CTV is a Canadian English-language broadcast television network which is owned by Bell Media. It airs a mixture of American shows and movies and original Canadian shows. All shows airing on CTV, and most ads, are closed captioned.
CTV has one of Canada's largest stables of specialty channels. These include interests in: CTV News Channel, a 24-hour headline news channel; Business News Network, an all-business news network; MTV, a music-oriented specialty channel (previously talktv, an all-talk channel); The Comedy Network, Canada's first 24-hour network dedicated to comedy; TSN, a Canadian sports specialty channel; RDS, a 24-hour French-language all-sports channel; the Canadian version of E! (formerly Star!), a celebrity-oriented entertainment channel; and the award-winning Discovery Channel. A minority interest in Viewer's Choice Canada (pay-per-view) is also held.
CTV also owns interests in and operates five digital specialty channels: Animal Planet, Discovery Science (formerly the Canadian version of Discovery Civilization), the Canadian version of ESPN Classic, NHL Network and RIS (Le Réseau Info Sports). It formerly had ownership interests in the Outdoor Life Network and CTV Sportsnet (now Sportsnet) (both of which have since been sold to Rogers Communications) and T+E (formerly CTV Travel and Travel + Escape, which was sold to Glassbox Television and is now owned by Blue Ant Media).
Following the 1958 Canadian federal election which saw the minority Conservative government of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker return to power with a majority, one of the Diefenbaker government's first acts in Parliament was to pass the Broadcasting Act of 1958. This led to the creation of the Board of Broadcast Governors (BBG), which was established to take over broadcasting regulation duties from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which had been both the broadcast regulator and public broadcaster in Canada until then. The BBG was created in response to demands by private broadcasters to allow alternate viewing choices on Canadian television, something which the private broadcasters alleged had not been possible at the time with the CBC operating as both their regulator and their competition.
As its first act, the BBG held public hearings in 1960 to request applications for second television stations in eight major Canadian cities. Of those eight cities, privately-owned CBC Television affiliates operated in Calgary (CHCT-TV) and Edmonton (CFRN-TV), while the other six were served by CBC-owned stations (CBUT in Vancouver, CBWT in Winnipeg, CBLT in Toronto, CBOT and CBOFT in Ottawa, CBFT and CBMT in Montreal, and CBHT in Halifax). From an initial list of more than 35 applicants, the nine winning applicants were, by city (including first sign-on dates):
- Vancouver - Vantel Broadcasting (CHAN-TV; October 31, 1960)
- Calgary - the Love family (CFCN-TV; September 9, 1960)
- Edmonton - the CBC (CBXT, which would relieve CFRN of its CBC affiliation; October 1, 1961)
- Winnipeg - Moffat Broadcasting (CJAY-TV; November 12, 1960)
- Toronto - Baton-Aldred-Rogers Broadcasting (CFTO-TV; January 1, 1961)
- Ottawa - Ernie Bushnell (CJOH-TV; March 12, 1961)
- Montreal (English) - Canadian Marconi Co. (CFCF-TV; January 21, 1961)
- Montreal (French) - Télé-Métropole (CFTM-TV; February 19, 1961)
- Halifax - Finlay Macdonald (CJCH-TV; January 1, 1961)
Prior to the awarding of station licences by the BBG, John Bassett, the head of Toronto applicant Baton-Aldred-Rogers, expressed interest early on in forming a network of the newly-licenced private stations, with the Toronto station (what would become CFTO) as its flagship. Bassett also contacted the successful applicants in other cities about forming a program-sharing co-operative, which led to the formation in July 1960 of the Independent Television Organization (ITO), which consisted of the new privately-owned stations and CFRN (which was due to lose its CBC affiliation once CBXT signed on). CFTM, a French-language station, later withdrew from the ITO and soon after began its own program-sharing agreements with CFCM-TV Quebec City and CJPM-TV Chicoutimi, an arrangement which would lead to the formation of TVA in 1971.
