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Global Television Network
Global TV Logo
Type Broadcast television network
Country Canada
Availability National, northern U.S., and national U.S. via digital cable, Bermuda (via digital cable)
Founded by Al Bruner & Peter Hill
Owner Canwest Media Inc. (Canwest)
Key people Leonard Asper, CEO, Canwest; Kathleen Dore, President, Canwest Broadcasting; Troy Reeb, Senior VP of News and Current Affairs; Barbara Williams, Executive VP Content; Walter Levitt, Chief Marketing Officer
Launch date January 6, 1974 (launch of CKGN-TV)
1990 (as the CanWest Global System)
August 1997 (national launch of Global brand)
Former names CanWest Global System (used in the 90s on non-Global branded Canwest stations)
Official Website Global Television Network

Global Television Network (more commonly called Global TV or just Global) is a Canadian English language privately owned television network. It is owned by Canwest Media Inc., a division of Canwest which is headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Throughout the 1990s, it dominated primetime ratings in key markets such as southern Ontario, B.C. and Quebec, but had limited reach in certain areas such as Alberta until 2000.

Contents

History

Founding

In the 1970s, a call went out for "third" television stations in several major cities in Canada. A group of investors, led by Al Bruner and Peter Hill, founded Global Communications Ltd. with the idea of building a cross-Canada, all-UHF network. The group had to settle for a six-transmitter network in southern Ontario, stretching from Windsor to Ottawa, but were denied a transmitter in Maxville that would reach Montreal. The group promised a high level of Canadian content and agreed not to accept local advertising. The new network, called the Global Television Network, launched on January 6, 1974 when CKGN signed on from studios (a former factory) in Don Mills at 6 PM[1] local time. The station's main transmitter was (and still is) licensed to Paris, Ontario, but for all intents and purposes it was a Toronto station.

The original logo of Global featured a stylized "G", the logo was used from 1974 until 1997.

The station ran into difficulty in just three months, and was purchased by two large groups, one of which was owned by Izzy Asper, a Manitoba politician turned broadcaster. Asper owned CKND in Winnipeg, which carried many of Global's programs, through his company then known as CanWest Capital. In 1977, both partners attempted to buy out the other's shares, with Canwest being successful in becoming the first western-based owner of a major Canadian broadcasting entity.

CKGN became CIII in 1984.

1970s-1990s

A considerable portion of the schedule's programs were cancelled in the spring of 1974. By fall, Global had become "another CTV", with American imports filling as much of the schedule as Canadian content rules (60 percent Canadian overall, 50 percent Canadian in prime time) would allow. Over several years, the prime late evening newscast shifted between 10 and 11 p.m., and between 30 and 60 minutes. The network continued to be limited to a six-transmitter chain throughout the 1970s.

By the 1980s, Asper seemed eager to grow his chain of stations, launching two stations in Saskatchewan and winning a legal battle for a station in Vancouver during that decade, and acquiring a fledgling system in the Maritimes in the early 1990s. This grew Canwest's footprint to the major centres in seven of Canada's ten provinces. These regional networks purchased many of their programs collectively, and consequently had similar — although not identical — broadcast schedules. They did not share common branding, however, although stations were sometimes indicated as being part of the "CanWest Global System" as a secondary brand.

In 1997, Canwest bought majority control of the CBC affiliate in Quebec City, CKMI-TV, from TVA, which retained a 49% interest. On August 18, 1997, CKMI disaffiliated from CBC, set up rebroadcasters in Montreal and Sherbrooke, and began carrying the same programming lineup as Canwest's other stations.

The relaunch of CKMI coincided with Canwest's rebranding of its entire system as the "Global Television Network", with local station names being scrubbed in the process. Canwest now had enough coverage of Canada that it now seemed logical to call its station group a "network". Even so, Global was still not a national network; Canwest had twice attempted to launch stations in Calgary and Edmonton but was rebuffed by the CRTC both times, and instead had to air its programming through independent stations CICT and CITV, respectively. Similarly, Global lacked a full-time station in St. John's, where Global programming was carried by the local CTV affiliate.

