CBC Television: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CBC Television
CBC Television 2009.svg
Type Broadcast television network
Country Canada
Availability National (available in parts of northern U.S. and Caribbean, via cable or antenna)
Owner Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Key people Richard Stursberg, executive vice president
John D. Cruickshank, editor in chief
Kristine Layfield, director of programming
Launch date September 6, 1952
Official Website CBC Television

CBC Television is a Canadian television network owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.



CBC Television provides a complete 24-hour network schedule of news, sports, entertainment and children's programming, in most cases feeding the same programming at the same local times nationwide, except to the Newfoundland Standard Time Zone, where programs air 30 minutes "late".

As of 6:00 a.m. on October 9, 2006, the network went to a 24-hour schedule, becoming one of the last major English-language broadcasters to do so. Previously, most CBC-owned stations actually signed off the airwaves during the early morning hours (typically 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.). Instead of the infomercials aired by most private stations, or a simulcast of CBC Newsworld in the style of BBC One's nightly simulcast of BBC News channel, CBC will use the time to air repeats, including local news, primetime series, movies, and other programming from the CBC library.[1] However, its French counterpart, Télévision de Radio-Canada, still signs off every night.

While historically there has been room for regional differences in the schedule, as there is today (see "Stations", below), for CBC-owned stations, funding has decreased to the point that most of these stations only broadcast 30 to 60 minutes a day of local news, and usually no other local programming.[2]

This was screenshot logo from 1986 of CBC Television with red and yellow lettering, including the CBC logo in white. This version had no audio to it.
This alternate logo was used by CBC Television for print ads and program promos from the 1960s until 1974. A version of this logo was also used for CBC Radio (with "Radio" replacing "Television"). However, this was never used as an official logo for CBC Television.

Until the mid-1990s, the network carried a variety of American programs in addition to its core Canadian programming, directly competing with private Canadian broadcasters such as CTV and Global. Since then, it has restricted itself to Canadian programs, a handful of British programs, and a few American movies and off-network repeats. Since this change, the CBC has sometimes struggled to maintain ratings comparable to those it achieved before 1995, although it has seen somewhat of a ratings resurgence in recent years. In the 2007-08 season, hit series such as Little Mosque on the Prairie and The Border helped the network achieve its strongest ratings performance in over half a decade.[3]

Logo used by CBC Television from 2001-2009. Previous variants of the logo retained the CBC logo, but the text was in a different font.

In 2002, CBC Television and CBC Newsworld became the first broadcasters in Canada (and very likely the first broadcasters worldwide[citation needed]) required to provide closed captioning for 100% of their programming. On those networks, only outside commercials need not be captioned, though a bare majority of them are aired with captions. All shows, bumpers, billboards, promos, and other internal programming must be captioned. The requirement stems from a human rights complaint filed by deaf lawyer Henry Vlug[4], which was settled in 2002.[5]



News and current affairs

The CBC's flagship newscast, The National, airs weeknights and Sundays at 10:00 PM. Until October 2006, CBC-owned and operated stations aired a second broadcast of the program at 11 p.m; this later broadcast included only the main news portion of the program, and excluded the analysis and documentary segment. This second airing was replaced in October 2006 with a rebroadcast of Newsworld's The Hour. There is also a short news update, at most, late Saturday evening. During hockey season, this update is usually found during the first intermission of the second game of the doubleheader on Hockey Night in Canada.

Early evenings are filled by local news, titled CBC News at Six in most markets. Saturday Report airs at 6:00 p.m., while there is no early Sunday-evening newscast. Other newscasts include CBC News: Morning, airing weekdays at 5:00 a.m., and CBC News: Today, airing at noon. Weekly newsmagazine the fifth estate is also a CBC mainstay, as are documentary series such as The Passionate Eye.


One of the most popular shows on CBC Television is the weekly Saturday night broadcast of NHL hockey games, Hockey Night in Canada. It has been televised since 1952. During the NHL lockout and subsequent cancellation of the 2004-2005 hockey season, CBC instead aired various recent and classic movies, branded as Movie Night in Canada, on Saturday nights. Many cultural groups criticized this and suggested the CBC air games from minor hockey leagues; the CBC responded that most such broadcast rights were already held by other groups, but it did base each Movie Night broadcast from a different Canadian hockey venue. Other than hockey, CBC Sports properties include Toronto Raptors basketball, Toronto FC Soccer, and various other amateur and professional events.

It was also the exclusive carrier of Canadian Curling Association events during the 2004–2005 season. Due to disappointing results and fan outrage over many draws being carried on CBC Country Canada (now called bold), the association tried to cancel its multiyear deal with the CBC signed in 2004. After the CBC threatened legal action, both sides eventually came to an agreement under which early-round rights reverted to TSN. On June 15, 2006, the CCA announced that TSN would obtain exclusive rights to curling broadcasts in Canada as of the 2008-09 season[6], shutting the CBC out of the championship weekend for the first time in 40-plus years.