The ITO set out to apply for a network licence to link their stations, but they ran into opposition from one of the losing Toronto applicants, former CBC executive Spence Caldwell, who had approached the BBG in April 1960 to establish a network in order to link together and control the winning applicants. The BBG did not favor the idea of a network owned by the ITO stations, as it believed that the network would become dominated by its Toronto station. The ITO later dropped its plans to apply for a network licence, but expressed doubts about the Caldwell network application (by that point named the Canadian Television Network, or CTN) and its viability. CFTO, in particular, expressed no desire in affiliating with CTN and the station's ownership believed it could be successful as an independent station. Following negotiations with all involved parties and the BBG, Caldwell was granted his network licence for CTN on the condition that it could secure affiliations from six of the eight ITO stations.
Caldwell's push to launch CTN gained ground in early-1961 when CFTO gained the TV rights to air games from the Canadian Football League's Eastern Conference and the station needed a network to air them on after an earlier plan to distribute the games to CFTO, the other ITO stations and privately-owned small-market CBC affiliates did not come to fruition. When Baton-Aldred-Rogers agreed to affiliate CFTO with CTN, the other ITO stations soon followed suit. After the CBC objected to Caldwell's use of the Canadian Television Network name for his network (claiming that it had the exclusive rights to the term "Canadian" for its network), Caldwell changed his network's name to CTV, which then launched on October 1, 1961. Of the eight charter CTV affiliates, only CHAN did not operate as a full affiliate while Caldwell headed the network, although CHAN did carry several CTV programs during that time.
During CTV's first full season, live network programming was only available on CFTO, while network shows were transmitted to the other affiliates via the CBC's microwave network during CBC Television's off-hours, to air via tape delay. When a second microwave network was gradually established over the next few years, live CTV programming eventually became available across Canada. Programs aired on CTV during the first season included Canadian productions Cross Canada Barndance (a country variety show), Showdown, Twenty Questions and Take a Chance (game shows) and West Coast (variety), along with American imports The Andy Griffith Show, Checkmate, The Rifleman, Sing Along with Mitch and Top Cat, the BBC series Maigret and Australian-filmed Western series Whiplash.
More stations, mostly existing CBC affiliates, began joining CTV over then next few years. CHAB-TV in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, originally a CBC affiliate, switched networks on August 25, 1962 and put a semi-satellite, CHRE-TV, on the air in Regina on December 21. CHEK-TV, a CBC affiliate in Victoria, British Columbia, became a dual CBC-CTV affiliate in September 1963. CKCO-TV in Kitchener, Ontario switched to CTV in 1964, prompting nearby London CBC affiliate CFPL-TV to expand its signal to Kitchener to continue CBC service in the region, and CJON-TV in St. John's, Newfoundland joined CTV on October 1, 1964 when the CBC opened CBNT.
The relationship between CTV and its affiliates was not a smooth one due to competition between the network and the affiliates (operating under their ITO co-operative) for the rights to American programming, and the network found itself in financial difficulty almost from the beginning of operations. Caldwell stepped down as the head of CTV on October 1, 1965, but this did little to solve the problem and the network was nearing bankruptcy. In January 1966, CTV's affiliated stations announced their intention to apply to the BBG to purchase CTV. The application was approved and, at the start of the 1966-67 TV season, the CTV affiliates owned the network, which they planned to run as a co-operative as they previously had the ITO (with an additional provision of "one corporate owner, one vote" per station owner as part of the new co-operative) and which would have an expanded network broadcast schedule of 60 hours a week.
CTV began broadcasting in color with the arrival of color television in Canada on September 1, 1966, and the network introduced its current logo (which has undergone minor alterations over its years of use) that same day. One of CTV's longest-running programs, the newsmagazine show W5, made its debut in 1966, predating the debut of the similarly-formatted CBS series 60 Minutes by two years.