2000s

The second logo of Global featured a crescent, and the crescent was found on other Canwest properties such as CH and Prime. The crescent is still featured on DejaView. This logo was used from 1997-2006.

In 2000, Canwest acquired the conventional television assets of Western International Communications (WIC). WIC's stations in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge had been airing some Global programs since 1988, and those stations formally joined the network on September 4, 2000.

The following fall, WIC's market-leading Vancouver station CHAN was brought into the fold after its existing affiliation agreement with CTV expired. Global's previous Vancouver station CKVU, as well as WIC-owned Montreal CTV affiliate CFCF, were sold off.

WIC's remaining stations were maintained as twinstick stations and were eventually integrated into a secondary system known as CH, later rebranded as E! in a partnership with the American channel of the same name. Later, financial pressures on the company would force Canwest to sell off or fold the E! stations in 2009.

Full network service is still not available over-the-air in Newfoundland and Labrador, although NTV, having loosened its longstanding relationship with CTV in 2002, now clears the vast majority of the Global network schedule in that province, most recently adding the network's national newscast in mid-2009. Any remaining programs may be accessed on cable or satellite through Global stations from other markets (most commonly Global Edmonton).

In late 2004, with CTV beginning to dominate the ratings, Canwest reorganized its Canadian operations and hired a number of new executives, all formerly of various U.S. media firms, leading to a major overhaul of Global announced in December 2005. The most obvious change is a new logo, replacing the "crescent" with a new "greater than" logo, with the Global wordmark in a new font, in use as of February 5, 2006 (coinciding with Global's broadcast of Super Bowl XL). New logos and graphics were designed for news and network promotions, and several newscasts received new timeslots and formats. The crescent, which had been used as a common design element in many Canwest logos, was subsequently removed from other properties owned or sponsored by the company.

Since Canwest's purchase of Southam Newspapers (now Canwest News Service) and the National Post from Conrad Black in 2001, their media interests have been merged into Canwest under a policy of cross-promotion and synergy. Journalists from the Post and other Canwest papers have made frequent appearances on Global's news programs, passengers on the now-defunct serial drama Train 48 habitually read the Post, and Global programs are promoted in Canwest newspapers.

On April 10, 2008, the network announced that its Toronto and Vancouver stations would start broadcasting over the air in those markets in high-definition television. CIII-DT Toronto and CHAN-DT Burnaby/Vancouver officially started transmitting in HD on April 18, 2008.[2] The network has also launched its digital signals at its stations in Calgary (CICT-DT) and Edmonton (CITV-DT) as of July 2009.

Television listings

In television listings such as TV Guide, where space limitations usually require television networks to be referred to by a three-letter abbreviation, the abbreviations GLO, GLB or GTV are commonly used, depending on the publication. None of these abbreviations has any standing as an official name for the network, however — the network's own shortform name for itself is always Global.

Personalities

Programming

News

Global News is the news and current affairs division of the Global Television Network, overseeing all local and national news programming on its eleven Global stations.

Although Global stations had always carried local news in various forms, the first tentative steps towards a national presence came in the mid-1990s with First National with Peter Kent, an early-evening program focusing on national and international news but airing only in central Canada. In 2001, Global replaced First National and the similar WIC newscast Canada Tonight with a new newscast aired on all Global stations, Global National, anchored by Kevin Newman. The program initially aired only on weekdays; in February 2005, Global National launched a weekend edition anchored by Tara Nelson.

Unlike CBC and CTV, Global does not air a national morning show, although its stations in major markets produce their own local morning shows. Stations which do not produce a local morning show either air the morning show from a larger market, or run daytime programming repeated from Canwest's cable specialty channels, such as Great Taste, No Money and Room to Grow.

