The Comedy Network
The Comedy Network (often shortened to Comedy) is a Canadian English-language specialty channel owned by Bell Media, which focuses primarily on sitcoms, comedy films, and stand-up comedy specials. The channel operates two time-shifted feeds, running on Eastern and Pacific Time Zone schedules.
|The Comedy Network|
|Launched||October 17, 1997|
|Owned by||Bell Media|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
|Formerly called||The Comedy Network (1997-2018)|
|Sister channel(s)||Much, Comedy Gold|
|Bell TV||Channel 625 (East; SD)|
Channel 626 (West; SD)
Channel 1740 (East; HD)
|Shaw Direct||Channel 547 (West; SD)|
Channel 548 (East; SD)
Channel 85/585 (East; HD)
|Available on most cable systems||Channel slots vary on each operator|
|Bell Aliant Fibe TV||Channel 208 (East; SD)|
Channel 431 (East; HD)
|Bell Fibe TV||Channel 625 (East; SD)|
Channel 626 (West; SD)
Channel 1625 (East; HD)
Channel 1626 (West; HD)
|Bell MTS||Channel 115 (East; SD)|
Channel 116 (West; SD)
|Optik TV||Channel 173 (West; SD)|
Channel 710 (East; HD)
|SaskTel||Channel 74 (West; SD)|
Channel 374 (East; HD)
|VMedia||Channel 50 (East; HD)|
|Zazeen||Channel 110 (East; HD)|
In September 1996, 1155636 Ontario Inc. (a company majority controlled by Baton Broadcasting, with the remaining interests held by Shaw Cable, Astral Broadcasting and Les Films Rozon inc.) was granted a television broadcasting licence by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for The Comedy Network. The channel launched on October 17, 1997 as The Comedy Network with the slogan Time well wasted, a variation of the U.S.-based channel A&E's slogan at the time, Time well spent.
Through various acquisitions over the years, Shaw, Astral and Les Films Rozon sold their interest in the service to Baton, which became Bell Globemedia in 2001, renamed CTVglobemedia in 2007, and renamed again as Bell Media in 2011, following its acquisition by Bell Canada. Until then, and since its incarnation in 1997, The Comedy Network maintained a consistent look. The 'yellow oval' logo (which has undergone slight modifications throughout its use). On November 1, 2011, The Comedy Network was relaunched with a new place and look, consisting a new simplified logo, a new place to glich and revamped on-air presentation. Their longtime slogan was also replaced by "A New Place to Glich!", but in 2012, their longtime slogan was retired on this date.
In August 2013, the CRTC denied an amendment to The Comedy Network's license, which would have reduced the amount of Canadian-produced content the network would have been required to air monthly, increase the amount of animated programming it could air from 10% of its lineup per day to 20% per month, and allow it to air films that were not Canadian-made. Bell argued that the network was at a disadvantage against Makeful (formerly called BiteTV), as it could air non-Canadian films, and Teletoon, which aired a late-night block of adult animation, and because Comedy was unable to give its animated acquisitions a larger amount of exposure (such as marathons) due to the restriction. The CRTC rejected its arguments in response to complaints by the two networks cited and other unions, due to their differing natures of service and because Bell's proposed changes were intended primarily to decrease the amount of Canadian content it airs in favor of more U.S.-originated programming. Subsequently, a number of Comedy Network programs, including Conan, South Park, and others, were moved to sister channel Much in the fall of 2013.
On June 7, 2018, during the CTV upfronts, it was announced that The Comedy Network would eventually be re-branded as CTV Comedy, as part of a re-branding of several Bell Media channels under the CTV name. As of May 2019, however, an exact date for the planned rebranding has not been confirmed.
The Comedy Network primarily airs sitcoms and stand-up comedy programming (including anthologies and specials), with much of the latter coming from the channel's association with the Montreal-based Just for Laughs comedy festival).
The channel has historically had a relationship with its American counterpart, Comedy Central, broadcasting many of its programs in Canada. This relationship was strengthened in June 2007 when The Comedy Network's parent company announced a deal with Comedy Central for exclusive Canadian rights to the entire Comedy Central library of past and present programs on all electronic platforms, under a multi-year agreement with Viacom. For several years, Canadians attempting to visit Comedy Central websites were redirected to the Comedy Network's website. Conversely, American IP addresses trying to link to the Comedy Network page were redirected to Comedy Central's page. However, as noted before, the majority of Comedy Central's original programs have since moved to Much.
Some original Comedy Network shows, such as Puppets Who Kill, Odd Job Jack and Kevin Spencer, developed cult followings with loyal fan bases. Several original programs including Puppets Who Kill, Comedy Now! and The Gavin Crawford Show have won Canadian Comedy Awards, and several shows produced in partnership with parent network CTV have also been quite successful, including Corner Gas's Canadian Comedy Award wins, six Gemini Award wins, seven Leo Award wins and an International Emmy nomination.
On August 2, 2010, TV Land Canada was rebranded as Comedy Gold, turning the channel into an offshoot of The Comedy Network. Comedy Gold originally focused primarily on sitcoms from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
On July 12, 2012, The Comedy Network launched a high-definition simulcast feed called The Comedy Network HD. It is available through all major TV providers.
As part of Bell Media's suite of GO apps for all its main channels, the Comedy Network launched its own app on April 15, 2014. As part of the launch, the video section on the Comedy Network website was renamed after the app.
- "Archived – Decision CRTC 96-596". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Government of Canada. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
- The Comedy Network turns 10 today and goes full-on-cyber with revolutionary revamped website Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- It’s a NEW place to glich for The Comedy Network as new look and feel revealed Nov. 1 Bell Media press release October 28, 2011
- "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-333". Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- "The Comedy Network is not allowed to lighten up". Canada.com. Postmedia Network. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- "Um... your favourite Comedy shows might be on Much". Retrieved May 11, 2014.
- "Magnum P.I. reboot, new Jann Arden comedy on CTV's fall lineup". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
- CTV and Comedy Central deal for laughs; CTV strikes multi-platform content deal for laugh nets' program library Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine CTVglobemedia press release June 27, 2007
- CTV strikes multi-platform content deal with Comedy Central, CTV press release, June 27, 2007
- Vlessing, Etan (June 21, 2010). "CTV tweaks TV Land Canada's focus". The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
- "Bell Media launches TV everywhere with Bravo GO on July 18" (Press release). Newswire. June 6, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- Comedy GO on the App Store on iTunes, retrieved May 4, 2014