For the now-defunct Canadian television system known as E! from 2007 to 2009, see CH.
E! is a Canadian television specialty channel. Bell Media is the owner.
The E! name is used by Bell under licence from NBCUniversal, the owner of the American cable channel of the same name (which also supplies the majority of the channel's programming). The channel also shares the E! Online website with the American E! channel, which otherwise does not have any ownership stake in the Canadian version of E!.
The current version of E! was licenced by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1996 and signed on for the first time on September 10, 1999 under original owner CHUM Limited as Star!. From its launch until 2007, Star! broadcast primarily content from the American E! channel, along with some of its own programming such as Star! Daily, an entertainment news program.
CTVglobemedia (now Bell Media) took control of Star! on June 22, 2007 as the result of CTVgm's acquisition of CHUM Limited. That year, Canwest acquired the Canadian rights to the E! brand and programming and took those shows from Star! to air on its secondary television system CH, which Canwest rebranded as E! on September 7, 2007. After this, Star!'s schedule consisted mainly of entertainment-oriented and talk shows rerun from CTV and A, while Star! Daily was cancelled in favor of carrying CTV's eTalk.
Meanwhile, Canwest's rebranding and reformatting of CH into E!, which then began carrying mostly imported shows (as well as station IDs and program promos) from the American E! outside of local news programming and some prime time shows from the American broadcast networks, proved to be a disaster for Canwest as the E! brand and format became highly unpopular with traditional viewers of the former CH. As a result, Canwest announced in June 2009 that it would be shutting E! down on August 31 that year, with the future of that system's affiliated stations in question as well. One E! affiliate, CHCA-TV in Red Deer, Alberta, was closed down by Canwest on August 31, and another affiliate, CHBC-TV in Kelowna, British Columbia, became an owned-and-operated station of Global Television that same day (rebranding as Global Okanagan on-air), while the remaining Canwest-owned affiliates, CHEK-TV Victoria, CJNT-TV Montreal and flagship station CHCH-TV Hamilton, were sold to independent owners and began programming their own schedules, and the affiliates owned by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, CFJC-TV Kamloops, CKPG-TV Prince George (both in British Columbia) and CHAT-TV in Medicine Hat, Alberta, became affiliated with Citytv (now known as City).
Despite the demise of the previous version of E!, Canwest continued to hold the licence for the E! name and its programming in Canada, in anticipation of future use for a proposed cable channel it had applied to the CRTC for, or for a rebrand and reformatting of one of its existing cable networks. Those rights were lost when the broadcasting and cable assets of Canwest were acquired by Shaw Communications following CRTC approval on October 22, 2010, then Canwest was dissolved by Shaw and reorganized as Shaw Media on October 27.
On November 1, 2010, CTVgm announced that it had acquired the Canadian rights to the E! brand and programming from the now-defunct Canwest. CTVgm transferred the E! brand and programming to the former Star! on November 29, 2010.
- CTV and Comcast International Media Group Partner to Bring E!, World’s Top Entertainment Brand, Back to Canada