From 1997 to 2006, local newscasts on Global stations had a standard title, Global News. The long-dominant CHAN (BCTV) had been an exception since it joined Global in 2001. In connection with the above-noted rebranding, effective February 6, local newscast titles and timeslots were standardized[3], following the BCTV model, as follows. Note that the exact lineup of newscasts and titles varies by station. The only station that doesn't follow the BCTV model is CHBC, which has kept its call signs as its news branding.

  • Morning News - weekday mornings
    • Saturday/Sunday Morning News - weekend mornings
  • Noon News Hour - weekdays (or daily) at noon
    • Exceptions: Scene and Heard (non-news regional lifestyle show on CISA)
  • Early News - weekdays at 5:00 p.m.
  • Global National - nightly at 5:30 p.m. (6:30 AT)
  • Evening News or News Hour - nightly at 6:00
  • Prime News - weeknights at 10:00 (Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg)
  • News Final or News Hour Final - nightly at 11:00

Since the relaunch, Global National has quickly gained ground on longtime number-one CTV National News, overtaking it on several occasions.

Over the network's history, there has been some evidence that Global considers its news coverage subordinate to its usual primetime lineup of entertainment programming. While coverage of some breaking events has increased since the launch of Global National, the network attracted controversy in 2003 when CKND aired its usual programming schedule on the night of the Manitoba provincial election rather than providing any special news programming, and when CIII bumped its Ontario provincial election coverage to CHCH in order to avoid preempting Survivor. Both stations aired full election night coverage in those province's 2007 elections.

Global launched its first investigative newsmagazine series on November 30, 2008. The weekly 30-minute program, titled 16x9 - The Bigger Picture, features a high-gloss, tabloid format, and is the network's first foray into the field long occupied by CTV's W-FIVE and CBC's the fifth estate. Global also airs a weekly documentary series, Global Currents.

On October 4, 2007, parent company Canwest announced it would be centralizing news production control room functions for all owned & operated conventional TV stations (except CHBC Kelowna) at four broadcast centres - CHAN Vancouver, CITV Edmonton, CICT Calgary, and CIII Toronto. The company stated this would allow all of its stations to make a transition to high definition broadcasting, and create around 50 new jobs at the four stations. Approximately 250 positions were to be eliminated in the other stations, the majority of which were behind-the-scenes/technical positions.

A press release from the company has also stated that on-air talent (including weather anchors), reporters, producers, photographers, editors, and other news gathering positions will remain at the affected stations. In mid August, Global Edmonton took over production of Global Halifax's newscasts, and on September 4, 2008, took over production of all newscasts at CHCA in Red Deer, Alberta. Global Calgary is began production of Global Lethbridge's newscasts in mid-September, and later in the year Global BC took over CHEK Victoria, Global Regina, Global Saskatoon, Global Winnipeg and Global Montreal. The stations whose controls were taken over had their news set replaced virtual sets. In September 2009, CHBC's controls were moved to Calgary and Vancouver, however there are no plans to install a virtual set.

Entertainment

Global does not have what can be called a main schedule, apart from news. Even before the WIC purchase, the Global stations had widely varying program lineups, and the WIC purchase only exacerbated the differences. For example, CHAN still owns British Columbia rights to many shows that air on CTV, and CKMI can't air children's programming due to provincial laws requiring children's programming to be shown commercial-free over the air. Factors influencing the stations' programming include time zone differences, local programming, and ratings for non-Global shows.

Global has built its business on profitable entertainment programming produced in the United States, and has long been criticized for not investing enough in Canadian content. Canadian programming carried on the network, such as a revival of 1960s American science fiction series The Outer Limits, or the Chicago-set drama Zoe Busiek: Wild Card, has often avoided Canadian themes, presumably to focus on sales to United States and international cable or syndication markets — although Psi Factor did include Canadian themes, including a "killer wheat" episode and episodes set in Northern Quebec and Halifax. Series initially intended for the US and international market are sometimes called "industrial" productions and largely disappeared with the collapse of the international action hour market.

