Category B services

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A Category B service is the former term for a Canadian discretionary specialty television channel which, as defined by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, may be carried by all subscription television providers. Such services were called Category 2 until September 1, 2011.[1]

Unlike Category A services, Category B services are not protected as to format. They are licensed to broadcast within defined formats which are not provided by or overly close to an existing protected channel, but their formats are not protected themselves and need not protect other Category B services. Also unlike Category A services, a Category B service does not have guaranteed cable carriage rights, but must directly negotiate carriage with cable distributors. Category B services encompass both pay television and specialty channels.

In December 2012, the CRTC exempted from formal licensing services with less than 200,000 subscribers that would otherwise meet the definition of a Category B service, and services which air 90% of their programming in a language other than English, French, or languages of aboriginal peoples in Canada.[2]

Henceforth,[when?] most Canadian specialty channels (except for national news and mainstream sports channels, which are classified as Category C services) will be licensed as Category B services.[3]

Category B specialty servicesEdit

The following is a list of currently launched and officially licensed Category B services in Canada:




Category B pay servicesEdit


Exempted Category B servicesEdit





Defunct Category B servicesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gusto's intellectual property was sold to Bell Media in 2016. The original channel ceased operations on September 1, 2016, and was concurrently replaced by a version operating under a Category A license formerly used by M3.
  2. ^ After acquiring rights to its programming, Odyssey Television Network launched a separate channel under the same name)


  1. ^ "Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2008-100: Regulatory frameworks for broadcasting distribution undertakings and discretionary programming services". CRTC. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Broadcasting Order CRTC 2012-689: New exemption order respecting certain programming undertakings that would otherwise be eligible to be operated as Category B services, and amendments to the Exemption order respecting certain third-language television undertakings". CRTC. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  3. ^ Government of Canada, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) (25 October 2010). "ARCHIVED - Standard conditions of licence, expectations and encouragements for Category B pay and specialty services".
  4. ^ "List of Exempt Category B and Exempt Third-Language Services". 14 April 2016. Archived from the original on 14 April 2016.