Oprah Winfrey Network (Canadian TV channel)

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Oprah Winfrey Network
OWN TV Canada.png
LaunchedSeptember 1, 1999; 19 years ago (1999-09-01)
Owned byCorus Entertainment
(licensed by Discovery Inc.)
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
SloganLive your best life
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario, Canada
Formerly calledCanadian Learning Television (1999–2008)
Viva (2008–2011)
Oprah Winfrey Network (2011-2015)
Sister channel(s)Cooking Channel
DIY Network
Food Network
Bell TVChannel 526 (SD)
Channel 1711 (HD)
Shaw DirectChannel 507 (SD)
Channel 164 (HD)
Available on most cable systemsChannel slots vary on each provider
Bell Aliant Fibe TVChannel 285 (SD)
Channel 428 (HD)
Bell Fibe TVChannel 526 (SD)
Channel 1526 (HD)
Bell MTSChannel 114 (SD)
Channel 1114 (HD)
Optik TVChannel 9341 (SD)
Channel 341 (HD)
SaskTelChannel 109 (SD)
VMediaChannel 72 (HD)
ZazeenChannel 118 (HD)

OWN is a Canadian pay television channel that is owned by Corus Entertainment. It is targeted to women, offering a blend of lifestyle, information and entertainment programming.

Until 2018, OWN was the only Canadian channel maintaining a brand licensing deal with Discovery Inc. that wasn't owned by Bell Media and remains the only other Canadian network that Discovery doesn't have an ownership stake in (the other being Investigation Discovery). After completing its acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive in 2018, Discovery took stakes in the Canadian versions of DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and HGTV; all of which are majority owned by Corus Entertainment.[1]


As Canadian Learning Television[edit]

In September 1996, Learning and Skills Television of Alberta Ltd. (LSTA) (controlled by CHUM Limited through a 60% interest in the company) was granted a television broadcasting licence by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) called Canadian Learning Television.[2] The channel was licensed to provide "formal and informal educational programs on a wide range of topics."[2]

Canadian Learning Television logo used from 1999 to 2003.

The channel launched on September 1, 1999 as Canadian Learning Television,[3] with a mix of educational and informational television programs. CHUM would later gain 100% ownership of the channel when it completed its purchase of the remaining interest in LSTA on February 15, 2005.[4] The company would later be renamed Access Media Group.

In 2003, Canadian Learning Television adopted a new logo and on-air presentation. With this change, the channel began using the brand "CLT" in most media, instead of using its full name, although Canadian Learning Television remained the official name of the channel.

Logo as CLT (2003-2008), often the wording below the circle was omitted

In July 2006, Bell Globemedia (later CTVglobemedia) announced that it would purchase CHUM for an estimated CAD$1.7 billion, included in the sale was CLT.[5] The sale was approved by the CRTC on June 8, 2007,[6] and the transaction was completed on June 22, 2007.

In less than a year after taking ownership of Canadian Learning Television, on March 7, 2008, CTVglobemedia announced it would sell the channel to Corus Entertainment for approximately $73 million CAD.[7] The deal was approved by the CRTC on August 22, 2008.[8] The transaction was then finalized on September 1, 2008.

Refocusing as a lifestyle channel[edit]

In October 2008, Corus announced it would relaunch CLT as Viva, a female-focused entertainment and lifestyle channel targeting the baby boomer demographic. The rebrand took effect on November 3, 2008.[9]

Logo used as Viva

On September 29, 2010, Corus announced it had finalized an agreement to launch a Canadian version of the Oprah Winfrey Network in Canada in 2011.[10] Although Corus had said the new channel would involve rebranding an existing channel owned by the company, it had not announced which channel it would be, nor did Corus announce a specific launch date. However, in November 2010, Corus announced that Viva would be rebranded as OWN on March 1, 2011,[11] two months after the Discovery Health channel in the United States was relaunched as the Oprah Winfrey Network on January 1. During that time, select OWN programming was broadcast on Viva and on another Corus-owned female-targeted channel, W Network. An HD feed was also launched.

CRTC licence controversy[edit]

In December 2012, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission held a hearing investigating OWN's non-compliance with its mandate to air formal education programming – a holdover of its establishment as Canadian Learning Television. Although Corus stated that it was planning changes to the network's programming to comply with the requirements (including the introduction of four new weekly educational programs to its lineup), the CRTC warned that it could revoke the channel's license or require Corus to apply for a new category B license to operate the channel under.[12][13]

OWN TV logo 2011-2015

On March 15, 2013, the CRTC further issued a "mandatory order", the last step before license revocation.[14] The order asked for the reduction of programming about "life enhancement," and for more programming addressing the building of job and credit-building skills, along with violations of programming, including airing films, which the network is not allowed to do, and that what did air had only a short professor introduction without any tie-in to the film. The CRTC increased monitoring requirements for the network and asked Corus for a new programming plan to be introduced no later than April 5.[15]

In October 2015, the requirement to air adult education programming, as well as the increased monitoring requirements, were both dropped by the CRTC at the request of Corus, as the CRTC is currently in the process of discontinuing the genre protection rules as part of reforms to policies regarding specialty television services.[16]


When the channel was launched as CLT, it aired a mix of formal and informal educational and informational programming in the style of newsmagazines, talk shows, documentaries, and more. Over time, the channel introduced more entertainment-based programs such as films and television dramas. The channel maintained a similar scheduling format as Access (now CTV Two Alberta), a television service in Alberta which aired a mix of entertainment and educational programming, both of which were under the same ownership of CHUM and later CTVglobemedia before CLT was sold to Corus Entertainment.

As Viva, the channel aired a mix of entertainment and loosely based educational programming to satisfy its CRTC licence requirements, and to that end, many programs continued to be tied to some sort of ongoing course at a Canadian post-secondary institution as it did under CLT. However, with the changeover to Viva, most of the programs had begun with a short introduction from an instructor at the applicable institution.

Under the OWN moniker, the channel continues to target female audiences with programming ranging from lifestyle and information to entertainment programming.


As of April 2015 [17]



  1. ^ Szalai, Georg (March 6, 2018). "Discovery Closes Scripps Acquisition, Creating Non-scripted Content Giant". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Decision CRTC 96-600". CRTC. 1996-09-04.
  3. ^ Official Website Archive retrieved on 2011-09-18
  4. ^ The history of CHUM, The Globe and Mail, June 12, 2006.
  5. ^ Bell Globemedia acquires CHUM; Fasken Martineau; 2006-07-12
  6. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-165; CRTC; 2007-06-08
  7. ^ "Corus buys CLT from CTVglobemedia". CBC News. March 7, 2008.
  8. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2008-206; CRTC; 2008-08-22
  9. ^ Corus set to bow new women's specialty net MediaInCanada.com 2008-10-15
  12. ^ "CRTC threatens to pull Oprah network". Toronto Star. December 11, 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  13. ^ "CRTC, Corus to lock horns over Oprah network's licence". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. December 5, 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  14. ^ "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-125 and Broadcasting Order CRTC 2013-126". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  15. ^ Houpt, Simon (15 March 2013). "Oprah's Canadian channel not educational, needs changes: CRTC". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  16. ^ "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-483". CRTC. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  17. ^ http://tvschedule.zap2it.com/tvlistings/ZCSGrid.do?stnNum=20714&channel=72&aid=tvschedule

External links[edit]