In recent years, Global has aired somewhat more identifiably Canadian entertainment programming, including the long-running finance drama Traders, the British-Canadian animated comedy Bob and Margaret, the police procedural drama Blue Murder, the nightly improvised drama Train 48, the sitcom The Jane Show and the reality show My Fabulous Gay Wedding. In 2003, Global signed comedian Mike Bullard, host of the nightly Open Mike with Mike Bullard on CTV and The Comedy Network, to a multi-year contract for a new nightly talk show on Global, but The Mike Bullard Show was cancelled after 60 episodes amid poor ratings.

Global purchased the rights to produce a Canadian edition of the popular entertainment magazine Entertainment Tonight; ET Canada launched on September 12, 2005. It also secured Canadian production rights to the American reality series The Apprentice, but there is no word on when, or if, a Canadian version will air.

Hit American shows currently airing on Global include first-run episodes of Heroes, NCIS, Survivor, The Simpsons, Family Guy, 24, House and Prison Break. On July 21, 2006, Global signed a deal with World Wrestling Entertainment to broadcast the new ECW brand, starting on August 11 and then every Friday night in a late night slot.[4]

Global profits due to Canada's simultaneous substitution (or "simsub") regulations, which allows the owner of content to control programming rights for that show in Canada. When an American broadcast network is broadcasting the same show at the same time that Global is (such as Survivor), Canadian cable subscribers may only watch the Global Television broadcast, even when trying to view the American stations. This law gives them double exposure for their content and a larger share of advertising revenue, effectively blocking American border cities from access to the Canadian market. This was done to help give money to the networks to fund Canadian content development. Global is certainly not the only Canadian broadcaster to use simsubs; nonetheless, some complaints, specific to Global, have arisen due to the following related practices:

  • Some Global stations have superimposed the phrase on Global on a program's main titles, often in a font that poorly replicates that of the title itself. This sometimes meant that a single superimposed version was used with each episode, potentially interfering with running gags within the opening credits. For instance, the opening of American Dad features a news headline that changes with each episode, but — for a time — the same headline might be shown on multiple episodes on Global, an issue that was later rectified. This practice was discontinued altogether with the start of the fall 2006 season.
  • Split-screen credits are also used to allow for network promos. On some shows, including The Simpsons and Family Guy, there are special closing credits that may use additional scenes or special music that is altered or lost when Global uses a split screen. While the use of split-screen credits is common among networks in Canada and the US, how Global treats one program and how the US program treats the same episode may be two different things.
  • In some cases, next-episode previews, such as those on The Apprentice, are not shown. This may be because these promos are made in-house by the network (in this case, NBC), and cannot be edited ahead of broadcast.
  • Starting a show earlier than the American network's airing. A recent practice on several American networks has been to start certain shows shortly before or after :00 or :30 past the hour to avert audience loss. Global does not necessarily follow this practice, meaning the last few minutes of the preceding show may be lost to those watching the U.S. network. For instance, if NBC schedules The Apprentice to start at 9:02 but Global schedules its start for exactly 9:00, the last two minutes of NBC's 8:00 program may be blocked by the Global signal. This is not unique to Global and may vary by service provider, since cable/satellite providers, not the networks, are responsible for scheduling and initiating simsubs.
  • If an American program airs on a US network is delayed, due to breaking news or a sporting event on the American network, Global will also delay that episode until it starts on the American network to intentionally simsub. One example is the episode of House that aired after Super Bowl XLII in 2008 (see below).
  • Global was the Canadian broadcast-television rightsholder for the National Football League and, hence, the Super Bowl, through the end of the 2006 season (these rights are being taken over by CTV as of the 2007 season). As with any other U.S. network program, Global could and did simsub the American feed. However, the Super Bowl is particularly controversial, as the U.S. network Super Bowl commercials, likely the most anticipated set of commercials of any given year, couldn't be seen on either Global or the applicable U.S. station. Instead, while some international advertisers (such as Budweiser) did buy time on Global for the U.S. ads, many Canadian companies simply ran ads introduced long before the game. Nonetheless, in recent years, nearly all American commercials have been available via various websites after the game, which may have placated some complainants.

