Canadian viewers can expect a wave of new non-fiction channels to hit in the not too distant future. Regulatory body The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission recently received a total of 452 digital channel applications, 91 of which have applied for a Category 1 license, 355 for Category 2. There are also two pay-per-view and four new video-on-demand service applications.
Category 1 licensing requirements include a minimum of 50% Canadian content by the end of a seven-year license term and Canadian majority ownership. Category 2 requirements include a minimum 35% Can-con and majority Canadian ownership. The CRTC says it will award at least ten Category 1 digital licenses and an unlimited number of Category 2 services, though the former has guaranteed distribution while the latter do not.
The following is a select list:
- Toronto’s Alliance Atlantis filed in association with a wide range of partners, including BBC, E.W. Scripps, News Corp. & National Geographic. Proposals include The Independent Film and Documentary Channel, Food Network Canada and Health Network Canada.
- CHUM Ltd. in Toronto filed seven applications, including the Indie and Docs channel, FashionTelevision: The Channel, and MasterMusic.
- Commercialcaster CTV filed nine applications, including The Digital Network; Discovery Health Canada; Men’s Entertainment Network; and Exploration Network, offering a mix of geography and culture.
- Rogers Broadcasting is the lead promoter on Today’s Parent TV, ZDTV Canada and Biography Channel.
- Calgary’s Craig Broadcasting Systems is fronting three applications including Festival, which will program ‘indie docs and movies,’ and The Met, aimed at promoting Canadian artists.
- Quebec’s Television Quatre Saisons has applied for four French-language licenses in craft and homes (Teleservice), animals (Nature), and women’s issues (Canal F).
- BCE Media in Toronto is leading an application called Travel TV.
- Toronto’s Corus Entertainment and partners are backing Chrome, a men’s lifestyle channel; Booknet; Discovery Travel & Adventure; Land & Sea; Parent TV; and The Canadian Documentary Channel.