YTV (TV channel)

This article is about the Canadian TV channel. For the British channel, see ITV Yorkshire. For the ABC affiliate, see WYTV. For other uses, see YTV.
Not to be confused with KYTV (disambiguation).

YTV logo's used since October 6, 2014.
Launched September 1, 1988
Owned by Rogers Cable/CUC Broadcasting
Shaw Communications
Corus Entertainment
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Slogan Canada's Youth Channel
The Spirit of Youth
Keep it Weird!
So. Much. Funny.
Country Canada
Broadcast area National
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Sister channel(s) Nickelodeon
Treehouse TV
Cartoon Network
Disney Channel
La Chaîne Disney
Disney Junior
Disney XD
ABC Spark
Timeshift service YTV East
YTV West
Website YTV
Bell TV 551 (East)
552 (West) (SD)
1646 (HD)
Shaw Direct 542 (East)
543 (West) (SD)
71 / 571 (HD)
Available on most Canadian cable systems Check local listings, channels may vary
Bell Aliant 252 (East) (SD)
501 (HD)
Bell Fibe TV 551 (East) (SD)
552 (West) (SD)
1551 (HD)
MTS 17 (East) (SD)
18 (West) (SD)
1017 (HD)
Optik TV 9600 (West) (SD)
600 (HD)
SaskTel Channel 11 (West) (SD)
Channel 311 (HD)
VMedia Channel 25 (East) (HD)
Zazeen Channel 27 (East) (HD)

YTV (pronounced "Why TV?") is a Canadian English-language Category A cable and satellite television specialty channel that is owned by Corus Entertainment. Its programming consists of original live-action and animated television series, movies, and third-party programming from the U.S. cable channel Nickelodeon and other distributors. YTV operates two time-shifted feeds, running on both Eastern and Pacific Time Zone schedules. It is available in over 11 million Canadian households as of 2013.[1]

The "YTV" moniker was originally thought by some viewers to be an abbreviation for "Youth Television"; however, the channel's website has denied this,[2] despite the fact that the network originally branded itself as a youth network at launch.


The channel was licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1987.[3] Launched on September 1, 1988 at 7PM EST with a preview special by John Candy, YTV was the successor to two prior special programming services operated by various Ontario cable companies beginning in the late 1970s. The two largest shareholders in YTV were two cable companies, Rogers Cable and CUC Broadcasting, which was later acquired by Shaw Communications. By 1995, through various acquisitions and trades, Shaw had secured full control of YTV; it was spun off as part of Corus Entertainment in 1999. The channel continues to be owned by YTV Canada (used for YTV and its sister network Treehouse TV), now wholly owned by Corus Entertainment under its Corus Kids division.[4]

In 1998, YTV began to use a Nickelodeon-style "gross-out" factor in its branding, with much less slime, and began using the slogan "Keep It Weird". Over the years, YTV used a number of different on-air logos, featuring the same arrangement of white letters on various bizarre and imaginative creatures. The logo used on production credits, and presumably the "official" logo, features this arrangement on a red screen of a stylized purple television set. The channel's advertisements often focused on promoting the brand through crude humour.

Two Corus specialty channel applications for YTV extensions, YTV POW!, an internationally sourced kids' action, adventure and superhero genre, and YTV OneWorld, targeting children from age 6 to 17 with travel, humour, games and STEM, were approved on September 18, 2008.[5] The YTV Oneworld license was used to launch Nickelodeon Canada.[6]

In the fall of 2005, a new post-6:00 p.m. advertising style was developed for older audiences, which used a much simpler logo and sleeker packaging with barely any gross-out tactics. In the spring of 2006, the simple logo first appeared on YTV's promos and even appeared on credits of newer original programming. In 2007, this look was adopted for the entire channel. In September 2009, the logo was changed slightly: it featured new colours, and the background was simplified. Variations to the bumpers were reduced. Instead, there are large, opaque digital on-screen graphics telling viewers which programs are coming next, and promotions of the programs. In September 2012, the logo was changed aesthetically.

In 2013, after Corus Entertainment completed their acquisition of the TELETOON Canada Inc. networks, YTV began airing reruns of select Teletoon programming, including original and acquired series. In turn, the channel's anime series, such as Pokemon and the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, along with both the second season of Oh No! It's An Alien Invasion and Power Rangers, began airing on Teletoon.

On October 6, 2014, the channel underwent a brand refresh, with new graphics and bumps created by Eloisa Iturbe Studio. In addition, the channel updated its logo by having it face upwards to the left instead of directly to the audience.[7]

Programs of note

British sitcoms

In its early years, YTV filled its schedule with relatively old and obscure acquired programs. British sitcoms were used to fill prime-time slots, and remained on the channel's late-night schedule for well over a decade, including the North American premiere of Red Dwarf and the improv series Whose Line is it Anyway?.

Programs such as Are You Being Served?, Keeping Up Appearances, and Yes Minister were broadcast in late-night time slots, and aired free of time and content edits. However, in 2003 when YTV began marketing its late night hours towards older youth viewers, it decided to remove the remaining shows from the schedule.