CBC Sports suffered another major blow when it was announced that after the 2007 season, the CFL regular season games and the Grey Cup will be moving to TSN, ending CBC's tenure with the CFL. It has been stated that the CFL was not happy with the CBC's lackluster production due to a lockout of CBC's union employees which forced the network to use CBC management to work the behind the scenes telecast and use stadium public address announcers in place of their regular announcer crew.[7]

On June 23, 2007 the network aired the first game in a two-year deal to broadcast Toronto Blue Jays games;[8] the contract ended at the end of the 2008 season, and was not renewed. The CBC also offers games of the Toronto FC of Major League Soccer.[9]

In August 2007, it was also announced that CBC would broadcast National Basketball Association games involving the Toronto Raptors, starting with the 2007–08 NBA season, through at least 2009-2010—the CBC would carry games for the 2007/2008 and 20 games for the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 seasons.[10]


Among CBC Television's best-known primetime series are comedy series Rick Mercer Report, This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Little Mosque on the Prairie, and dramas such as The Tudors, Heartland and Intelligence. In recent years, British series such as Coronation Street and Doctor Who have been given greater prominence. As noted above, it now carries very little American programming apart from some syndicated daytime shows.

In 2006, the CBC announced radical changes to its primetime lineup, including the following new series to premiere that fall:

  • Dragons' Den (reality)
  • Intelligence (drama)
  • Rumours (comedy)
  • Underdogs (a spinoff of Marketplace)
  • Jozi-H (medical drama; a Canadian-South African co-production)
  • The One: Making a Music Star (a Canadian version of the American reality show simulcast by CBC in July 2006; Canadian series was not included on the schedule)
  • 72 Hours: True Crime (crime documentary series; already on schedule but will air in "core" of primetime for first time)
  • repeats of The Hour on the main CBC network

Many were surprised by these changes to the CBC schedule, which were apparently intended to attract a younger audience to the network; some suggested they might alienate the core CBC viewership. Another note of criticism was made when the network decided to move The National in some time zones to simulcast the American version of The One over the summer. This later became a moot point, as The One was taken off the air after two weeks after extremely low American and Canadian ratings, and the newscast resumed its regular schedule.

In 2006, daytime programming was also revamped. While there were still repeats of CBC and foreign series, new talk shows such as The Gill Deacon Show and the regional franchise Living were added. Although Living still airs, The Gill Deacon Show was cancelled after just seven months, and replaced with another talk show, Steven and Chris.

On January 9, 2007, CBC began airing a highly publicized new series called Little Mosque on the Prairie, a comedy about a Muslim family living in rural Saskatchewan. The series garnered strong ratings as well as international media attention. It was also announced that Martha Stewart's daytime show would be added to the CBC daytime lineup, with the nighttime Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! following in on September 2008.[11]

In January 2008, CBC television launched the drama series The Border, MVP and jPod, the reality series The Week The Women Went and the comedy Sophie. Only The Border and Sophie were renewed for a second season in the fall of 2008. The new series Being Erica and Wild Roses began airing in January 2009.

Since 2005, the CBC has contributed production funds for the BBC Wales revival of Doctor Who, for which it receives a special credit at the end of each episode; this arrangement has continued into the fourth season, scheduled for broadcast in 2008; the CBC similarly contributed to the first season of the spin-off series, Torchwood.[12]

Children's programming

Children's and youth programming, often marketed as "Kids' CBC" (for younger kids) or "The Outlet" (formerly The X/The Void) (for pre-teens), occupies most portion of the morning and much of weekend mornings. However, despite a number of revamps, its influence is in decline with the continued rise of various specialty services serving the market.


CBC HD logo.svg

On March 5, 2005, CBC Television launched an HD simulcast of its Toronto (CBLT) and Montreal (CBMT) stations. Since that time they have also launched HD simulcasts in Vancouver (CBUT) and Ottawa (CBOT) CBC-HD is available nationally via satellite and on digital cable as well as for free via DTT using a regular TV antenna and a digital tuner (included in most new TVs) on the following channels:

In fall 2007, CBC upgraded its Toronto facilities, becoming the second fully HD news broadcaster in Canada. The National and all its news programs originating from the same news studio in Toronto (including CBC News: Sunday Night) are now available in HD.


Most CBC television stations, including those in the major cities, are owned and operated by the CBC itself. CBC O&O stations deviate very little from the main network schedule, although there are some regional differences from time to time. For on-air identification, most CBC stations use the CBC brand rather than their call letters, not identifying themselves specifically until sign-on or sign-off (though some, like Toronto's CBLT, don't ID themselves at all). All CBC O&O stations have a standard call-letter naming convention, in that the first two letters are "CB" and the last letter is "T". Only the third letter varies from market to market; however, that letter is always the same as the third letter of the CBC Radio One and CBC Radio 2 stations in the same market. An exception to this rule are the CBC North stations in Yellowknife, Whitehorse and Iqaluit, whose call signs begin with "CF" due to their historic association with the CBC's Frontier Coverage Package prior to the advent of microwave and satellite broadcasting.

