Global Reality

On October 14, 2009, the CRTC approved Canwest Global's application for a reality-based specialty channel. Canwest filed for bankruptcy before the channel was able to launch. In 2010, Shaw Communications acquired the Canwest broadcasting assets and Global Reality Channel was launched on October 27 of that year. The channel ceased operations on November 1, 2012.


Another in the group of very successful Alliance Atlantis-owned cable specialty channels, the Life Network was launched in January 1995, having been licensed seven months earlier.  Its content was as wide-ranging as life itself, with a broad range of programming of interest to all demographics and lifestyles.  A typical day’s schedule could include programs on such diverse subjects as cosmetic surgery, a series on abandoned and injured dogs, how to plan a wedding, hints and tips on home improvement, and a series on the entertainment industry.

Showcase Action

Showcase Television, a basic cable channel company owned by Alliance Atlantis, was in November 2000 granted a licence for the Action Channel, to be devoted to “action movies and series primarily driven by a fast-paced fictional plot featuring car chases, explosions, special effects or martial arts,” with a restriction that no more than 25% of the programming could have science fiction or fantasy themes.The channel launched in September 2001 as Showcase Action, with a schedule that it described as “adrenaline-pumping entertainment”. 


Subtitling itself as Television Without Borders, Showcase was licensed in 1994 to Alliance and began broadcasting in 1995.  Notable for the frequency with which its predominantly fictional programming required viewer discretion advisories, the channel originally had the CBC as minor shareholders, and providing programming in lieu of their financial obligations, but the channel later became 100% owned by Alliance Atlantis.  


Salter Street Films were licensed in November 2000 to operate a cable specialty channel to be called Scream, to be dedicated to the horror genre, with a mix of movies, horror series “….and magazine shows that explore the horror phenomenon.” Corus Entertainment became major shareholders before Scream was launched on September 2001, by which time Salter had been acquired by Alliance Atlantis in April 2001. 

 CanWest Media Networks acquired Alliance Atlantis in December 2007, and with it a minority interest in Scream.

Reality TV

On October 14th 2009, Canwest Television  Limited Partnership received approval for a new specialty channel to be known as Reality TV.  This new channel  would be devoted exclusively to reality-based programs, including competition-based reality and do-it-yourself makeover programs.

National Geographic Canada

Alliance Atlantis received a licence in November 2000 for a cable speciality channel which was launched in September 2001 as National Geographic Canada. As with the magazine of the same name, and the U.S. channel from which much of its material was licensed, National Geographic Canada programmed documentary material on “geography, world cultures, anthropology, remote exploration, natural conservation and geo-politics”, with the high quality photography that had become the companion magazine’s trademark..  In December 2006 the channel began offering a high-definition version.

Movie Time

In November 2000, Global Television Network Inc. (Canwest), was given CRTC approval to launch a television channel called Adventure.

The channel was launched on September 7, 2001 as Lonestar.

On March 12, 2010, Lonestar would be renamed MovieTime.

Shaw Communications gained control of MovieTime on October 27, 2010 when it acquired Canwest.

Shaw sold its Media division to Corus on April 1, 2016.

Independent Film

Independent Film Channel Canada (IFC) was licensed to Salter Street Films by the CRTC in November 2000 as a cable specialty channel to be devoted to “independent films, the film-making process and the world of film-makers”. By the time the channel was launched in August 2001, Salter Street had been acquired by Alliance Atlantis, and the channel had dropped the “Canada” from its name, having licensed the IFC name from its U.S. counterpart. 

History Television

Licensed to Alliance Atlantis in September 1996, the History Channel was launched in October 1997, and immediately became one of the most popular of the specialty channels.   Utilizing programming from both Canadian and international sources, the History Channel offers a program schedule that contains documentaries and dramas that bring to viewers a panorama of the world and the events and people that have shaped its growth from the earliest days.


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