Power Rangers

In 1993, YTV obtained the Canadian broadcast rights to the action-adventure series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which aired weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings on the channel, trailing the American broadcast by several months. However, complaints were sent to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council about the violent content, and YTV was pressured to remove the series from its lineup. Although not a member of the CBSC board, YTV complied and pulled the series before the end of its first season. While a phone-in poll was conducted to see if viewers wanted Mighty Morphin Power Rangers back on YTV, no further installments of the Power Rangers series aired on the channel.

Though commercials for Power Rangers toys and videos were shown on YTV, Fox became the only broadcasters of the series in Canada. Later versions of the series ran briefly on Family from 2003 to 2010. Through its program distribution agreement with Nickelodeon U.S., the Power Rangers franchise began airing on YTV sister channel Nickelodeon Canada with the debut of Power Rangers: Samurai; that series later began airing on YTV on May 7, 2011, effectively bringing the franchise back to the channel that had previously barred it.

In fall 2014, following both Corus Entertainment's full acquisition of the TELETOON Canada Inc. networks and YTV's addition of select Teletoon programming, the Power Rangers franchise, along with both YTV's remaining anime programming and Oh No! It's an Alien Invasion! beginning with its 2nd season, moved to Teletoon, starting with new episodes of Power Rangers Super Megaforce.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

In 1997, YTV premiered the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer one week before it began airing concurrently in the United States on The WB. The mature subject matter of the series catered to an older audience, but YTV aired the series both uncut and in its entirety, and often in the late afternoon. It became one of the highest-rated programs on the channel. One parental complaint was mockingly read on-air by former "The Zone" host Paul McGuire.

YTV's broadcast continued even after Buffy the Vampire Slayer moved to UPN in the United States, not only making the U.S. broadcast more widely available in Canada, but also gradually leading to a notable increase in violent and sexual content. For its entire run, Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired before the Canadian watershed of 9:00 p.m. EST. The only exception was the season six episode "Seeing Red", which premiered at 9:00 p.m. EST in 2002 due to extreme content.


In 1999, YTV broadcast the North American debut of the Farscape sci-fi series, but in 2000 it did not acquire the rights to the show's second season and skipped the cliffhanger finale to the first season.


See also: Bionix

YTV hosted the North American broadcast premiere of Sailor Moon in August 1995. The final 17 episodes of Sailor Moon R were dubbed specifically for the Canadian market. Series such as Dragon Ball and Pokemon were broadcast on the channel in following years. In 2000, YTV broadcast Gundam Wing, airing an edited version of the series at 11:30 p.m. ET on weeknights.

In late 2003, InuYasha premiered on the network. Its popularity with teen viewers brought about the creation in 2004 of the Bionix block, which aired on Friday nights and included Gundam SEED. YTV aired Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex at midnight because of its adult content; it did not air the "Jungle Cruise" episode.

On September 29, 2006, YTV Canada Inc. announced it had applied to the CRTC for permission to launch a Category 2 English-language specialty channel called The Anime Channel. The proposal included minimum 85% animated and related programming and maximum 15% information-based programming, targeted at adults over the age of 18. A meeting with the CRTC was held on November 14, 2006. On January 30, 2007, CRTC approved the application for the licence to run until August 31, 2013.[8] The licence allowed the channel to allocate not less than 65% of the broadcast year to anime programs, not more than 35% of the broadcast year to anime-related programs, not less than 85% of the broadcast year to programming from categories 7(d; theatrical feature films aired on TV), 7(e; animated television programs and films) and 7(g; other drama), with no more than 15% of the broadcast year dedicated to information-based programs. Corus Entertainment failed to launch this channel within the required 36-month period and did not apply for an extension.

Between the end of "Limbo" and the beginning of "Bionix", YTV launched the Anime Master forum. The Anime Master character is portrayed as a red-suited masked ninja, dubbed in the voice of YTV's robotic mascot, Snit, and has made a few guest appearances in "The Zone" and "Vortex" segments. Live-action show hosts have also done interviews in Anime North, most of the guests being voice actors for popular animated shows on the channel. The interviews were shown in the live action segments between programmes (called Animinutes), or as a separate block. In 2009, YTV moved the Bionix block from Friday to Saturday nights, cutting down the length and number of anime series on the block significantly. On February 7, 2010, the Bionix block ended.

For more than four years after that, YTV's anime programming targeted only younger audiences.

On September 2, 2014, following both Corus Entertainment's full acquisition of the TELETOON Canada Inc. networks and YTV's addition of select Teletoon programming, the channel's remaining anime programming (along with both the Power Rangers franchise and Oh No! It's an Alien Invasion!) moved to Teletoon.


YTV's schedule primarily features children's and teen-oriented programming, with target audiences ranging from children to young adults. At the upper end of this range are repeats of dramas such as Smallville. It aired a significant number of British sitcoms in late night, My Family for example, but these have been dropped. It was the first channel to air the first completely computer-animated series ReBoot, and it broadcast the North American premiere of Sailor Moon. While some of its shows are targeted at a younger audience, others are intended for older teenagers, with some of the shows dealing with mature content and adult themes.