In October 2004, Global started airing select American programs in Widescreen HDTV and launched a national HD service called Global HD, which is a simulcast of its affiliated station CIII-TV; since then, some Canadian series such as Falcon Beach have been added to its HD lineup. On April 11, 2008, Global launched an HD simulcast of Vancouver's CHAN-TV.

Global cross-promotes heavily with other Canwest properties in the growing number of markets where both services operate in parallel.

On June 6, 2007, the Canadian actors' union ACTRA picketed Global's fall upfronts presentation to protest the lack of Canadian content on current television network schedules.[5]

Sports

In 1979, Global, which was then an Ontario regional network, purchased the Toronto Blizzard soccer team and produced and aired coverage of the team's games in-house. The team was not a success on the field, in attendance or ratings and Global sold the franchise in 1981 but continued to broadcast seven games a year until 1983.[6]

Aside from its brief experiment with soccer, the Global network has never had an in-house sports production division as do CBC and CTV/TSN. Network sports broadcasts are either simulcast with American networks or outsourced to independent producers such as Molstar. During the 1987 and 1988 Stanley Cup playoffs, Global aired NHL games syndicated by Carling O'Keefe. Global was the longtime broadcaster of National Football League football games in Canada, an association that ended in 2007 when CTV outbid Global for the NFL broadcast package. The network continues to air coverage of The Masters and, on most stations, various PGA Tour events.

Beyond event coverage, many Global stations were well-known for local late-night sports highlights shows, such as Sportsline in Ontario, Sports Page in Vancouver (later moved to former sister station CHEK), and Sports Night in Edmonton. Most of these programs were later unified under the Global Sports brand. However, due to declining audiences, by fall 2005 all but the Ontario program had been cancelled, although stations continued to cover sports in their local newscasts. Global Ontario's sports program would not be cancelled until January 2007, at which that station closed its sports department entirely, currently outsourcing sports news coverage to The Score.

Some of Global's stations outside Ontario continue to produce their own in-house sports coverage such as Global BC and Global Edmonton. Global Maritimes and Global Quebec use the sports anchors from Global BC to fill their newscast sports programming time.

Global Winnipeg produces Fox Soccer Report for Fox Sports World Canada and Fox Soccer Channel in the United States, as well as other countries.

Global HD

In October 2004, Global launched an HD simulcast of its Toronto station CIII. At the time the service was only available via digital cable. On April 18, 2008, Global officially launched a transmitter in Toronto making the HD simulcast of CIII available over-the-air. They also launched an HD simulcast of their Vancouver station (CHAN) on the same day.

Global 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:

  • Toronto: CIII-DT-41 65
  • Vancouver: CHAN-DT 22
  • Calgary: CICT-DT 41
  • Edmonton: CITV-DT 47

Global stations

The Global network has long been much more decentralized than either CBC or CTV, or for that matter most American broadcast networks. For most programs, there is no "network" feed per se, and in effect every commercial break is a station break. National advertising is certainly available, but such ads are seamlessly integrated into local ad blocks.

In fact, it is not uncommon to see different lengths of commercial breaks from one station to the next even during identical programming. This occurs even though all Global stations have had their master control operations centralized in Calgary since fall 2006.

More recently, with the exception of Global Toronto, stations now use sustained on-screen bugs using each station's full local brand as opposed to simply "Global".

Out of those stations, CKMI-TV, CICT-TV, CHBC-TV and CISA-TV were originally CBC Television affiliates.

Most of these stations serve their entire province through a network of relay stations as a part of the key station's licence, although some of their transmitters may air separate advertising targeted to their local community.

Affiliates

Independent station CJON-TV ("NTV", St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador) is sometimes considered a Global affiliate, as Global is now that station's primary source of programming. However NTV does not always carry the full Global lineup, and continues to air some CTV specials, as well as national newscasts from both networks.

Slogans

  • 1974: "Your New Point of View"
  • 1975-2006: "Global's got it!"

See also

References

External links








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