Beginning in 1968, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the successor to the BBG, asked CTV to consider expanding its service to other parts of Canada, as CTV covered only 70% of English-speaking Canadian audiences at that point. Broadcast stations in smaller communities, most often private CBC affiliates, raised objections to this over concerns about competition from the major-market CTV stations. To relieve those concerns, CTV planned out several methods to use in its expansion to smaller markets:
- The "twinstick" model, where (in its original model) a rebroadcaster of the nearest CTV affiliate opened up in a small market with an existing privately-owned CBC affiliate, with the CBC affiliate substituting its local advertisements onto those of the CTV station to help the CBC affiliate maintain revenue. The first CTV affiliate to do this was CFCN, which began broadcasting in Lethbridge, Alberta in 1968 through a twinstick arrangement with then-CBC affiliate CJLH-TV. In a later version of the twinstick model, which became common in communities in Saskatchewan and northern Ontario, a company which owned an existing CBC affiliate opened up or acquired an originating CTV affiliate to maintain ad revenue for both stations under the parent company's ownership
- Arranging to affiliate an existing private CBC affiliate with CTV when the CBC opened its own station or added a rebroadcaster of the nearest CBC-owned station (or the nearest private CBC affiliate)
- In rare cases, some small-market CBC affiliates were sold to the nearest CTV affiliate and became that station's rebroadcaster (this was the case with CBC affiliate CJSS-TV in Cornwall, Ontario, which was sold to Ernie Bushnell in 1963 and became a repeater for CJOH)
In 1969, Moose Jaw CTV affiliate CHAB and its Regina semi-satellite CHRE, the original CTV stations in Saskatchewan, were sold to the CBC as the result of a CRTC ruling requiring previous owner Moffat Broadcasting (which had acquired CHAB/CHRE in 1968) to sell the stations to a third party. With the CBC purchase, CHRE became CBKRT (now CBKT) and CHAB became CBKMT (later rebroadcaster CBKT-1, now defunct) on September 13 that year, moving the CTV affiliation to previous Regina CBC affiliate CKCK-TV. Also in 1969, Moncton, New Brunswick CBC affiliate CKCW-TV switched to CTV and opened Saint John semi-satellite CKLT-TV, leading to Saint John CBC affiliate CHSJ-TV to expand its service to Moncton. Saskatoon's CFQC-TV, which became a dual CBC-CTV affiliate in 1969 after 15 years with CBC, became solely affiliated with CTV on October 17, 1971 when the CBC put CBKST on the air in that city. On July 28, 1972, Thunder Bay Electronics, the owner of Thunder Bay, Ontario CBC affiliate CKPR-TV, began its own twinstick when it signed on the CTV-affiliated CHFD-TV in the city. On September 11, 1972, CTV debuted its long-running morning news show Canada AM. Sydney, Nova Scotia CBC affiliate CJCB-TV switched over to CTV on September 26, 1972 when the CBC put CBIT (a semi-satellite of Halifax's CBHT) on the air. CHEK became the full-time Victoria CTV affiliate on January 5, 1981 when Vancouver's CBUT put rebroadcasters on the air in Sooke and Mount Macdonald.
Beginning in the mid-1980s, Baton Broadcasting, the owner of CTV flagship station CFTO, began a quest to take over control of CTV by acquiring as many affiliated stations as they could. Baton had purchased Saskatoon's CFQC from the Murphy family in 1972 and did not encounter opposition to that purchase, so it decided to begin its expansion in Saskatchewan by acquiring CKCK Regina from the Hill family and the stations of Yorkton Television (Yorkton's CKOS-TV, a CBC affiliate, and CICC-TV, a CTV affiliate, and Prince Albert CBC affiliate CKBI-TV and yet-to-air CTV affiliate CIPA-TV) in 1986, followed by CJOH Ottawa in 1988 and northern Ontario's Mid-Canada Television mini-system (CICI-TV Greater Sudbury, CKNY-TV North Bay, CHBX-TV Sault Ste. Marie and CITO-TV Timmins, along with their respective CBC twinstick stations) in 1990. In 1994, CTV was restructured from a co-operative into a corporation, and that same year, Baton launched a sub-system within CTV called the Baton Broadcast System (BBS), which broadcast only to the Baton-owned stations in Saskatchewan and Ontario.
