First Choice Canadian Communications Corporation, a company incorporated by a group of private investors, was licensed in March 1982 to operate a national pay-tv service. 100% ownership of First Choice was subsequently acquired by Astral Media Inc. In 1984, First Choice became an eastern Canada service only, with the west being covered by Allarcom’s Superchannel service. From the eastern service’s slogan “Canada’s Movie Network” came the eventual name, TMN – The Movie Network, which was adopted in 1993. The single letter M was later used as a common identity for the several individual channels introduced by TMN in subsequent years. One of these was Moviepix, originally licensed in 1994 as MovieMax and subsequently rebranded, usually abbreviated to Mpix. The channel was specifically licensed to carry only movies that had not been released within the previous five years, and that were “predominantly mainstream theatrically released features…” that had been in the trade magazine Variety’s top 100 annual grossing films in the U.S. and Canada.
On August 20, 2012 Astral Television Networks announced that its classic movie channel Mpix, offered in eastern Canada, would re-brand on September 18 to become The Movie Network Encore, while its Morepix Channel would become The Movie Network Encore 2 (TMN Encore and TMN Encore 2). The rebrand would serve to align the channels more closely with The Movie Network, which was the primary brand and channel in the suite of pay services offered by Astral.
Written by Pip Wedge - August, 2012