|Type||Broadcast television network|
|Availability||Quebec, parts of Ontario, New Brunswick and northern U.S. via antenna, nationally via cable|
|Slogan||C'est vrai (It's real)|
|Owner||Groupe TVA (Quebecor Media)|
|Launch date||1963 (formally organized 1971)|
TVA is a privately-owned French language television network in Canada. The network is currently owned by Groupe TVA Inc. (TSX: TVA), a publicly-traded subsidiary of Quebecor Media. TVA is believed to be short for Téléviseurs associés or Télédiffuseurs associés, depending on the source (both can be roughly translated to "Associated Telecasters"). The name reflects TVA's roots as a cooperative network owned by its affiliates. However, only the initials are used on-air.
Headquartered in Montreal, the network only has affiliates in Quebec, although certain affiliates have transmitters serving parts of New Brunswick and Ontario. However, since becoming a national network in 1998, it has been available on cable across Canada.
As the first private network in French-speaking Canada and having originally been a cooperative, TVA is often considered to be the French counterpart of CTV; indeed, CTV and TVA have similar logos, with the same geometric shapes (circle, square, triangle) in three different colours. However, the two networks have never been jointly owned.
TVA traces its roots to 1963, when CJPM-TV in Chicoutimi (now part of Saguenay), a station only a few months old and in need of revenue, began sharing programs with the biggest privately owned francophone station in Canada, CFTM-TV in Montreal. They were joined by CFCM-TV in Quebec City in 1964 after CFCM lost its SRC affiliation. While the three stations shared programs for many years, it was not until 1971 that the informal link became a proper network, TVA, with CFTM as the flagship station. The network began the first private French-language network news service in Canada in 1972. Between 1973 and 1983, seven more stations joined the network.
When the network was formally organized in 1971, its affiliates ran it as a cooperative, much like CTV operated for many years. In 1982, the cooperative became a corporation with the station owners as shareholders.
For many years, TVA's programming was very similar to what Global offers today in that it did not have what could be called a main schedule aside from news. For instance, Pathonic Communications, which owned the TVA affiliates in Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Rimouski and Rivière-du-Loup; offered programming that was radically different from that offered on CFTM. The differences were enough that Sherbrooke's CHLT-TV, whose over-the-air signal reaches Montreal, was carried on Montreal cable systems. However, CFTM dominated the network, contributing as much of 90% of the network's programming. That was not surprising as Montreal has always been the centre of French-language broadcasting in Canada.
In 1989, Télé-Metropole, which owned CFTM and CJPM, bought out Pathonic and changed its name to Groupe TVA Inc., a subsidiary of cable company Vidéotron. The other station owners sold the outstanding shares of the network in 1992. Nine years later, Quebecor became owner of TVA.
TVA also owns Le Canal Nouvelles (LCN), Canada's only private French language headline news channel. When TVA completes its broadcast day, the TVA stations simulcast LCN until TVA's next broadcast day begins. As well, the company owns a magazine publishing division unit, a film production and distribution house, and a number of other Internet and cable properties, many of which are often used to cross-promote TVA series and events.
In 1998, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission made it compulsory for all cable systems in Canada to carry a TVA station, in order to give Canada's francophone minority communities a second French-language programming choice. The station offered is usually the network's flagship, CFTM. Some cable companies in Ontario and New Brunswick carried the affiliates from Gatineau, Rouyn-Noranda or Rivière-du-Loup long before TVA carriage became mandatory, and these companies have mostly continued to carry their existing affiliates rather than switching to CFTM.
TVA also provides a time-shifted feed for cable companies in Western Canada. However, this feed is little more than an electronic delay of CFTM's programming, rebroadcasted three hours later to viewers in Western Canada through a separate feed.
Although TVA is a full-fledged network, its network feed is basically a retransmission of CFTM, with opt outs by local affiliates for local news, commercials and locally-produced programming. While this allows TVA to air more network programming than any other Canadian network (the basis for its longtime slogan, Le sens de la télé or "The Meaning of Television"), it also means that CFTM usually can't interrupt its programming for news or weather bulletins in Montreal without interrupting the entire network.
For many years, TVA has been more popular than Télévision de Radio-Canada, the French-language counterpart of CBC Television. All but 10 of the 50 most popular television shows in Quebec come from TVA.
In 2004, TVA's parent Groupe TVA and fellow Quebecor subsidiary Sun Media jointly acquired CKXT-TV in Toronto, an independent station once known as Toronto One, in 2004. The company's first English-language television station, it continues to be run as an independent station, not as a TVA affiliate, but as "Sun TV", named after Sun Media's local newspaper, the Toronto Sun. In early 2005, TVA confirmed to The Globe and Mail that it would continue to look for other expansion opportunities in English Canada, although as of 2008 no further purchase announcements have been made by the company.
Groupe TVA also operates a number of cable specialty channels, including ARGENT, Les idées de ma maison, Mystère, LCN, Prise 2, Canal Indigo and Shopping TVA. Groupe TVA is also a majority owner of mentv, which it co-owns with Canwest; it also equally owns Mystery TV with Canwest, with Canwest being managing partner. Groupe TVA is also a minority owner of Évasion, with Serdy Direct as majority owner.
|7:00 p.m.||7:30 p.m.||8:00 p.m.||8:30 p.m.||9:00 p.m.||9:30 p.m.||10:00 p.m.||10:30 p.m.|
|Monday||La classe de 5e||Yamaska||Lance et compte : le grand duel||TVA Nouvelles (to 10:45 p.m.)|
|Tuesday||Les gags||Occupation Double||Caméra Café||Taxi 0-22||La Promesse|
|Wednesday||La Poule aux oeufs d'or||Destinées||Dr House|
|Thursday||La Fièvre de la danse||Dieu merci!||Le gentleman|
|Friday||J.E.||Du talent à revendre||Juste pour rire|
|Sunday||Le Banquier||Occupation Double||Vlog||TVA Nouvelles||Movie|
Dramas and téléromans are in blue; news programs are in cyan; comedies are in red; game shows and reality shows are in yellow; variety, interview, and music programs are in orange; sports programming are in green; movies are in purple; and magazines are in brown.
On October 11, 2007, TVA launched an HD simulcast of its Montreal station CFTM. TVA HD is currently only available via satellite or on digital cable. As of November 2009, It has not yet launched a transmitter and is not available for free over-the-air.