In 1996, Baton acquired CFCN Calgary from Rogers Communications and took control of Electrohome-owned CFRN Edmonton and CKCO Kitchener through a joint venture with Electrohome which gave Baton control of Electrohome's vote in CTV. In 1997, Baton acquired CHUM Limited's CTV-affiliated ATV system (CJCH, CJCB, CKCW and CKLT) in exchange for four Baton-owned BBS affiliates in southern Ontario (CFPL London, CHWI-TV Windsor, CKNX-TV Wingham and CHRO-TV Pembroke) going to CHUM. With the ATV purchase, Baton acquired controlling interest in CTV. On September 22, 1997, Baton put CIVT-TV on-air in Vancouver; while initially operated as an independent station with a mix of local, Citytv and BBS programming (although it never carried the BBS brand locally), it was intended by Baton from the beginning to make CIVT the new Vancouver CTV station (whose affiliation at that time was shared by independently-owned CHAN Vancouver and CHEK Victoria) at the first available opportunity. In late-1997, the BBS sub-system was discontinued and folded into CTV, and with full ownership of the network, Baton changed its name to CTV Inc. in January 1998 and began plastering the CTV brand on all its owned-and-operated (O&O) stations, including on non-CTV programming.
CTV allowed its network licence to expire in 2000, thereby legally making it a "television service" under CRTC definition from that point. When CHAN and CHEK were acquired by Canwest (as a result of the split of the broadcast assets of Western International Communications) in 2000 and disaffiliated from CTV on September 1, 2001 (with CHAN becoming the new Vancouver Global TV affiliate and CHEK going to Canwest's new CH system), the Vancouver CTV affiliation officially moved to CTV O&O CIVT. CTV also acquired its last two major-market affiliates in 2001 when it bought CKY Winnipeg from Shaw Communications and CFCF Montreal from Canwest. CJON mostly disaffiliated from CTV in 2002 as the result of a disagreement with CTV over affiliation terms, but the station continues to carry CTV's news programming, including CTV National News and W5, in exchange for providing Newfoundland news coverage to CTV.
As a result of its corporate acquisitions over the years, CTV now airs a standard broadcast schedule outside of local news on most of its O&O stations. Beginning in July 2002 and leading up to October 2005, CTV began gradually dropping the use of its O&O stations' call signs in on-air branding in favor of generic branding with the CTV logo.
When CTV Inc. acquired CHUM Limited, which had itself once been a shareholder in the then-co-operatively run CTV, in June 2007, it had planned to assume control of CHUM's flagship Citytv system to run parallel to CTV, but the CRTC ordered CTV to instead sell Citytv to Rogers Communications and retain CHUM's secondary system, A-Channel. CTV originally announced that it would program A-Channel separately from the main network, but those plans were later changed in the summer of 2007 as programs which CTV could not make room for on its schedule were moved down to A-Channel (which became A on August 11, 2008, then changed to its current name of CTV Two on August 29, 2011).
On February 12, 2010, privately-owned Thunder Bay CTV affiliate CHFD-TV disaffiliated from the network after a disagreement over affiliation terms. As it was already carrying some programming from Global TV (though the shows were not branded as Global shows on CHFD, but were marketed as syndicated programming), the station set up a new affiliation with Global and rebranded on-air as Global Thunder Bay (though the station is not owned by Global parent Corus Entertainment), while CTV became available on cable in Thunder Bay via CFTO.
