CMT (Canada)

CMT (Canada)

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CMT (Canada)

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CMT is a Canadian English language cable television specialty channel which airs country music and family-orientated general entertainment programs in the form of music videos, award shows, concerts, sitcoms and more. CMT is owned by Corus Entertainment (90%) and Viacom (10%).


Before the launch of CMT Canada, the American service, Country Music Television had been available in Canada since 1984.

In 1994, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) licensed a series of new Canadian specialty channels and among them was New Country Network (NCN). The licence was originally granted to the partnership of Maclean-Hunter and Rawlco Communications. However, because of its policy that foreign services could not directly compete with Canadian services, the CRTC removed CMT from the list of eligible foreign services on June 6, 1994.

By the time of NCN's launch, Maclean-Hunter had been purchased by Rogers Communications.

NCN launched on January 1, 1995 and on that date, cable operators were no longer allowed to offer CMT. In retaliation, CMT launched a complaint under the North American Free Trade Agreement and threatened to cease carriage of videos by Canadian artists.

After months of negotiations, the matter was settled when it was announced that CMT would purchase a minority stake in the service. NCN relaunched as CMT Canada on October 31, 1996 with a similar format to the American service. The majority interest was acquired by Shaw Communications at...
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