Book Television – The Channel was licensed in November 2000 to the Access Media Group, a subsidiary of CHUM Limited and the operators of both ACCESS, the Alberta educational channel, and the specialty channel Canadian Learning Television, and was launched in September 2001. The suffix “The Channel” was dropped shortly thereafter. As described in the CRTC decision, Book Television would “…feature a variety of programming formats that have the printed and published word as their base,” and would “provide a unique and valuable venue for Canadian writers, and support the Canadian book industry”.
As the channel’s programming evolved, it began to include movies and television series based on ‘classic’ stories, such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Green Hornet and Batman.
A CRTC hearing on an application by CTVglobemedia to acquire the assets of CHUM Limited was held on April 30th 2007. Among the CHUM assets acquired by CTVglobemedia in the final approved deal were seven television stations, some 33 radio stations, and 21 specialty channels, including Book Television.
Following CRTC approval, BCE acquired 100% of CTVglovemedia (BCE had been a minority partner) on April 1, 2010. CTVglobemedia was rebranded as Bell Media.