On September 10, 2010, BCE Inc., the parent company of telecommunications provider Bell Canada, announced that it was purchasing 100% ownership of CTV in a deal worth C$1.3 billion. BCE had previously been a majority owner of CTV when it first purchased the network with the Thomson family's Woodbridge Company in 2000, but it sold off most of its ownership stake in 2006 to Woodbridge (which got a 40% ownership stake following the sale), Torstar Corporation (owner of the Toronto Star newspaper) and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (giving the latter two groups 20% each) while keeping the remaining 20% stake for itself. The sale was finalized on March 7, 2011, and on April 1, CTV parent company CTVglobemedia was renamed as Bell Media.
On September 1, 2014, Thunder Bay CBC affiliate CKPR-DT disaffiliated from that network to become a CTV affiliate. The affiliation switch marks the first time since sister station CHFD switched networks from CTV to Global TV in 2010 that CTV has been available over the air in Thunder Bay. On August 31, 2015, three Corus Entertainment-owned Ontario CBC Television affiliates, CKWS-DT in Kingston, CHEX-DT in Peterborough and CHEX-TV-2 in Oshawa, disaffiliated from that network to become CTV affiliates. On June 3, 2016, CTV ended production of Canada AM after a 44-season run (erroneously identified by the network as a 43-season run), with a new morning show, Your Morning, announced to debut later in 2016. On June 13, 2019, CTV aired a simulcast of ABC's coverage of Game Six of the 2019 NBA Finals due to the appearance of the Toronto Raptors, the NBA's sole Canadian team, against the Golden State Warriors in that championship series, drawing average viewership of 7.7 million for that game as Toronto defeated Golden State 114-110 to win the series and the NBA Championship, four games to two, making Game Six of the 2019 NBA Finals the most-watched TV broadcast of the year in Canada.
- Program Listing: A complete listing of shows that aired new episodes on CTV.
CTV affiliates (including city of licence and date of first sign-on)
Charter CTV affiliates are indicated in bold text.
|Station||City||First sign-on date||Notes|
|CIVT-DT||Vancouver, British Columbia||September 22, 1997||Officially independent until it joined CTV on September 1, 2001, though it did carry CTV programming not cleared by the then-main CTV affiliate in Vancouver, CHAN-TV|
|CFCN-DT||Calgary, Alberta||September 9, 1960||Canada's first independent station prior to the establishment of CTV|
|CFRN-DT||Edmonton, Alberta||October 25, 1954||Formerly a CBC affiliate until September 30, 1961|
|CFQC-DT||Saskatoon, Saskatchewan||December 1954||Formerly a CBC affiliate until 1969, then a dual CBC-CTV affiliate until October 16, 1971|
|CIPA-TV||Prince Albert, Saskatchewan||January 12, 1987|
|CKCK-DT||Regina, Saskatchewan||July 28, 1954||Formerly a CBC affiliate until September 12, 1969|
|CKY-DT||Winnipeg, Manitoba||November 12, 1960||Formerly known as CJAY-TV until May 31, 1973|
|CHBX-TV||Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario||September 23, 1978||formerly known as CKCY-TV until 1986|
|CICI-TV||Greater Sudbury, Ontario||October 25, 1953||Formerly a CBC affiliate until October 3, 1971, using the callsign CKSO-TV; recalled with current callsign in 1980|
|CITO-TV||Timmins, Ontario||April 1, 1971||Originally a rebroadcaster of CKSO-TV as CKSO-TV-2; became autonomous and adopted its current callsign in 1980|
|CKNY-TV||North Bay, Ontario||December 19, 1955||Formerly a CBC affiliate known as CKGN-TV until 1960, then as CFCH-TV until 1970; switched to CTV on October 15, 1971|
|CKCO-DT||Kitchener, Ontario||March 1, 1954||Formerly a CBC affiliate until 1964|
