Oprah Winfrey Network (Canadian TV channel)

Oprah Winfrey Network
Launched September 1, 1999 (1999-09-01)
Owned by Corus Entertainment
(under licensing from Discovery Communications)
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Slogan Live Your Best Life
Country Canada
Language English
Broadcast area Nationwide
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Formerly called Canadian Learning Television (1999–2008)
Viva (2008–2011)
Website OWN Canada
Bell TV Channel 526 (SD)
Channel 1711 (HD)
Shaw Direct Channel 507 (SD)
Available on most Canadian cable systems Consult your local cable provider for channel availability
Bell Aliant Channel 285 (SD)
Channel 428 (HD)
Bell Fibe TV Channel 526 (SD)
Channel 1526 (HD)
MTS Channel 114 (SD)
Channel 1114 (HD)
Optik TV Channel 9341 (SD)
Channel 341 (HD)
SaskTel Channel 109 (SD)
VMedia Channel 72 (HD)
Zazeen Channel 118 (HD)

Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is a Canadian English language Category A cable and satellite specialty channel that is owned by Corus Entertainment. OWN is a specialty television service targeted to women, offering a blend of lifestyle, information and entertainment programming. It is the only Canadian channel that maintains a brand licensing deal with Discovery Communications that is not currently owned by Bell Media.


As Canadian Learning Television

In September 1996, Learning and Skills Television of Alberta Ltd. (LSTA) (controlled by CHUM Limited through a 60% interest in the company) was granted a television broadcasting licence by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) called Canadian Learning Television.[1] The channel was licensed to provide "formal and informal educational programs on a wide range of topics."[1]

Canadian Learning Television logo used from 1999 to 2003.

The channel launched on September 1, 1999 as Canadian Learning Television,[2] with a mix of educational and informational television programs. CHUM would later gain 100% ownership of the channel when it completed its purchase of the remaining interest in LSTA on February 15, 2005.[3] The company would later be renamed Access Media Group.

In 2003, Canadian Learning Television adopted a new logo and on-air presentation. With this change, the channel began using the brand "CLT" in most media, instead of using its full name, although Canadian Learning Television remained the official name of the channel.

In July 2006, Bell Globemedia (later CTVglobemedia) announced that it would purchase CHUM for an estimated CAD$1.7 billion, included in the sale was CLT.[4] The sale was approved by the CRTC on June 8, 2007,[5] and the transaction was completed on June 22, 2007.

In less than a year after taking ownership of Canadian Learning Television, on March 7, 2008, CTVglobemedia announced it would sell the channel to Corus Entertainment for approximately $73 million CAD.[6] The deal was approved by the CRTC on August 22, 2008.[7] The transaction was then finalized on September 1, 2008.

Refocusing as a lifestyle channel

In October 2008, Corus announced it would relaunch CLT as Viva, a female-focused entertainment and lifestyle channel targeting the baby boomer demographic. The rebrand took effect on November 3, 2008.[8]

On September 29, 2010, Corus announced it had finalized an agreement to launch a Canadian version of the Oprah Winfrey Network in Canada in 2011.[9] Although Corus had said the new channel would involve rebranding an existing channel owned by the company, it had not announced which channel it would be, nor did Corus announce a specific launch date. However, in November 2010, Corus announced that Viva would be rebranded as OWN on March 1, 2011,[10] two months after the Discovery Health channel in the United States was relaunched as the Oprah Winfrey Network on January 1. During that time, select OWN programming was broadcast on Viva and on another Corus-owned female-targeted channel, W Network.

CRTC licence controversy

In December 2012, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission held a hearing investigating OWN's non-compliance with its mandate to air formal education programming – a holdover of its establishment as Canadian Learning Television. Although Corus stated that it was planning changes to the network's programming to comply with the requirements (including the introduction of four new weekly educational programs to its lineup), the CRTC warned that it could revoke the channel's license or require Corus to apply for a new category B license to operate the channel under.[11][12]

OWN TV logo 2011-2015

On March 15, 2013, the CRTC further issued a "mandatory order", the last step before license revocation.[13] The order asked for the reduction of programming about "life enhancement," and for more programming addressing the building of job and credit-building skills, along with violations of programming, including airing films, which the network is not allowed to do, and that what did air had only a short professor introduction without any tie-in to the film. The CRTC increased monitoring requirements for the network and asked Corus for a new programming plan to be introduced no later than April 5.[14]

In October 2015, the requirement to air adult education programming, as well as the increased monitoring requirements, were both dropped by the CRTC at the request of Corus, as the CRTC is currently in the process of partially deregulating the specialty television industry by deprecating Category A classifications and genre protection rules.[15]


When the channel was launched as CLT, it aired a mix of formal and informal educational and informational programming in the style of newsmagazines, talk shows, documentaries, and more. Over time, the channel introduced more entertainment-based programs such as films and television dramas. The channel maintained a similar scheduling format as Access (now CTV Two Alberta), a television service in Alberta which aired a mix of entertainment and educational programming, both of which were under the same ownership of CHUM and later CTVglobemedia before CLT was sold to Corus Entertainment.

As Viva, the channel aired a mix of entertainment and loosely based educational programming to satisfy its CRTC licence requirements, and to that end, many programs continued to be tied to some sort of ongoing course at a Canadian post-secondary institution as it did under CLT. However, with the changeover to Viva, most of the programs had begun with a short introduction from an instructor at the applicable institution.

Under the OWN moniker, the channel continues to target female audiences with programming ranging from lifestyle and information to entertainment programming. However, several shows from its American counterpart are notably absent.[16]


As of April 2015 [17]



  1. 1 2 "Decision CRTC 96-600". CRTC. 1996-09-04.
  2. Official Website Archive retrieved on 2011-09-18
  3. The history of CHUM, The Globe and Mail, June 12, 2006.
  4. Bell Globemedia acquires CHUM; Fasken Martineau; 2006-07-12
  5. Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-165; CRTC; 2007-06-08
  6. Corus buys CLT from CTVglobemedia, CBC, 2008-03-07
  7. Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2008-206; CRTC; 2008-08-22
  8. Corus set to bow new women's specialty net MediaInCanada.com 2008-10-15
  11. "CRTC threatens to pull Oprah network". Toronto Star. December 11, 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  12. "CRTC, Corus to lock horns over Oprah network's licence". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. December 5, 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  13. "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-125 and Broadcasting Order CRTC 2013-126". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  14. Houpt, Simon (15 March 2013). "Oprah's Canadian channel not educational, needs changes: CRTC". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  15. "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-483". CRTC. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  16. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada) Announces the Canadian Premiere of The Haves and the Have Nots Corusent.com April 25, 2015
  17. http://tvschedule.zap2it.com/tvlistings/ZCSGrid.do?stnNum=20714&channel=72&aid=tvschedule

External links

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