A specialty channel to be known as the Urdu Channel was licensed in November 2000 to South Asian Network International Limited (ATN) to provide a service entirely in the Urdu language, with a proportion of Canadian content as a mandatory requirement of the licence. Subsequently the channel was rebranded as ARY Digital, and carried a large portion of the output of the Pakistan broadcaster of this name, plus the requisite amount of Canadian content.
The channel launched on May 8, 2004. In December of 2012, the channel was re-branded ATN Urdu. On August 30, 2013, the CRTC approved the conversion of ATN Urdu from a licensed Category B specialty service to an exempted Category B third language service.