|CFTO-DT||Toronto, Ontario||December 31, 1960||Flagship station of CTV|
|CJOH-DT||Ottawa, Ontario||March 12, 1961|
|CFCF-DT||Montreal, Quebec||January 20, 1961|
|CKLT-DT||Saint John, New Brunswick||September 21, 1969|
|CKCW-DT||Moncton, New Brunswick||November 30, 1954||Formerly a CBC affiliate until 1969|
|CJCH-DT||Halifax, Nova Scotia||January 1, 1961|
|CJCB-TV||Sydney, Nova Scotia||October 9, 1954||Formerly a CBC affiliate until September 25, 1972|
|Station||City||First sign-on date||Notes|
|CITL-DT||Lloydminster, Alberta/Saskatchewan||July 28, 1976||Owned by Newcap Radio; with the disaffiliation of CJBN-TV in Kenora, Ontario from CTV on December 1, 2011, CITL was left as the last independently-owned CTV affiliate in the network until 2014|
|CKPR-DT||Thunder Bay, Ontario||October 4, 1954||Owned by Dougall Media; formerly a CBC affiliate until August 31, 2014|
|Station||City||First sign-on date||Notes|
|CHAN-DT||Vancouver, British Columbia||October 31, 1960||Charter CTV affiliate upon the network's formation; disaffiliated from CTV and joined Global Television on September 1, 2001|
|CHEK-DT||Victoria, British Columbia||December 1, 1956||Formerly a CBC affiliate until September 1963, then a dual CBC-CTV affiliate until January 4, 1981; disaffiliated from CTV and joined CH on September 1, 2001|
|CHRE-TV||Regina, Saskatchewan||December 21, 1962||Purchased by the CBC, switched to CBC Television and renamed CBKRT on September 13, 1969; renamed CBKT in 1978|
|CHAB-TV||Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan||July 7, 1959||Originally a CBC affiliate, switched to CTV on August 25, 1962; purchased by the CBC, switched back to CBC Television and renamed CBKMT on September 13, 1969; renamed CBKT-1 in 1978; ceased operations on July 31, 2012 due to budget cuts by the CBC|
|CJBN-TV||Kenora, Ontario||1980||Disaffiliated from CTV and affiliated with Global TV on December 1, 2011|
|CHFD-DT||Thunder Bay, Ontario||October 14, 1972||Disaffiliated from CTV and affiliated with Global TV on February 12, 2010|
|CKWS-DT||Kingston, Ontario||December 18, 1954||Originally a CBC affiliate until switching to CTV on August 31, 2015; disaffiliated from CTV and affiliated with Global TV on August 27, 2018|
|CHEX-DT||Peterborough, Ontario||March 25, 1955||Originally a CBC affiliate until switching to CTV on August 31, 2015; disaffiliated from CTV and affiliated with Global TV on August 27, 2018|
|CHEX-TV-2||Oshawa, Ontario||1992||Originally a CBC affiliate until switching to CTV on August 31, 2015; disaffiliated from CTV and affiliated with Global TV on August 27, 2018|
|CHRO-TV||Pembroke, Ontario||August 19, 1961||Formerly a CBC affiliate known as CHOV-TV until 1977; switched to CTV in 1991; purchased by CHUM Television and disaffiliated in 1997|
|CKLW-TV||Windsor, Ontario||September 16, 1954||Originally a CBC affiliate; co-purchased by Baton Broadcasting (75%) and CBC (25%) and made a dual CBC-CTV affiliate in 1970; CBC fully purchased the station and renamed it CBET in 1975, but retained CTV as a secondary affiliation into the early 1980s|
|CJON-DT||St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador||September 6, 1955||Formerly a CBC affiliate until September 30, 1964; disaffiliated from CTV in 2002, but still carries CTV News programming|
- Bell Canada parent BCE buys CTV Inc. for $1.3B at CTV.ca
- CTV set to return to CKPR-TV
- Corus Entertainment's Eastern Ontario Television Channels Enter into a Program Supply Agreement with Bell Media to Broadcast CTV Programming
- Fond memories, tears as CTV's Canada AM signs off after 43 seasons at CTV.ca
- Canada AM abruptly cancelled by CTV, replacement show announced at the Toronto Star
- Ben Mulroney, Anne-Marie Mediwake to host CTV’s new show ‘Your Morning’ at the Toronto Star