BBC Canada

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BBC Canada
BBC Canada logo.svg
Launched 7 September 2001 (2001-09-07)
Owned by Corus Entertainment (80%, managing partner)
BBC Studios (20%)
(Jasper Broadcasting Inc.)
Picture format 1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
Slogan The best and boldest of British television
Country Canada
Language English
Broadcast area Canada
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Bell TV Channel 635 (SD)
Shaw Direct Channel 534 (SD)
Available on every cable system Channel slots vary on each provider
Bell Aliant Fibe TV Channel 266 (SD)
Bell Fibe TV Channel 635 (SD)
Bell MTS Channel 304 (SD)
Optik TV Channel 376 (HD)
Channel 9376 (West, SD)
SaskTel Channel 145 (SD)
Channel 445 (HD)
HuronTel Digital TV Channel 367 (SD)
VMedia Channel 275 (SD)
Zazeen Channel 5 (SD)

BBC Canada is a Canadian pay television channel that mostly broadcasts television series originally produced by the BBC, the public-service broadcaster of the United Kingdom. The channel is owned by Corus Entertainment, with a minority stake held by BBC Studios.


Alliance Atlantis (AAC) was granted a broadcast licence for a Category 2 speciality service covering "entertainment, drama and documentary programming". BBC Canada, by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in November 2000.[1] The channel was launched on 7 September 2001 as a joint venture between AAC and BBC Worldwide.

To promote the launch of BBC Canada's 2007 fall season, a 16-page British-style tabloid insert called the BBC Telly was published in the Toronto Star. Toronto-based Pilot PMR created the campaign.[2]

On 18 January 2008, a joint venture between Canwest and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners known as CW Media bought Alliance Atlantis and gained AAC's interest in BBC Canada. On 27 October2010, the channel's ownership changed once again as Shaw Communications gained control of BBC Canada as a result of its acquisition of Canwest and Goldman Sachs' interest in CW Media.[3][4]

On 13 May 2011, BBC Canada was separated from BBC Kids due to its ownership changing hands to Knowledge Network.


While BBC Canada is part-owned by the BBC, not all of the BBC's programmes air on BBC Canada. In general, while BBC Worldwide and its affiliated operations have a "first look" at the corporation's output, this right only applies so long as BBC Worldwide pays no less than what the BBC Commercial Agency, which is at arm's length, judges to be a particular property's value.[5] Furthermore, while BBC Canada serves a similar purpose to the BBC America channel available in the United States, there are also significant differences between the programming rights owned by the two channels.

This means that much of the BBC's output (and, for that matter, BBC America's original programming) airs on other Canadian channels which have either co-produced the programs or simply bid more for the Canadian broadcast rights. Conversely, many of the British series that do air on the channel are not sourced from the BBC, with some having originally been produced by or aired on other British channels, such as the privately owned ITV or the independent public-service broadcaster Channel 4.

Despite its British focus, BBC Canada is licensed as a Canadian channel and is not exempt from the CRTC's broadcasting regulations that require it to carry a quota of Canadian content. This means that in addition to British programmes, it also broadcasts a number of Canadian series, which according to the channel's licence are required to "explore or [be] informed by Canada's relationship to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth".[1] Canadian programmes currently airing on the channel include repeats of Disaster DIY and Holmes Inspection. In the early 2010s, the channel began airing American series featuring British personalities, such as the American version of the Gordon Ramsay program Kitchen Nightmares (it has also in the past carried the British parent series Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares), and repeat airings of the American dramas House and Elementary (each of which has a British actor in the lead role).

Many of the channel's programmes, whether British, American or Canadian, are shared with other Corus Entertainment channels such as the Global Television Network, Showcase, HGTV and Food Network.

BBC Canada does not ordinarily carry BBC News programming, as the BBC World News channel is also widely available in Canada, and BBC News also has a long-standing content-sharing agreement with the CBC. On the rare occasions that BBC Canada does carry news coverage, coverage may be produced by Corus-owned Global News instead of the BBC, such as with the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.[6]

BBC Canada HD

In October 2016, Corus launched BBC Canada HD, a 1080i high definition simulcast of the standard definition feed. The HD feed is currently available on Optik TV.

Related properties

Apart from the television channel, BBC Worldwide directly operates a BBC Canada Shop website which sells merchandise related to British television series such as Top Gear, Little Britain and Doctor Who.

See also


  1. ^ a b Decision CRTC 2000-484, CRTC, 24 November 2000
  2. ^ "BBC Telly hits Toronto streets with tabloid-style promo » Media in Canada". Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  3. ^ Shaw Communications closes purchase of Canwest TV assets, rebrands as Shaw Media[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ CRTC approves Shaw’s purchase of the Canwest Global television properties Archived 20 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Culture, Media and Sport Committee (25 March 2009). "Report on BBC Commercial Operations". Retrieved 13 May 2013.

External links

  • Official website
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