 30-minute animated TV series from the Nelvana library; it aired programs such as Cadillacs & Dinosaurs and Medabots.[50][51] The service was discontinued in mid-2007.

Bionix On Demand[edit]

In 2008, Corus Entertainment started offering a video-on-demand service called "Bionix On Demand" to Canadian cable providers. Rogers Cable and Shaw Cable were the only providers to offer the service. The service offered older and newer anime programs that did not air on YTV itself. The video-on-demand service was previously titled "YTV Anime On Demand". Bionix On Demand was discontinued on December 17, 2009, and was replaced by YTV On Demand.[52]

YTV GO[edit]

YTV GO was a TV Everywhere mobile app available on the App Store and Google Play Store. It was available at no extra charge to all subscribed customers of Access Communications, Bell Satellite TV, Cogeco, Shaw Cable, Shaw Direct, Telus, and VMedia. It offered episodes of various programming from YTV. The app operated between September 2015 and May 1, 2019.[53][54]

Related businesses[edit]

  • Whoa! Magazine, YTV's official magazine, began publication in 1999[55] by Creative House, a joint venture between the channel, Today's Parent Group and Paton Publishing.[56] It was distributed through Pizza Hut, YTV events, Chapters and Indigo bookstores, Canadian newsstands, and subscriptions.[57] Three issues were released in its first year, followed by four in 2000 before the magazine officially became a quarterly (spring, summer, fall, and winter) in 2001.[56][58] The magazine celebrated its fifth anniversary with a spring collector's issue in 2004.[59] In 2007, the magazine became available as an e-zine on[60] Building on that, in 2008 two additional issues (six for the year) were published as online exclusives.[61] In 2009, YTV ended its association with the magazine.[62] Patton relaunched Whoa! as a magazine/blogging platform without the YTV branding that same year, until ceasing publication in 2011 and shutting the site down in 2012.[62][63]
  • Big Fun Party Mix was a series of compilation cassettes/CDs containing songs from various tween-approved artists both Canadian and foreign, as well as tracks featured in YTV's Hit List and The Next Star, plus performances by the station's band "Nuclear Donkey". Universal Music Canada published 11 entries from 2000 to 2009.[64][65]
  • was a moderated online chat room operated from 2001 to 2004. The site hosted live chats between viewers and celebrities, voice actors, YTV hosts, and staff. Upon its closure, absorbed some of its functionality.[66][67]
  • The Big Rip was an online portal for browser-based massively multiplayer online games for preteens. Developed by Corus Entertainment and Frima Studio, it launched February 15, 2007.[68] Frima later assumed complete control of the portal before ceasing updates in 2010 and later shutting down the site.
  • YTV Spills was a follow-up quarterly magazine to Whoa! produced in association with The Magazine between 2010 and 2012.[69][70]
  • Keep It Weird is a YouTube channel featuring various productions by Nelvana, another division of Corus Entertainment, along with past Nickelodeon series, channel promos, and YTV originals.[71] It launched in 2015 under the name Nelvana Retro and was later rebranded to YTV Direct in 2016 before assuming its current name in 2018.[72]

International distribution[edit]

  • Jamaica - distributed on Flow Cable systems.[73]
  • Bahamas - formerly distributed on Cable Bahamas systems channel 307. Removed from the channel line up as of September 2020 due to the programming lineup changes.[74]


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External links[edit]