While it produces or commissions a substantial portion of its programming, YTV also acquires and airs most of the original series broadcast by the similar American service Nickelodeon, which was not available in Canada until Corus launched a domestic version of the channel on November 2, 2009. Because of strong contractual ties, YTV has exclusive access to all Nickelodeon animated titles, and to date has aired every one of these programs. However, rights to some Nickelodeon live-action series were given to Family Channel from the 1990s to the mid-2000s.

Programming blocks

Since the channel was launched, YTV has divided its programming into distinct blocks for a variety of reasons. An unnamed programming block which later became "The Treehouse", and "The Afterschool Zone", now known as "The Zone", were the first two blocks established in the channel's early years. This was done primarily to comply with CRTC restrictions on advertising in children's programming: popular imported programming would run a few minutes short because fewer ads are permitted in Canada than in the U.S.. Instead of filling the time with public service announcements or other filler material, the several minutes between programs were devoted to interaction between live-action hosts.

Other blocks, such as "Limbo" and "Bionix", have been created for the specific purpose of designating programming intended for older or specific audiences. Since there are no corresponding restrictions on advertising, these blocks are unhosted.

Current programming blocks

Seasonal programming blocks

Former programming blocks

Program jockeys

Prior to the mid-1990s, YTV called their program jockeys "PJs" in the same vein as disc jockey (DJ) or video jockey (VJ). Current hosts of these segments have since dropped the moniker as of the mid-1990s.

Current program jockeys

Past program jockeys



On January 11, 2011, Corus Entertainment launched a high-definition feed called "YTV HD", which simulcasts the East Coast standard definition feed.[11] The channel broadcasts in the 1080i picture format and is available through all major service providers.


YTV Go is a mobile app available on the App Store and Google Play Store. It is available for all subscribed customers of Access Communications, Bell TV, Cogeco, Shaw Cable, Shaw Direct, Telus and VMedia. It offers episodes of YTV's popular shows.

YTV On Demand

YTV On Demand is a VOD service of YTV. It offers episodes of YTV's popular shows.

Treehouse TV

Main article: Treehouse TV

Treehouse TV is a Category A cable and satellite specialty channel which airs programing targeted to preschoolers. It launched on November 1, 1997.[12] The channel's name is taken from YTV's now-defunct children's programming block, The Treehouse. Treehouse TV is carried nationwide throughout Canada and, unlike YTV and Nickelodeon, it broadcasts its programming without commercial interruption.


Main article: Nickelodeon (Canada)

Nickelodeon is a Category B cable and satellite specialty channel that was launched on November 2, 2009 and is based on the U.S. cable channel Nickelodeon. Like its counterparts in the U.S. and elsewhere, Nickelodeon airs programs aimed at children, including live-action series and animation. Unlike YTV and like Treehouse TV, Nickelodeon operates on an Eastern Time Zone schedule and, unlike YTV and Treehouse TV, Nickelodeon is Corus' only part ad-supported/part commercial-free service.


Bionix On Demand

In 2008, Corus Entertainment began offering a video-on-demand service called "Bionix On Demand" to cable providers. Rogers Cable and Shaw Cable were the only providers to offer the service. The service offered older and newer anime programs that did not air on YTV itself. The video-on-demand service was previously titled "YTV Anime On Demand". Bionix On Demand was discontinued on December 17, 2009, and was replaced by YTV On Demand.[13]

International distribution


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  2. "About". 2006-11-10. Archived from the original on January 24, 2010. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  3. Decision CRTC 87-903 CRTC 1987-12-01
  4. "Ownership Chart 32b" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-03-28.
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  6. Nickelodeon Canada set to launch; Media in Canada; 2009-09-29
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  14. 1 2 "YTV goes glossy". Playback. 1999-02-08. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  15. "Watch Out For Increased Distribution Of Ytv Whoa! Magazine This Spring". Corus Entertainment. 2002-04-05. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  16. "YTV WHOA! Magazine Grows Up Into a Quarterly as Kids' Magazines Flourish on the Newsstands". Corus Entertainment. 2001-06-21. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  17. "YTV Whoa! collector's issue will be published in honour of our 5th anniversary!". Paton Publishing. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  18. "YTV's Whoa! gets clickable". Media in Canada. 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  19. "YTV Whoa - Paton Publishing". Paton Publishing. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  20. 1 2 "The New Whoa! Magazine". Paton Publishing. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
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  22. "YTV CD is #1 Selling Compilation in Canada". Corus Entertainment. 2001-03-27. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
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  24. "YTV launches kids Web site". Broadcaster Magazine. 2001-04-01. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  25. " Homepage". Yabber. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  26. "I wrote this whole magazine! I am the Anna Wintour of YTV! (If Vogue = mostly iCarly posters.) Msg me if you know kids & want copies!". Twitpic. 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  27. "YTV's Spills Magazine on Behance". Behance. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
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  31. Cable Bahamas channel lineup Archived August 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
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