Some stations that broadcast from smaller cities are private affiliates of the CBC, that is, stations which are owned by commercial broadcasters but air a predominantly CBC schedule. Such stations generally follow the CBC schedule, although they may opt out of some CBC programming in order to air locally-produced programs, syndicated series or programs purchased from other broadcasters, such as A, which do not have a broadcast outlet in the same market. In these cases, the CBC programming being displaced may be broadcast at a different time than the network, or may not be broadcast on the station at all. Most private affiliates generally opt out of CBC's afternoon schedule and Thursday night arts programming. Private affiliates carry the 10 p.m. broadcast of The National as a core part of the CBC schedule, but generally omitted the 11 p.m. repeat (which is no longer broadcast). Most private affiliates produce their own local newscasts for a duration of 35 minutes. Some of the private affiliates have begun adding CBC's overnight programming to their schedules since the network went to 24-hour broadcasting.

Private CBC affiliates are not as common as they were in the past, as many such stations have been purchased either by the CBC itself or by Canwest Global or CHUM Limited, respectively becoming E! or A-Channel (now A) stations. One private CBC affiliate, CHBC Kelowna, joined E! (then known as CH) on February 27, 2006. When a private CBC affiliate reaffiliates with another network, the CBC has normally added a retransmitter of its nearest O&O station to ensure that CBC service is continued. However, due to an agreement between CHBC and CFJC in Kamloops, CFJC also disaffiliated from the CBC on February 27, 2006, but no retransmitters were installed in the licence area. Former private CBC affiliates CKPG Prince George and CHAT Medicine Hat disaffiliated on August 31, 2008 and joined E!, but the CBC announced it will not add new retransmitters to these areas. Incidentally, CFJC, CKPG and CHAT are all owned by The Jim Pattison Group as an independent media group. With the closure of E! and other changes in the media landscape, several former CBC affiliates have since joined Citytv or Global, or closed altogether.

According to the operators of the CBC's Thunder Bay affiliate CKPR-TV, the CBC has decided not to extend its association with any of its private affiliates beyond August 31, 2011.[13] Incidentally, that is also the scheduled date for analog shutoff in Canada. Given recent practice and the cost of digital conversion, it is not expected that the CBC will open new transmitters to replace its affiliates, and indeed may pare back its existing transmitter network.

CBC television stations in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon, branded as CBC North, tailor their programming mostly to the local native population, and broadcast in many native languages such as Inuktitut, Gwichʼin, and Dene.

CBC Television worldwide

Carriage of CBC News

From 1994 through July 2005, CBC news programming was aired in the United States on Newsworld International.

On September 11, 2001, several American broadcasters without their own news operations, including C-SPAN, carried the CBC's coverage of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.. In the days after September 11, C-SPAN carried CBC's nightly newscast, The National, anchored by Peter Mansbridge.

C-SPAN has also carried CBC's coverage of major events affecting Canadians. Among them:

Several PBS stations also air some CBC programming, especially The Red Green Show, although no CBC programming currently airs on the full network schedule.

Border audiences

CBC Television stations can be received in many United States communities along the Canadian border over-the-air and have a significant audience. Such a phenomenon can also take place within Great Lakes communities such as Ashtabula, Ohio, which receives programming from CBC's London, Ontario transmitter, based upon prevailing atmospheric conditions over Lake Erie.

  • The Buffalo, NY cable systems carry CBLT from Toronto. It is also easily receivable via antenna as far south as Cattaraugus County and some communities in Niagara County can receive the HD feed via an antenna.
  • The SUNY Oswego campus cable system carries CKWS-TV in Kingston, although it is an affiliate, not owned by the CBC. On public cable systems, Time Warner carries CKWS in Jefferson and western St. Lawrence counties, and as far south as Utica. In eastern St. Lawrence County, CBC O&O CBOT from Ottawa is carried instead.
  • Many northern communities have high viewership of the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. The CBC's coverage of hockey events, including NHL finals, is generally considered more complete and consistent than coverage by other networks. The CBC's coverage of the Olympic Games has also found a significant audience in American border regions. The CBC is also the only non-cable network that consistently carries coverage of curling.

Caribbean and Bermuda

Several Caribbean nations carry feeds of CBC TV:


  • 1966: "Television is CBC"
  • 1970 (ca.): "When you watch, watch the best"
  • 1977: "Bringing Canadians Together"
  • 1980: "We Are the CBC"
  • 1984: "Look to us for good things" (general) / "Good To Know" (news and public affairs)
  • 1988–1989: "Best on the Box"
  • 1990–1991: "CBC and You"
  • 1992–1994: "Go Public" / "CBC: Public Broadcasting" (that season, the CBC emphasised the fact that they are a public broadcaster)
  • 1995–2001: "Television to Call Our Own"
  • 2002–2007: "Canada's Own"
  • 2007–Present: "Canada Lives Here"

See also


External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address